Harley-Davidson and the Indian Wars

The most fierce rivalry in motorcycle history is undeniably the one between Harley-Davidson and Indian. This historic battle began in the early 1900s and continued for 50 years – long before you could order motorcycle parts online. Understanding this history will make you appreciate your motorcycle more. Here’s a brief history of the rivalry between Indian and Harley Davidson aftermarket parts.

The Beginnings

Indian first built its motorcycle in 1901, with Harley-Davidson coming onto the scene shortly after in 1903. These two companies competed fiercely with one another from the start with new innovations and models. Indian’s popularity was backed by founder George Hendee’s success in the bicycle industry, while Harley-Davidson relied on enthusiasm instead of business savviness.

Notable Rivalries

One of the most notable battles began in 1932 when Harley Davidson introduced the Servi-car, a three-wheeled machine that set the stage for the modern trike. Indian released its own version known as the Dispatch Tow the next year in 1933. Next, Harley-Davidson produced the Knucklehead in 1936, with Indian coming out with the Improved Four shortly thereafter.

Decline and Demise of Indian

Harley-Davidson eventually overtook Indian. Indian Motorcycle Company began to decline after World War II. The production of Indian motorcycles started to become very limited in 1949. All manufacturing of Indian motorcycles ceased in 1953 when the company declared bankruptcy.

Indian Successors and Current Production

While Harley-Davidson enjoyed an almost monopoly on the market for the next decades, it doesn’t mean that Indian has been missing from the scene since 1953. The most successful venture occurred recently when Polaris Industries bought the Indian company in 2011. Polaris has since released numerous motorcycles that pay homage to the traditional Indian styling.

The history of motorcycles is intriguing and the industry has changed drastically since the early 1990s. Whether you ride a Harley or new Polaris Indian, you get to enjoy this history and purchase cheap motorcycle tires online.