The following is from Indian Motorcycle.com: Originally manufactured under the corporate banner of the Hendee Manufacturing Company, which was later reincorporated as the Indian Motorcycle Company (an apparent Americanization of the European style of hyphenated motorcycle company names -- i.e. Moto-Guzzi), early Indians were inspired by Hedstrom's work with "pacing" bicycles. Hitting the road in 1901, Indian was not only the first American motorcycle, it was the world's best-selling bike and, having introduced the first V-twin motorcycle to the world in 1907, the most technologically advanced. Harley-Davidson 1910 models, by contrast, were all singles, producing five horsepower or less. From 1901 to 1916, three years after a new Hedstrom-designed state-of-the-art, 400,000 square-foot "Wigwam" came online, annual production soared from three to a world-leading 41,000. With more than 20 American motorcycle manufacturers scrapping for business prior to the U.S. entry into World War I, Indian's market share was a staggering 40-plus percent.
Prior to the new factory's opening, in fact, Hedstrom's motors were so successful that Indian couldn't make enough complete bikes to satisfy demand and licensed the motor designs to numerous other manufacturers. Not surprisingly, most of those competitors quickly disappeared once Indian ramped up its production capacity and began keeping Hedstrom and his successors' innovations -- the first Big Twin motors, the first two-speed transmissions, the first adjustable front suspensions, the first electric lights and starters, and scores of others -- to itself.
April 20th, 2011
Viewed 3,236 Times - Last Visitor from Fairfield, CT on 09/21/2023 at 7:01 PM