When I first saw Indian’s photos of the updated Chieftainline, I immediately thought of the presentation during the 2015 Indian Scout introduction. During his speech, Gary Gray, Indian Motorcycle Product Director, said that with Indian’s initial models under Polaris ownership, “we needed to earn the right to change the brand. So, how do you earn the right? You pay the deepest respects you can for the brand, and you pay honor to the people that came before you, and you build a bike that people clearly will see as an Indian.” All of the Indian models prior to the Scout were classically styled in a way that harkened back to the company’s early history, the nod to the past that Gray referred to.
However, the Scout was the shot across the bow of the classic mindset, a statement that the company refused to get mired by the weight of history and, instead, intended to become a manufacturer of modern Indians. According to Gray, “We see the Scout as our first opportunity to say, ‘Now it’s time to honor the brand in the way only the brand itself can, to take it and evolve it, to make it grow and to bring it forward.’ The Scout is the first step forward in progressing the brand and making it the Indian Motorcycle of today, not the Indian Motorcycle of 1953.”
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