Thursday, September 20, 2012

Last of the motohicans...

They say the first shall be the last, I don't know who "they" are and I don't know what they meant by last, was it last meaning last or last meaning last! I do know the first American motorcycle company was Indian motorcycles (Hendee Co.), and they were built to outlast even the companies own existence. Indians are in a class of their own, and if you own one you are a part of the tribe. One of the allures of the Indian bikes to me personally is that most Indian owners are older men, and they aren't part of some scene or wanna be tough guy biker trend. They are guys that have been around these bikes for many years, and who enjoy passing down the knowledge and stories of the indian bikes, there are only a few respected gentleman out there in the world that are in the know of these motorcycles and whats what when it comes to knowing the separate year makes and models and even all the minor or major manufacturing differences throughout the lifespan of the company. When I hear old men talking about these bikes at swap meets or shows, you can bet your ass I stop, lean in for a close listen, and do my very best to retain the lesson that is being taught. I bought my Indian form an old southern man in Alabama, and he was a motorcycle guy through and through in his late 80's with grease under his fingertips from working in the garage restoring old indians and Triumphs. When he sold me that bike he gave me a few hand written pages of loose leaf paper with all the parts he had used and all the tech tips he learned on keeping this particular bike operating the way it was supposed to. He also handed me an old school Indian rider instruction book that was no more then 20 pages, and in those 20 pages enough information was given to perform maintenance and repair of your bike. Driving home form Alabama I flipped through the pages of the book and thought to myself, this little pocket sized instruction book is my new best friend, and my introduction in to the tribe. Slowly but surely I have learned about damn near every part of my Indian, and anyone that has ridden with me knows i'm not scared to ride it either. Old indians never die! . I have fallen in love with this company its rich history and the people who are still carrying the torch keeping the defunct brand alive in their hearts and spirit...Old Indians never die!

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