Indian’s re-emergence as a vibrant motorcycle manufacturer has happened so fast that it seems hard to believe that less than a decade ago this famous old American marque was something of a joke, following decades of inactivity then a series of legal scuffles over rights to its name. The brand’s appeal has never been in doubt. Founded in 1901, two years before Harley-Davidson, Indian was famed for powerful and glamorous V-twins, most famously named Chief and Scout, before ceasing production in 1953.
The cycle of botched revivals ended in 2011 when the marque was bought by Polaris, the snowmobile giant that also owns Victory motorcycles – and which had the resources to relaunch Indian barely two years later with a three-model Chief family of classy, cleverly engineered 1,811cc V-twins. These were followed by the Roadmaster, a fully-dressed tourer, plus a second family of liquid-cooled, 1,133cc Scout models. Latest in the big-twin family is the Springfield – named after the old Indian firm’s home town in Massachusetts, and nothing to do with the Simpsons.