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An Indian in Italy

March 14, 2012

When it comes to classic American made motorcycles, Indian falls at or near the top of the list.  With roots that date back to 1901, Indian was formerly based in Springfield Mass., where they held residence until the early 50’s.  During that tenure, they created some of the world’s most quality and best-selling motorcycles, competing only with their American cousin, Harley Davidson.  The Scout and Chief ranked amongst the most popular and on several occasions were used by the United States military and Police Departments around the country.  During WWI Indians were exclusively used by servicemen, but would later share the spotlight with Harley Davidson during the second war.  Unfortunately, they discontinued production and went under in 1953.

Last month, while I was in Biella visiting the fine folks from Camo, we also made a brief pit stop at a local auto garage.  Initially attracted by the vintage Vespas parked in front, we paid a visit for a quick photo.  Not long after arriving, the owner kindly invited us in to see what else he had in store.  Inside, posters of rally cars lined the walls and a few cars were up on lifts, while spare parts filled nearly every available space.  At first glance, most of the line up was Italian fare, Fiat, Piaggio, etc.  That was until we reached the back of the garage where an old Indian Scout proudly sat awaiting finishing touches and assembly.  I noticed the unmistakable deep red from across the room and moved in for a closer look.

Indian’s American roots and background are something I appreciate, but the bikes themselves are definitely one of the most aesthetically pleasing out there.  Although there’s still a good crop of Indians on the street, I’ve only seen a few in person and was pretty excited when I saw this Scout perched on blocks.  However, as one of my favorite motorcycle companies, the last place I’d expect to find one was in a random garage in northern Italy.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 14, 2012 14:58

    WOW!! Great photos and post. I would have missed this otherwise, since it wasn’t tagged as Vespa or scooter. Glad I found it.

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