There are as many reasons to ride a motorcycle as there are roads to ride. Maybe you’re a speed nut, or a corner hound, an AC/DC-blasting city slow roller. Maybe your weekends feel wasted if they’re not spent on a massive touring trip. You might be a “Hop on, we’re going for a ride,” or a “Buzz off, I need some time to myself,” kind of person. It doesn’t matter. We’re all individuals, but we also chose to be a part of a larger group: Indian Motorcycle riders. We wanted to know just how Indian Motorcycle riders were using and loving their bikes.
So we asked. Here are the stories of european riders, all of whom share one immediate connection: the constant pull to be behind the handlebars.
MR & MADAME GROEN
In 1977 I came across a book that would change the way I looked at many things, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. After reading that book, I decided that one day I’d ride a motorbike through the Rocky Mountains in America. In 2016 I found my dream motorbike online: an Indian Springfield Indian Red. I began trying to convince my wife that we had to buy that bike. It took a while, but she did eventually agree.
The next step was to buy one in the US, so that I could do what I’d promised myself in ‘77. I found a dealership in Lynnwood, north of Seattle. One of the guys there, David, really got me – he understood the dream I’d been harbouring for so long. In 2017 my wife and I found ourselves in Seattle on my Springfield, after a warm welcome and superb service from David and his colleagues at Indian in Lynnwood. We were setting off on the road trip that I’d been dreaming of for 40 years.
The next day we were in Vancouver, and then we headed up into the Canadian Rockies. After a week we turned back to the US and made for the Pacific coast before taking off into the heart of the West to check out all the amazing things there are to see there. We got to ride through sunshine, rain, even snow – but our Indian never protested! She became our “Lady in Red”. After our grand tour, we flew out of Denver back to the Netherlands, leaving our Springfield behind and safely stored. 2018 saw us back in the States to complete the second part of our adventure. After we’d had our Lady in Red serviced by the fantastic team at G-Force Powersports in Lakewood, we headed north to the Black Hills and from there we set out on an epic journey through South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and the Great Lakes. Our end point was Toronto. Then we brought our Lady in Red back to Amsterdam with us, where she’s settled in at our house, and is always up for an outing. Our local dealership, Motoport Hengelo, takes great care of her. I’m absolutely sure that Robert Pirsig would have loved this motorbike. He took a great interest in the quality of a motorcycle, and wrote a lot about it – and our Lady in Red perfectly epitomizes that quality.
Herman Groen - Pays Bas
By the time I’d reached fifty, I’d given up motorbikes for the comfort and practicality of a scooter, but I never really got into it, I always felt something was missing...
One beautiful sunny day in Corsica, I decided to go back to my first love and get back on a motorbike. I’d just hit 65, so I needed comfort and torque. My closest friend works as a salesman in an American motorcycle showroom, so I called him to ask for advice on choosing a machine.
He instantly said: “You want a great bike? Go to Indian!... Here, we’ve lost our soul...”
I’ll admit I hadn’t heard of Indian, but as far as bikes go, I trusted him completely. I went online, read some reviews, learned about the brand and its history – and got totally hooked. When I called the dealership in Toulon, on the mainland, they told me they had a used Scout Sixty. A good choice for returning to motorcycling, very beautiful – black and grey – and I had to have it. So two weeks later, I rediscovered the joy of riding a motorbike. After another nine months, though, I got fired up with the idea of travelling further afield, going away for several days with my girlfriend... I rang the dealer in Toulon again, telling him I wanted to upgrade. He happened to have a Springfield demonstration model in, and again, I fell in love with it. So I went over on my Scout and returned home with my new Springfield. I’ve come to feel a real connection with it, as we ride along the roads of Corsica together every day. My girlfriend and I have loads of trips planned on this bike. I’m 67 years old, but I feel 40 years younger when I ride my Springfield!! I bought both of my “Indians” sight unseen, just on blind faith, and they both brought me huge happiness.
Good Day. Attached is a picture taken is South Africa Mpumalanga province on an open freedom ride to the beautiful hills of Nelspruit, low veld. The best first ride 1 month after collecting my Indian scout bobber from Indian Motorcycles Melrose Arch.
I fell in love with my Scout as soon as i seteyes on it. It’s so confidence-inspiring in corners and extremely comfortable. It’s a real treat. This photo shows us on our way to the Indian Riders Fest in Budweis in the Czech Republic.
I was riding my Harley through the streets of Athens when suddenly, on my right, I spotted some Indians in the window of the new dealership. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I said to myself, “Panos, you’re going to walk into that store and you’re not coming out again until you’ve also bought yourself an Indian!”
SONJA AND ANDREAS
Hi from Sonja and Andreas in Switzerland!
Spring 2018 was the first time we each had our own Scout and we became big Indian fans. We both really enjoyed our rides and travels. Naturally we rode around Switzerland, but we also headed into France and Italy, and we’re looking forward to taking more trips. The Mittelland IMRG has become like a home-from-home to us and we’ve made loads of new friends there.
Big Chief 1947 - Chief vintage 2016
Hi! I live in Sweden and there are not that many ols Indians here.
I found and bought my first Indian (1947 Big Chief) in a basket case back in 1979. The Chief was restored during some 4-5 years and I rode it until the early nineties. The years after the Chief I had a few Harleys but nothing compared with my Chief -47. Have had my Chief Vintage (2016) a year now and I will never part from this bike. It’s the most amazing motorcycle I’ve ever ridden. I love it.
This was the first time I’d ever ridden an Indian. I’d already ordered my Bobber Scout but I couldn’t wait to try it out. I’d fallen in love instantly, but to hear the engine and to ride it was like committing myself to it completely. I’d been riding on motorbikes behind my dad since I was six, but imagine how excited I was when the dealer delivered my own bike in October 2019 and I got behind the handlebars to ride my first hundred metres or so. I felt an amazing sensation of freedom. A kind of liberty that was all mine.
Sandra Riera - IMRG Barcelona, Spain
After passing my motorcycle test late in life at 56, my first ever motorcycle was an Indian Scout in thunder Black. August 2019, off to Newquay to for a fantastic camping weekend at Cornwall motofest. Sponsered by Thor and Indian motorcycles who put on a fantastic show, obviously spending a lot of time and effort making it so enjoyable for all involved. After just over a year, having covered some 15, 000 miles all over Europe. I am still in love with my Indian.
Jess Nelson - Woking Surrey - Angleterre