The Indian Chief: On The Road Again
16 June 1999
GILROY, Calif. -- "With the Indian Chief on theroad, we've successfully revived one of America's greatest icons." These were the words used by Rey Sotelo, President of the Indian Motorcycle Company(TM), as the first of the Limited Edition 1999 Indian Chiefs were loaded on the transport for delivery across the country. The long-awaited debut of the legendary motorcycle comes less than five months after the Indian Motorcycle Company(TM) secured the rights to the Indian Motorcycle trademark. Prior to this landmark event, the Indian Chief was last seen in 1953. At that time, the legendary cruiser was built in Springfield, MA., site of the company's origins in 1901. The 1999 Indian Chief(TM) is being produced at the company's new 150,000-sq. ft. facility in Northern California. "Putting the first bikes on the truck was an amazing feeling for everyone involved," Sotelo added. "Our team has worked very hard to get the 1999 Chief on the road and they deserve a great deal of credit." The initial run of motorcycles is destined for seven locations in seven states: Classic Motorcycles, Murray, UT; Fast Company, Kirkland, WA.; Iron Lightning Custom Cycles, Broken Arrow, OK.; DGY Motorsports, Downers Grove, IL.; Santa Rosa Vee-Twin, Santa Rosa, CA.; Staz's Nevada Indian, Henderson, NV.; and Soho Cycle, New York, NY. "There's been an enormous amount of interest in the 1999 Chief," said Ed Pacelli of Soho Cycle in New York City. "We're anticipating the bikes won't even get to the showroom floor. It's a superb bike with excellent design qualities." For those who don't catch a glimpse of the stylish cruisers before they're whisked away from showroom floors, the Limited Edition 1999 Indian Chief(TM) will make an appearance at two of the year's biggest bike rallies: Laconia Bike Week in Laconia, NH, from June 13 -- 20, and the Hollister Independence Day celebrations in Hollister, CA, from July 2 -- 4. The Indian Motorcycle Company(TM) is the title sponsor of the latter event, which takes place just 40 miles from Indian's factory in Gilroy. The Limited Edition 1999 Indian Chief(TM) -- will retail for approximately $24,000 -- is unique to the world of motorcycling, a cruiser that combines the finest design features of the past with the cutting edge technology of today. The 88-cubic inch, 45-degree V-twin engine is a proven design, engineered to offer pulling power all through the rev band. The custom stretched and raked frame has been ergonomically designed to suit all types of riders. And the Showa front suspension and Progressive Suspension rear suspension combine to give the Indian Chief(TM) unmatched handling characteristics for a machine of this size. The low, sleek look of the cruiser is complemented by classic Indian design features: the custom fringed leather seat, the war bonnet light on the front fender, the teardrop gas tank and Indian's famous deep skirted fenders, front and back. All told, the Limited Edition 1999 Indian Chief(TM) is certain to be a head-turner everywhere it appears. "The 1999 Chief is at once a tribute to the legend of the Indian Motorcycle Company and at the same time a finely-engineered, modern, heavy cruiser," explained Sotelo, who directed the design team. "When you sit on this bike, open the throttle and hit the road, you know you're riding something very special."