Where Are Indian Motorcycles Made? Who Owns It?

India is not exactly known for its production of motorcycles, which explains people’s astonishment when Indian Motorcycle Publishing Co. is listed among other American brands as one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world.

Let me tell you something: contrary to what it seems, Indian Motorcycles is not an Indian-origin motorbike brand. Where are Indian motorcycles made, then? Keep scrolling to learn the truth.

Indian Motorcycles Are Made Where? Are They American Made?

Indian Motorcycles

Every Indian Motorcycles model is assembled at Spirit Lake, Iowa, USA. Their parts are sourced from other regions and companies to save costs. For example, their engines are produced at Wisconsin manufacturing facilities, USA. 

Indian Motorcycles at Spirit Lake, Iowa, USA
Indian Motorcycles at Spirit Lake, Iowa, USA

And that is to be expected; after all, it is much economically wiser to buy important compartments like electronic devices, suspension, and brakes from companies with enough expertise in bulk-producing them. 

Plus, the development and research stage for in-house manufacturing could cost millions – hence the brand’s decision to soften the blow by buying parts from other manufacturers. 

How about the rumors that Indian Motorcycles productions were moved to Poland in 2019? They are untrue, but not entirely baseless – not when it was the Indian Motorcycles itself that started them. 

More specifically, in 2018, Polaris (Indian Motorcycles’ parent company) released official press statements to announce that it planned to build a factory in Poland to enter the European market.

Still, for certain reasons, everything had gone quiet since then, and the story of Poland’s productions eventually slipped away without a second mention from Poris. 

To this day, we are still unclear why it did not go through with this original plan, but several theories have been posed:

  • The plan was made when the E.U.-U.S. trade wars were still at their peak. The backlash that Harley-Davidson had to receive – both from the government and the home fans – probably convinced Poris to think twice.
  • It was probably just a scheme to get government support.
  • The brand extension is no longer needed in Polaris’ marketing strategy.

Whatever the cause, most Indian Motorcycle sport fans in America are glad about this delayed production, especially those loyal to American-styled bikes. Long story short, Indian Motorcycles will likely remain America’s sweetheart for years to come.

What Are The Indian Motorcycles Manufacturing Locations (Inside/Outside The U.S.)?

Throughout most of its course in the U.S., Indian Motorcycles manufacturing has been settled in Massachusetts (Springfield, Brockton, Oceanside, and Gilroy) before eventually stopping at Spirit Lake, Iowa, and remaining there to the present day. 

Due to its popularity increase, branches in non-U.S. regions like India, Thailand, Mexico, and Hungary are also planned.

1. For The U.S. Market:

As an American brand that has been around for decades, it is natural that the manufacturer has changed places numerous times throughout the U.S. during its course. Here is a brief timeline:

1901-1953 (when the brand’s first bike was built): The assembly facility was in Springfield (M.A.). However, these assembly plants were closed in 1953, and Indian Motorcycles stopped production altogether until 1955.

1955-1959: The brand was taken over by Brockhouse Engineering, a manufacturer from Brockton, Massachusetts. The major productions continued at Brockton plants until Indian Motorcycles was bought by NSU, a Berlin-based company.

1960-1977: Indian Motorcycles returned to Springfield (M.A.) under America’s Indian Motorbike Company. Unfortunately, its financial struggles did not cease, leading to a second production halt in 1977.

1999 – 2003: The investors of America’s Indian Motorbike Company revived the brand in 1999 to build new Gilroy production facilities in California. Yet, these plants only lasted about five years till their 2003 shut down; 8 years later (2011), Indian Motorcycles were bought by Polaris.

Present: Their motorcycles are made and distributed from Iowa, Spirit Lake. As one of the best facilities in the country, Iowa utilizes the best technological inventions and procedures to ensure all standards of quality and performance are satisfactorily met.

The full chart is as below: 

1901Springfield, Massachusetts
1907Hendee Mfg Co., Springfield, Massachusetts
1911Wigwam Sales Co., Springfield, Massachusetts
1913Springfield, Massachusetts
1916New York City
1917Springfield, Massachusetts
1923Springfield, Massachusetts
1953Springfield, Massachusetts
1955Brockton, Massachusetts
1959Berlin, Germany
1960Springfield, Massachusetts
1965Oceanside, Massachusetts
1999Gilroy, Massachusetts
2011Kings Mountain, NC
PresentSpirit Lake, Iowa

2. For Foreign Markets Outside The U.S:

As its popularity increased, Indian Motorcycles also started showing more interest in expanding their branches to international markets. Mexico, Thailand, and India are the three most outstanding examples.

2013: The brand established a facility in India (Bengaluru) – a part of the cooperation with Indian Polaris Ltd. 

The most popular models are imported from America to India as KD kits (knocked-down kits) or CBUs (completely built kits) to meet Indians’ growing demands for high-quality motorcycles.

2015: Indian Motorcycle debuted in Thailand (Bangkok) by joining hands with Honda AP Co Ltd. Like the Indian market, Indian Motorcycles also facilitates import models (CBUs and KD kits) to Thailand. 

The instant sales increase in Thailand paved the way for Indian Motorcycles to further boost its reputation in Southeast Asian regions.

2020: Partnered with Motor TVS Company, Indian Motorcycles opened a brand-new facility in Mexico (Villalpando) to appease North American motorcycle markets. 

Its chief touring models (particularly the Indian Chief and Indian Scout) garnered favorable feedback, expanding the brand’s popularity and social presence among the North America motorcycle enthusiasts.

2022: India is again the brand’s major focus, with another Indian factory operated in Hosur. This time – instead of imported models from the American market – Hosur produced specialized Indian bikes at an annual production expectation of more than 400,000 units.

Despite only being in operation for more than 1 year, the initial marketing results seem optimistic, promising a bright future for the brand among Indian dealers and clients.

2022: In the same year, Indian Motorcycles was set on establishing a Hungary 2022 assembly facility, using imported models (CBUs) to develop its reputation among the European demographics.

The full chart is as below:

Year of EstablishmentLocationType
2013Bangalore, IndiaAssembly
2015Bangkok, ThailandAssembly
2020Villalpando, MéxicoManufacturing
2022Hosur, IndiaManufacturing

Aside from future expansion plans for manufacturing motorcycles, the brand has also pooled most of its funds on dealer networks worldwide, aiming to improve overall customer experience via diverse initiatives.

Current Productions of Indian Motorcycles

SuperChief, Springfield, Chieftain (all versions), Scout Bobber, Roadmaster, and Chief Dark Horse are still in mass production by the time of this writing, thanks to positive global reception and impressive sales.

1. Super Chief

Super Chief Thunder Stroke 111 motors
Super Chief Thunder Stroke 111 motors

Production: 2022 – Present

Upon introducing this American-built bike in 2022, the Super Chief engineers include:

  • Thunder Stroke 111 motors
  • Saddlebags
  • Windscreens
  • Floorboards.

There is also a limited version, which arrives with Bluetooth-capable Command gauge systems, cruiser handlebars, and Thunderstroke 116 motors.

2. Springfield

Indian Motorcycle Springfield Dark Horse
Indian Motorcycle Springfield Dark Horse

Production: 2016 – Present

The model was released in Daytona Bicycle Week (March 2016), named after the brand’s birthplace (Springfield, Massachusetts). 

It is a hybrid, premium motorcycle that retains the hard bags and geometry of older models (RoadMaster/Chieftain) while including quick detach windshields similar to the Vintage.

Last but not least, there are adjustable air shocks (similar to most touring bike models) added to the mix.

3. Chieftain

Indian Chieftain Elite
Indian Chieftain Elite

Production: 2014 – Present

Chieftain is the first model produced by the Indian Motorcycle company that incorporates hard saddlebags and front fairings. Other features are:

Stereo (speakers within the fairings)

  • Bluetooth media player
  • Air-adjustable shocks
  • Tire pressure sensor
  • Motored windshield adjustments

Since its release, Chieftain received lots of critical acclaim for its handling, performance, and styling. In 2013, RoadRunner Motorcycle Tour And Travel (an American heritage magazine) named it The Iconic Motorcycle Of The Year.

4. Scout

Indian Scout Rogue 2022
Indian Scout Rogue 2022

Production: 2015 – Present

Scout cruisers stand out from other previous models with:

  • 69.1 cu in /1133 cc V-twin pushrod three cam aircraft engine, producing impressive power
  • Aluminum frame design, bounded by multiple aluminum alloy castings for better stability.

The website Motorcycle.com crowned it as The Motorcycle Classics Of The Year in 2015.

4.5. Scout Sixty

Scout Sixty
Scout Sixty

Production: 2016 – Present

Despite being introduced in 2015, Scout Sixty was officially labeled “the 2016 model.” The motorcycle factory team equips it with a 61 cu. in/ 999 cc V-twin engine – and numerous similar features to the 2014 Scouts.

5. Roadmaster

Indian Roadmaster

Production: 2015 – Present

Roadmaster Elite is almost a carbon copy of its Chieftain counterpart, except for:

  • Added trunk
  • Heated seats
  • Front fairing lower
  • LED headlights
  • Heated grips
  • Rear crash bars
  • Passenger floorboards

Its recorded performance is among the most impressive out of all Indian Motorcycle’s models. Some examples:

  • Overall power: 54 kW/72.4 HP @ 4440 RPM 
  • Rear tires: 139.2 N-m/ 102.7 lb-ft @ 2480 RPM
  • 1/4 mile distance: 13.94 seconds, 151.99 KMH/94.44 MPH
  • 0-60 MPH acceleration: 5.2 seconds
  • 60-0 MPH braking: 38 m/ 125 ft of distance
  • Fuel economy: 35.9 MPG-US

6. Chief Dark Horses

Chief Dark Horses
Chief Dark Horses

Production: 2016 – Present

Chief Dark Horses are largely inspired by the Chief Classic (2014 to 2018). One difference, though: this light motorcycle is painted in black and equipped with extra features:

  • Oil coolers
  • Driving lights
  • Passenger pillion seats
  • Analog fuel gauges

Plus, the passenger pegs are removed.

7. Chieftain Dark Horses

Chieftain Dark Horses
Chieftain Dark Horses

Production: 2016 – Present

Here comes another variation from Chieftain lines, except their designs are much more stripped-down. Hard saddlebags and full fairings are added, which partly contribute to the bike’s total dry weight (364 kg/ 803 lb) and overall power production (161.6 Nm/ 119.2 lb-ft @ 3000 RPM).

8. Chieftain Limited 

Chieftain Limited
Chieftain Limited

Production: 2017 – Present

Chieftain Limited is the original Chieftain but with more bagger styles:

  • The front fenders are widened to reveal their 19-inch custom wheels and limited color schemes
  • A touch screen command display (similar to Roadmasters’)
  • Upper fairings with power windscreens
  • Optional passenger seats

Are Indian Motorcycles Good? 

Yes.  Overall, there are reasons Polaris ditched Victory in favor of Indian Motorcycles: its rich team of engineers utilize cutting-edge electric motorcycle technology (the Thunderstroke Motors, for instance, known for their innovative triple-cam layout for maximum power) and premium steel tubes that ensure impressive durability.

Plus, its aesthetic designs are to die for: whether you are a fan of vintage, nostalgic vibes or more modern looks, the brand has something for everyone.

At $9,499 to $38,999, Indian Motorcycles might strike some retail customers as a bit too expensive; however, considering its impressive commitment to quality, the pricing is justified. 

Indian vs. Harley: Which Is Better?

As the largest manufacturers, both are equally well-received (considering that Polaris has bought Indian Motorcycles to compete with Harley-Davidson, that should not come as a surprise). 

Plus, with so many models being released to date, it is not easy to single out the better brand in these Harley-Davidson and Indian wars; all is up to your individual preferences.

Regarding popularity, Harley-Davidson seems to gain the upper hand when finding its way into American pop culture, motorcycle clubs, and more.


This article debunked the common confusion around who makes Indian Motorcycles (yes, it is not an Indian brand – but an American company), its rich history, and current manufacturing plans. 

Overall, this range of bikes is a smart investment – thanks to the sleek designs and competitive features – though I understand the price might put some customers off. Do your research to land on the model best suited to your needs.

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Daniel Barker


Daniel Barker was introduced to racing in 2006 when he experienced his first track day on his Suzuki sv650. With more than 15 years of experience on his track. Daniel is known as for his high-energy riding, drifting, precision stoppies and technical riding ability on virtually any motorcycle.

3 thoughts on “Where Are Indian Motorcycles Made? Who Owns It?”

  1. Probably introduced in Japan maybe Toyota might introduce the brand to Japan and probably distributed it, Well who knows probably Toyota might even buy Polaris.

  2. I was told a few years ago that Polaris had laid off the workers in Spirit Lake Iowa, and moved everything to Mexico.

  3. I have ridden HDs for over 45 years, and have been happy. Since I purchased a new Indian Chief Vintage Icon, my Harleys are collecting dust! Unbelievably great motorcycle! I can’t say enough about the overall greatness of this bike! Buy one!

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