Seventy-five years after Ed Kretz dominated the first motorcycle race on the sands of Daytona Beach, Fla., Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company, left a historic mark on Bike Week.
Among Indian Motorcycle’s highlights during the 75th Anniversary of Daytona Bike Week, held March 5-12, were the introduction of a new motorcycle model, vintage & custom bike displays and unveilings, racing, demo rides, organized owner rides and more.
The week started with the launch of the new Indian Springfield, a motorcycle offering classic styling blended with thoroughly modern technology for a purist’s take on both touring comfort and urban versatility. At the same time, Indian Motorcycle and Jack Daniel’s announced the availability of Limited Edition Jack Daniel’s Indian Springfield and Indian Chief Vintage motorcycle models. This special production run of 150 motorcycles was designed in conjunction with Brian Klock and his inspired team at Klock Werks Kustom Cycles in Mitchell, S.D., and sold out in just eight hours. Unit #001 of the limited edition series, an Indian Chief Vintage, was held back to be auctioned at Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas on October 13-15 at the Mandalay Bay resort, with all monies from the auction benefitting Jack Daniel’s Operation Ride Home. Unit #150, an Indian Springfield, was gifted to Klock by Jack Daniel’s and Indian Motorcycle in recognition of his contribution and continuing support of many initiatives in the motorcycle community.
The first custom to be built based on the 2016 Indian Springfield also turned heads in Daytona. Unveiled during a special media event at the famed Racing’s North Turn beachside restaurant, the ‘Frontier 111’ crafted by Azzkikr Custom Baggers of Phoenix, Ariz., showcases builder Len Edmondson’s exceptional talents for building award-winning and fully functional artwork. With this bike, his acute attention to detail and Azzkikr style offer a truly show-stopping example of a thoroughly modern retro bagger that features classic lines via contemporary, artistic flare and took the Springfield to a new level in customs.
On Tuesday, March 8, Indian Motorcycle fans enjoyed live music, food & refreshments as the winner of the Project Scout contest was announced at the legendary Boot Hill Saloon on Daytona Beach’s Main Street. Of more than 40 custom submissions and three finalists, the Boardtracker built by Motos Illimitées of Terrebonne, QC, Canada, won the judges’ trophy as well as the Editor’s Choice Award. The Fusion, built by Indian Motorcycle Charlotte of Lowell, NC, won the Fan’s Choice Award and Ol’ #71, built by Heritage Indian Motorcycles of Northwest Arkansas, took home the Roland Sands Builder’s Choice Award.
Mid-week took the Indian Motorcycle brand to the track, where Roland Sands and the Roland Sands Design SuperHooligan Indian Scout Sixty dirt trackers battled handlebar-to-handlebar at Volusia Speedway Park, with racer Stevie Bonsey picking up the checkered flag on his first ride on a SuperHooligan Indian Scout Sixty dirt tracker, Sean Guardado finishing second and Aaron Frank crossing the line in third aboard another Indian Scout Sixty SuperHooligan. Two days later, after a full evening of Hooligan races in front of 5,000 spectators at Daytona International Speedway, an eight-lap final atop the .25-mile dirt oval saw three Team RSD Indian pilots fill the SuperHooligan podium with Sands crossing the line first, Jamie Robinson finishing second and Cameron Brewer following up in third. The RSD SuperHooligans made their most recent appearance March 19 at IV Flat Track Del Mar in Del Mar, Calif., and will go on to an appearance April 8 at the Hand Built Show in Austin, TX.
Throughout the week, Indian Motorcycle entertained Bike Week attendees at the Indian Motorcycle display in Daytona International Speedway’s Midway area with new motorcycles, engine cutaways, talks with designers and engineers, custom & vintage bikes, accessories and apparel, and a chance to win a 2016 Indian Scout Sixty. Nearby, guests were invited to ride the entire 2016 line-up of Indian motorcycles – including the new Indian Springfield – to compare, and decide which models best suit their riding style. The result was a record-setting number of demo rides for the brand.
On Thursday, March 10, the Indian Motorcycle Riders Group joined participants from the Veterans Charity Ride program, a motorcycle therapy-based ride from Los Angeles to Sturgis that made its debut last summer, in an organized tour that rolled out of Indian Motorcycle of Daytona Beach and traveled to Orlando for lunch. A special surprise: Indian motorcycle owners found themselves riding alongside Sean Carroll, a veteran Marine rider from last year’s inaugural Veterans Charity Ride who was piloting his new custom Indian Scout Trike built by Champion Trikes and further customized by Lloydz Motor Workz.
In a final celebration of a very special Daytona Bike Week, Indian Motorcycle hosted a ‘Celebration of the 75th’ at Boot Hill Saloon. Fans who filled the venue were surrounded by Indian motorcycles on display, saw builder Len Edmondson make a public appearance with his Frontier 111 Springfield in person, and got up-close to Texas-based customizers Krystal Hess and Nick Jaquez as they showcased their submissions for the IndianMotorcycles.net ‘Guy vs. Girl Indian Scout Build-off’. After public ballot voting at the Indian Motorcycle display area adjacent to Daytona International Speedway, Hess took a narrow win in the contest with her ‘Sport Scout’ over the ‘Scarlett’ bobber built by Jaquez.
“The history of Indian Motorcycle is part of the very sands of Daytona Beach,” said Reid Wilson, marketing director for Indian Motorcycle. “The entire Indian Motorcycle team worked hard to pay tribute to that legend, and to help our newest fans experience the stories and lean into the future of this great brand.”