Ninety years ago, the Washington State Patrol was formed with troopers riding Indian motorcycles. The iconic bikes were replaced in recent years with BMW motorcycles for the state’s 43 troopers that ride on two wheels. Now, those troopers are getting new rides: the WSP is switching to Honda. “I think it’s a little bit smoother than the BMW, especially at higher speeds,” said Trooper Jeff Sevigney, one of four motorcycle troopers in the Spokane region.
“It’s a little bit easier to ride,” he said.
The Honda ST 1300 PA is powered by a four-cylinder engine arranged in a “V” alignment with a five-speed transmission. The model was introduced in Europe in 2002. It has well-placed crash bars along the sides to protect the driver in case of a spill. The bike will get Sevigney in and out of tight spaces and can go where a patrol car cannot. “We are less noticeable,” he said. The 15-year veteran won’t say how fast the motorcycle will go. “Fast enough is what I tell people,” he said.
Last week, he was working traffic along U.S. Highway 195 near Cheney-Spokane Road as part of a stepped-up enforcement and safety program along that busy corridor. It didn’t take long for him to pull over a few drivers. Within a few minutes, he nailed a semitruck driver going over the limit. Motorcycle troopers typically ride from March to November. They retreat to cars during winter months. A statement from WSP headquarters said, “The Honda ST 1300 PA was specifically manufactured for law enforcement use.
“The Honda was chosen over other models because of the balance, maneuverability, acceleration, overall performance, availability of service, and lower purchase and maintenance costs.”
Indian might not be releasing any official information about the concept bike they unveiled on Friday in Sturgis, and might be hoping instead to generate a buzz by playing their cards close to the vest. Interesting concept.
Additionally they continued their tradition of unveiling the new models to the press and the public at the same time during the Sturgis Rally.
Here are the photos of the concept bike and the new Blackhawk.
Concept Bike Unveiled in Sturgis 2010
Indian sales are up 80% from 2009
Indian Motorcycle Company is on the verge of its third model year since its resurrection into the market in late2008 and the company says it’s growing despite the nation’s economic woes.
“We are delighted with our retail sales growth, expanding dealer network and enthusiastic customer base”said Chris Bernauer, General Manager for Indian Motorcycle Company. “Retail sales are growing each and every month and year-over-year retail growth is extremely strong. With the sales growth, an expanding dealer network and the best customers in the world, our future is looking extremely bright.”
With year-over-year sales up over 80% in a still-shaky US economy, Indian’s says it’s future is bright. In a press release, the company said that May was it’s strongest growth month to date, with retail sales up 214% from May 2009. However, Indian did not provide numbers of bikes sold during this period.
Fueling the retail growth is an expansion of it’s dealer network. Indian Motorcycle currently has 29 dealers open worldwide, and expects to have 35 dealerships open worldwide by the end of 2010.
Private equity firm Stellican Ltd., owner of Chris Craft boats and the soccer team Vicenza is attempting to succeed at reviving the 108 year old brand despite several attempts by other companies over the past two decade.
The website Clutch and Chrome has a photo of the new Indian Blackhawk, to be unveiled in Sturgis.