STURGIS | More than 75 years after riders of Indian motorcycles launched a small gathering that would later explode into the world-renowned Sturgis motorcycle rally, the recently reborn motorcycle company will open a permanent sales location in cycle city.
The move continues a push by Indian to re-establish itself as a major player in Sturgis, challenging the dominance Harley-Davidson motorcycles have held for decades. At last summer’s Sturgis rally, Indian used the occasion to unveil its new Indian Chief cycle line at a press event that drew 2,000 spectators.
The new Indian dealership will be launched by Bruce Eide, who currently offers Indian motorcycles at the Vern Eide Motoplex in Sioux Falls. The Sturgis showroom will be located at 2106 Lazelle St. and open around May 1, said Pat Kurtenbach, president of the Sturgis Economic Development Corp.
The dealership will be open year-round, offering sales, service and retail sales of apparel. It will employ eight people, Kurtenbach said.
Indian is owned by Minnesota-based Polaris Industries and is manufactured and assembled in Wisconsin and Iowa. The brand lay dormant for two years until the unveiling of the new Indian models in August. At that event, Polaris released the newest Indian Classic, Vintage and Chieftain motorcycles to the public.
Indian Motorcycle Sturgis launched a Facebook page last week saying America's first motorcycle manufacturer, founded in 1901, would be "coming home" to Sturgis. A link on the Facebook page takes readers to a website called indianmotorcyclesturgis.com.
The new Indian Motorcycle Sturgis website said that everyone who knows Indian Motorcycle lore knows the story of C.F. "Pappy" Hoel, the Sturgis Indian Motorcycle dealer. "Pappy" was instrumental in organizing the first motorcycle hill climbs and races in Sturgis. Those early races by the Jackpine Gypsies started in 1938, and gave rise to the iconic Sturgis motorcycle rally.
"Coming May 1st, Indian Motorcycle Sturgis will once again offer the Thunder, Beauty, and Glory of the brand new, 2014 Indian Motorcycle product line," the website announces.
Readers are told to follow the page to stay up to the minute on the countdown "toward bringing this great Icon of America back home to Sturgis!"