History of Indian Dirt Bike

Floyd Clymer 1968-1970

Motorcycle man extrordinaire, Mr. Clymer, dreamed of a reborn Scout and Chief line of the big Indians.  What he succeeded most in was the mini models.  Imported to keep the Indian name alive and to introduce a younger set to the motorcycling world.  Clymer passed away in 1970, leaving his dreams unfulfilled, but successfully bringing the minis to America.

Alan Newman 1971-1976

Floyd Clymer’s Los Angeles attorney, Alan Newman, acquired rights to the Indian name and continued importing minicycles made by Italjet.  Mr. Newman was a pragmatist and saw the market for mini-bikes, and having acquired the Indian name and logos he contracted with a manufacturer in Taiwan to make Indian mini-bikes from 1971 through 1976. Indian had their own factory in Taipei. Thinking big, Newman planned his own cycle plant, larger 125/175cc models and possible 400cc units came in 1973-74.  His assembly plant wound up in Taipei, Taiwan and 70, 75, 80, 100, 125, 175cc engines were imported.  Japan (Fuji) engines supplied the 100cc engines. Morini 100’s were used during the Clymer years.  70, 75, 80, 125, 175s were courtesy of Minarelli in Italy.  Italjet models (MM5A, M5A, JC5A) used Italian Morini powerplants.  Nothing larger than 175s were made except for one 1000cc prototype Indian that based heavily on a Ducati.  It was merely for show. Indians’ fortunes were dwindling by 1975.  1976 was the last year of restyling for the 100-175 models.  Sales kept dropping and Newman bowed out.  The word came out in January 1977:  The Indian Motorcycle Company was done. 

Indian Factory in Taipei, Taiwan

Indian Corporate Offices in Gardena, California


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