This week’s announcement from Indian Motorcycle suggests a lot more than just it’s imminent return to the AMA Pro Flat Track Racing scene.
Indian Motorcycle Racing will use a proprietary new liquid-cooled 750cc V-Twin competition engine specifically designed for flat track and engineered into a specially built chassis.
The new Indian Flat Track racer will be ridden by multi-time AMA Grand National Champion Jared Mees.
Mees has joined the Indian Motorcycle Racing Team as a test rider for 2016.
But will these new 750cc engines from both Indian and Harley-Davidson lead to a whole new range of production motorcycles?
Or will the engines remain as specially built units just for racing?
Either way it points to an increase in the emphasis both manufacturers are placing on their racing efforts, and history suggests that regardless of whether it means new machines there will certainly be developments that will find their way into our production machines.
President of Motorcycles for Polaris Industries, Steve Menneto, reinforced the importance Indian is placing on its return to racing.
“We are very excited to return to the AMA Circuit,” he says. “We have established the new Indian Chief and Scout series as the cornerstones of our production line-up, and now is the time for us to return to racing in a big way.”
AMA Pro Flat Track racing is highly competitive and has evolved into a demanding, technical and specialised event, and Indian Motorcycle dominated the sport at one stage with legendary riders and motorcycles.
Probably best-known was the Indian Motorcycle Wrecking Crew - Bill Tuman, Bobby Hill and Ernie Beckman - who decimated the competition from the late 40’s to mid 50’s.