5 Of The Fastest Motorcycles Indian Ever Built

With a rich history that dates back to 1901, Indian Motorcycle has etched its name into the hearts of motorcycle enthusiasts all over the world. Over the years, the brand, which was founded by George M. Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom, saw several significant changes. While it was once the most popular motorcycle brand in America, Indian Motorcycle faced its most challenging year in 1953 and had to shut down operations completely.

However, the brand didn't fade into obscurity. After several attempts to revive the legacy of Indian Motorcycle, it finally found its footing in 2011 after it was sold to Polaris Industries (a company that is renowned for its production of snowmobiles). Today, over a hundred years after it first made its way into the market, Indian has successfully relaunched some of its most popular legacy models, from the Scout to the Chief. The motorcycles, which are the perfect blend of classic styling, raw power, and modern innovation, have attracted not only long-time enthusiasts but also a whole new generation of riders.

Since its inception, Indian has focused on performance-oriented motorcycles — many of which are fit for the racetrack. This resulted in the brand building some of the fastest motorcycles that give riders a feel of its legendary racing heritage with every throttle twist. With that said, here's our compilation of some of the fastest motorcycles Indian has built over the decades.

Indian Scout 101

First launched in the '20s, the Scout line, which was designed by Charles B. Franklin, quickly caught the attention of motorcycle enthusiasts at the time and became more popular than the larger Chief model. The Model 101, which was introduced in 1928 with a redesigned longer wheelbase and a lower seat height, was regarded at the time as the "best motorcycle that Indian has ever made." While many of Indian's motorcycles were fitted with a 74-cubic-inch V-twin, the Scout was designed with a 37-cubic-inch V-twin, which increased to 45 cubic inches by 1927. The motorcycle boasted excellent weight distribution and was renowned for its handling capabilities, but what really made it popular was that it could hit a top speed of 80 mph — a remarkable feat for the time. 

Unfortunately, despite its stellar performance and rising popularity, Indian pulled the model in 1931, and it was replaced completely by the Chief, which some believe heralded the company's downfall. The likely reason for the Scout's decline was that it cost significantly more to produce compared to the Chief; this combined with the hard-hitting impact of the stock market crash of 1928 likely caused the production of the Scout 101 to become unsustainable.

However, despite being discontinued, the legacy of the Scout 101 was far from over. Decades later, the motorcycle was customized by Burt Munro, who set a land speed record of over 190 mph with it in 1967 — his feat was later celebrated in the movie "The World's Fastest Indian" in 2005. If you are a fan of this iconic motorcycle and can't get a hand on a vintage model, you should know that Indian has relaunched the Scout line, and the current 2024 model starts at $13,249.