Jeff Pamer: Just my personal opinion here: Indian has taken a huge swing with the FTR and (other than the price) it’s a fantastic motorcycle. They beat Harley-Davidson to the punch in terms of moving away from a cruiser-style bike and offering what is essentially a naked sport bike, with a hint of retro style. This back and forth between Indian and Harley-Davidson is no new story, in fact it’s a continuation. While we get to see the efforts of a couple of American Motorcycle giants, it’s also just another chapter in their long rivalry going back to the turn of the 20th century. The history nerd in me is taking notes.
Although Indian did get some government contracts for WWII, the vast majority were won by Harley. This really fueled Harley’s dominance of the 50’s and 60’s in American motorcycling. Indian decided that returning GI’s were going to have a hunger for small light weight bikes, and that led to the birth of the Indian Arrow, first released in 1949. The single 220cc bike was later bumped to 250cc, but at the end of the day, Indian had bet wrong on what Americans wanted. The size and power of the bikes weren’t great, and there were also some serious reliability issues. Warranty repairs were one of the death blows to Indian in the 50’s. The Arrow itself, however, looking back, really was a pretty neat little bike.
This 1956 Indian Arrow makes you forget about the rough times of the Indian Motorcycle company was going through at the time. It’s a striking example of a rarely seen bike. Especially in such good shape. This owner is a collector and claims it’s in near mint condition. There is a claimed 7,816 miles on it, and it’s being sold by only its second owner! A great chance to own a bit of American Motorcycling history.
Find this Indian Arrow in Pearland Texas for $4,500 here on Craigslist.