September 2000 Soapbox
Home / Features / Editorial
   Making Indians Visible
   By Moen

As usual this is about the last page that gets done every time, and as usual I had no idea what to write about.

Mentioning a couple of ideas to Cotten of Liberty Motocycle Specialties (sponsor of the VI booth at the Davenport meet and occasional 'editorial advisor'), he suggested that "making Indians 'visible' would be a theme, as they are still legends/myths to the average motorcyclist or citizen". 

Hmm... I guess so. 

Seeing all these Indians here on the VI and talking all that Indian talk on the List, makes it hard to realize that there are people out there who are unaware of the recent explosion of the Indian scene. Many of them might want an Indian but have no idea of how to go about it. I know it was that way for me until not so very long ago. Reading about Indians in books and magazines but never seeing one in real life, and never meeting anyone who owns one, you kind of come to the conclusion that getting an Indian of your own is an impossible dream.

Click on picture for full size

Straight to you from the VI editorial office -beeing upgraded with new faster Internet connection! ;-)
Photo by Lyle Landstrom

We all know that it isn't. There are several proven ways of obtaining an Indian. You can buy a 'ready made' (if you have the money), you can start with a basket case and take it from there (if you have both the money and the patience and skills) or you can skimp a little on the definition and roll your own (if you have the imagination; just look at 'Geronimo' and Tim's Chief chopper project). Skimping slightly less, you could go for a bobber,
with mostly Indian parts but leaving out some of the hard stuff (dropping the correct speedo and horn alone can save you a bunch) for a stripped-down hotrod like people used to build their Indians.
There's more info if you click the blue text links
In any case there's Indians for most budgets, and if you should get stuck for advice or parts there's the mailing lists -in particular our own- to turn to with almost guaranteed results.

But how do we get the word out?

It really ain't that difficult. Just go out for a ride and stop for a talk with anyone who's interested. If you are a local group of Indian riders, why not stage a small local display? Your local county fair or shopping mall opening would probably welcome the diversion, and you may just get one more 'average motorcyclist or citizen' started towards his or her own Indian -or at the very least make a few folks aware that Indians are as alive as ever.

As you go about your daily business, why not bring a couple of scraps of paper with this on them?

The wannabe Indian rider you help could become your best friend.

Click here for ready-to-print version!

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