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The war is over...


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THE WAR IS OVER...

America's war with the Indian has finally ended... and the Japanese have won. No, we aren't talking about Native Americans, or even East Indians. We are of course referring to the long defunct American Motocycle manufacture by that name.

 

When the modern cruiser era began in earnest, so did the battle over the right to slap the old Indian logo on the tank of a modern bike. Unfortunately this immediately led to 1990's reverse-design philosophy; where the concept is to first and foremost own an image in order start making money off of licensing fees for lots of "lifestyle" accessories -- jackets, shirts, Cafés, etc. Then you may start thinking about cobbling together a bike. In this case one that looks something like an old Indian Chief.

 

Of course, the proper approach from an enthusiast's point of view is to design an exciting and sound motorcycle, backed up with concepts like p parts lists, service manuals, factory trained mechanics, not to mention a factory filled with metal cutting equipment, skilled labor and an engineering staff. Then and only then do you start deciding on a great name for the bike.

 

The recent court decision may have awarded California Motorcycle Company the rights to the coveted monicker, but Kawasaki has gone ahead and put the horse in front of the cart and designed a great, functional, reliable motorcycle. One that looks just like an old Indian Chief. One that was designed by real engineers, not greedy marketers. One that is not a name plate held off the ground by yet another knock-off Evolution engine bolted into yet another knock-off Softail frame. One that stands on its own engineering merits, not others.

 

Remember that old anti-litter commercial in the 70's where the Native American guy is crying? We think that works here as well. This is truly a sad end to a venerable old American icon. Not sad for what Kawasaki has done (which may have helped save the Indian trademark from degenerating into junky nostalgia fit only for highway tourist traps), but sad for what short-sighted greed has kept others from doing properly.

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Guess the guy never heard of COBRA who built the bike from a 1996 Vulcan.

 

kchief_info.jpg

 

Drifter, released in 1999. 3 years following the concept.

 

IMCOA was forced by court order to have a bike in production within 12 months of owning the rights to produce Indian branded bikes. By their third year they released the Power Plus Chiefs.

 

Now, with some additional facts in hand you see that Kawasaki had a better position. First, someone had already developed the concept for them on an existing Kaw production bike. They had no court order stating when they had to have a production facility up and running. Yet it still took them the same amount of time to get a "new" product out the door. But truthfully it is not a new product. The drifter has more in common with the Vulcan then the Power Plus has with the S&S Chiefs.

 

But what the hell. We all know that reports are not suppose to investigate and report facts. They just report their opinion as fact and we are suppose to try to sort out the bullshit. Right Dan  :bthumb:

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2004 Drifter 1500

MSRP $10,999

 

vulcan-1500-drifter.jpg

 

Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Drifter Features

MSRP: $10,999

Call 1-800-556-3098 for special discount pricing!

1,470cc OHC V-Twin

Engine design borrowed from the Vulcan® 1500 Classic

Exhaust system has a single fish tail muffler on the right side

Liquid Cooling

Maintains consistent engine temperatures for long engine life and sustained power during hard use

Auxiliary fan keeps things cool, even in traffic

Four Valves per Cylinder

Hydraulic Valve Lash Adjusters

Digital Fuel Injection

Dual Throttle Bodies

Idle Speed Controller

Gear-Driven Engine Balancer

Rubber-Mounted Engine

Five-Gallon Fuel Tank

Five-Speed Transmission

Positive Neutral Finder (Kawasaki Exclusive)

Disc Brakes

Shaft Drive

Hydraulic Clutch Release

Self-Canceling Turn Signals

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Remember that old anti-litter commercial in the 70's where the Native American guy is crying? We think that works here as well. This is truly a sad end to a venerable old American icon. Not sad for what Kawasaki has done (which may have helped save the Indian trademark from degenerating into junky nostalgia fit only for highway tourist traps), but sad for what short-sighted greed has kept others from doing properly.

 

 

...............

 

:blues:

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Remember that old anti-litter commercial in the 70's where the Native American guy is crying? We think that works here as well. This is truly a sad end to a venerable old American icon. Not sad for what Kawasaki has done (which may have helped save the Indian trademark from degenerating into junky nostalgia fit only for highway tourist traps), but sad for what short-sighted greed has kept others from doing properly.

 

 

...............

 

:blues:

It is truly sad that Eller did not get a chance to build their bike.

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Very true.  Eller had a great looking machine and it looked like it had the mechanics to back it.

 

And speaking as a provious owner of a Kawaski Vulcan 1500, mine was so problematic, I sold it and moved over to the Chief.  In my eyes, the Vulcans weren't that great during the early and mid 90s.  I had charging system problems, tranny problems and electrical problems, all which Kawasaki listed under design flaw problems and refused to back up under their warranty.  Their claim was that the redesign fixed these problems, but there was nothing they could do to fix the previous model design.  Anyone else care to buy a bike that was eating a battery every four to six months not covered under warranty?

 

And as far as Cobra's design, most of that is/was sheet metal changes they made to the Vulcan.

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Remember that old anti-litter commercial in the 70's where the Native American guy is crying? We think that works here as well. This is truly a sad end to a venerable old American icon. Not sad for what Kawasaki has done (which may have helped save the Indian trademark from degenerating into junky nostalgia fit only for highway tourist traps), but sad for what short-sighted greed has kept others from doing properly.

 

 

...............

 

:blues:

It is truly sad that Eller did not get a chance to build their bike.

True,,, That concept Chief was cool lookin!

 

 

I had charging system problems, tranny problems and electrical problems, all which Kawasaki listed under design flaw problems and refused to back up under their warranty.  Their claim was that the redesign fixed these problems, but there was nothing they could do to fix the previous model design.  Anyone else care to buy a bike that was eating a battery every four to six months not covered under warranty?

 

Damn ,, sounds like you had a "Lemon" ... you will find that it can happen to any Mfg ,HD,Indian ,Honda Kawasake .etc,etc...

Damn sure pisses ya off when it happends to you tho .... I KNOW !... Had a Datsun ,,, Remember them?  Damn good product!! ,, But I got hold of a POS pu truck ... Made me mad as hell !!!!

:banghead:  :banghead:

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And as far as Cobra's design, most of that is/was sheet metal changes they made to the Vulcan.

I thought the fenders were plastic! :rasp:

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Chiefin...

A lemon...they made a full orchard of them.  I had no less than five other riders I knew with the exact same problems.  They all moved on since those days.

 

RCH...the Cobra design was metal fenders.  The Japs went plastic.   :laughlong:

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Chiefin...

A lemon...they made a full orchard of them.  I had no less than five other riders I knew with the exact same problems.  They all moved on since those days.

 

RCH...the Cobra design was metal fenders.  The Japs went plastic.   :laughlong:

A lemon...they made a full orchard of them

:rotfl:  :rotfl:  :rotfl: ,, I hear Ya!

Like the early 70's Triumphs,,, Ya gotta love that Lucas Elect system !!! :cry:

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