Indian Roadmaster Offers Something Different
Words and Photos: John Gunnell
“It takes you back to a completely different time,” said Quinn Kiley. “It brings you back to a time before we had computers and email and cell phones. It takes you to a place where there’s only you and the bike and the road.”
Kiley is marketing manager for Tytler’s Cycles in DePere, Wis., and he was talking about the 2015 Indian Roadmaster—his personal favorite of the Indian Motorcycles he sells from the store in a suburb of Green Bay.
“Indian has been a really fantastic brand for us,” Kiley told Biker Hotline during the recent New Motorama show in Green Bay. “I think people are looking for something different; something new; and to see what Indian Motorcycles has done with essentially a clean sheet of paper and a very historic brand is extraordinary.”
Kiley says combining a vintage look with modern motorcycle amenities like a power windscreen, Bluetooth and heated handgrips has turned the heads of modern bikers. “We have stories on file from customers saying that every time they stop in a gas station it’s a 15-minute conversation,” he pointed out.
According to Kiley, a lot of people come in to see the Indians out of a sense of nostalgia. “There might be a grandfather a father or an Uncle that rode Indians in the old days,” he explained. “They see them back on the road again and realize they can get a bike with the same name and brand and it brings back the stories they’ve heard.”
Although Tytler’s is one of only two Indian Motorcycle dealers in Wisconsin, Kiley says that doesn’t seem to be a problem. “We get people from all over the state coming in here and we get letters from people all over the country,” he noted. “The Indian name is getting out, especially through events such as Bike Week and Sturgis and letting bikers take test rides. That’s when you get to see the smiles on their faces when the test rides come back and everyone says, ‘Wow! This is really cool!’”
Kiley doesn’t own an Indian yet, but he gets to ride then. He enjoys the performance and handling. He says the new Scout has been popular with buyers, but he likes the Roadmaster. “It’s really a bike that fits many people,” he pointed out. “You can ride two up and you can take it across country in comfort. “I’ve had that bike out in 35-45 degree weather and it’s comfortable.