I’ve noted the fact that you've listed Indian in the 'Defunct' category, BUT I'm wondering if it wouldn't be appropriate to list in the 'Existing' category as well?! Because I suspect that win, lose or draw - it's always going to be just one of those motorcycle names (like Triumph) that will never ever die - just keep being killed off but bounce back again (much like the Halloween/Michael Myers series)?!
After the last couple decades of riding mostly Harleys, I figured it was long overdue to step out of Dogma for at least a while. I considered 1999-2000 Excelsior-Henderson’s, 2001-2003 Indian Scouts, 1987-1999 Kawasaki VN1500 A1-A13 Vulcan’s and 1998-2001 Victory V92C's. I wound up getting a used Victory V92SC Sport Cruiser based on price (cheap!) and the fact the company IS still around to tell the tale. Though Polaris (the mother company) will have absolutely NOTHING to do with it's customers, plus the dealers all seem to can't wait to become EX-Vic dealers?!
I'm thinking it's a good bike overall - I'm having fun working on it (restoring) though parts are difficult (but not impossible) to get.
Why not the others? Dead after one year Excelsior appears to be a beautiful machine, BUT one that has distinct flaws (defects) that MUST be corrected before riding (OR else!). The Vulcan is a nice scoot that I have been watching since 1987 - but still it was hard to ante up the $1,000 +/- needed to ship the thing cross country for a $2,500 +/- valued bike, ya' know?! And finally Indian – I can’t think of anything cooler then it would be to own BOTH an Indian AND a Harley at the same time, this countries most hated rivals of the past?! But I got to admit I found it hard to shell out a wad of cash (still going into deeper debt) for basically a bike that was using a standard off the shelf S&S ‘Harley-Inspired’ engine that a ton of Chopper shops around the country were STILL using, including Big Dog! Sadly Indian (formally of Gilroy, CA) managed to finally solve that problem with they’re 100ci Power-Plus engine – which consequentially was one of the major contributing factors (loans called in) that killed them off)!
Now Chris Craft BOATS (of Great Britain) owns the company and claims they’ll be Chiefs available in 2008 but would I care to bet on it?! Not bloody likely! The first time I ever get to see a brand new Indian SCOUT floating around these parts, then maybe I’ll believe it. But until then, I won’t hold my breath!