You might think of Harley Davidson when you think of American motorcycles, but many don't know that Indian actually came first with the diamond framed Indian Single in 1901, two years before Harley Davidson. Darwin Holmstrom tells this story in his new book, Indian Motorcycle: America's First Motorcycle Company:
"Indian Motorcycle: America's First Motorcycle Company tells the complete story of Indian, America's first mass-produced motorcycle maker, from its start as a bicycle manufacturer to the purchase of the brand by Polaris Industries in 2011 and the subsequent new Indian motorcycles. In the early years of the 20th century, Indian dominated the world's racetracks, earning the brand a worldwide reputation for quality, performance, reliability, and technical innovation, but the once-mighty company fell on hard times and in 1953 was forced to file bankruptcy.
The Indian brand never quite died, though, thanks in large part to fanatically devoted enthusiasts, who tried to resurrect it for over half a century. Finally Polaris, maker of the highly regarded Victory brand of motorcycles, purchased the brand and released the Chief and Scout, models that once again restored Indian to its rightful place in the motorcycle pantheon."