This past weekend, stealthily but quickly, Indian motorcycle made history. A new production 2015 Indian Scout and the fabled Chief named “Elnora” tore across the El Mirage dry lake bed in the final Southern California Timing Association event of the season. It was the last chance for the factory to earn an SCTA certified run, and both machines proved their lineage and durability with strong debuts by the rookie land speed riders.
The Indian Scout was ridden by none other than Gary Gray – the Director of Indian Motorcycle Products. Gary leads a team that interacts with both the design and the engineering groups to define the current and future products for the brand. Shepherding the product direction for such an iconic brand take somebody who isn’t afraid to get their fingers dirty. Gray spent several weekends in 2014 racing vintage Scout motorcycles in FIM and USCRA, and twisted the new Scouts throttle to a very fast 128.447 mph on the dusty mile and 1/3 course. The motorcycle Gary rode featured a stock engine, and was built to the P-P 1350 class and only modified the handlebars to race.. This same motorcycle will be tweaked by the engineering team for a return to the venue just to go faster and “see what she will do”.
Elnora was piloted by Indian Motorcycle PR Manager, Robert Pandya. The very same Chief that traced Cannon Ball Baker’s centennial route from San Diego to New York City in May, was re-fitted with stock fenders (though the back of the front fender was cut off) an accessory air cleaner, and a custom 2-1 exhaust pipe. Slotting into a modified class (A-PG 2000), Elnora featured custom 17” wheels and racing rubber, relocated footrests, and different handlebars designed to tuck the rider into the wind. She ran a stock Thunder Stroke 111 however, including the stock belt drive system, and despite being a hard-ridden development bike (ultimately destined for the crusher) she pulled out a 130.227 mph top speed.
Indian Motorcycle would like to thank the many friends of the brand who made the past weekend possible. Team Klock Werks’, Lloydz Motorworkz, RC Components, Dunlop, Fox Shocks, IndianMotorcycles.net, Conquest Customs, Ricochet Customs, Saddlemen, the IMC Engineering, Dynojet and the great people at the SCTA, especially the Gear Grinders club for hosting us.
Now with both a 2014 Chief and a 2015 Scout officially running a sanctioned race event, Indian Motorcycle continues the tradition started by its legendary founders Hendee and Hedstrom – to build great products and to show the world what they can do.