Roland Sands Design Chief Racer is Made for the Dirt

Indian Motorcycles announced that they would head back to flat tracking racing late next year with what we’re expecting will be an all new model. In the meantime however, Roland Sands Design and GEICO have teamed up to create their interpretation of a modern Indian bike for dirt-track racing, converting an Indian Chieftain into what they call the Chief Racer.

But calling it a converted Indian Chieftain wouldn’t really do it justice. Just about everything on this custom is original save the engine in true RSD style. The original tank was used and reshaped to create a slimmer capsule that covers the engine. Other additions include prototype Roland Sands Racing quick-change flat track wheels at the rear, coupled with a solo RSD brake caliper and Lloyd Brothers Motorsports / Johnny Lewis drilled, slotted & vented brake disc.

Even the engine got a bit of custom treatment. The Chief Racer gets a hand-fabricated aluminum and carbon-fiber intake, a custom exhaust system, unique cams, chain, seat and so on. While not exactly practical, the seat looks fantastic, being a piece of sculptured timber from skateboard maker Paul Schmitt with an air shock underneath to make it bearable.

The bike will be on display until the end of the week at the Buffalo Chip

Indian Motorcycles To Return To Flat-Track Racing

In an interview with Alan Cathcart (see here) at CycleNews it has been revealed that Indian Motorcycles will go racing in the AMA Pro Flat-Track series either late next year or early in 2017. Indian and Harley-Davidson went head to head in flat-track as early as the 1930’s – now that rivalry looks set to be reignited.

“I don’t have anything more to tell you at this stage, beyond the fact that the decision has been made, and we’re definitely going racing with Indian in the oval-track world with a factory-supported team” said Steve Menneto, Vice President of Polaris Industries’ motorcycle division.

But what would Indian enter into such an event? They currently sell nothing that would be suitable for oval dirt track racing both in engine capacity or chassis design. Rumors have been circulating for the last year or so that Indian would launch a competitor to Harley-Davidson’s Street 750 and Menneto certainly hinted that might be the case. Yes, a circa 750cc Indian V-Twin is on the cards.

It’s been a huge year for Polaris Industries. Firstly they announced the purchase of Brammo’s electric motorcycle division and subsequently entered the Isle of Man TT with a Brammo powered Victory motorcycle. Victory also entered the Pikes Peak Hill Climb with a prototype machine (titled Project 156) – which has now been confirmed as a 1200cc engine that will be used in an upcoming Victory motorcycle some time next year.

One last little tidbit from the interview was the mention of the Victory Core – a brilliant concept bike made way back in 2009. Menneto stated “I’m interested in producing it, because it says a lot about the Victory brand from a marketing perspective, so I’ve got the team looking at doing that. Are we going to build the Core? We’re trying really hard to figure out a way…”