By Dennis Chung
Indian Motorcycle has been on a bit of a trademarking spree of late, registering a number of potential new model names since December. The latest trademark, filed last week with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office, is for the name “Indian Challenger.”
As with most filings, these provide only the barest description of what the trademarks would be used for. In this case, Indian is seeking to protect the name for use on “motorcycles and structural parts therefor” as well as “clothing namely shirts, jackets, hats and gloves” (gotta fill up that accessories & apparel catalog, right?). As is usually the case, we can only speculate on what kind of motorcycle the Indian Challenger will be.
The name “Challenger” does raise some assumptions. It does bring to mind the Dodge Challenger, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ entry in the performance-oriented pony car segment. We could take this one step further and consider a full-on race bike from Indian, adopting the competitive definition of the word “Challenger.” The FTR1200 is already a street-focused version of Indian’s flat track racer, but the Challenger could be a full-fledged sportbike.
Former BMW designer and now Indian’s director of product design, Ola Stenegärd talked to Britain’s MCN about the possibility of an Indian sportbike, saying: “Look back at BMW – we had to fight so hard to break out of the typical ‘pipe-and-slippers’ image. It took a lot to pull that off. But Indian have the performance edge to pull it off… imagine if Indian were to do a supersport bike, then you have to start with a clean sheet of paper. There will always be Indian DNA in the bike but it might just …read more