By Dennis Chung
Photographs of a near production-ready Indian prototype appeared on various online message boards last weekend, revealing a potential Harley-Davidson Road Glide competitor with a frame-mounted fairing and a new liquid-cooled V-Twin engine. The initial post didn’t last long, as Indian reps soon started reaching out, asking for them to be removed. The poster complied, but this being the internet, the same photos began popping up in other locations, proving it’s very difficult to put the genie back in the bottle.
We’re going to save Indian the trouble of reaching out to us by not uploading those photos here. Instead, we’ve tracked down what appears to be the patent for the new engine, revealing some technical details and evidence the liquid-cooled V-Twin was originally intended for Victory.
The cooling fins and the shape of the valve covers are a close match to what’s visible in the leaked photos. The location of any visible bolts in the photos are also a match for the patent diagrams.
The patent was first filed in May 2017 and approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this March. The illustrations reveal an engine that looks identical to the one in the leaked photos, with similar cooling fins and valve covers. What’s unusual about the patent is that it lists Polaris Industries as the applicant and Indian Motorcycle as the assignee. This is unusual as nearly all patent and trademark filings related to Indian have the the brand listed as both applicant and assignee. Patents for Victory likewise had Polaris as both applicant and assignee.
What this means is that this new patent was filed by Polaris but the rights were then transferred to Indian. The only other patent I could find with a similar …read more