The Last Days of Indian Motorcycle Company?

Indian Motorcycle Company's assets will be largely auctioned off this week, but the big one -- its trademarks -- are still up for grabs. By _ Art Friedman.

Most of the hard assets of the late Indian Motorcycle Company are due to be auctioned off starting January 21 in Gilroy, California, although the prized item, the Indian name and trademarks is still in play. It is possible that the same company that bought most of the manufacturing equipment, Bill Melvin's National Retail Equipment Liquidators, could end up with the right to the name, in which case Melvin, a motorcycle enthusiast, would presumably restart production.

Assets to be auctioned off include engines, accessories, apparel, and parts, although Melvin apparently plans to keep an almost complete set of the 2004 models for himself. The new Two-Ten model is not among the bikes that NREL got with its purchase. That prototype is reportedly being saved for the entity that buys the trademarks.

Sources involved with the fate of the company say that if production is restarted, it probably won't be at the present site in Gilroy. The factory is one of the assets up for sale.

Representatives of the old Indian Motorcycle Company, which closed its doors in September after financing collapsed, say they expect the trademarks to be sold by the end of February, but they also predicted a sale by last Thanksgiving. Rumors that other motorcycle companies -- Polaris Victory being the most frequent object of speculation -- are interested in the trademarks have offered hope that the brand my be revived under more substantial ownership, None of the companies mentioned in gossip have confirmed any interest, however. It is known that Melvin and the Matrix group, which includes a former prinicpal in Indian, Rey Sotelo, are seeking the trademarks.

The two links below to stories in the Gilroy Dispatch offer the most recent updates in the saga of Indian's disintegration.

Purchasers of the trademark are likely to get the only example of the new-for-2004 Scout Two-Ten, which Indian reps regarded as their best motorcycle ever.