How Well Do Indian Motorcycles Hold their Value? (5 Examples)

The original Indian Motorcycle was launched in 1901 and was an instant legend. The brand changed ownership hands a few times and took a hiatus for at least a few decades before Polaris acquired them in 2013.

The modern Polaris Indian lineup includes some of the highest-performing, reliable machines in the market. This article will explore how well Indian motorcycles hold their value.

motorcycle

Depreciation Per Year for Indian Chieftain Limited/Dark Horse

The following calculations were derived by dividing the Typical Listing Price of the Indian Chieftain Limited from its MSRP. The result is the percentage of the value, which we subtract from 100 to get the percentages of value lost. Find the values below:

  • One-Year-Old: 12% Value Lost
  • Two Years Old: 15% Value Lost
  • Three Years Old: 21% Value Lost
  • Four Years Old: 28% Value Lost
  • Five Years Old:  30% Value Lost
  • Six Years Old:  44% Value Lost
  • Seven Years Old:  48% Value Lost

Depreciation Per Year for Indian Chief (Dark Horse)

When compared with the Indian Chieftain Limited, the Indian Chief somewhat holds their value more. We also derived the calculations below by dividing the Typical Listing Price of this bike from its MSRP. 

  • One-Year-Old: 5% Value Lost
  • Two Years Old: 8% Value Lost
  • Three Years Old: 13% Value Lost
  • Four Years Old:  19% Value Lost
  • Five Years Old:  21% Value Lost
  • Six Years Old:  27% Value Lost
  • Seven Years Old:  31% Value Lost

Depreciation Per Year for Indian Scout

Check the depreciation value, per year, for the Indian Scout below.

  • One-Year-Old: 8% Value Lost
  • Two Years Old: 18% Value Lost
  • Three Years Old:  20% Value Lost
  • Four Years Old:  25% Value Lost
  • Five Years Old:  32% Value Lost
  • Six Years Old:  33% Value Lost

Depreciation Per Year for Indian FTR

Similarly, we derived the following calculations by dividing the Typical Listing Price of the Indian FTR bike from the MSRP. The result is the percentage of the Value, which we subtract from 100 to get the Percentages of Value Lost. Check the value below:

  • One-Year-Old: 10% Value Lost
  • Two Years Old: 12% Value Lost

Depreciation Per Year for Indian Roadmaster

Below is the depreciation value, per year, for the Indian Roadmaster bike.

  • One-Year-Old: 6% Value Lost
  • Two Years Old: 10% Value Lost
  • Three Years Old: 19% Value Lost
  • Four Years Old: 22% Value Lost
  • Five Years Old: 33% Value Lost
  • Six Years Old:  43% Value Lost

Examples of Indian Motorcycle Depreciation

Here are illustrations of depreciation value for 3 Indian motorcycles.

1. Indian Chief

The Indian Chief Dark Horse depreciates at an average rate of 5% in the first year, as far as the used market is concerned.

A brand new 2020 Chief is listed at $18,499, while a well-kept Chieftain typically sells for around $1,000 less at $17,750.

That said, the Dark Horse edition of the Indian Chief’s trade-in value drops to an average of $13,600.

The original owner would take a loss of  $4,899 even though the bike can sell for $17,750, which marks a market devaluation percentage of 5% Value after that first year.

After three years, a well-maintained Indian Chief Dark Horse with moderate miles sells for an average of $16,235. That’s $2,264 less than the bike sold for when it was new.

With a trade-in value of $12,225, owners attempting to trade in their 3-year-old Chief Dark Horse for a different vehicle take an average loss of $6,274.

After five years, an Indian Chief Classic is listed on the used market at an average of $13,280, provided it meets the typical condition and mileage requirements.

The trade-in Value of an Indian Chief Classic drops to about $9,680, which is a huge $9,319 loss for owners who paid the new price five years ago and are now attempting to swap their bike for something else.

2. Indian Scout

On their website, Indian lists the base model Scout, their quintessential medium-sized cruiser, at $13,249.

A well-kept one-year-old Indian Scout sells for an average of $12,535 on the used market, just $714 less than the new sticker price.

That said, its trade-in value drops to about $9,060. That means anyone attempting to trade their one-year-old Indian Scout into a dealership will take a loss of about $4,189.

After three years, the standard Scout model typically lists for around $11,555, provided it was kept in good condition and had a somewhat average mileage reading on its odometer. Still, that’s $1,694 less than its new deal cost.

Indian Scout owners attempting to trade in their cruiser after three years of ownership will receive an average of $8,260 in trade-in value for a loss of $4,989.

A base model Indian Scout that’s been used for five years typically sells for $9,600 on the used market. That’s $3,649 less than a new Scout costs.

That said, the trade-in value for a five-year-old Indian Scout is $6,730, $6,519 less than what was paid for it new.

Make sure to also check out our article on how reliable Indian motorcycles are.

3. Indian Chieftain

The Indian Chieftain Darkhorse sells at $27,999 when new. A used Chieftain Darkhorse sells for about $1,229 less than that, around $26,770 after a year of ownership if it’s kept in good condition with an average mileage reading.

That said, the dealership trade-in value for a one-year-old Indian Chieftain Dark Horse is $22,000 on average. That’s $5,999 less than what the original owner paid for it when it was new.

A three-year-old Chieftain Dark Horse sells on the used market for $5,879 less than it cost new, with an average used sale price of $22,120. The trade-in value for this bike after three years of ownership is $17,750. That’s a loss of $10,249.

After five years, a well-maintained Indian Chieftain Darkhorse sells for around $19,500, which is $8,499 less than the new sticker price of $27,999 for a market depreciation percentage of 30%.

As far as most dealerships are concerned, the trade-in value of a five-year-old Indian Chieftain Dark Horse is $11,200, on average, at a loss of $16,799.

Do Indian Motorcycles Depreciate Faster Than Other Brands?

Indian Motorcycles depreciates slower than many other motorcycle brands, with an impressive average value retention of 77% after five years.

That said, Harley-Davidson motorcycles tend to hold their Value longer than Indian rides due to the continuous production of parts for most HD motorcycles produced since the 1950s.

Indian Motorcycles have changed hands multiple times since 1901, taking long lapses of production that sometimes lasted for numerous decades. While the modern Polaris-owned motorcycles are as reliable as they’ve ever been, the market views them as a new company.

The jury is still out on how they perform after ten years of hard riding.

Notwithstanding, that Indian motorcycles aren’t produced on the massive scale of some of their Japanese counterparts helps them hold their Value more than Honda motorcycles, for example, simply because so many used Hondas are available.

The unique aesthetic, engineering, and craftsmanship of the modern Indian bikes help them hold their Value more than many other motorcycle brands. This is in addition to their production exclusiveness and reliable yet high-performing technology.

If you use another brand of motorcycle, we also wrote a comprehensive article on how well different motorcycles hold their value.

Which Models Depreciate the Least?

Amongst all Indian bikes, here is the model that depreciate the least.

2018 Chieftain Elite

2018 was a good year for all models equipped with the Thunderstorke111 motor, including the Chieftain Elite. This is because it marked a significant return of the engine specs.

The 2018 Chieftain Elite holds its Value more due to its custom paint job, upgraded sound system, and production exclusivity.

Chieftain Elite featured custom upholstery, saddle-bag mounted speakers for a 360-degree audio experience, a taller front tire, and a custom factory paint job that looks like a custom Chopper TV show.

The 2018 Chieftain Elite was listed at $31,499 when it was brand new. It’s been five years since it was manufactured at the time of writing, and because of its exclusive nature, it sells on the used market for between $24,999 and $26,995. That’s an average value retention of 85% after five years.

Which Models Depreciate the Most? 

Indian Motorcycles manufactured between 1998 and 2003 have depreciated the most since the brand’s 1901 inception. Known as the Gilroy Era of Indian Motorcycles, the brand was purchased and resurrected by a merger of nine corporations.

While the Gilroy, CA-based Indian Motorcycle Company, produced iconic models like the Chief and the Scout, the Indian aesthetic was only skin deep. They were built to look like classic Indian bikes, but the motors and machinery were all generic S&S equipment.

This version of Indian Motorcycles went bankrupt in 2003 after owners took issue with the quality of their motorcycles. Although they’re rare, the poor reputation of the Gilroy Era of Indian motorcycles caused rapid depreciation.

You should also check whether Indian motorcycles are still considered high-quality.

7 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Indian Motorcycle

Here are 7 proven ways to increase the value of your Indian bikes.

  1. Keep your Indian Motorcycle in good condition by storing and riding it properly.
  2. Raise your odometer’s mileage at an average of 3,000-4,000 miles  per year.
  3. Keep up with the routine service maintenance outlined in your Motorcycle owner’s manual.
  4. While Polaris Indian-manufactured upgrades can elevate the value of the motorcycle if installed by the dealership, aftermarket and custom fabrication modifications do cause depreciation.
  5. Sell your used Indian bikes during the beginning of riding season and hit the market while it’s active.
  6. The fewer previous owners an Indian motorcycle has, the more it retains its market value.
  7.  Ride safe and avoid collisions. Not only do repairs devalue these motorcycle faster than any other variable, but any accident reports filed are considered when determining a bike’s Value.
  8. Keep records of all services, from dealership inspections, upgrades, and recall repairs to routine oil, air filter, and brake maintenance.

Sources

Tumultuous Times and the Fight for Survival | Indian Motorcycle

Indian Motorcycle Values & Pricing | Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com)

Do Harleys & Indian Motorcycles Hold Their Value? (Or Not?) (riderhow.com)

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