Group of 25 die-hard motorcycling enthusiasts led by Motorcycle Hall of Famer Don Emde retrace original route across America in 11 days; One-of-a-kind, custom 2014 Indian Chief dual-sport bike proudly represents Indian Motorcycle’s historic feat
MEDINA, Minn. — May 22, 2014 — Indian Motorcycle®, America’s first motorcycle company, is proud to congratulate Motorcycle Hall of Famer Don Emde, Joe Colombero, and their entourage of 25 motorcycle fanatics from across the country for successfully completing their 3,350 mile, 11 day tribute ride known as “The Cannon Ball Centennial Ride,” which retraced a the historic route across America completed 100 years ago on a 1914 Indian V-Twin.
On May 3rd, 1914, Erwin "Cannon Ball" Baker climbed aboard his 1914 Indian V-Twin and headed East, aiming to beat the existing record for cross-country travel. He and his Indian Motorcycle completed the trip in 11 days, 12 hours and 10 minutes, which was 9 days faster than the previous record and four full days faster than any automobile had ever crossed the country. A reporter wrote he was faster than the Cannonball Express Train and the nickname stuck. One hundred years later a group of riders is retracing this historic ride through The Cannon Ball Centennial Ride.
Three years in the making and painstakingly scouted by Emde and Colombero, the ride concluded, May 14 at Noon EST when the Cannon Ball Project riders cruised into New York City and officially ended the ride at Battery Park. The riders departed San Diego, Calif. on May 3 retracing Baker’s original route as closely as possible as he was often forced to ride on railroad, following sections of old stage coach routes and historic trails like the Santa Fe Trail, Apache Trail and the Lincoln Highway. The Cannon Ball riders overnighted in historic cities along the way including Yuma, Ariz. Phoenix; Dodge City, Kan.; Kansas City, Kan., St. Louis and Indianapolis, where Erwin Baker is buried.
To pay homage to Baker and his record-setting trip, Indian Motorcycle took part in the ride on a specially modified Indian® Chief® Vintage piloted by Indian Motorcycle PR Manager Robert Pandya. Affectionately named “Elnora” after Cannon Ball Baker’s wife, the bike was an R&D unit that had already endured thousands of miles of engineering and over-the-road testing and was customized for the rigors of the heavy off-road riding required for this project.
“It was an honor and a privilege to take part in such a historic tribute to one of the true legends in all of motorcycling, and riding the only Indian Motorcycle on the trip as the ambassador for the brand and parent company Polaris Industries, said Robert Pandya. “I would like to personally thank Don and Joe for their passion and leadership in making this event happen, and my hat is off to the world-class engineering team at Indian Motorcycle for building a truly spectacular machine. This bike performed under adverse conditions well outside of its design parameters, and I know Cannon Ball Baker would be smiling today if he could see the quality and craftsmanship that is going into each and every one of the new Indian motorcycles that are rolling off the line in Spirit Lake, Iowa.”
ABOUT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE®
Indian Motorcycle, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII), is America’s first motorcycle company. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.
ABOUT POLARIS® INDUSTRIES
Polaris is a recognized leader in the powersports industry with annual 2013 sales of $3.8 billion. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® and RZR® side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles.
Polaris is among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles and has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with the Victory and Indian Motorcycle brands. Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the global on-road small electric/hybrid powered vehicle industry with Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), Goupil Industrie SA, Aixam Mega S.A.S., and internally developed vehicles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Polaris Engineered Parts, Accessories and Apparel, Klim branded apparel and ORV accessories under the Kolpin and Cycle Country brands.
Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PII”, and the Company is included in the S&P Mid-Cap 400 stock price index.
Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicle accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime at www.polaris.com.
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