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Think the Market for Heavyweight Cruisers is Getting Soft? Indian’s Limited Edition Jack Daniel’s Models ($30,000 each) Sold Out in 24 Hours


If you have been to the Sturgis, South Dakota rally recently, you would be forgiven for believing that heavyweight cruiser enthusiasts are a rapidly dying breed. Grey beards are the norm. Does this mean heavyweight cruiser sales are softening? Maybe not.

If you follow our Industry Press Release section, you will know that Indian recently announced the availability of two limited edition Jack Daniel’s models, including the Springfield and Chief Vintage (pictured above). Each bike carries a U.S. MSRP of $29,999. Indian says these expensive specials sold out in a single day (149 units)! It appears there is plenty of buying power left in the target demographic for heavyweight cruisers.  Here is the press release from Indian:

MINNEAPOLIS (March 7, 2016) — Indian Motorcycle®, America’s first motorcycle company, is happy to announce that the entire production run of the Limited Edition Jack Daniel’s® Indian® Springfield™ and Indian® Chief® Vintage motorcycle models was sold in just one day.

The individually numbered motorcycles – the first-ever production vehicles to feature Jack Daniel’s livery – became available for purchase on March 4. Created to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Jack Daniel Distillery, which was registered in 1866, these special models were produced in extremely limited numbers that did not exceed 150 total units. Of the 149 units sold, 97 were purchased by customers in the U.S. and 38 found a home with international customers.

The final unsold unit, #1 of the limited edition series, an Indian Chief Vintage version that was the custom painted prototype built by Klock Werks, will be auctioned at Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas on October 6-8 at the Mandalay Bay resort, with all monies from the auction benefitting Operation Ride Home. More information can be found at and

Designed in conjunction with Brian Klock and his inspired team at Klock Werks in Mitchell, S.D., the Limited Edition Jack Daniel’s Indian Springfield and Chief Vintage models both feature an array of genuine Indian Motorcycle accessories and custom accessories, as well as Jack Daniel’s-inspired custom paint and logos, badging, leather saddle and saddlebags. Each fender is inscribed with the names of the seven Master Distillers who have overseen the Jack Daniel’s distilling process over its 150-year history, and an inscription of Jack Daniel’s “Bottles and Throttles Don’t Mix” mantra reminds riders that drinking and riding are meant to be enjoyed separately. Both models also come with a custom-printed Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrel top to commemorate each bike, a two-year unlimited mileage factory warranty and free membership in the Indian Motorcycle Riders Group™ for one year. Each motorcycle will be hand-painted and built, with delivery occurring no later than August 2016.

“We knew that the pairing of Jack Daniel’s and Indian Motorcycles would be popular, but we never expected to get such a tremendous response in such a short time frame,” said Dave Stang, Director of Events & Sponsorships for Jack Daniel’s. “In special recognition of Brian Klock’s contribution to this program and his continuing support of many initiatives in the motorcycle community, Jack Daniel’s and Indian Motorcycle have partnered to give him the last motorcycle of the limited edition run. Brian Klock is now the proud owner of the Jack Daniel’s Indian Springfield #150.”

“The quick sale of these commemorative motorcycles speaks to the enduring appreciation for both the Indian Motorcycle and Jack Daniel’s brands,” said Steve Menneto, President of Motorcycles for Polaris Industries. “These motorcycles will always have a place in history, and will certainly be some of the most treasured of the new models coming out of Spirit Lake, Iowa.”

For more information about Operation Ride Home, or to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit  Jack Daniel’s press information can be found at the Jack Daniel’s press room located at Learn more about Indian Motorcycle and the 2016 Limited Edition Jack Daniel’s Indian Springfield and Chief Vintage by visiting

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Dirty Bob says:

    Not interested! Don’t like JD or these loaded down rolling junkyards. I ride and drink only the best.

  2. Tom says:

    Moments after that photograph was taken, the Viking funeral pyre burning in the background fell apart and engulfed the two Indian motorcycles. The resultant explosions were felt miles away at the Mila Kunis Bar & Grill. Mila was heard to say: “…you don’t think that was at the Distillery do you? I still haven’t received my first endorsement check from those bozos!”
    Oh no, now there are only 147 of those rare edition motorcycles!

  3. wjf says:

    149 units sold represents the population….I don’t believe it

  4. Ron H. says:

    No way for so many reasons. Even if given to me I’d sell it. To each their own though.

  5. Jim says:

    How appropriate that these bikes are Jack Daniels editions. Either would look perfect parked outside any roadhouse while the owner is inside drinking the JD. I will admire these great looking bikes as I ride by on my way to the good roads on my ugly but very capable bike. If I see them on the road I will give them a wide berth.

  6. john s says:

    For 30K I could have an FZ1, a DRZSM400, a nice dirtbike and about 3 Groms, maybe 4. 30K for a heavy putt-putt? Not interested at all.

  7. Tank says:

    I guess these bikes will be known as the “Firewater” bikes.

  8. Ron Yannone says:

    Beautiful motorcycles. It doesn’t surprise me that they sold out. Its an older demographic, with more disposable income. My curiosity is the resale value of Indians 5 years from now. As for heavyweight cruisers, I know many don’t like them here, but I bet if you had one given to you, you would ride it all the time. Frankly, I don’t why some of you buy sport bikes to ride around cities and busy towns. I have a 07 Yamaha Stratoliner that is way more comfortable than any crotch rocket around town and with a 1854cc V-twin trust me, the power delivery is quite satisfying for that enviroment. Cruisers are also nice for taking a ride through scenic areas with friends, and your woman will be way more comfortable too. Mine has a windshield and hard bags and I really like the utility of both. I’ll go food shopping with the bike. I can fit quite a bit of stuff in the bags. The bags, windshield and passenger backrest are all quick detach and all lock to the bike. All locks are keyed to the ignition. Footboards rock too, very comfortable. Having said all that, I share your passion for all the other bikes you like and need one badly LOL. I don’t like having a cruiser as my only bike, so soon I will add something much lighter to the garage. Not sure what I want yet. Maybe a FZ-09 in blue or a twin of some sort. I’m not really an inline four kind of guy. The nice thing is because I have a cruiser with pretty damn good passenger accomodations, my play bike does’t need any consideration for a passenger, which opens the door to some very cool bikes.

  9. rapier says:

    I won’t wear a skirt and I sure as hell won’t ride a bike that wears them either.

  10. Skif says:

    So when do the less expensive unnumbered models roll out?

  11. RD350 says:

    Not a cruiser guy .. but these look well done.

    I am old enough now to know to never say never.

  12. Auphliam says:

    Love the paint scheme. It looks especially good on the Springfield, IMO.

    They can keep the marketing games…also my humble opinion :p

    • Tom K. says:

      Jack Daniels is no strnger to shared marketing campaigns, haven’t they been doing specials with TGI Friday’s for almost twenty years? Also Ford with their “Harley Davidson” models, the “Mossy Oak” Dodge Rams, the “Eddie Bauer” Explorers, and most recently Jeep, with their “Dawn of Justice” Renegade model? Good marketing is what happens when you grab the coattails of another successful product and in so doing improve the sales of both companies. Hasn’t it been said that “Successful marketing makes you borrow money you don’t have to buy things you don’t need and can’t afford”, or something like that. I’d personally love to own a Jeep Wrangler, but have no intention of ever taking it to Moab and bashing the hell out of it – but by golly, if I wanted to, I could, LOL.

      • Auphliam says:

        I don’t mind the practice when done transparently. You can go to TGI Friday’s or your local Ford/Dodge dealers any day of the week and partake of those marketing partnerships. This campaign, however, was publicity BS. I’d be willing to bet all or nearly all of these units were spoken for as corporate gifts before the first pictures hit the press. I know because I tried.

        • Tom K. says:

          I didn’t realize the crux of your argument to begin with, thank you for explaining. I understand you to mean that due to the numbers involved, the release is SO limited, it only serves to hype the brands, that it locks out enthusiasts in favor of investors, likely insiders – I can imagine that at least a dozen or so of them went to J.D. Executives or major stockholders alone.

          After watching my share of Barret and Jackson events, I know there are some pretty deep pockets out there for collectible motor vehicles. I agree that 90-something bikes is statistically insignificant in the, it wouldn’t have meant much more if they would have all sold out in five minutes – likely, many were spoken for before they opened the sale – these are rolling Rolexes. My regret is that I didn’t get to bid on a Pike’s Peak Coors Beer special edition. Now THAT would have smelled like victory.

  13. Gordon L Belyea says:

    Back in 2008, an earlier incarnation of Indian turned out a ‘Champer Chief’, a Moet & Chandon special, with stock fitted cooler, and the motto, ‘Be Fabulous,’ engraved on the mufflers. I believe the MC mag that broke the story opined, ‘Please, shoot me now!’ Hope this bourbon bike does better.

  14. Frank says:

    These are beautiful bikes. Sold out already? Should shed some light on the question of why cruiser companies keep building cruisers..(Polaris’s Octane for example). They are the biggest market here and they sell…cheap ones for the shallow of pocket. and expensive ones for the those who’s pockets go deep. It’s nice to see quality, high end products out there even if I can’t afford them. The market would look pretty dismal if all there was were low and mid range bikes available.

  15. beasty says:

    Definitely not a squidmobile. The paint is nice.

  16. Jeremy in TX says:

    While I think the whole Jack Daniels thing is silly, I rather like the paint job and think it does a great job of breaking up the monolithic look of the big Chief’s bodywork.

    • Dino says:

      Agreed, it is a good looking bike. Selling out in one day is impressive, even with a limited 140+ unit run.

    • Half Baked says:

      If by silly you mean the association of distilled spirits and motor vehicles is wildly inappropriate not to mention the fact that there are still places where it is illegal to sell alcohol to Indians, then I agree. Otherwise I’m not really sure what is silly about pairing these fine motorcycles with a product that has Ukrainian beauty Milena Markovna Kunis as a spokes model.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        If it were a Mila Kunis limited edition, then I would think it less silly.

      • Tom K. says:

        I just saw Mila’s commercial for about the hundredth time last night, and instead of fantasizing about holding her hand and reciting poetry to her while sitting on a blanket under the spreading branches of one of the oaks they cut down to make thier barrels, paid attention to the product – and it is Jim Beam whiskey she’s promoting, not Jack Daniels. Lots of distillers out there, easy enough mistake to make. Go Mila! Good actress, great eyes, questionable taste in dudes (really? Kelso??!)

  17. PN says:

    Not for me, as with most commentators here, but it’s smart marketing when you identify what your customers like in their alcohol. Why didn’t Harley think of that? I like the guy getting a new ZX-14R. Now that’s traveling.

  18. Bob says:

    I’m waiting for the “Old Crow”, bottom of the barrel edition. Should be much cheaper.

  19. Brian says:

    I could do without the JD connection, but apart from that I think it’s a cool-looking paint job. And if you’re the kind of person who can drop $30k on a bike, you can probably afford to have several, each with its own purpose. (Not that you have to have that kind of money to own several bikes.)

  20. Tommy See says:

    Congrats to Indian , Jack Daniels and all the new owners. Spending is living and enjoying.

  21. Chris says:

    Cruisers are not what I like to ride, although I’m in that age demographic. I see what people like in the way they ride, look, and sound. I can see beauty almost anywhere. What I can’t get past is the Indian front fender. It reminds me of the fender skirts we all thought were so cool on ’49 Mercs back in the 50’s. I’m 67 and picking up a 2014 ZX-14r today to replace my ’08 ZX-14. Yep, getting old, and reflexes aren’t what they were. Wanted the ABS and the other electronics. Thirty large is three times what I’m paying for the Ninja. Nope, no thanks.

  22. ABQ says:

    They are called “Heavy Weight Cruisers”.
    All the weight of a car with all the disadvantages of a motorcycle.
    Requiring all the money of an old man to buy one, and all the strength of two young men of pick it up.
    I’ll take mine with a sidecar and a reverse gear.

  23. Mr. Negative says:

    Alcohol and Motorcycles – always a good combination. (sigh)

  24. Dave hit the nail on the head, 149?

  25. tom says:

    Well, it is pretty, not sure it is $30K pretty, it is still quite a boat. Let’s see “of the 149 units sold…” 97 U.S. + 38 International = 135 units, wonder what happened to the other 14 units? Maybe sold to buyers on Mars? What no tassels for $30K?

  26. JR says:

    I have had motorcycles for over 46 years, but never any of them for 30 grand.. because no matter how sharp the machine is.. when it rains you will be miserable.

    • Mick says:

      I bought two for $22K at Christmas time in 1994. That calculates to $35,169.72 in 2016 dollars.

      But that was the last time I bought a new off the rack street bike. I have been totally underwhelmed by the industries offerings ever since. I haven’t even bought a new dirt bike since 2007 when Honda made it clear that they didn’t want me for a customer any more. I bought a 2007 YZ250 and found that I like the steel frame 2003-4 chassis better. The newer suspension parts are easy to attain.

      I do not envy anyone who buys these bikes. They are totally outside my area of interest. But I do sort of envy anyone who can be interested in a new bike. I’m pretty fed up with having to build my own from old parts.

      One of my most memorable rides was on a four hour ride through flash flood producing rain on a supermoto. Minnesotans have this thing about extreme weather.

      • Yo Bozo says:

        Look at KTM off-road. I’ve been buying them since 2002 after many years of Yamasaki this and that. Much better product, particularly if you do a variety of riding.

    • Chad says:

      “When it rains you will be miserable.” Only if you want to be. I ride a motorcycle every day in Oregon, it rains here nearly every day. I don’t ride because I have to, as I have two nice cars in the garage. I ride because I’d rather be on a bike.

      I reply to your comment only to make a point ;
      You are only miserable if you let yourself be. Get some good gear and sing in the rain! I’d rather be in the rain on a bike than dry in my car!

  27. Grover says:

    I would have preferred a “Coors Silver Bullet Edition”. A bike built to satisfy the beer for lunch bunch.

  28. VLJ says:

    Sacha Baron Cohen was absolutely right about Americans.

    • Starmag says:

      LOL. I don’t think too many Americans are going to lose sleep over what that never funny hack thinks of them. It’s not as though there aren’t things you could make fun of Englishmen for. Disappointing that you agree with his moronic generalizations.

  29. Krisd says:

    As the populations ages, so grows the cruiser market, and heavyweight cruiser market….

  30. Starmag says:

    They should have called it the “Firewater”.

    • Tom K. says:

      LOL, thirty large is a lot of wampum, that’s enough to keep me in Crown Royal for the rest of my life (maybe). It would be really interesting to know the demographics of the buyers. I wonder how many Mr. Leno signed up for?

      • Scott says:

        Maybe the regular version of this bike, but I don’t think the JD special is Jay Leno’s style. He doesn’t even drink!

  31. My2Cents says:

    Indian Motorcycle has exceeded expectations on every level, Indian is truly back. I do go the shows for various reasons, one being probable sales flow. The Indian floor was the most heavily visited and people stayed longer. The cross section of people was mid 30’s and up. I like the “rise from the ashes” story of Indian.

    This allows much more freedom for Victory and I would imagine liquid cooled V-Twin touring is in the pipe.

    Best wishes all and happy trails.

  32. Wendy says:

    Wow, ugly despite the fancy paint. Good luck wealthy dudes.

    • Atlantarandy says:

      Let me guess. These are ugly but the Harley you ride is beautiful. I have nothing against Harley (every maker has some great models), but I’m just sayin’…or curious. What do you call a good looking bike?

      • Wendy says:

        Actually, I ride BMW(s) and a VFR. Harleys are slow ugly couches.

        • Foster says:

          Gotta agree. Never understood why so many love the cruiser styled machines that can’t get around corners without scraping bits off and are generally slow pokes in the engine bay. Not to mention vibration issues and poor weather protection.

          Seems most North American riders are concerned with one thing – how cool they can look!

          • Atlantarandy says:

            I can answer that. I have a 1600cc Kawasaki full dresser that has toted my wife and I some 50,000 fantastic miles together with 100 lbs of gear. So cruisers can have a singular purpose as much as a canyon carver. But I don’t miss your point. I have a new Bonneville as an all-rounder. 865cc, “fairly” light, and I haven’t gotten it to scrape anything. And my next stable addition is going to be pure hooligan, a KTM Duke. At least some of us North Americans are “diverse”. LOL

  33. Dave says:

    149 motorcycles does not signify a strong market. 4,000 at that price might’ve been something.

    Didn’t Ducati sell out 1,500 Desmodicci @ $75k each? Despite bolting $108m onto their bottom line, I don’t think it was seen as a harbinger of a stronger sport bike market.

    • Yo Bozo says:

      Exactly. A few rich guys does not constitute a strong marketplace.

      • Dave says:

        Now if that Indian Scout does for Polaris what the Scrambler (and Monster before it..) did for Ducati, then we’ve got something.

    • Auphliam says:

      Well, its all relative really. How long did Ducati take to sell all the Desmos? According to an “official” posting on the Indian Facecrack page, all 149 units were sold in around 8 hrs. Multiplying for volume, Ducati would have to had sold all 1500 units in just over 3 days to equal that 🙂

      Seriously though, you’re right. even 1000 would’ve been impressive. 149, not so much. I suspect most (if not all) were already spoken for as corporate gifts. This story is merely fodder for bar talk.

  34. The Spaceman says:

    I’d have thought that for 30 large they’d throw in a case of special “Indian Reserve” JD whiskey in the deal. And one of those $80 handlebar-mounted cruiser cups to keep it cold whilst riding about the hot backroads of the Dakotas. And a JD spokesmodel or 2 for the weekend…

  35. Asphanaut says:

    Here’s my take which isn’t worth much but I’ll say it anyway. Big cruisers like this are like expensive wrist watches. Their value is nearly entirely subjective. People that don’t buy these kinds of products say there are far cheaper products that perform far better – and they would be right… and entirely miss the point.

    • falcodoug says:


    • KenHoward says:

      “Here’s my take which isn’t worth much but I’ll say it anyway” turns out to be the most sensible comment I’ve read here, amid all the indignation expressed toward supposed “rich guys.”

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Couldn’t have been said better.

  36. Neal says:

    Is it a $10k paint job?

  37. red says:

    Sounds like 97 rich people in the US decided to gamble with $30k that these would appreciate. Still dubious that there is a heavyweight cruiser revival coming.

  38. yellowhammer says:

    From their web site, 2015 year end sales for motorcycles was $698,257,000. Assume $20K per bike that’s around 35K bikes. We should start seeing these out and about.

  39. mechanicus says:

    Interesting. For my information, how many units did Indian/Victory sell last year?

  40. mickey says:

    Congrats to Indian (America’s “latest” first motorcycle company). Hope their owners enjoy them.

    Leaves me shaking my head however.

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