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Cycle News Issue 39 October 2

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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VOL. 55 ISSUE 39 OCTOBER 2, 2018 P95 S teve Menneto, 52, is President of Motorcycles at Polaris Industries Inc., which recently joined the Fortune 500 list of largest companies in the United States for the first time at number 496, just a few notches down from Harley-Davidson at number 488. The Milwaukee company's ranking has plummeted from number 435 in the past 12 months, as its sales have slumped in contrast to its resurgent Minnesota-based rival, manufacturer of Indian motorcycles. Menneto is the man who, together with Polaris President/CEO Scott Wine, ultimately sold his colleagues in Polaris management the idea of acquiring Indian in April 2011 as a heritage brand to run alongside its much younger Victory marque. Having succeeded in doing so, Menneto was then entrusted with the task of making it work, and return- ing America's oldest existing motorcycle company that built its first such machine back in 1901. It's a task he and his team at Polaris HQ in Medina, Minnesota, have self-evidently discharged pretty well, in developing a strong-selling array of individually styled and distinctively engineered models currently based on two engine platforms. These comprise the air-cooled OHV Thunder Stroke 111 c.i/1811cc 49º V-twin engine which kicked off Indian sales in August 2014 with the Chief custom and Chieftain bag- ger, and the liquid-cooled 69 c.i/1,133cc Scout 60º V-twin eight-valve engine which followed a year later, to provide a less costly middleweight alternative from the tomahawk tribe. After shutting down its existing Vic- tory two-wheeled brand in January last year in order to focus entirely on Indian, Polaris management, headed by Wine and Menneto, have driven their sole motorcycle brand forward with spectacu- lar success—underlined by the imminent launch at Germany's Intermot Show in Cologne this week of the flat track- inspired FTR1200 street bike. I recently got the chance to sit down with Menneto and chat about Indian's past, present and future. BY ALAN CATHCART • PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES CALVERT Indian Motorcycle President Steve Menneto talks about the recent success of the brand and its future

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