When someone visits Indian Motor Works for the first time, “jaw dropping” is usually a phrase thrown around. Everything from the easy music, the original signs, memorabilia and character of the building takes you on a nostalgia trip through time. The IMW shop was designed and built for efficiency. Complete with full access to hand and machine tools, a full and balanced inventory of Indian parts and a relaxed aesthetic appeal not often found in machine shops. Outfitted extensively with hand tools, jigs, dies, and fixtures, and full welding and fabrication equipment all nestled in a hospital like setting. With all the tools left in their place and the clean atmosphere, it has been said on more than one occasion, “you could eat off the floor.”
One can sense the workflow of the machinists, the different processes feeding one into the next, moving from one work station to another as parts are refined, repaired and restored… The aroma of seasoned oil and grease mixed with the lingering notes of metal dust tell of the hours and hours of dedication and passionate work that takes place in this shop. On the main floor, an impressive line of restored, refurbished and a few unrestored originals sit ready to turn the key and go. Walking deeper into the back halls of the shop, the extent of the IMW inventory is realized. Isles and isles of original Indian parts, all inventoried and archived in labeled bins, cabinets and racks sit ready and waiting to be installed on the right machine. The library-like nature of the inventory conveys both the dedication and meticulous nature the IMW team applies to their projects.
When left to explore the shop one quickly realizes every wall, beam and nook is filled with Indian history and memorabilia. An original neon sign hangs like a mast over the assembly floor, colorful racing posters and vintage oil cans hang on the walls amongst other vintage Indian memorabilia... The collective effect and museum like atmosphere of the shop moves one back through time… through the decades, following an amazingly innovative company and their journey at the forefront of the motorcycle scene. Mixed in with the countless signs and memorabilia are pictures of past customers and old friends on their Indians. The smiling faces always standing next to a motorcycle tell of IMW’s dedication to their craft and the hundreds of satisfied customers that have come through the shop.