• Polaris makes Spirit Lake home of Indian Motorcycles

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    August 24, 2017

    Spirit Lake has been the home of Indian athletics for generations. Now, a local manufacturing plant aims to make Spirit Lake the home of Indian Motorcycles. Amid the noise of outside construction and factory production, the newly opened Experience Center on the eastern side of the Spirit Lake Polaris plant is a calm showcase for the Indian Motorcycle brand.

    Spirit Lake became the main assembly operation for Indian Motorcycles, after the company was purchased by Polaris in 2011. Polaris announced plans in January to stop production of the Victory line of motorcycles. The company is shifting its focus to the Indian line and intends to emphasize Spirit Lake as the hub of the brand via the new Experience Center.

    Photo by Dave Petrick

    “What we’re seeing a lot from our consumer is, ‘I want to come and visit where my bike was born — where my bike was made,’” Indian Motorcycle President Steve Menneto said. “And we wanted to have the appropriate experience for those customers when they put their hard earned money into a bike that the community of Spirit Lake built for them.”

    The ribbon was officially cut in front of the combination showroom, lobby and retail space Thursday afternoon, just ahead of the Iowa Great Lakes Chamber of Commerce’s Third Annual Boji Bike Rally. Rally riders were able to visit the Experience Center Friday and Saturday. Blain Andera, who serves as mayor of Spirit Lake, director of the Spirit Lake Chamber of Commerce and director of the Iowa Great Lakes Chamber, was enthusiastic about the addition to the plant — in each of his official capacities.

    “We’re so excited they’re going to be open for the Boji Bike Rally,” Andera said. “It’s one more thing that’s going to make the experience unique for our residents and visitors alike…From the area’s stand-point, we’re excited Polaris and Indian Motorcycles are still investing in our community,”


    Blain Andera, CEO