Integ Motorsports brings Indian motorcycles to East Peoria

Bryan Veginski TimesNewspapers
Joshua Maher, left, of Morton and Jim Wynd of Morton talk during an Indian motorcycle demo day at Integ Motorsports in June.

Indian Motorcycle is back, and there is a local dealer carrying the legendary brand.

Integ Motorsports, 1107 E. Washington St. in East Peoria, got its first batch of Indians last month and the visitor traffic has been brisk.

“We’re selling them about as fast as we can get them,” said owner Will Thomas. “People travel from all over to see them.”

At a demo day in June, 138 people took a ride on an Indian in the first four hours.

There currently are about 200 dealers in the network. The company hopes to increase that to 450-500.

Right now, Integ Motorsports is in a prime position. The closest shop to East Peoria is 105 miles away and the next one is in the Chicagoland area.

Indian and Victory, which Integ also sells, are owned by Polaris.

“Basically, three years ago when Polaris purchased them, was when Indian came back to life,” Thomas said.

Founded in 1901, two years before Harley-Davidson, Indian is the first motorcycle company ever. 

Based in Spirit Lake, Iowa, Indian is 99 percent American made. The motorcycles come with a five-year, unlimited mileage roadside assistance package.

“To have something 99 percent American made is amazing,” said Thomas. “We want to keep that business right here in the U.S.”

The new Indians were unveiled at Sturgis 2013.

Integ, which has been operating in East Peoria for four years, started fielding calls from people wondering if they would be adding Indian to their line-up.

After twice declining the opportunity to be an Indian dealer while seeking some clarity with the brand, Integ decided to log those specific questions.

“When we hit 500, my wife (Dana) and I said, ‘We better become an Indian dealer,’” Thomas said.

Integ was given the opportunity because of its sales, including attaining the No. 1 slot in the district and region over the last three years.

Based on that standing and the desire for an Indian dealership to be placed in the geographic area, Integ was a sought-after option. 

The visitor count is up significantly as a direct result of Indian being brought into the fold.

Indian has not been made continuously. The company fed the military bikes during war time, which eventually starved their dealers.

Indian later went bankrupt and was bought and sold by two other companies.

The Polaris transaction lifted Indian to a new level of optimism for the next chapter.

“They have the mindset of taking (the Indian) heritage into the future,” said Thomas.

Polaris has brought stability and enough money to project the brand in the years to come. About $100 million was spent on research and development.

Coming from a long line of motorcycle enthusiasts, Thomas said it is neat to carry a brand that has history in his genes. Multiple family members have been Indian owners.

There are three 2014 models — the Classic, Vintage and Chieftain — that come with a 111-cubic inch engine that generates 119 foot-pounds of torque. Anti-lock brakes also are standard.

Each currently is available in red, black and blue and comes with a keyless start.

The Classic starts at $18,999. 

The Vintage, at $20,999, has a quick-release windshield and leather saddlebags.

The deluxe Chieftain, with a price of $22,999, offers a retractable windshield, hard saddlebags and enhanced audio features.

The service of Indian motorcycles is cheaper than the competition. The cost generally is about $125 and no higher than $200.

Throughout the process, including apparel and accessories, Indian aims to deliver top-notch quality, Thomas said.  

Renovations are planned for Indian shops so that people have the same experience when they come through the door of any dealer. The facelift will include a boutique look.

Integ, whose phone number is 699-3929, is exploring a possible new location in East Peoria with a technologically-advanced facility. A decision is expected by September.

Demo rides are allowed by appointment. “Butts on seats sells motorcycles,” said Thomas, who invites anyone to come in and have an experience on the new machines.

Thomas said Integ is a family-based business that not only likes to share its passion for riding, but also enjoys building relationships with other motorcycle enthusiasts.

Indian has an ongoing Honoring Heroes program for active and retired military that awards a $1,000 rebate. and are two websites to check out for more information.