Wayne Baughman was an industrious guy who, about 1994 decided he should make the next great American motorcycle. He wanted it to look like an Indian, but employ current technology. And he skirted getting rights to the Indian trademark, just made his bikes look like classic Chiefs. As his story developed, Baughman also claimed he would be strong competition for Harley-Davidson, the sole surviving American motorcycle brand, promising to manufacture as many as 100,000 Century Chiefs a year. And this was in a time when even the well established Harley-Davidson was selling only a little over 100,000 units, making $1.1 Billion dollars in motorcycle sales alone, and another $1M in licensed apparel, etc. Baughman was making a very optimistic promise to investors, dealers, and motorcycle enthusiasts.
The next chapter in the Indian story began about 1998 in Gilroy California with the newly formed Indian Motorcycle Company of America. This group was awarded the Indian trademark rights by a Colorado court in 1998. Though several thousand motorcycles were manufactured and sold, technical problems, distribution, the use of a typical S&S engine and the lack of true Indian uniqueness conspired to cause production to end in 2003.