Exhaustive is a word bandied about a lot when discussion historical or retrospective books, but Darwin Holmstrom’s Indian Motorcycle: America’s First Motorcycle Company is exhaustive to the point of obsessive. This is a good thing when you pick up a book hoping to learn a thing or three.
Holmstrom takes us through Indians entire sordid life. Birth, life, death, resurrection – it’s all detailed here alongside every model the company released and each engine or technical improvement. This is no rose-colored tinting of the past however. Holmstrom casts a critical and wholly independent view of Indian Motorcycle’s history, calling out mistakes and missteps as he sees them. All this is paired with beautiful modern and delightfully vintage photography and advertisements that give the words real life.
As a coffee table book, it’s a delight to thumb through and read snippets of history. As a historical record of the company and its products through the decades, I doubt it could rivaled by a textbook. If you have a deep passion for Indian Motorcycles or for biking history, Indian Motorcycle: America’s First Motorcycle Company is a must have.