Indian of Wichita to drop Indian Motorcycle franchise, change names and sell used motorcycles

WICHITA — Indian of Wichita owner Mark Hambelton is dropping his franchise with the Indian Motorcycle chain. Within 30 to 60 days, he expects to have a new name and be fully converted to a used motorcycle shop.

“I’ll be looking for everything now from Harleys to Hondas,” he says. “It won’t matter. Whatever will work.”

Polaris’ purchase of the chain earlier this year prompted Hambelton’s decision.

“We kind of looked and listened to what they were going to do,” he says. “We had to make a decision, and I think it’s in our best interest to go on and just do used-only retail. Not because what they’re doing is a bad thing.”

Hambelton says it’s more of a timing issue.

“They told us their new models are two years plus away.”

Hambelton no longer is offering parts or service.

“It’s a nice thing to have, and certainly a mandatory thing to have if you have a franchise,” he says. However, he says, “There’s plenty of guys around doing it.”

Hambelton will keep his shop in 7,500 square feet at 9501 W. Kellogg. He may rename it Wichita Motorcycles, “but we’re not really sure.”

After selling his last few new Indian Motorcycles, Hambelton will still keep an eye on the chain.

“They’ve got big plans for Indian. … Maybe one day we’ll revisit it and become an Indian dealer again. Who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. Nobody does. But we know the used market is good. It has remained good, and I’m sure it will continue.”