Custom Indian Chief awarded to prize draw winner at Wheels and Waves

Indian Motorcycles commissioned four custom Chief builds back in December 2021. The most popular build was taken to Wheels and Waves.

Indian Chief GRIND Machine custom

Indian gifted a custom version of its Chief to a lucky prize winner at the Wheels and Waves festival in Biarritz, France.

At the end of 2021, Indian commissioned four custom bike builders in Europe to create their own take on the Indian Chief. The bikes were judged, with as many as 35,000 people voting for their own personal favourite, and the winner of the vote was taken to the Wheels and Waves festival. 

The winning bike, built by Tank Machine X Rise Designs, was called GRIND Machine, and made its public debut at the opening of the Artride exhibition at Wheels and Waves in Biarritz on June 30.

Then, on 2 July, it was given to Fabien Orquin, an automotive engineer from Rouen, who won the special prize draw in which GRIND Machine was up for grabs. 

“I was honoured to be chosen as one of four custom builders to submit designs for the Indian Chief,” said Clement Molina, the founder of Tank Machine. “As a specialist that loves working on bikes from Indian Motorcycle, I was really enthusiastic about the opportunity, only heightened by the partnership with Wheels and Waves, an event that I enjoy so much.”

Rise Designs, with whom Tank Machine partnered for GRIND Machine, specialise in skateboard designs, and their decks were used as part of the design and build of GRIND Machine. 

“The process was so enjoyable,” continued Molina. “Thinking about the bike, the details, working with different materials like skateboard decks, fabricating new parts and then fine tuning everything. 

“It’s a pleasure to reveal the completed bike at Wheels and Waves and to then hand it over to Fabien. It’s great to know he truly understands and appreciates the time and effort that has gone into the build. He is the perfect new owner for me – an engineer, an engine technician, and a really good guy.”

“When I was told I had won, I just couldn’t believe it, it was incredible,” said Fabien Orquin. “I am so happy to know that this amazing motorcycle is going to be mine, especially because it is the design I voted for.

“It was also great to meet Clément and hear about the design and build process. Everything about the bike is amazing, every time I look there is another detail to discover.”

The bike is designed with minimalism in mind, and the bike’s mudguards are the primary example of that. In addition, there are mini-indicators on the forks and seat unit, a mini-taillight, and the headlight is LED-lit. “A secondary guarded PIAA yellow light adds a cool retro touch,” says Indian.

The aforementioned skateboard decks from Rise Designs have their wood repurposed in the centre of the fuel tank and either side of the seat unit, as well as the grip tape. Furthermore, the footpegs take inspiration from BMX grind pegs. 

Finally, Rise Designs were also involved in the design of GRIND Machine’s engine plate which features a brushed metal finish. The fuel cap is CNC-machined, as well as some of the engine parts.

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