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Petersen Museum Highlights Endless Motorcycle Rivalry with ‘Harley Vs. Indian’

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will once again pit Harley-Davidson vs. Indian in a new motorcycle exhibit.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

With its latest upcoming exhibition, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will focus on two-wheeled legends and an all-American rivalry that’s lasted decade. In fact, the Petersen’s halls might be the only place where Harley-Davidsons and Indian Motorcycles coexist peacefully.

Also: Indian Motorcycles to Rumble with Harley-Davidson on AMA Pro Flat Track

Opening March 4th, “Harley Vs. Indian” will feature the long history of America’s two oldest and most iconic motorcycle brands. A special reception will preview the exhibit on March 2nd.

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The two brands have a long and storied rivalry in American motoring history and within pop culture. Each has their own claims to fame. Indian beat Harley-Davidson to market, emerging in 1901. The Harley and Davidson team didn’t hang their single in Milwaukee until 1903.

Harley-Davidson is the bigger seller of the two, remaining in business through good times and bad to this very day. While a strong presence back in the market bow, Indian closed shop entirely from 1953 to its official return under the Polaris banner in 2011.

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As the motorcycle industry struggles in an era of bloodless Millennial indifference, both companies are turning to different marketing campaigns. Harley-Davidson lives behind its rebel image, while Indian pushes itself as a select alternative to the traditional Bar and Shield.

Regardless of how they do business, it’s a safe bet the brands will never get along inside or outside the Petersen.