Fuss Cooper- Shifting Gears
I was in my early teens when I had my first experience with motorcycles. In 1986 I made the acquaintance of the son whose father owned Yellow Cab Taxi Company and who also happened to have a collection of over 100 Indian Motorcycles. I spent summers at the cottage next door to his and have memories of him constantly yelling at me for one reason or another.
It was soon after his passing that different Indian Motorcycles began to appear in front of his cottage. I became instantly infatuated with the flowing lines of the skirted fenders, the motifs and decorative ornaments that gave them character. I was hooked.
I became close with his son and we formed a great friendship often spending hours and hours pouring over the enormous collection of bikes and memorabilia that he inherited from his father.
I was a graphic artist at the time and immediately started making Indian Motorcycle apparel and accessories. This was when I began selling to various friends who had retail stores. I really immersed myself with all there was to know about Indian Motorcycle.
An interesting fact that I will never forget is how Indian (after Hendee Manufacturing Co. since 1901 ) started with Motocycle, dropping the “r” from the word “motorcycle” in the company name. According to the company records of the Board’s action, this was done simply to avoid any possible legal actions arising from patent suits, which had been a continuing problem since the earliest days of organized manufacture.
In 1989 I was granted the Trade Mark “ Indian Motorcycle” ( for Canada ). I went full steam ahead. Using all my recourses to Indian bikes and memorabilia and created an expansive line of high quality products. Being “fussy” has always been in my blood and high quality has always been my goal. Why bother making something for someone unless I didn’t love it myself.
The 1990’s saw the forming of partnerships with people that would help take Indian to the next level. 1998 saw the opening of The Indian Motorcycle Café & Lounge ( Toronto ). This was my chance to really create a High Quality Lifestyle Brand. Soon after locations were opened in Copper Mountain, Colorado then Blue Mountain, Ontario.
In 1999 I was a key design component in bringing back the first 1999 Indian Chief motorcycle made in Gilroy California. Then adding The Scout and then The Spirit. I soon became disenchanted with where the bikes were going so I proceeded to purchase the Café with partners and leave the manufacturing side. The Café was highly successful and became one of Toronto’s hotspots.
In 2004 Indian Motorcycle is purchased by Stellican Limited. I had limited communications but was unable to strike a deal deciding instead in 2006 to rebrand “Indian Motorcycle Café & Lounge” to “ The Original Motorcycle Company” and an online retail store was quickly added to enable World wide sales.
The Original Motorcycle Company brand was created as I had always seen hundreds of motorcycle companies in many countries through my journeys. This was how I got turned on by The Cafe Racer.