‘GRIND Machine’
‘GRIND Machine’
‘GRIND Machine’
Public debut of the custom Indian Chief by Tank Machine x Rise Designs
Awarded to the lucky winner of the prize draw on the main event stage

Indian Motorcycle, in collaboration with Wheels & Waves, commissioned four European builders in December 2021 to design their vision of an Indian Chief for the resurgent Wheels and Waves festival. More than 35 000 people voted for their favourite design and, in combination with a panel of Super-Voters, ‘GRIND Machine’ by Tank Machine x Rise Designs was announced as the top-ranked entry. Completed in just three months, ‘GRIND Machine’ made its public debut at the opening of the Artride exhibition during Wheels and Waves on Thursday June 30 and was awarded to prize draw winner, Fabien Orquin, on the festival’s main stage on Saturday July 2.

Clément Molina founded Tank Machine in 2015 with a focus on motorcycle design, customisation and the development of Plug & Play Kits. Already well known for his many outstanding customisations of Indian Motorcycle models, his submission for the Indian Chief Design beat strong competition to become the winning concept that would be turned into reality.

“I was honoured to be chosen as one of four custom builders to submit designs for the Indian Chief,” said Molina. “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.”

Working from the brief to create a vision of an Indian Chief inspired from the past, anchored in the present, and looking towards the future, Molina teamed up Antonin Bazin from Rise Designs to merge their “Board Culture” into the project and reflect the skate element of Wheels & Waves.

“We were really happy to win and have the opportunity to realise the design, even though it was a big challenge to complete the project in just three months for the Artride exhibition,” Molina continued. “But the process was so enjoyable, 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.”

Randomly selected from the thousands of public voters, Fabien Orquin, an automotive engineer from the French city of Rouen, won a VIP trip to the 2022 Wheels & Waves festival to enjoy the event and be presented with his customised Indian Chief.

“When I was told I had won, I just couldn’t believe it, it was incredible,” said 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 Design and Engineering teams at Indian Motorcycle always had customisers in mind when bringing the Indian Chief to life. A key tagline being ‘Keep it simple so you can easily work on it and customise it’ and a feature of the Chief that Tank Machine took advantage of.

“There are so many nice pieces of the stock bike, especially the central and most beautiful piece, the engine,” said Molina. “The Indian Chief is really easy to strip back to a great base and the idea was to remove a lot of things, keep only the essentials and then build back up with a different balance, adding details that really change up the look of the final machine.”

GRIND Machine’s unique look begins with the big block Continental TKC enduro tyres wrapped around black Excel spoked rims that work with new bars, new rear suspension, and one-off seat unit to change the stance and overall lines of the bike. 

Tank Machine created new wider handlebars and lower risers for a vintage style that is echoed by the gaiters applied to the forks and rolled up poncho attached to a custom bracket by webbing straps. At the rear, Öhlins piggyback shocks with longer top mounts lift the bike slightly and add a colour accent as well as providing a high-quality ride. 

The one-off seat unit, all designed in house, features the names of the project’s partners discretely machined into the base and the seat pad enhances the retro bobber look with a brown leather top with waxed material sides. A bottle opener hanging from the right of the seat is a nod to the after-ride party atmosphere of Wheels & Waves and a detail that really connected with the new owner. “My hobby is brewing my own beer, and when I saw the bottle opener, it really made me smile,” said Orquin. 

Keeping the stripped back bobber look clean are hand-fabricated minimalist fenders, mini-indicators on the forks and seat unit, mini taillight and a LED headlight with ring running light. A secondary guarded PIAA yellow light adds a cool retro touch.

The ‘Board Culture’ of Ride Designs is reflected in the use of skateboard deck wood and grip tape adorning the centre of the fuel tank and either side of the seat unit which are mounted with metal brackets inspired by skateboard trucks. The influences of Wheels and Waves are further heightened with Vans waffle handlebar grips and custom-made foot pegs that take inspiration from BMX grind pegs.

Also designed in conjunction with Rise Design is the aluminium engine protection plate behind the front wheel in a brushed metal finish that is also applied to the exhaust heat shield, CNC machined fuel cap and engine parts to give an old bike look on a modern machine. Textured and matte finishes have also been applied to various covers and particularly the frame where the matte finish reveals the beauty of the shape and welds of the classic-style steel frame. Adding to the retro race look, the standard headers were wrapped and mated to shorter SuperTrapp silencers.

With a paint scheme from Rise Designs that features a brushed metal base, weathered green stripes with red accents, the finishing touches to any custom are the interesting details that are only noticed on a second or third close look. For GRIND Machine, these include the decorated red throttle valve inside the custom bell housing, the cut back primary drive cover, and the creator’s logos machined into the black pulley cover and engine covers.

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Indian Motorcycle is America’s first motorcycle company. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivalled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion are reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit www.indianmotorcycle.eu

INDIAN and INDIAN MOTORCYCLE are registered trademarks of Indian Motorcycle International, LLC. Always wear a helmet, protective clothing and eyewear and insist your passenger does the same.  Ride within the limits of the law and your own abilities. Read, understand, and follow your owner’s manual. Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


Ian Austin
EMEA Press Indian Motorcycle
Follow us on Twitter @IndianEMEA_PR
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Founded in 2008, Wheels and Waves is the successful realisation of the dream of a group of friends, the Southsiders, who are passionate about motorcycles. Lovers of the Basque Country, Southsiders have brought together hundreds of like-minded individuals who gather in the spirit of companionship. “Wheels and Waves is about eliminating social barriers and bringing different sets of people together without judgement. It’s about the joy of mixing together all kinds of communities, languages and cultures. It’s about living in the present without being nostalgic for the past, but not losing sight of the best moments of the past. www.wheels-and-waves.com

Benjamin Monge
+ 33 6 77 67 52 17