1947 Indian Chief Roadmaster — Classic American Motorcycles — Motorcycle…

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Indian Chief Roadmaster

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1947 Chief Roadmaster

Claimed 40hp @ 4,700rpm

Top speed: (est.)

Engine: 1,212cc side-valve 42-degree V-twin

Weight 572lbs

Fuel capacity:

Price then: $800

now: $15,000 —

When it comes to American few bikes match the Indian which continues to influence styling decades on; witness 1999-2005 skirted-fender V-twin While the Japanese copy be a nice bike, it doesn’t close to the original. It’s being offered sushi you ordered a juicy 18-ounce steak.

There were Chief models in the 1947 available in either Jet-Black, Seafoam Blue or brilliant Red enamel. The cheapest trim was the Clubman, which still with plenty of chrome.

It had chrome gas tank caps, brake lever, ignition tube, exhaust system, face, rear spring and gearshift lever, a shiny trim running either of the front fender, a chrome air cover, chromed rear and that iconic “War Indian head fender Costs were kept with painted handlebars, rims and crash bars.

The rung up the ladder was the Sportsman, had all the chromed parts of the Clubman, but the crash bars and headlamp chrome plated, too. The also got an Indian “De luxe”

But if you wanted the full touring and had a fat billfold you’d likely the Roadmaster. This had all the chrome and of the Sportsman, but added a Sport chromed twin spotlights, with chrome rivets, a handlebar cross-tube and the new Indian seat with adjustable so “you could take best friend along,

The holy grail of lucky

Philadelphian Ken Smith bought his Indian Chief Roadmaster the original owner’s grandson. I went to look at it, it was covered by an old blanket. I lifted up a corner and saw the paint Seafoam Blue and factory-fitted twin chrome and saddlebags, and I knew that was something special,” Ken recalls. He realized Grandpa hadn’t satisfied with an ordinary Chief.

He wanted to personalize his touring to make it stand out from the so he fitted a front bumper and a of Indian mirrors from the accessory catalogue.

Grandpa fitted a Jockey Shifter lever that was every cowboy’s choice because it did with the sloppy linkage stretched from the gearbox to the side of the gas tank: Grandpa’s operates directly on the top of the gearbox to quick, positive changes. He preferred the look of aftermarket exhaust header pipes.

Saddlebags and mud flaps gained sparkle thanks to blue gems amongst the chrome The chrome rack bolted to the is an Indian accessory, and even the torpedo lights are right out of the catalog. “The Indian had a load of stuff you could buy to your motorcycle,” Ken says, nothing close to what offers today!” The carbon fire extinguisher that’s to the chain guard — unfortunately on the side of the bike from the M344 carburetor — and the chrome spark plug holder are listed in period literature, as are the plug cooling fins.

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