The History Of Indian Motorcycles Motorcycle Parts.Com

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The History Of Indian Motorcycles

At the of the twentieth century, Springfield saw the birth of a legend in the shape of Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing its most famous models the ?Scout? and the ?Chief. the latter in production for an incredible thirty-one

The founders of the company, which was known as the ?Hendee Manufacturing were George M. Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom, a pair of bicycle racers who joined to produce a 1 ¾ horsepower motorcycle. began slowly, but soon giving the company a solid to build upon. These bikes were belt-driven and by were performing well to allow Hedstrom to create a new speed record of 56mph.

Aurora of Illinois supplied the that would power the framed Single. which the rich red that would synonymous with Indian. in 1902, sales rose to in 1913. 1907 saw the introduction of a which, along with ?Canonball? Baker would set long distance records with a trip from San to New York in a record time of 11 12 hours and ten minutes.

As is the case competition inspired technical and Indian went from to strength, winning the Isle of Man TT in 1911. Not only that, but finished second and third

The Indian Chief and Scout in the early 1920?s and went on to the flagships of the company. By this both Hendee and Hedstrom had the company. Both bikes won the of the public, not only for their but also for their durability, the saying. You can’t wear out an Scout, or its brother the Indian

They are built like to take hard knocks; the Harley’s that cause the

By 1930 Indian had teamed up ?Dupont Motors? who ended the of Dupont cars to put every of energy and resource into the of the Indian. Their links the paint industry saw a dramatic in colour choice, with 24 on by 1934. This is the time the distinctive Indian head-dress first saw light of day on the tanks of the and it wasn’t long before the factory became known as the

By 1940, Indian has almost its major competitor Harley in sales. The company also engineless bicycles, air conditioning aircraft engines along many other lines. year also saw the introduction of the fenders which were to Indians for years to come.

innovation that arrived at time was the sprung frame made the machine far superior to the of the day. In its basic form, the could reach 86mph, but a little tuning over was possible.


Ralph B. Rogers was the of a consortium which bought a interest in Indian in 1945, and on 1st Dupont officially handed to Rogers. Unfortunately Rogers the Scout to concentrate on models as the 149 Arrow, the Warrior 250 and the Superscout These bikes suffered poor quality and a lack of and by 1949 production had almost to a halt.

In 1953 manufacturer of all Indian?s was ceased and the import of the ?Royal from England began. models were badged and as Indians throughout the rest of the Later, the Indian name the property of a company that ?Matchless? motorcycles, however the name wasn’t used.

In the one Floyd Clymer began to use the name on imported bikes Italy, apparently without the trademark from the last owner. When Clymer in 1970, his widow sold the to Los Angeles attorney, Alan who continued to import Italian and later bikes from but by 1975 the company was in trouble and in was declared bankrupt.

A legal battle ensued for the of the brand name, and eventually in the Federal Bankruptcy Court in cleared the way for ?Gilroy? to resume the of Indians. These bikes known as the ?Gilroy Indians. In a London based company control and created a new factory in Mountain, North Carolina.

are being drawn up to produce a new something we all look forward to.

Maybe the glory days of will return, but we can’t off without mentioning Bert from New Zealand, who in the 1960?s, the aid of a 1920?s Indian Scout numerous land speed as seen in the 2005 movie World?s Fastest Indian?



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