Vintage Indian Motorcycles — Collector Information Collectors Weekly

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Indian Chief Blackhawk

Vintage Indian Motorcycles

The was the quintessential American motorcycle. by the Hendee Manufacturing Company in Indian was up and running a full two before the formation of Harley-Davidson. The Massachusetts, company was an early introducing electric starters and in 1914 and the Powerplus engine in which was later to become the of Indian’s first famous the Scout.

The earliest Indian was a motorized bicycle. Known as a for the way in which the combination fuel-and-oil followed the contour of the rear the bike had a single concentric and could achieve a top speed of 25 per hour (it’s estimated the Camelback got about 70 miles per A cylinder filled with was mounted to the frame’s front The bike had pedals and a chain, and the frame was a small muffler.

Sales in 1902 topped 140

By 1905, spring forks added to Indian bikes, and the and ignition controls were from the engine area to the The company offered its growing of customers a V-twin engine in and in 1909, the basic Indian was redesigned around a loop with a torpedo-shaped gas tank between the handlebars and the seat.

Now were beginning to look what we think of as motorcycles. suspension was added in 1913, and the Powerplus appeared in 1916—its transmission produced a top speed of than 60 miles per hour. also made lightweight in the 1910s. including the Model O and Model K, an even smaller single.

The successful Chief, Big Chief, and Prince models dominated the output during the 1920s. The which retailed for $435 in was marketed as a bike that pull a sidecar. And it certainly thanks to a powerful 1000cc

In 1923, Hendee reorganized and itself Indian Motocycles right, with no r). One of the first from the newly named was the lightweight Model L Indian which was manufactured until

That was also the year the 101 was introduced. Widely considered to be finest motorcycle, the 101 Scout had a graceful shape that the that preceded it. from the gas tank to the position of the leather between the tank and the rear Indeed, it was a beautiful and powerful with a top speed of 70 miles per but its lifespan was short—much to the chagrin of the last 101 was made in 1931.

The other Indian milestone of the was the purchase in 1926 of a 4-cyclinder-motorcycle-maker Ace. The very next Indian literally gave the Ace line a new coat of paint, the words Indian and Ace on the sides of gas tanks. That dual was probably the reason why many referred to these bikes as Aces, even though the were sold as Indian

Indian Chief Blackhawk
Indian Chief Blackhawk

The handsome Sport Scout in the 1930s. which, despite the Depression, was a productive decade for Among the bikes produced in the were a three-wheel cargo called the Dispatch-tow and several of four-cylinder bikes (the 436 and 438 two of the best).

Indian also out from its traditional red paint incorporating the profile of a Native chief in full feathered on the sides of its gas tanks—a speedometer and instruments were bolted to the By the 1940s. Indian Fours favorites of state troopers, but police contracts ran out in 1942, of the expensive machines ceased.

World War II, Indian made a lot of for the military—the Indian 841, for desert warfare, is among the collectible Indians around. The also saw the launch of several for the general public. Chiefs the 1940s, both pre- and had gorgeous cowl-like fenders gave the bikes a streamlined (decorative fringe below the was optional).

Arrows and Scouts brought the into the 1950s. which was the decade when the 500cc TT Warrior and its smaller cousin, the were introduced. But Indian had put too much of its wartime attention military contracts, so its profile the general motorcycling public was low by the end of In 1953, after several of changes in ownership and management, the Indian ran out of gas.

Today, since 2006, an new company produces motorcycles the Indian name.

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Indian Chief Blackhawk
Indian Chief Blackhawk
Indian Chief Blackhawk
Indian Chief Blackhawk
Indian Chief Blackhawk
Indian Chief Blackhawk

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