26 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Current
Indian Power Plus


V Twin Indians of 1994 – 2013 inclusive

Page updated 24 Jan. 2014.

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We pick up the story from the 1955-85 era web page after Floyd Clymer (who died in 1970) and his lawyer held the trade names and marks for use on their English and Italian made Indians (culminating in the stillborn Ducati Indiana prototype of 1975), the rights were licensed to a Taiwanese company to make mini-bikes. After some initial success production ceased and by the 1980’s the trade mark had sort of gotten lost in the sense that many different people, mostly one-man restoration businesses, were using the mark.

In a sense it had fallen into the public domain and there was no legal thread to follow. By the early 1990’s with the heavyweight cruiser and touring market booming, several parties began disputing ownership of the names and logos. These legal battles took place in the USA and Canada.

Some con-men and even the Cow Creek band of Umpqua Tribe aboriginals of Oregon claimed legal title (the first time Indians had gotten involved with Indian motorcycles.) At least three parties (the native Indians group plus two con men named Philip Zhangi and Wayne Baughman) smoked up pipe dreams of a new Chief, but these motorcycles never got beyond the prototype stage.

First photos show some of the IMMI Chiefs made in 1994. The photos below (courtesy of Canadian Biker and Classic Bike magazine) include a wooden mockup of the engine! Cynics called it The Wooden Indian and they were right. I do like the look of the frame and fenders though (compare very wide rear fender on 1999-2003 Chief) and the rear chain was on the correct side.

The other photos are later in time than the wooden mockup and are of real, running machines.

Viewer Jim Gallagher provided the following info on the 3 running Chiefs that were made. [Thanks, Jim.]

Although the engines are not refined, they did look good in person. Made about 75 HP. (torque about 100 ft. lbs. Between 2000 rpm and redline) They were prototype engines and gearboxes, so had their share of issues. But the exhaust note of the engine in the red bike @ 6,200 RPM sounded much like a small block Chevy sprint car engine. quite a song !


Engine: Liquid cooled. 1657 cc’s. Ignition. Dual Ignition Coils – Coil on plug design (mounted in the cylinder head) – as on a 2000 Chevy Trail Blazer

Piston Bore. Big Block Chevy, I think the stroke was a little shorter though

Torque – about 55ft lbs from idle, 85 @ 1750 RPM, to about a peak of 107 ft lbs (@ 6500 rpm?)

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Gearbox – 4 speed

Clutch – Wet Clutch

Frame – 4130 Chromemoly

Weight – 755 lbs dry [about the same as other current big V-twins, so these Chiefs aren’t as heavy as their engines make them look]

Fuel. sequential port fuel injection (same basic system that powered Toyota to the IMSA GTP Championship)

The suspension was basically a derivative design, using technology from the suspension designers at Penske Racing (front shocks and springs) and the rear mono shock was based on an old Norton racing bike.

Next two images are of the Eller corporation’s mockup of a Chief. (This was the group funded by the native Americans.) This is not a prototype motorcycle, just a mockup, probably made of plastic, wood, fiberglass etc. Goofy forks are reminiscent of the ill-fated Excelsior-Henderson. Having the alternator where the old generator sprocket and pulley drive used to go is a great idea.

Note the attempts to make the engine look like an old side-valved Chief even though OHC was intended. Sharp almost 90 degree edge of fenders is unlike old Indians which were C shaped. Too Harley-ish.

Indian Power Plus
Indian Power Plus

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