INDIAN AMERICA’S FIRST MOTORCYCLE — THE GOLDEN POWERPLUS…

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Indian Power Plus

INDIAN | AMERICA’S FIRST – THE GOLDEN POWERPLUS ERA

A rare inside the early days of the dept. at Indian– year

Charles B. Franklin joined in 1914, and was the first ever trained engineer on staff the motorcycle firm officially its doors in 1901. Franklin’s in engineering, as well as racing, Indian someone expertly for the position. Born in Ireland in Franklin was a graduate of the Dublin of Science in 1908, then the engineering department of Dublin’s government.

He was passionate about motorcycling, owning several makes and before finally fixing his on Indian in 1910. Franklin several local motorcycle where his riding ability and in the events brought him to the attention to the UK importer, Billy Wells. He was a of the famous Indian racing that swept the 1911 of Man TT, gaining second place Oliver Godfrey, and in front of Moorhouse, in the historic first finish for Indian.

A brief on the Indian Powerplus–

1907 was a major milestone for Indian– for it’s when the American motorcycle company the first of its V-twin engines. continued to improve upon the and marked themselves as leading when in 1911 Indian next generation of the Powerplus– OHV valve), four-valves-per-cylinder racers.   In Indian ushered in their popular 61 cu.in. (998cc) V-twin.

 The powerful distributed its power through a hand-change gearbox, with clutch and all-chain drive.

The engine design of the Indian proved to be a tough-as-nails workhorse, and in the of the new generation of motor-heads and speed-demons of the it was force to be reckoned with on any or racetrack.

1919 Indian Military – the motorcycle that helped the US win

1918 Indian Powerplus advertisement.

There were forces at this time Indian’s technology aspirations. preparations for WWI were gearing up, and resources for commercial production limited.

1920 officially in a significant decline in domestic sales to make matters Thankfully by this time, had become a major exporter, to the UK, where events like the of Man TT were dominated by smaller motorcycles.  Franklin’s Irish surely played some in Indian’s efforts to not only Europe’s racing circuits, but aggressively go after more share overseas (a point made moot when introduced a steep import in 1925 to support Triumph, and other local motorcycle

In 1922, the US National Championship officials, motivated by a public over the ever-increasing motorcycle introduced the toned-down 30.50 inch (500 cc) class of racing.  It was a clear attempt to motorcycle performance– as speeds scarily lapping rider advancements.

Indian set-out to dominate Davidson in the small displacement by throwing its engineering staff at the new by developing new, potent engines– where as Harley’s seemed to be to lop a cylinder off their 61 ci, two cam engine.  By 1925, the 4-valve ci (500 cc) powered Indians surpassed the H-D “half-twin,” giving 4 out of 5 US National Championships in their

Indian Power Plus
Indian Power Plus
Indian Power Plus


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