Steve McQueen’s Indian Scout — Ultimate MotorCycling

13 Июн 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Steve McQueen’s Indian Scout — Ultimate MotorCycling отключены

Steve McQueen’s Indian

1942 Indian Sport

It is an early summer morning and I’m an north of Los Angeles, sliding the Conejo Grade towards The usually sunny coastal is buried under a gloomy metal sky-a downpour imminent. In the movies, this read as grim foreshadowing.

I am on my way to motorcycle collector Daniel and ride his 1942 Indian Scout, once owned by McQueen. I can almost see the legendary auroral blue eyes down from the leaden sky in concern. Don’t run my Indian the back of a Subaru, or I’ll be for you pal, he warns before a sip of Old Milwaukee and vanishing back the clouds.

It’s impossible to an actor more deeply in the sport and culture of motorcycling Steve McQueen. Brando and may co-own the screen rights to iconography, but McQueen was an omnivorous in real life, riding from Husqvarna dirt to his prized vintage Harleys and

In addition to financing and racing in the classic On Any Sunday, McQueen a team of leathernecks that Bud and Dave Ekins in the grueling International Six Days Trial in

Most marquee names dream of trying it today, but routinely raced while he was the paid actor in Hollywood, the droll nom de guerre Harvey to dodge contractual prohibitions and studio execs.

For McQueen, a reform school delinquent who acting as a candy … motorcycles weren’t props to a sham macho image-they his obsession. When he said, I’m not whether I’m an actor who races or a who acts, you believed him.

Schoenewald is the unassuming co-founder of a high technology firm zeal for motorcycles stretches to the day he first laid eyes on a Commando racing across the where he worked as a young

To walk through his sprawling is to straddle the 21st and 20th Downstairs, a small army of and technicians labor over servo drives in an immaculate the size of a basketball arena.

Schoenewald leads me through his collection of over 100 vintage including ultra-rare Nortons, Vincents, and a pair of Von Dutch’s rides, just to spike the

While the sheer scope of aggregation would be enough to the jaw of even the most jaded this is no trophy cave of pretty dust magnets; rides his bikes. Regularly. becomes clear when we outside where the 1942 Indian is waiting for us in the parking

I didn’t buy it for an investment, Schoenewald in a quiet drawl as we walk the Scout’s big, skirted I thought it was very cool it was Steve McQueen’s and I wanted to it.

Even without its Hollywood this Scout would be a preserved example of the level of art that was rolling out of Springfield, in 1942, when a lot of Indian were being shipped to aid in the war effort.

Radiating more elegance than anything spat out of a factory today, the legendary red paint still on the grand bodywork and the chrome like a Klieg light.

the Scout’s elemental controls in an era self-canceling turn signals are can induce a bout of Greatest envy-kick start, rocker clutch, tank shifter, advance/retard grip, unsprung

Who were these men of Olympian Did they also juggle they rode these Spin plates? Tame

Schoenewald theorizes that the superannuated technology appealed to rugged temperament.

While modern riders would at the Scout’s counterintuitive reins, could get on and look like a he says, adding with a This ain’t no Sunday

Perhaps sensing my nervousness at cautionary tutorial, Schoenewald to put me at ease with an anecdote: McQueen bought the Scout noted Indian collector Bob he went to the DMV counter to register the

Obviously not recognizing the superstar, the asked his name while up the form. Steve McQueen, he McQuinn? she asked. No. M-c-Q-u-e-e-n. McQueen. McQuint?

Apparently exchange went on for some before the actor finally up. The pink slip lists the as one Steven McQuenn of Hollywood, This scene took in 1975, one year after starred in The Towering Inferno, for he was paid $12 million-at that the highest salary ever by an actor.

Schoenewald then me through the Scout’s launch a complex mating ritual to prying a nun out of a whalebone corset. the petcock, set the foot clutch, the advance grip, set the choke one click up from the bottom, the throttle halfway, jump on the set the choke one click down the top, roll the advance on, the foot clutch, give the shifter a good shove first and hold onto ….

One false move and the is off. Worried I might the bike over, I’m not kicking enough. Kick it like kicking your sister, advises, demonstrating the proper

The Indian fires up with a

After a few laps around the lot, rewiring my brain so heel/toe clutching while shifting becomes as natural as gumbo with chopsticks in I notice the mid-morning sun has burned the away and the sky has transformed into a blue iris, glaring at me. I take a couple more

On the street I open up the 45-cubic V-twin, uncorking the Indian’s hot-rod rumble and churlish It is an awkward first impression. My and feet are constantly engaged a one-man-band tackling Stravinsky.

the bike begins throwing me a of curve balls. The first nearly knocks me out of the saddle.

to Schoenewald, McQueen put the oversized, Harley-Davidson seat on because he its profile. As a practical matter, the big springs make the perch like one of those kiddy I used to flop around on in the when I was far too old to have any respectable around swing sets.

The sensation is that the Indian and I are headed in different directions. As I into my first left the seat tips to the right, to buck me off highside. Thankfully, I am not to downshift through the bend and can my weight back over the

Once I learn to anticipate eccentricity, the bike corners and surprisingly well.

Despite its visual heft, the Scout light and has a low center of gravity. It accelerates better than I The unsprung throttle doesn’t much getting used to, it has sunk in that I have to roll it off, but the unfamiliar hand advance requires focus to avoid making timing adjustments.

Between my hands, footwork, and keeping an eye on the it becomes apparent that in to ride this thing I will need to subdivide my into five uneasy

As I begin to get comfortable with the dexterity required to shift and the bike, the Indian reveals picaresque tic-the near of a front brake. I am just to enjoy working through the gearbox when McQueen’s admonition comes to pass, but than the foretold Subaru, it is a brake lights I see rushing at me.

My perverted instinct has me grasping for a clutch lever and clamping on the frail front stopper to no result. My synapses recover; I where the clutch is and get on the rear just as I’m able to verify the Tahoe’s registration tags are

The Scout sputters and lurches to a I hurriedly reset the controls as begins backing up behind me and the engine a few kicks. It finally and I shoot off, a swirl of Bernstein ricocheting through my

The heat of the day peaks and we take a on a side road that through an orange grove. We are in the dirt beneath the spread of a tree, discussing how accurately the stubborn charm mirrors its former owner. I ask Schoenewald how he to take possession of the bike. He

Indian Scout

I can feel another anecdote my way.

Schoenewald tells me the was sold at a McQueen estate in 1984 to a doctor. It eventually up in the collection of former Los Angeles publisher Otis Chandler, a of Schoenewald’s. Chandler, knowing his pal the bike, quoted him a price was in the treetops.

Schoenewald countered a much lower figure, insisting the bike wasn’t a penny more. Like two collectors, they bickered for each not wanting the other to get the of him. Finally, the publisher

Come down here and get bike, Chandler huffed the phone. Schoenewald tore a check out of his book and, in a worthy of McQueen, deducted a from the agreed upon amount, ending the check 999.99.

Down in Los Angeles, he the check to Chandler, who looked at it and back on his heels like taken one in his granite jaw. Oh, did I ‘It wasn’t worth a penny Schoenewald feigned. I meant it was a penny under.

For a moment, of McQueen’s Indian was balanced on the of that penny before finally folded the check and over the key. Schoenewald a leaf off the orange tree and Want to get some Mexican

I get back on the Scout and point it the long stretch of highway lunch. I move my knee out of the way, drop into and open the throttle. Watching the old pulse upward, I forget all the I’ve learned and just riding the Indian in all of its cantankerous

In a Nicorette age, this is an unfiltered Camel. As I blow some open farmland looks much the way it did in 1942, I a couple of guys on fully touring bikes, fairings with GPS and pipes … in the of satellite radio.

They like they’re driving living rooms. The contrast me wonder if McQueen would made it in this era of Disney movie stars and computer charisma. I doubt he would as long as he had a few old bikes, a couple and a grease-stained refrigerator full of

We pull up to a roadside Mexican that is tucked into an old market. The dense, peppery of chile verde spills out the sidewalk. We order burritos and a table.

I hand Schoenewald the key, which is made a Briggs Stratton master. Oh, he says, a little surprised. I just leave it in the bike. I want to lose it.

Maybe been living in LA too long, but startles me. Who leaves the key in his bike? Who the key in Steve McQueen’s bike? it occurs to me that almost no one crack the Indian’s code and get it

The bike is its own anti-theft device.

As I into my carne asada, I this is exactly the kind of pit stop McQueen would dug-antojitos fit for an antihero. I can almost see him in the corner on an old vinyl chair-sun-beaten dirty blond locks, intent gaze. He gives us a nod, tips back a can of Old and vanishes into the bright wall.

1942 Indian Scout | Motorcycle Riding

Helmet: Bell Custom 500

Ray Ban Wayfarer

Jacket: Schott Perfecto

Gloves: River Laredo

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