page updated 17 Dec. 2016
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From the 1962 Death Valley Run, a Chief (looks like early 1950's) with the owner dressed like a native Indian. That is a dog on the seat. Wonder if the dog rode all the way with him?
CONTENTS of THIS PAGE
"Videos of Indians running"
"Before and After Restoration"
"WWII Indian & Harley military motorcycles"
VIDEOS (courtesy of YouTube)
Above shows what goes on inside a 1940's era Indian Chief engine when it is running, less the gasoline and air mixture from the carburetor and less the explosions in the heads which aren't attached here, nor are the high tension leads and spark plugs. Seems this rebuilt 1948 mill is being broken in. Clever. Can anyone tell from the talk which country they are in?
Here is a Youtube video of an immaculate, beautiful dark blue 1953 Chief being started.
In the USA, a supposedly very low mileage (4,800) unrestored 1948 Chief, for sale on E-Bay in Aug 2014.
Another unrestored red 1948 Chief being started and ridden off. Anyone know what country, city?
A real hoot! Ya gotta see this. Kiwi Motorcycles start an unrestored '48 Chief for 1st time in 40 years
The above video from YouTube is mainly about old British bikes in Delhi, the capital of India, being restored there in a back alley, mostly outdoor shop. But look closely and you will see at least one American Indian Chief and a huge billboard ad.
Here is a restored 1947 Chief, somewhere in the world, doesn't look like US lience plate, being started and ridden briskly along the highway. One of the best action scenes of this site.
red 1947 Chief for sale by chrispy350
Alec MacKaye starting up and riding his 1947 Indian in Washington, DC
red 1946 Chief restored by Righteous Cycle
Unrestored black 1946 Chief being started and ridden off.
"Phoeticmuse" of Maine and one of his many old Chiefs, this a 1936 running around.
For more YouTube videos from the Ironwood boys in Maine visit http://www.youtube.com/user/phoeticmuse
1935 frame with 1948 motor. New gear case, Crane single fire, CV carburetor with Dyna Jet, 12 volt Cycle Electric alternator, King Clutch. A great runner.
Videos of an unrestored 1935 Police Chief being ridden in Poland. Looking at the bike you would not believe it would run at all let alone so well. Old Indians are unusual that way, I have seen several unrestored ones that looked like they would need a lot of work and money to run and they started and ran fine! (Meanwhile I have several British bikes and Harleys that look superb but they won't start despite many hours of work.)
Hot Rod pinup gals with very good 1950s style rock song as background music.
Below is an unrestored 1929 Chief, then an unrestored 1939 Sport Scout, then an unrestored 1949 Arrow 220 cc. single, then a bunch of shots of a 1947 Bonneville Chief found in a barn around 2010. Note the shot showing the big hole in the front crankcse and the major crack though the frame. Reason bike has different colored fuel tank on one side from the other is these are separate "split" tanks and someone must have replaced the original left tank with another. (Click on the thumbnail sized images to enlarge them.) Then there is a white unrestored 1950 Chief which was bought and sold by Starklite Cycles in California. Then in the last thumbnails an unrestored 1953 New York police Chief (for sale on Ebay April 2011). Compare to the two restored 1953 Chiefs which follow to appreciate how much effort. time and money goes into a good restoration, and how polishing, chroming and painting can turn an Ugly Duckling into a Swan.
Still more unrestored Chiefs from EBay circa Fall 2012 thru end 2014. These range from 1946 thru 1953. Click on small thumbnail images to enlarge.
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Here are some well restored Chiefs: First is a 1930's Chief I shot at Oley PA May 2012, then a 1948 by IMW and the rest are 1953's.
(not same bike but to give the idea, click to enlarge)
Then a closeup in B&W of a 1934 Four mill taken from the left, then a color shot of the right side of a 1938 - note the nice paint job on the tank.
Next is a 1938 Four in gray and maroon , left side, restord by Krumm's of Texas. Then a 1939 in Orange and cream or yellow, shot from the left rear. This one has chromed front end.
Next is a dark red unrestored 1940 Four.
The next two shots are of a 1941 Four, slightly over-restored; basically the same bike as the unrestored 1940 above, but with 5" X 16" wheels and tires and a lot of hard work and money invested (and a solo seat instead of the usual Chum-Me seat.
Then we have a left side closeup of a 1942 Four engine. there were very few 1942's built. They had the same specifications as the 1940/41's. 1942 was the last year for the traditional Indian Four. Next is a restored, not over-restored, 1940-42 Four seen at the Rhinebeck AMCA rally in summer of 2013. See other pages of this site for later experimental and prototype fours which never saw production.
Next at the rally Barry Brown, another internationally famed restorer of old motorcycles, brought and fired up his Crocker. If you look closely you will see it has a 4 speed H-D gearbox. It reved up much faster than a Knucklehead and sounded like a modern Victory. Impressive, although it vibrated quite a bit at those high rpms.
On the next day Barry rode his 1927 Henderson sidear outfit and was giving a few "demo rides" to passengers around the field. Despite the rust this old beast starts and runs fine. The vintage period sidecar is a nice touch.
There were other nicely restored and ridden Indian Chiefs at the rally, including this blue one and the red and black one:
Here is a 1951 Chief offered on Ebay dec. 2016 that is drop dead gorgeous. Note the front and rear views showing the center stand and the triangular rear crash bars and the square front ones. Whoever designed those back in the day had a good sense of aesthetics mixed with functionality. Note how the exhaust pipe is protected by the rear crash bar. (Not practical to have the pipe where it is for saddle bags but Indian stuck with that from the 1930's until 1952 when a lower straight back pipe similar to a Harley was used. This machine may be a tiny bit over restored but only some anal person in a grumpy mood would object:
Before WW II Indian sold a trike which was called a Dispatch Tow, mostly sold to service stations for use by mechanics sent to fix semi-disabled cars, and if they could not repair fully on site, but were able to get the car running, they drove the car to the service station and towed the trike behind. That is what the big brace over the front fender is for. I suppose if the car would not run they called a tow truck for the car and rode the trike back to the station. Here is an unrestored but original shot at Oley PA by me in May 2012.
After WW II with the flathead V-twin Scout engine discontinued, a few trikes were made for police using the Warrior engine. This one an ex-Detroit Police trike seen at Oley PA in May 2012. It was found in an auto wreckers or a dump somewhere in Michigan. Owned and brought back to life by Wayne Lensu.
1945 Police Chief
1930's Police Four in NY state
Next is a similar police Four, and this is definitely a 1933.
Roswell New Mexico Police Chief from 1947 so-called alien flying saucer crash investigation
This Chief was built in 1946 or '47. Note how the skirted fenders and chain guard, and the different front end gives it a very difference appearance than the 1945 Police Chief in white paint above. This one was in a museum in Roswell. It was on Ebay Fall 2012. If anyone is really interested in aliens and UFOs, including the Roswell saga, and the Rendlesham forest incident over 35 years later in Britain (albeit involving mainly US Air Force men at their Bentwaters-Woodbridge base there), and many other incidents and aspects of the UFO phenomenon, and has not already got a frozen mind on the subject either True Believer in abductions by aliens or total Cynic, I spent 35 years researching and writing a book about it. It ended up at almost 500 pages. The Foreword is by world renown and respected UFO expert Nick Pope (formerly in charge of Britain's real X files dept.) You can buy the book (in e-reafer version or softcover paper, inexpensive) at Aliens and UFOs: Physical, Psychic or Social Reality? Makes a good Xmas or birthday present for smart people with enquiring minds.
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HAS SENT PHOTOS OF THEIR INDIANS, STORIES, INFORMATION and CORRECTIONS. New material is always welcome and appreciated. If anyone recognizes their bike in this site please let me know so I can put your name in as owner. email author and web designer
This site is not the official site of the makers of the current lines of Indian motorcycles, POLARIS INDUSTRIES (V twins in the USA) - They are at www.indianmotorcycle.com - nor INDIAN MOTORCYCLE LTD. (4 cylinder in Edinborough, Scotland)