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mrindian

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President - Starklite Cycle

New Dealership opens in Albuquerque

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Albuquerque’s new Indian Motorcycle dealership opened at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

By 11:30 a.m., Alex Quintana already had bought one of its bikes and was aching to take his shiny new 2015 Indian Roadmaster out for its inaugural spin.

“I may ride to Santa Fe to visit my sister,” he said from the showroom at the 9,000-square-foot dealership on Alameda NE. “I don’t know, (but) I’ll go somewhere.”

The retired State Police captain and motorcycle enthusiast was among the first-day crowd that filled the parking lot of the state’s first authorized Indian Motorcycle dealership. Customers milled the wood-floored showroom, where an array of bikes sat parked in their gleaming chrome glory.

The dealership won’t stock the least expensive of the maker’s 2015 rides — the $10,999 Indian Scout — until early next year, though it is accepting pre-orders. Its current inventory includes the Chief Classic, Chief Vintage, Chieftain and Roadmaster — bikes with MSRPs that range from $18,999-$26,999.

Indian — the country’s oldest motorcycle brand — is in the midst of a renaissance. A storied name with a strong racing legacy, the brand changed ownership several times since its 1901 founding and stalled out on multiple occasions. Polaris Industries, a Minnesota-based motorsports company, purchased Indian in 2011 and relaunched it with new bikes last year.

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Indian Motorcycle salesman Randy Hed helps Today and Carol Calico while the couple check out a Vintage Indian Motorcycle at the dealership on Alameda NE. Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal

Albuquerque fans seem eager to join the revival. Curious onlookers prowled the local dealership for days before it actually opened its doors.

“We had a crowd here (Monday). We had 42 nose prints on the window — we counted them,” said the dealership’s marketing manager, Big Scotty.

Quintana was among those who stopped by Monday and had to settle for a peek through glass. But he came back early Tuesday and quickly worked out the details of his purchase, including the trade-in of one of his Harley-Davidsons.

Cousins and New Mexico natives Mike Gaillour and Louis Herrera own the dealership. Gaillour said Tuesday that they spent more than 15 months getting everything in place. Asked about the customers who turned out opening day, he said “We’re blessed.”

The dealership’s service and retail operations are open Tuesday through Saturday.

New Beginning at end of Indian Bike Trail

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New Beginning at end of Indian Bike Trail

Motorcycle Restoration part of nostalgia trip

BOULDER (AP) — A growing band of once nearly extinct Indians is being resurrected in Boulder, some restored from rusting graveyards while others quietly survived the decades until their time had come again.
Not the red-blooded variety of hos­tiles these, but iron and steel Indian motorcycles built at the old Wigwam factory in Springfield, Mass., before the firm went bankrupt in 1953, leav­ing Harley Davidson as America’s lone motorcycle manufacturer.
“Save a piece of America — restore something,” is how machinist and tool-and-die maker Jeff Grigsby explains why he got into his growing business of restoring the old Indians to better-than-new condition.
Grigsby, born the year Indian went broke, says his customers are a “well-to-do crowd” since his inside-out restoration jobs run $7,000 to $9,000 on the Chiefs, the big 74-to-80 cubic inch V-twin Indians.
Back in the 1950s after Indian went broke, a dollar-short generation of young riders bought up those big, graceful but distressed Chiefs for $150 to $300. They hacksawed the full-skirted fenders into bobtails and destroyed them in street-drag duels with the quicker, lighter British bikes then flooding the market.
Only a few Indians survived.
Grigsby says there are more than 20 of the Indians running around the Boulder area now, ranging from well-worn to concourse condition. They in­clude the rare Indian 4-cylinder ma­chines, mostly the big V-twin Chiefs, and even a 1915 Power Plus twin.
One of those Indian riders is Eldon Arnold, 58, who bought his 1950 80-inch Chief 23 years ago and now has about 60,000 miles on it.
“You can’t wear them out. With a little extra care they’ll run forever. As the years went by, the Indian got more valuable and I hated to go out on the road with it. And at one time, parts were hard to come by. But they’re being duplicated again now,” Arnold said, summing up the nearly three decades since Indian went broke.
Ninety percent of American motor­cycling today is done on Japanese bikes. Grigsby thinks increasing inter­est in the old Indian bikes is because they were American-made and repre­sent a vibrant, classic era in motorcy­cling.
“It’s a study of history, of American engineering,” Grigsby said of the In­dian bikes who battled Harley, Excel­sior, Henderson, Pope and Cyclone for race track and sales supremacy during the golden age of American motorcycle production.
Indian began production in 1901, won the nation’s first motorcycle race (a 10-miler at Brooklyn, N.Y.) in 1902, then entered international Gran Prix racing and swept Britain’s Isle of Man 1-2-3 in 1911.
Every U.S. national motorcycle championship in 1928 and 1929 was won by an Indian.
“A Harley rider looked on an In­dian rider like a racist thing. It was blood for blood back then and Indian still held all the speed records — and that determined the sales of a lot of motorcycles,” Grigsby said.
“The Indian is a rarer breed (than Harleys a desirable unit. People that rode these bikes when they were young now realize they can get one in better than new condition.
“I guess it’s a compensation to give up a gas-eatin’ hog for a piece of clas­sic transportation that gets 60 to 65 miles to the gallon on regular,” Grigsby added.

At 27, Grigsby is an 11-year veteran of motorcycle mechanics. He dropped out of school at age 16 to attend a Har­ley Davidson factory mechanics school and then took a job at a Los An­geles Harley shop.
He took his four-year machinist’s apprenticeship in Boulder with Ed Gitlin at the shop where Grigsby still does his machining trade.Grigsby had balanced, tuned and blue-printed Harley V-twins for sev­eral years before “I fell into a large in­vestment of close to 40 Indian motorcycles three years ago.”
Since then he has restored five of the Indians, with three more under­way for completion in March. He hopes to expand to 12 at a time for the next batch. “Everybody that sees ‘em, wants ‘em.”
Partner in the effort is Jim Arnold, Eldon’s son, who restores the Indians’
instruments, speedometers, switches and does all detail work.
Grigsby says his Indians go through five stages of complete dismantling and reassembly. The final finish and fit is more like that of a hand-built Italian Ferrari than the original, pro­duction Springfield Indians.
Grigsby replaces plain bronze bush­ings with needle bearings wherever possible, Teflon-coats engine parts, mirror polishes combustion chambers and improves on the original lubri­cation system.
If the Indian was such a classic, why did the firm go belly up?
Cycling historians say loss of World War II government contracts when the military opted for the Jeep instead of courier motorcycles and a fatally flawed new British-style engine mar­keted after the war — it consistently blew main bearings — led to Indian’s defeat.
Now, 27 years later, restorers like Grigsby and Arnold at shops scattered across the country are bringing the last remnants of the old Indian line back to showroom condition as Amer­ica’s nostalgia kick moves into the mo­torcycling arena.
And after so many moons, the end of the trail for Indian has become a new beginning.

Editors Note:This reprint is from 1980. Jeff is still active with building musem quality Indian Motorcycles. He is one of many rebuilders who have kept the brand alive!

Easy Rider from the West

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Easy rider from the west

The beautifully designed, smooth-riding Indian Scout had me at hello

 

                It is compact in size, all matte finish with very little of chrome, and
looks as lean as a fit Hollywood actor, though by no means does it
appear to be a weakling. I am talking about the Indian Scout. It is a
retro cruiser in spirit, but you wouldn’t be out of place riding it in a
modern city. What is refreshing to find is that unlike most motorbikes
in the cruiser segment, the Scout does not imitate the venerable
Harley-Davidson. But then, the Indian comes from the oldest cruiser
maker in the world and it has a style all its own.

The Scout is actually the antithesis of a cruiser. What makes it
practical and easier to ride is its straighter seating stance, unlike
the usual laidback posture of the regular cruiser. You have to stretch
your legs, yes, but the foot pegs aren’t at an exaggerated distance. For
us Indians, who are not the tallest people in the world, this is
something to be thankful about. Normally, riding cruisers, I would be on
the tip of my toes while using the brakes and gear shift. Not in the
Scout. Another admirable quality of the Scout is its simplicity. There
is no bling and its ramrod straight design makes it a unique vehicle.

The Scout’s low center of gravity hints at easy maneuverability even in
city traffic. Fire up the engine and the liquid cooled V-twin 1,133cc
engine roars to life. It is not as loud as I would have liked, but then
that is like preferring a certain genre in music, a personal choice. The
exhaust notes will not rattle your neighbor’s windowpanes, but people
will certainly know the Scout has arrived.

The engine responds like a street bike’s; there is no lazy “give me a
second to settle down” pick-up. You would actually need to be slightly
careful and alert because the Indian machine has the cojones to shove
you back abruptly. My advice is: don’t think you are riding a cruiser,
else be prepared for a shock treatment. The Scout is like a young
stallion always ready to gallop recklessly. The higher you rev it, the
more it feels at home. The power response is so addictive that it left
me loath to get off the bike.

Crossing the three-figure mark is child’s play for the bike, and it is
while going in excess of 150 kmph that it starts warming up. Honestly,
my mind had a hard time figuring out what to call this bike. Is it a
cruiser? A city bike? A sports bike? Eventually, I decided not to pursue
the matter further. It is the Scout, let it remain the Scout.

If the hunger of its 100- pony engine was impressive, then its handling
capabilities were even more praiseworthy. The Scout weighs 253 kg,
virtually the same as the SuperLow.
It, therefore, easily waltzes its way through traffic. This bike never
ceases to amaze as its refinement and build quality are almost flawless.
Whether it is making its way through painfully slow traffic or cruising
at high speed, you will feel no vibrations, something that not many
high-end bike makers can promise to buyers. The quality of the Indian
bikes has always been unsurpassed. Because of this, it was expected that
the motorcycle would cost almost double what other expensive brands
cost. But the Scout is Indian’s entry-level bike, and while it is by no
means cheap, no corners have been cut while determining the price tag
either. That speaks volumes about the commitment Indian, or rather the
parent company, Polaris, has for its products.

What usually cripples a cruiser is its turning radius. One has to watch
the traffic, calculate the space you have and then finally make a move.
But in the case of the Scout, it takes curves with ease and the tyres
provide a lot grip.

If I had to crib about something, then it has to be the instrument
cluster and the speedometer. They are too basic and look under-designed.
Plus there is no fuel gauge, which is simply unpardonable. Many riders
may also complain about its being a single seater. However, this hiccup
can be resolved with additional accessories.

Ummm, I still can’t figure out how to categorise the Scout. Is it a city
bike or a cruiser? I guess I’ll never figure out the exact answer. My
encounter with the Scout was nothing short of love at first sight. Its
clean-cut designing, lack of chrome, the matte finish and its compact
dimensions had me at hello. The Scout has a beautiful high-revving
responsive engine that is extremely refined and the build quality is
flawless. What is even more impressive is the lack of vibrations. Though
it is Indian’s entry-level machine, it is certainly the most practical
bike in its line-up and if I had the money, I would buy it with my eyes
closed. I would not even bother about accessories because it is perfect
in itself. 

1947 Indian Chief Roadmaster | History-Making Motorcycles

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The recent resurrection of Indian Motorcycle by Polaris conjures memories of the originals and engenders comparisons of the classics to the new generation.

Larry Van Horn’s 1947 Indian Chief Roadmaster is subtly better than the originals.

The recent resurrection of the Indian motorcycle name by Polaris conjures memories of the originals and engenders comparisons of the classic Indians to the new generation.

At the top of the original Indian product line in its closing years from 1947 to 1953 was the Indian Chief Roadmaster.

It was the model that out-accessorized the base Clubman and mid-range Sportsman variants offered that year. Since the Chief was the only model offered that year, and total production was only 11,849 units, finding a serviceable example can be difficult these days.

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But, once found, if you know what you’re doing, as Larry Van Horn of Monroe, Wis., does, you can not only save that great bike, you may be able to make it better than the original.

Larry Van Horn is a former Suzuki Motorcycle dealership owner and also has many years of experience with automotive body and paint work. His love for classic motorcycles and skill in making machines look beautiful combined when he saw an Indian Chief still in action earning its keep on farm.

Van Horn checked into acquiring the bike and when the deal was done in 2006, he went to work getting it back to its original glory—and a little more.

Original Indians — even the top-of-the-line Roadmaster — lacked a few things that modern motorcycles have. Some affect safety, such as turn signals; some affect rideability like an electric starter; some affect bike longevity and operating status like a tachometer and engine oil temperature gauge.

With some careful reengineering during the bike’s restoration process, Van Horn managed to add all these things, and did so skillfully in a subtle way, so the bike did not lose its original character.

Adding the electric starter was more than just a convenience upgrade; Van Horn explained that he was getting to the age where using the kickstarter made getting the bike going for a ride was more of a challenge than he wanted. Tucked down low and working through the transmission, the electric starter is barely noticeable.

Adding a tachometer was a matter of personal preference. “I don’t push the bike all that hard, but I’m used to having a tachometer, so I added one,” he explained. Again, a Drag Specialties model with a small case tucked down behind the windshield makes the modern upgrade something you have to look for to notice.

“Having to rely on hand signals bothers me. I wanted turn signals, but they had to be consistent with the bike’s design and not overly noticeable,” he said. Again, using vintage style units, sized to blend with the bike’s lines filled the bill.

While those upgrades were carefully melded into the bike’s restoration to go virtually unnoticed to preserve its authenticity, the aesthetic restoration was done to be full-on gorgeous.

The bike was stripped to the frame and all the painted surfaces stripped smoothed and completely re-done with the help of friends and local artisans. A stunning two-tone paint job with hand-painted pin striping, script and graphics makes this Indian a piece of rolling classical art.

Period fringed leather bags and seat are complemented by amazing hand-made studded leather fender skirts front and rear, taking the hallmark deeply valenced fenders one step further.

The 80 cubic-inch, flat-head 42-degree V-twin motor was tuned and thoroughly cleaned, but did not require major mechanical overhaul. The major mechanical components, carburetor and ignition system were cleaned, lubed and tuned to spec, but not replaced with electronic ignition or other modern components.

Van Horn has named his breathtaking Chief Roadmaster “Indian Summer,” a name befitting not only it origins, but its late-blooming beauty and staying power.

Source: 1947 Indian Chief Roadmaster | History-Making Motorcycles

‘Million Dollar Row’ Showcase at Australia’s Moto Expo

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Australia’s debut motorcycle show organized by Troy Bayliss – Moto Expo – will feature something truly unique this year – the “Million Dollar Row.”

This Million Dollar Row showcase will feature over $5 million worth of unique and custom motorcycles at this weekend’s inaugural Moto Expo presented by InsureMyRide.

Located in Hall 2 at Melbourne Showgrounds, the Million Dollar Row will contain 10 motorcycles, including a 1941 Crocker worth over $450,000 courtesy of Harley City. Other special bikes will be the Y2K jet-powered motorcycle and the Virus courtesy of Antique Motorcycles’ John Straw.

The event is organized by Troy Bayliss – a known name in the world of Ducati and World Superbike.

Speaking of the show, Bayliss says “The variety of bikes within MOTO EXPO will capture the eye of motorcycle enthusiasts coming from all over Australia.

“I am really excited about the collection of bikes featured within Hall 2. Million Dollar Row, the Great Race display of Harley-Davidsons and Indians, Simon Davidson’s photo exhibition and cafe racers will create an incredible display.

“The custom Yamaha motorcycles on the Gasolina stand along with the custom Harley Davidson motorcycles on the Kustom Kummune stand along with best bikes from the recent Oil Stained Brain display will also be a major feature within this space.

“One day in the future we may see some of the new bikes being released at MOTO EXPO have the same prestige as the bikes on display within this hall.”

Additional information courtesy of Moto Expo:

Burt Munro’s record-breaking replica of the world’s fastest Indian

Hall 2 will also host Peter Arundel’s 1924 8 Valve Indian Motorcycle, displayed alongside an exhibition of images taken over on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and on Lake Gairdner in South Australia by renowned Australian photographer Simon Davidson.

Arundel set a World Speed Record in 2002 riding the motorcycle on Lake Gairdner, South Australia with a speed of 158.73mph.

The Great Race will display 40 vintage Harley Davidson and Indian Motorcycles including a special selection from the coveted Arundel collection.

The Arundel collection boasts the most comprehensive list of Australian racing Indians motorcycles.

Over 20,000 motorcycle enthusiasts are expected to attend MOTO EXPO Melbourne over the three-days of the event.Burt Munro’s record-breaking replica of the world’s fastest Indian is expected to be a show-stopper. The motorcycle will be housed as part of the Indian display.

Entry into the show also includes access to the Baylisstic Scramble presented by InsureMyRide and Motul and the Australian Motorcycle Finance Head-2-Head EnduroCross presented by Yamaha.

Visitors can expect to see some of Australia’s most successful motorcycle athletes along with entertainment including live street bike stunts, ATV, side by sides (UTV), mini moto, Freestyle Moto X, Trials and more

Source: ‘Million Dollar Row’ Showcase at Australia’s Moto Expo

Mike Wolf’s Big Indian Pick

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Mike Wolfe is known as an American picker. He’s a TV star, author and entrepreneur.

But mostly, he’d tell you, he’s an Indian Motorcycle® enthusiast. He loves them for their history and heritage, and for their ride. His “best pick – ever” (and what got him in the business full-time) was when he scored a treasure trove of Indian® motorcycles at a Pennsylvania farm.

Mike called the farmer about his classified ad, then drove 800 miles and slept in his van in the farmer’s driveway. The next day, the farmer opened two barns, revealing 10 vintage Indian® motorcycles and tons of parts. Mike Wolfe discovered heaven on earth.

In his picking business, Mike encounters antiques of every kind. But his greatest picking passion is Indian® motorcycles. He collects them. Gets them running. And mostly, he rides. He loves dings, dents, scratches and rust. Forget cosmetics or fresh paint. Just ride. After all, it’s an Indian®.

Indian Motorcycle is excited to be working and riding with Mike Wolfe. He’s helping us bring back the passion this iconic brand deserves, and is energized to ride with us into the exciting next chapter of Indian Motorcycle® history.

1933 Indian Four – Jay Leno

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In 1901, bicycle racer and builder George Hendee teamed up with engineer Carl Oscar Hedstrom to build a 1.75 hp single cylinder motorcycle prototype with a revolutionary chain drive. This motorized bicycle met with immediate success, and the 1933 Indian Motorcycle. Indian Motocycle Company was soon formed in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Indian Enfield

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In the 1955 Indian started to import English built motorcycles, and branded them Indian Motorcycles. This was under a five year contract with Royal Enfield, which ran from 1955 – 1959 inclusive. After 1953 the Indian name survived only as the Indian Sales Corporation. The Indian Sales Corporation primarily imported Royal Enfields. These bikes were branded as Indian motorcycles for the American market. The imported motorcycles ranged in size from 150cc to the largest 750cc twin model. One model they imported was the Royal Enfield Bullet. This model was called the Indian Woodsman, and Westerner for the US market. Amazingly this same bike is still in production and is being imported into the United States as the Enfield Bullet.
Now one may ask, how can this be when Royal Enfield went out of business in 1970 ? It is not generally known that the Royal Enfield – after the closure in England – nevertheless went on in another place where the classic already had been manufactured for years. The Royal Enfield was also being manufactured in India. This was owing to the fact that the Indian government had set about purchasing a large number of motorcycles for its police and army in 1955. They needed a solid, economical, maneuverable and reliable motorcycle in order to cope with the miserable roads of the mountainous regions, the heat in the deserts and the humidity of the tropical rain forest. After doing a lot of testing of various brands, the Bullet of the Royal Enfield company was chosen as the most suitable. Thus the Indian government ordered 800 of the 350 cc model in England.
The Royal Enfield company was not able to keep up with the sizable orders coming in from India and a decision was made then to form an independent Indian firm (Enfield India) with British tools in Tiruvottiyur, Madras. There, various Bullet models were manufactured similary to those from England during the 1955 model year. After the closure of the Royal Enfield company, Enfield India was alone in manufacturing the Bullet.
During the 1980’s, the Bullet started being exported to foreign markets, among others, to it’s native country, England, and by the mid 90s the gradually refined classic was for sale in more than 20 countries including Canada and the USA among others. To this day more than half a million Enfields have come out of the modern production line in India, where six different models are being manufactured. On all the models, old traditions like the hand painted golden pinstripes on the tank and the mudguards are maintained. Where on earth did you ever see the like of it?
The Enfield Bullet comes in two versions – a 350 cc and a 500 cc. At the moment Enfield Bullet is available in three variant types: Standard, Deluxe and a Army model. The only difference between the standard and the deluxe models is that the deluxe model has a chrome plated tank, chrome plated mudguards, and chrome air cleaner.
The standard model comes in the colors grey, green, and black. The deluxe model is available in black, red and blue. It is possible to obtain the motorcycle in other colors as well. For both models, an option is available to convert the foot shift to the right side, instead of the British Left Side.
It can be said that everybody stares at the Bullet. Only a few own one. Everywhere you go, you will be turning heads, as people look at your new classic motorcycle. The 1999 Bullet is still a 1955 motorcycle. It’s a rickety ride compared to anything modern. It has huge amounts of character. For just under $4,000, it’s a reasonably priced bike. The Enfield India does have modern hand controls, mirrors, shocks and a seat that works, although, purchasing one of the accessory seats may be more comfortable. The motor is very peppy and has a high amount of torque, for a single. The quality is good, remember they now have 40 years experience building this motorcycle ! Most reviewers relate that overall the bike is very reliable, as well. In an age when we seem fascinated with what is classic, the Royal Enfield works. It’s a classic, hands down. You’ll be the first on the block with one of these. All that is needed, is to add the Indian Script to the tank, and you can claim it is an “Indian Enfield.”
Technical specifications
Engine 4 stroke, air-cooled, OHV
Displacement 499cc
BoreXstroke 84x90mm
Max. bhp 22bhp@5400rpm
Max. torque 3.5 kgm/3000rpm
Compression ratio 6.5:1
Transmission Four-speed gear box
Special features
– Top speed of 125 kmph
– Unique neutral finder lever
– Fuel consumption of 70 mpg
– Stunning black paint finish with gold line on fuel tank
– Tiger-head headlamp casing design
– Pilot lamp for parking
– Unique silencer beat
– Fulcrum lever on main stand for easy parking
– Adjustable rear shock absorbers
For more info please contact the U.S. Distributor:
Classic Motorworks PO BOX 917; Fairbault, MN 55021.
Phone: 800-201-7472. http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com