Indian Motorcycle(R). America's First Motorcycle Company by Darwin Holmstrom

By Darwin Holmstrom

«Indian Motorcycle(R): Americas First motorbike corporation» tells the entire tale of Indian,
Americas first heavily produced bike maker, from its begin as a bicycle producer to the acquisition
of the emblem through Polaris Industries in 2011 and the next new Indian bikes.

In the early years of the 20 th century, Indian ruled the worlds racetracks, incomes the logo a global
reputation for caliber, functionality, reliability, and technical innovation, however the once-mighty corporation
fell on difficult occasions and in 1953 used to be compelled to dossier bankruptcy.

who attempted to resurrect it for over part a century. ultimately Polaris, maker of the very hot Victory(R) model
of bikes, bought the logo and published the Chief(R) and Scout(R), types that after back restored Indian
to its rightful position within the motorbike pantheon.

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51 Job:10802 Title:#211581_Indian Motorcycles (octopus) Page: 51 16/12/15 9:05 am SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT The 1930 Chief was one of the most elegant The du Pont brothers hired investment consultant B. H. Cram to assess the initial changes motorcycles on the market; unfortunately, that Hosley had instituted at Indian. In a letter dated March 28, 1930, Cram provided a the market was in complete disarray generally positive report. Cram surmised that manufacturing efficiencies had been achieved because of the Great Depression.

Unlike the Powerplus engine, which featured just one camshaft to operate all four valves, the new Scout engine featured a pair of camshafts, allowing much more versatility in valve timing and The helical-cut gears in the Scout’s primary overlap and duration of valve opening. This enabled Franklin to extract more power from the en- drive were many decades ahead of their time. gine. The Scout motor produced only 11 horsepower, compared to the 16 horsepower generated The system was still state-of-the-art when it by the Powerplus, but the Scout had a wet weight of just 340 pounds, meaning it could get up and appeared on twenty-first-century Indians.

Hosley took the money the company was pissing away on other ventures and used it to institute long-needed upgrades, like improved carburetion on the Chief models. The most significant mechanical upgrade occurred when the bottom-end of the Ace four-cylinder model was completely redesigned so that it used five main bearings instead of three. This had been a major flaw in the four-cylinder engine’s basic design since the first Henderson Four of 1912. The company also upgraded the Ace’s antiquated pocket-valve cylinder heads, improving the combustion chambers that utilized a design not unlike the one used in the soon-to-be-defunct Excelsior-Henderson Super-X.

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