Showing posts with label Indian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indian. Show all posts

Indian Four

Indian Four 1940s American classic motorcycle

The Indian story started in 1901 - in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. It continued until '42 - and the outbreak of the Second World War. Originally called Hendee, the Indian Motocycle Company came into being in '23. And, no, that is not a typo! One of Indian's most iconic machines was the succinctly-named Four. As the name suggests, its engine sported four cylinders. They were arranged in a longitudinal inline-four configuration.

Top speed for the Four was 90mph. Pretty quick, in the early Forties. The Four's side-valve set-up - 2 per cylinder - gave 40bhp, at 5,000rpm. The longitudinal layout meant overheating could be an issue, though. Cooling air struggled to find its way to the rear pots.

The Four looked every inch the classic American motorcycle. The fenders' rakish lines were pure Indian. Certainly, the bike had nailed down the 'laid-back' custom look. Styling-wise, the solo saddle, front forks and straight exhaust perfectly complemented the downward diagonal of the top frame rail. Comparisons cannot help but be made with arch-rival Harley-Davidson. But - complete with its in-line motor - the Indian Four was every bit as glamorous as a motorbike from Milwaukee. V-twin fans may conceivably disagree, of course!

Indian Powerplus

Indian Powerplus American vintage motorcycle

So far as Indian was concerned, its Powerplus model was a cut above other motorcycles. The American company's customers clearly agreed. Sales-wise, the Powerplus was a soaraway success. Between 1916 and '24 - the span of its production run - occasional modifications were all that were required.

The Powerplus' 998cc engine produced 18bhp. That gave a top speed of 60mph. As a result, Indian entered the Powerplus in the 1911 TT. It vanquished all comers. Indian collected a clean sweep of podium places. The firm broke long-distance records, too. In '14, 'Cannon Ball' Baker shot across America. It took him 11 days, 12 hours, 10 minutes ... precision-timing, back then!

But, the Powerplus did not just perform well. In design terms, too, it impressed - clad in a mantle of Indian red. Its fuel tank was embellished with the 'Indian' scripted logo - in appropriate gold paint. Viewed today, the swept-back handlebars were a vintage objet d'art. Throughout, old school engineering was in artful abundance. Hours could be spent taking in the visual delights of the Indian Powerplus. Almost as many, in fact, as it took it to traverse the States!