USA Ironhorses

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  1. DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    I've been into motorcycles since I was about 8 or 9 when my Dad bought me a metallic blue Honda Z50 mini-bike. Six or seven years later and I was hopping onto a few bulky Honda 750 C's.

    Come the age or 21 I met up with my first Made In the USA Ironhorse: a Harley-Davidson. From there I never looked back to "Jap Scrap."

    Harley is an old manufacturer of motorcycles, being incorporated in 1903, but another American company beat them to it by 2 years: Indian Motorcycles, Est. 1901.

    Other US bike companies entered the scene (as well as British companies) but for the US & Canada it was US Made Indians and Harleys.

    I love the vintage bikes, especially ones from the 40's and 50's, and this thread will be like a "then and now" journey as the motorcycle evolved.

    This first segment will deal with the Indian Motorcycle Company. I'll give some brief historical details but won't be going into the specs of each bike posted.

    Set 1. Indian Motorcycles

    1. Carl Oscar Hedstrom, Indian Motorcycles co-founder, posing with a prototype Indian in 1901.
    1901 Indian Camelback Prototype.jpg

    2. A 1903 Indian Camelback (restored). Note gas tank located on rear tire fender.
    1903 Indian Camelback Single - restored.jpg

    3. A 1906 Indian Camelback Single (one cylinder)
    1906 Indian Camelback Single - 1.jpg

    4. A 1907 Indian tri-car with a sedan chair.
    1907 Indian Tri-Car With Sedan Chair - 1.jpg

    5. Same ^
    1907 Indian Tri-Car With Sedan Chair - 2.jpg

    6. Same ^
    1907 Indian Tri-Car With Sedan Chair - 3.jpg

    7. A 1909 Indian Light Twin - 5 Horsepower
    1909 Indian 5-horsepower Light Twin - 1.jpg

    8. Same ^
    1909 Indian 5-horsepower Light Twin - 2.jpg

    9. Same ^
    1909 Indian 5-horsepower Light Twin - 3.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    Indian motorcycles were produced from 1901 to 1953. They were manufactured in Springfield, Mass.,USA. at first under the name Hendee Manufacturing Company and then under the name Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company beginning in 1928.

    Indian motorcycles were popular racing bikes and beat out all others in 1911 during the Isle of Man Trophy derby. During the 1910's, Indian motorcycles became the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world.

    Set 2. Indian Motorcycles


    1. Near stock 1911 Indian 4HP Single.
    1911 Indian 4-horsepower Single - 2.jpg

    2. Same ^

    1911 Indian 4-horsepower Single - 3.jpg

    3. Same ^
    1911 Indian 4-horsepower Single - 4.jpg

    4. A 1911 Board Track Racer with factory lowered handle bars.
    1911 Indian 4-horsepower Single Board Track Racer - 2.jpg

    5. Same ^
    1911 Indian 4-horsepower Single Board Track Racer - 3.jpg

    6. Same ^
    1911 Indian 4-horsepower Single Board Track Racer - 1.jpg

    7. A 1914 1000cc Indian Big Tiwn.
    1914 Indian Big Twin 1000cc.jpg

    8. The 1914 Hendee Special (along with hedstrom, Hendee was the other found of the company).
    1914 Indian Hendee Special - 1.jpg

    9. Same ^
    1914 Indian Hendee Special - 2.jpg

    10. Same ^
    1914 Indian Hendee Special - 3.jpg

    11. Same ^
    1914 Indian Hendee Special - 4.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    The company, founded in 1897 by George M. Hendee grew out of him being a bicycle racer with a desire to manufacture bicycles. Three years later, Hendee was joined by Hedstrom, another former bicycle racer, to design and produce bicycles.

    In 1901 the two men designed a single cylinder, chain driven, gas operated bicycle - now a motorcycle. By 1902 this early design was available to the public.

    In 1904 the company started to use their signature deep red paint for their bikes.

    Set 3. Indian Motorcycles

    1.
    1916 Indian Powerplus 1000cc - 1.jpg

    2.
    1916 Indian Powerplus 1000cc - 2.jpg

    3.
    1916 Indian Powerplus ad.jpg

    4.
    1921 Indian 8-horsepower Powerplus - 1.jpg

    5.
    1921 Indian 8-horsepower Powerplus - 2.jpg

    6.
    1921 Indian 8-horsepower Powerplus - 3.jpg

    7.
    1925 Indian Scout 600cc.jpg

    8.
    1927 Indian Scout 45 - 1.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    Co-founder of the company, Oscar Hedstrom, left the company in 1913 due to business related disagreements and then in 1916 George Hendee resigned.

    Sales remained high but when World War One struck most 1917-1918 Indian motorcycles were produced for the US military. Dealers were left starved and began to turn to Indians competition - Harley-Davidson - which took over Indian's #1 position in sales and production in the early 1920's.

    Set 4. Indian Motorcycles

    1. 1928 Indian Scout
    1928 Indian 101 Scout - 1.jpg

    2. Same ^
    1928 Indian 101 Scout - 2.jpg

    3. Same ^
    1928 Indian 101 Scout - 3.jpg

    4. Same ^
    1928 Indian 101 Scout - 4.jpg

    5. Same
    1928 Indian 101 Scout - 5.jpg

    6. A 1928 Indian 250cc Prince.
    1928 Indian Prince 350cc.jpg

    7. An Indian 1938 Scout 101.
    1931 Indian 101 Scout - 2.jpg

    8. A 1931 Indian 402 boasting a 1266cc engine.
    1931 Indian 402 1266cc.jpg

    9. A 1935 Chief.
    1935 Indian Chief - 1.jpg

    10. Same ^
    1935 Indian Chief - 2.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    The Indian Motorcycle Co. began to see a sharp decline in sales during World War Two. Designs that they offered to the US Army were turned down in favor of the lighter and less expensive Harley-Davidsons and some British motorcycle manufacturers.

    Set 5. Indian Motorcycles

    1. 1936 to 1941 Indians.
    1936 Indian.jpg

    2.
    1937 Indian 437 1265 cc 4 cyl.jpg

    3.
    1938 Indian Sport Scout 750cc - 1.jpg

    4.
    1939 Indian Four.jpg

    5.
    1940 Indian 4 cylinder -1.jpg

    6.
    1940 Indian 4 cylinder -2.jpg

    7.
    1940 Indian Scout  - Shore Patrol - 1.jpg

    8.
    1940 Indian Scout  - Shore Patrol - 2.jpg

    9.
    1941 Indian 4 Cylinder Police.jpg

    10.
    1941 Indian 741 Military Scout Steve McQueen.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    A group headed by Ralph Rogers purchased a controlling interest in the Indian Motorcycle Company in 1945.

    Several Indian models, including the Scout, were discontinued and during this time the front fender Indian-head light was introduced.

    Set 6. Indian Motorcycles

    1. Scouts, starting in 1941.
    1941 Indian 741 Scout Military - 1.jpg

    2.
    1941 Indian 741 Scout Military - 2.jpg

    3.
    1941 Indian 741 Scout Military - 3.jpg

    4.
    1942 Indian Chief 1200cc 2 cyl Military.jpg

    5. An Indian 1942 4-cylinder motorcycle.
    1942 Indian Four Cylinder.jpg

    6.
    1944 Indian Scout - 1.jpg

    7.
    1944 Indian Scout - 2.jpg

    8.
    1944 Indian Scout - 3.jpg

    9. A 1200cc Indian Chief.
    1946 Indian Chief 1200cc - 2.jpg

    10. Same ^
    1946 Indian Chief 1200cc.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    In 1949 the production of Indian motorcycles nosedived. The company was going bankrupt and production of these iconic motorcycles stopped in 1953.

    Set 7. Indian Motorcycles

    1. A 1946 Indian Mighty Chief.
    1946 Indian Mighty Indian Chief.jpg

    2. The 1947 Indian Chief.
    1947 Indian Chief - 1.jpg

    3.Same ^
    1947 Indian Chief - 2.jpg

    4. Same ^
    1947 Indian Chief - 3.jpg

    5. Same ^
    1947 Indian Chief - 4.jpg

    6. A 1948 Indian Chief.
    1948 Indian Chief - 1.jpg

    7. Same ^
    1948 Indian Chief - 2.jpg

    8. Same ^
    1948 Indian Chief 348.jpg

    9. A 1949 Super Scout.
    1949 Indian Model 249 Super Scout.jpg

    10. An Indian Blackhawk Chief, 1950.
    1950 Indian Chief Black Hawk.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    In 1953 the Indian Motorcycle Company rolled out the mighty Roadmaster. This bike was the last of the line for Indian.

    Set 8. Indian Motorcycles

    1.A 1953 Roadmaster.
    1953 Indian Roadmaster - 1.jpg

    2. Same ^
    1953 Indian Roadmaster - 2.jpg

    3. Same ^
    1953 Indian Roadmaster - 3.jpg

    4. Same ^
    1953 Indian Roadmaster - 4.jpg

    5. Same ^
    1953 Indian Roadmaster - 5.jpg

    6. A 1953 Scout. 1953 Indian Scout.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    The production of Indian Motorcycles under the legitimate Indian brand name didn't happen again until 1999 but the company filed for bankruptcy once again in 2003.

    It wasn't until 2011 when the Indian motorcycle again went into production via a company called Polaris Industries. The production of newly designed Indians hit the market 2 years later.

    And that will bring us into the next chapter of USA Ironhorses ~ Indian Motorcycles.

    The next segment coming soon :).
     
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