19 March 1999
1912 INDIAN 1,000cc MOTORCYCLE
Engine No. 720726
The legendary Indian Motorcycle Company was set up in 1901 by George Hendee, a bicycling enthusiast. Spurred on by successes in board-track racing, he employed a Swede named Oscar Hedstrom, providing him with financial backing to develop his ideas. Continual improvements led to sales of 1,200 units in 1905, and in less than a year, Indian would develop its first V-twin engine creating the signature feature that would remain synonymous with the Indian Motorcycle Company and most American motorcycles for decades to come.
However, a compromise had to be made between the higher vibration of a twin versus the in-line four of Pierce and the power that it would generate. The company settled on a 61 cubic inch, 1,000cc engine, and in 1909 it bacome the mainstay of production for the company. The original partnership of Hendee and Hedstrom fell apart by 1913, despite the fact that sales had soared to over 31,000 total units. Much of their triumph was a result of the racing successes, including wins at the International Six Days (1,000 mile) Trial and at the Isle of Man T.T.
This 1912 example demonstrates the quality of build and stylish appeal of the Indian motorcycles. With features like the auxiliary pedal starter, leaf spring front suspension, long handle bars and Bosch magneto, the Indian Motorcycle was a well thought out and executed motorbike. This motorbike is presented in correct Indian livery and is reported to be in excellent restored condition. It is eligible for both Antique Motorcycle Club and Horseless Carriage Club events.
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