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

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Steve McQueen’s Indian Sport Scout

Steve McQueen owned an extraordinary array of vehicles including a 1931 Pitcairn PA-8 biplane, a Ferrari 250 GT Lusso, a Jaguar XKSS, a Ford GT40 and a number of motorcycles – including the 1934 Indian Sport Scout you see here.
Although he’s perhaps more famous for his association with Triumph and Husqvarna, McQueen’s love of American motorcycles was never in doubt. His first bike was a Harley-Davidson that was so oily and smoky that it cost him the affection of the girl he had been dating, he also owned a number of Indians including an old custom chopper, a Chief and of course, a Sport Scout.
Steve McQueen's Indian Sport Scout 6In some respects, the Indian Sport Scout was a return to the roots of the Scout model line. The first two generations of the model had been very popular and favoured for their ability on race tracks, at hill climbs and in endurance events.
In 1932 Indian introduced the third generation Scout, it had been developed with cost cutting in mind – and as is often the case when the bean counters get involved, it resulted in a lot of disappointment. The plan was to develop a single frame design and then use it as the base of the Scout, the Chief, and the Four. The issue was that the frame was heavy and cumbersome. This was a major drawback for a nimble, sporting motorcycle like the Scout.
Steve McQueen's Indian Sport Scout 5The public reaction to the new Scout was almost entirely unfavourable and Indian set about trying to rectify the situation as quickly as possible. Two years later they released the new Sport Scout, it had a lighter frame, girder forks, improved carburation and alloy cylinder heads – it addressed the concerns that the pubic had raised with the third generation model and it returned the Scout to its winning ways on the race tracks of North America. A modified Indian Sport Scout would go on to win the first Daytona 200 in 1937, as well as hundreds of less famous races across the continent.
The history of the 1934 Sport Scout wouldn’t have been lost on McQueen, he was an avid motorcycle racer who funded his early acting career by winning local races and living on the prize purses. This Indian was sold from his collection in 2006 to a buyer in London who rode it sparingly and displayed it in his office. It’s now being offered for sale with an estimated value of between £55,000 and £65,000, if you’d like to read more or register to bid you can click here.
Steve McQueen's Indian Sport Scout 7

Steve McQueen's Indian Sport Scout 4

Steve McQueen's Indian Sport Scout 3

Steve McQueen's Indian Sport Scout 2

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Roland Sands x Indian: “Track Chief”

Roland Sands' Indian Chieftain-powered boardtracker custom motorcycle.
The Indian Chieftain is a big motorcycle, designed to soak up the miles on the smooth highways of ‘Murica. The star of the show is the new Thunder Stroke engine, a mighty 111 cubic inch (1811cc) monster pumping out 119 ft-lbs of torque.

It’s a remarkably good-looking motor, and it caught the eye of Roland Sands, the man who can do no wrong when it comes to creating genre-bending customs. Sands has now tapped into Indian’s rich motorsport heritage, and slotted the Thunder Stroke into a vintage-style, boardtracker-inspired build: the Indian Track Chief.
Roland Sands' Indian Chieftain-powered boardtracker custom motorcycle.
There’s so much detail on this bike, it’s hard to know where to start. “The inspiration came from a drag bike rendering that Sylvain from Holographic Hammer sent to me,” says Sands. “I ended up tweaking it into a boardtracker, adding the single sided element and all the detailing. But we retained the spirit of the tank shape, girder fork and frame.”

That single-side rigid frame is a masterpiece, hugging the engine just-so. It’s hand-fabricated from 4130 chromoly steel, finished in black by Olympic Powdercoating.
Roland Sands' Indian Chieftain-powered boardtracker custom motorcycle.
The frame is a perfect match for the black Paughco Leaf Spring Fork assembly, a fascinating contraption designed for customizers who want a vintage look with high-quality, modern construction. Tucked down low on the left side of the fork, near the axle, is a Fox DHX mountain bike shock—a component popular with riders on the World Cup downhill series.

Roland Sands' Indian Chieftain-powered boardtracker custom motorcycle.
“It controls the motion of the front end, and works really well,” reports Sands’ project manager Cameron Brewer. “The compression and rebound dampening of the shock is a perfect match to the rate of the leaf spring.”

Sands: “Considering it was a rigid with a leaf fork, I had nightmares about how it was going to handle. Function wise, it couldn’t have turned out better. I rode the Track Chief all over Sturgis and in the twisties, and was really happy with it.”
Sitting above the frame is a hand-fabricated titanium tank; hidden below the frame is an aluminum belly pan. The internals of the Indian Chieftain engine are stock, but there’s a Roland Sands Design Blunt air cleaner, a high-flow, low-profile fitment that doesn’t get in the way of your leg.
The titanium pipes of the custom 2-into-2 exhaust system follow the lines of the V-twin snugly, and terminate in RSD Slant mufflers. “For this bike, reliability was a top concern,” says Roland Sands. “So we retained stockish elements so it would start every time. The wiring loom was a big problem, but we had some underground help from Indian to strip it down to the essentials.”
Roland Sands' Indian Chieftain-powered boardtracker custom motorcycle.
There’s a see-through RSD Clarity cam cover and a matching outer primary cover too—revealing a custom clutch pressure plate from Barnett. “We told Barnett we were making a one-off primary cover and wanted some high-end billet clutch internals to show off. These are not production parts for either of us, but may be down the road,” says Brewer.

Roland Sands' Indian Chieftain-powered boardtracker custom motorcycle.
Track Chief sports a serious turn of speed on the road: it’s considerably lighter than the 827 lb. Chieftain that donated its engine. “We haven’t weighed the bike,” says Brewer. “But two of us did pick the Indian up by the wheels—if that’s any gauge of the actual weight, we’d guess it’s in the 400-500 lb. range.” Sands himself adds: “The pile of removed parts is massive!”

Roland Sands' Indian Chieftain-powered boardtracker custom motorcycle.
The handlebars are welded to the upper triple: allowing Sands to make very narrow bars, and eliminating the use of risers. (“They are basically clip-ons—without relying on a pinch bolt.”) RSD Traction Grips with a custom bronze anodized finish add to the vintage look.

As we all know, wheels are critical to the boardtracker look. And here we’ve got 21” x 3.5” lightweight RSD Del Mar rims—with the same bronze finish as the grips. They’re shod with Dunlop Elite 3 tires, which are conveniently available in a 120/70-21 size for custom builds. Stopping power comes from Performance Machine calipers and Brembo cylinders, and the rear sprocket and drive unit come from Gregg’s Customs.
Roland Sands' Indian Chieftain-powered boardtracker custom motorcycle.
Paint is low-key: a classic Indian red and black combo, applied by Hot Dog Pinstriping, with gold leaf for the oversized logo on the raw metal tank.

It’s not the kind of machine that will find its way back into Indian’s catalog any time soon. But the burgeoning cool factor of America’s oldest motorcycle brand just stepped up a notch—or three.
Roland Sands Design | Indian Motorcycle
Image below courtesy of Barry Hathaway.

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Roland Sands riding his Indian Chieftain-powered custom, 'Track Chief'. Image by Barry Hathaway.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Indian Scout by Analog Motorcycles

New from Analog Motorcycles: a custom 1940 Indian Scout
With all eyes on Indian Motorcycle’s relaunch of the iconic Scout, it’s refreshing to see vintage examples vying for attention too. And this eye-catching 1949 Scout from Analog Motorcycles should have no trouble stealing a little limelight.

Analog’s Tony Prust stumbled upon the bike while chasing up another lead. “A friend and I headed north to take a look at a Kawasaki W1,” he explains. “While we’re there, we see a rolling chassis and a pile of parts sitting on a bench in the corner. It was a 1949 Indian Scout with a title that the owner had had for seventeen years.”
New from Analog Motorcycles: a custom 1940 Indian Scout
“He’d several projects going in his shop, and his friends gave him a hard time about the Indian, saying that he was never going to finish it.” After some negotiation, the owner finally relented. “It was pretty far beyond restoration quality,” says Tony, “but had most of the ingredients needed to build a motorcycle.”

The 1949 Scout was built around a 440cc vertical twin in a plunger-style frame. According to Tony, many experts consider it to be the bike that put Indian out of business. “They bought the design from a European company and put it into production without much testing.” (Bonhams has a 1949 Super Scout listed on their site, with a great little history lesson.)
New from Analog Motorcycles: a custom 1940 Indian Scout
Given the plunger rear end, a bobber-style build seemed obvious. But Tony had higher aspirations for the little Scout, and decided to create a ’60s and ’70s-era race replica. The first step was getting the motor into a better chassis, so Tony called up Randy and Karsten at Frame Crafters in Union, Illinois. “After chatting with them for a bit and realizing how obscure the engine was, we decided to modify a Track Master-style frame that they had in-house. This was the go-to chassis for many racers back in the ’60s & ’70s.”

It took some shoehorning, but Frame Masters managed to squeeze in the Scout’s engine and transmission. Analog then installed a set of vintage Betor forks, matched to modern Gazi shocks, and a new wheel set: TZ750 hubs laced to 18” aluminum rims.
New from Analog Motorcycles: a custom 1940 Indian Scout
With the rolling chassis sorted, the engine was next on the list. Frame Crafters recommended Bill Bailey of ZyZX Vintage Motorcycles: an ex-racer who had piloted old Indian Scouts and Warriors. “Bill had done a lot of racing and testing, and discovered the engine’s weaknesses and ways to improve it.”

During the rebuild the engine was punched out to 500cc with a hand-cut billet cylinder. The electrical system was converted to 12-volt with an electronic ignition, and the oil cooling system was redesigned and hooked up to a new oil tank.
New from Analog Motorcycles: a custom 1940 Indian Scout
Next up was the Scout’s bodywork. Tony shaped bucks of the tank and tail sections out of Styrofoam, and sent them off Pavletic Metal Shaping to hand-build aluminum versions. Pavletic also handled the aluminum fairing—based on a wire frame template that Tony mocked up.

Turning to the finer details, Analog fabricated a new exhaust system, terminating in Cone Engineering Stubby mufflers. Tony also fitted Tarozzi rear-sets, with levers that fold out of the way of the kickstart. (Tony lists the redesigned kickstart lever as one of the trickiest parts of the entire project). All the plumbing was replaced by brass lines and braided stainless tubing. The speedo is a one-off from Seattle Speedometer, and Free Form Designs handled the speedo bracket, rear sprocket and oil manifold.
New from Analog Motorcycles: a custom 1940 Indian Scout
Much consideration went into the final finishes: “The plan was to do raw aluminum, but after seeing a lot of motorcycles coming out in recent months with the same look, I opted to give it more color.” Analog “Scotch-Brited” all of the aluminum bodywork before clear-coating it. Regular Analog collaborators were called in: Kiel of Crown Auto Body for paint, Brando for pin striping and gold leaf, and Art Rodriguez of Rods Designs for the seat’s leatherwork.

Despite the race-inspired looks, the Scout is fully street legal thanks to LED head and taillights. “To keep it in race trim I had Mike Ardito form brass covers to go over the headlight and taillight. While he had the bike, he also whipped up the front fender.”
New from Analog Motorcycles: a custom 1940 Indian Scout
With parts from every corner of the globe, Analog decided to call the bike the Continental Scout. “The bike was designed entirely by Analog Motorcycles,” says Tony, “but it was my vision to go beyond some of my fabrication abilities—so I called on skilled professionals to achieve the final product. It is without a doubt the most beautiful motorcycle I have created so far and I am extremely proud of it.”

And so you should be, Tony. Now please get cracking on that Kawasaki W1.
Photography by Whiplash Racing Media. To see more of Tony Prust’s work, visit the Analog Motorcycles website.
Full Build Sheet
Track Master style frame made by Frame Crafters
All aluminum tank, seat and fairing designed by Analog and formed by Pavletic Metal Shaping
Brass light covers and fender formed by Mike Ardito
Polishing by Mike’s Polishing, Rodsmith, and Analog
Engine built by Bill Bailey of ZyZX Vintage Motorcycles
Engine has hand-cut billet cyclinder, 12 volt conversion and Dyna III electronic ignition.
Carburetor: Amal 928
Exhaust custom made by Analog with parts and stubby mufflers from Cone Engineering
Custom-made oil tank with internal plumbing made by Chassis Services
All plumbing designed and made by Analog
Paint and clear coat by Kiel of Crown Autobody
Gold leaf and pin-striping by Brando
Seat by Rod’s Designs
Magura controls
Speedometer designed and rebuilt by Seattle Speedometer
Tarrozi rear sets
Betor Forks and triples
TZ750 hubs with custom detailing by Analog
Spokes and rims made by Buchanan’s
Speedo mount, rear sprocket and oil manifold machined by Free Form Design
Gas cap by Crime Scene Choppers
Piaa LED headlights
Radiantz puck LED taillight frenched into seat hump
All custom electrical – battery and fuse block under seat hump
Custom made bar switch by Analog
Modified GSXR windscreen
Maund Speed Equipment velocity stack
Avon Roadrider tires
All custom made cables by Ed Zender at Morrie’s Place
Extremely strange and difficult to design custom kick starter lever (version 5) by Analog
Top oiler lines made by HEL brake lines

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

1949 Indian Arrow 149

49 Indian Arrow 7
When Clayton Schaefer from Street Spirit Cycles received a phone call from a customer asking whether he would “cafĂ© my Indian?” his first thought was “there’s no way, it would be a sacrilege!”. He just couldn’t imagine taking the sawzall to a piece of motorcycle history. “But as we went back and forth I learned that we weren’t just talking about any Indian”, says Clayton. ”We were talking about the Indian that bankrupted the company: the slow, awkward, 213cc cousin of the beloved big twins”. You see, the Arrow 149 was one of the last bikes to roll out of the original Indian factory floor before they went out of business. It seems the development costs and teething problems of this little motorcycle may have actually been the final nail in the coffin. So with that in mind Clayton took on the job – but decided to leave the sawzall alone.
49 Indian Arrow 3
After Clayton took a good look at the bike he determined that it had been modified and “restored” at least once already, and that it’s value as a collector’s piece was probably pretty low as a result. “To be on the safe side, we agreed on a build that would preserve all the components that came on the bike, leaving the frame intact and unmodified. This created some interesting challenges, because normally I wouldn’t think twice about welding a bracket here or cutting off an offending tab there in the course of setting up a bike.”
49 Indian Arrow 149 4
“By far the most complicated piece was the mounting bracket for the rearsets, which had to bolt to the only available hole in the frame in the tiny space in front of the rear tire below the battery box, clearing the chain, centre stand, exhaust, and transmission case, and leaving enough room for proper operation of the shifter and brakes. The way the bracket is shaped, rider weight goes down onto the side rails of the frame rather than depending on the single fastener through the tube.”
49 Indian Arrow 149 8
“The actual rearsets consist of a mix of handmade parts and pieces scavenged from other builds, like the shifter linkage ball joints from a GS450 and the passenger peg mounts from a Ninja 250.
On the hand controls, the original Indian had a pretty funky setup – big high cruiser bars that didn’t match the diameter of any available on the market today. We ended up going to more common 7/8″ standard, but to preserve the vintage look and feel of the bike, we used handmade solid brass risers and levers. The ‘mustache handlebar’ creates a nice low riding position and makes the bike look more like plausible period mod.”
49 Indian Arrow 5
“The carburetor is a Dell’Orto remote float unit with a velocity stack and gasses exit through an open header. It has a points and coil setup that replaced notoriously unreliable ignition on the original bikes, and it’s been converted to a solid state voltage regulator and a sealed lead acid battery. Headlight is original with new switchgear, and the tail light is from the Harley aftermarket.”
“Side covers have been resealed, which improved the oil leak situation considerably, but I’m pretty sure these bikes leaked oil when they were brand new so there’s only so much you can do.
Other than that, we just cleaned her up and removed as much unnecessary junk as possible to get the weight down and improve handling. I know at least one person who commutes daily on a ’40s Indian, but it’s probably best to save it for those sunny afternoons when you have nowhere in particular to be.”

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