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Lot 326: Indian 61ci Twin

Motorcycle and Motorcars, Bonhams & Butterfields (14 November 2009)

In 1912, Hendee Manufacturing Company was well on their way to becoming the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world with their technologically advanced and reliable Indian Motocycle. The company created their prototypes in 1901 and had only been selling motorcycles to the public for a short ten years. They advanced from offering single cylinder, diamond framed machines with simple atmospheric intake valves from their infancy period to powerful twin cylinder machines with effective front suspension. Indian became the first American motorcycle to win the Auto Cycle Club's Thousand Mile Reliability Trial decisively, and took a 1-2-3 win at the famed Brooklands track in England. Indian motorcycles were winning reliability runs and competition across the globe. Indian produced for 1912, a 30.50 cubic inch 4 horsepower single cylinder motorcycle which was available in the chain drive Tourist Trophy, Regular Model or the Belt Drive model, which the latter was marketed solely to attract buyers who still preferred the simple flat leather belt for final drive. The popular market though was for the 61 cubic inch, inlet over exhaust, 42 V-twin. While Harley-Davidson still used atmospheric intake valves, Indian boasted full mechanical valve actuation. The top model was the Tourist Trophy Model named after Indian's winning performance in the TT races of England. These machines lacked foot pedals, instead featuring a forward action kick starter and foot boards, and could also be fitting with a 2-speed transmission. The Regular Model V-twin was a single speed motorcycle using conventional pedal cranks to start the engine. The front suspension featured Indian's leaf spring fork with had debuted only 2 years earlier but now the fork received a fender tip to keep the rider cleaner. Restored from an original condition Regular Model 61 cubic inch V-twin, the paint finish and nickel plating on this 1912 Indian are absolutely stunning. It is also finished in Indian's new standard color for 1912, a brilliant Indian Red. This Indian motorcycle is presented with a 1915 front fender, a modified chain guard, exhaust system, and Indian Red finish on the magneto magnet and oil tank plunger tube could be easily improved to make this motorcycle a 100 point bike. A Solar carbide headlamp and generator are included in this sale. All of these performance and aesthetic improvements were installed by the original owner in period. Since new, the bike has only been in the care of three different owners. This is a beautiful example of a motorcycle from Indian's Golden Age.

Lot Details
Auction Motorcycle and Motorcars
Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles
Lot Number326
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis number70D767
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors