Lot 344: Indian 101 Scout Hill Climber
Motorcycle hill climbing in the United States became a popular spectator sport by 1920 following the decline of dangerous events like board track racing. It was also an activity that allowed the amateur competitor to go against the factory rider although like in most competitions, it was hard to beat experience, talent and factory backing. It was in the 80 inch class that brought out the big guns like Ace, Indian, Harley-Davidson and Excelsior. In the smaller 45 cubic inch class, the regional amateurs and local competitors could hone their skills. This 1929 Indian hill climber reflects the efforts of a well prepared machine for the smaller competition class. Based upon an Indian 101 Scout, this motorcycle undoubtedly began life as a stock road bike but converted thoughtfully for competition life on the hill. The engine is Indian's Series 101 motor of 45 cubic inch displacement, a tough sidevalve motor that has proven its strengths over the decades. Special factory aluminum competition heads set atop the cylinders while internally the engine may hold more secrets of the tuner. The chassis is a stock Indian 101 Scout frame of standard road configuration and shows no major damage from its competition life. Factory hill climber reinforced handlebars set above the forks. Wheels have been swapped out for clincher style wheels to reduce weight for competition and the front brake was removed up front. At the rear, a factory sprocket lowers the gearing for the hill and tire chains help the motorcycle claw up the rugged hillside. The rider is protected from the spinning chain by a factory competition fender. Superbly prepared for hill climb competition, this Indian motorcycle may have been a factory delivered Scout or a motorcycle assembled by a knowledgeable mechanic, and probably used up to the late 1930's. The motorcycle has a time honored patina reflecting its use over several years of competition. It is obvious that this motorcycle is no amateur effort and has survived its wars on the hill unmolested. It would be a welcome addition to anyone's collection. Sold on a Bill of Sale.
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Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles
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