Video Of The Old Indian Motorcycle Factory In Springfield

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14 Responses to “Video Of The Old Indian Motorcycle Factory In Springfield”


  1. 1 Chip Mar 11th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    It seems to me that they should have been more careful when dropping the engine in the frame. Paint scratches guaranteed. But the video is cool.

  2. 2 Kirk Perry Mar 11th, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Best film of 2009. Seems likes Indian had the (thick spring) compensator sprocket before H-D.
    Amazing piece of film. You see something new every re-run.

    I’d like to see a 1955-57 replica Pan assembled in stages. A Linkert fed Pan motor, 6V, with a manual-timer, all stock style, 4-piece exhaust, spigot heads like OEM. The parts are all available. You could fill two episodes on forensic re-manufacturing of the motors and 4-spd. transmissions. Buying those two components and needing to make them serviceable is still a pretty good deal considering that you’re getting relay-boss crankcases and a decent replica transmission that needs only minor adjustments, for less than you could assembly it buying separate parts.

    Thanks for the show. I’ll post the url on hydra-glide

  3. 3 mortalez Mar 11th, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    lol makes you wonder how indian went under in the first place.

  4. 4 burnout Mar 11th, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    and those guys knew they were on camera!!!!!!!!!!!! aaaah! cool old film. peace

  5. 5 Nicker Mar 11th, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Ya gotta love Flatty motors.
    That much cooing fin just begs to be dressed up and put on display.

    New Indian is missing a bet by not including new-vintage iron in their showrooms.
    What an opportunity to draw in more people.

    But thats just MHO.

    -nicker-

  6. 6 Bobfather Mar 11th, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Now those are real Indian Motocycles.

  7. 7 rodent Mar 12th, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Yeah, Bobfather, yeah!

  8. 8 Otis Mar 12th, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Cool! I guess if had been a teenager in the 50’s, I’d a been lusting after one those!

  9. 9 Lyle Mar 12th, 2009 at 9:02 am

    I’ll take two!

  10. 10 Mike Tomas Kiwi Indian m/c Co Mar 12th, 2009 at 10:51 am

    This filming took place near the end of 1953 with some of the last coming off the production line which I believe to be a last ditch effort to get it on record. There were 2 batches done in 1953 and this bike was from the last batch.
    The compensating sprocket was introduced to the Indian V-Twins in 1950 however their Vertical series engine bikes had this in 1949.
    This work continues on today in real life at Kiwi Indian m/c co building engines from scratch as well as our bike builds plus clients restorations and parts manufacturing. It’s like a bit of the past. Ever since I got my copy from the original filming about 15 yrs ago I thought they were pretty rough just throwing the engine into the frame. I have one of the last 1953’s in my showroom with original 3600 miles on it and everything is factory original on it including perfect condition tires, never been apart. Great bike to document and for historical purposes.

  11. 11 Bobfather Mar 12th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    I wasn’t a teenager in the 50’s and I’m still lusting after an original Indian. No two ways about it, those were bitchin’ rides.

  12. 12 Rocky, ironwigwam.com Mar 12th, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    In late 1953, Clem Murdaugh was called to Springfield to collect money owed to him for his account from the last remaining parts in the courtyard. My father and Clem brought home one of the last 53 80 ci chief engines, NOS and it has been in my garage since 1967. Currently it is being installed in a scout frame

  13. 13 Kirk Perry Mar 13th, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Post some pics of what you have Rocky. We have a section for Indian on http://hydra-glide.com/
    If not, then they’ll make one for Indian. A lot of the AMCA guys are over there anyway. People are spending money on kits and building scoots. Pile over.
    You too, Kiwi, show us some of the scratch built Indians. Bring your tepees. There’s somebody there working on something 24/7.

  14. 14 Kirk Perry Mar 14th, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    3/3/09
    Hey Kirk
    It is always good to hear from you. Building a bike can be challenging but I always enjoy it. It hasn’t stopped being fun yet. I am optimistic about the 3.5 tanks.
    Don Schoeck – Northland Industries – Delaware, USA
    **************************************
    Referring to last weeks report on whether the “new tanks” will be true replicas or merely a changed version of the old tanks.
    We’re standing in between the cogs and gears of the repop clockworks with the repop Harley manufacturers here today. Note: I can not tell the difference between a repop inner (tin) primary and an OEM tin primary. Right down to the peened rivets and satin-black paint finish. That as evidence, and the mind-boggling difficulty V-Twin® overcame to produce the “convex oil line nipple” on their Knucklehead lower spring covers (tin cans), can only mean to me, that the 3.5 gallon tanks are going to be exact replicas of the originals. Perhaps without year specific emblem indents and mounts, nor hand-shift gates, but “foot shift” nameless tanks is all we ever asked for.
    I’ve seen too many parts and improvements over the last 20 yrs. to think differently.
    We hope the old Indians develop into kits.
    IMO, (but oddly, since the Indian Big Twin never had a perfected oil pump, but maybe the Scout did) there would be far more “viewer” support for old Indians than old Harleys, if it became a choice for program televising.
    We really need a Repop organization to protect our one-kit-per-person EPA rights. If we get rolling, I will enlist my short roster of celebrities to convince the governor of California to allow the EPA one-kit for life standard (if we offer to pay a yearly higher carbon print tax).
    Support hydra-glide.com/ and we will get that bill up for a vote if necessary.
    We want to hit the on-ramp of public awareness at about 55 mph as soon as the 3.5 tanks are made available.
    V-Twins 1954-1959 Speedster handlebars have been back-ordered for more than one year. The 1949-53 bars are listed as “call first”. The turnaround time for handlebars is about 18 months and worth the wait.
    The handlebars and tappets that arrive from Taiwan now are (tappets) individually wrapped and packaging is more careful and concise. Items like an “extra” roll pin are already regular issue for the Triangle-T outfit that makes replica steering head locks in Taiwan. Stanley® hinge USA doesn’t even do that.
    So, the moral to this story is that old Indian and Harleys could compete in a build-off of performance.
    Split screen and/or split episodes of the rigid builds can show people the difference and similarities (some borrowed and original ideas) of motorycles they’ve always heard about but never really understood.
    Since money for this type of project this thin, we should go to the deepest, untapped resource available, which would be women who ride Harleys and have video-network inroads already established. :)

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