1947 Indian Motorcycle Restoration

indian47a

indian47b

A 1947 Indian Chief Motorcycle restored with a lot of love and passion by Mike Tomas at Indian Kiwi Motorcycles in California.

Priceless!

Nothing else to add…

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29 Responses to “1947 Indian Motorcycle Restoration”


  1. 1 Dave Blevins May 14th, 2009 at 7:03 am

    An absolutely beautiful machine. Very well done!

  2. 2 Jeff Nicklus May 14th, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Beautiful job Mike!

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  3. 3 FUJI May 14th, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Well done. I sit here for several minutes taking it all in. Impressive ! Better than when it was new.

  4. 4 Conrad May 14th, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Still do not find anything special about those bikes except the engines and seats.

  5. 5 LENNY SINNET May 14th, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Mike another great motorcycle Looks good. Kiwi is the only company that has a true modern day manufactured Indian Motorcycle and the only company that deserves the name Indian. Keep up the good work…

  6. 6 Grayhawk May 14th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    There is still a lot of good original Indian people out there and Mike is defintely one of them putting tremendous effort and dedication to the brand. Great job. For those that did not see it look back at the late 30′s Indian replica in the archives also a KIWI effort.

    Conrad give it a bit of time you will see more merit as time goes by.

    IMHO opinion all up and coming bikers, builders, enthusiats, etc. should reflect through the past, live the present and envision the future. A lot of good ideals deemed from the past and new concepts a coming from young minds.

    Worth all involved to make a trip to Barbers Museum, or Maggie Valley, WTT, or the many others and just see from wince it all came and progressed.

    Again never saw a motorcycle I did not like something about.

    Kudoos Mike and Company

    Grayhawk

  7. 7 Frank338 May 14th, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Very nice….I have a ’47 that needs some TLC, wonder what it cost to make it look like Kiwi’s?

  8. 8 rocky May 14th, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Kiwi Mike is a legend in his own time and is always willing to help out an Indian uprising at BUB

  9. 9 Ralph @ James Gaskets May 14th, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    If we not careful, we’ll give Mike a big head! Seriously, anyone who knows Mike knows he’s humble as well as extreamly talented. Great Job, Mike… as always… See you this August…

  10. 10 Nicker May 14th, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Conrad,

    RE:
    “… do not find anything special about those bikes except the engines and seats…”

    Ya gotta look at the whole package, not just the individual components..
    And then realize that this scooter was designed as an OEM product. Not a custom project.

    To me, that’s what makes it “special.”
    It’s a piece of “Industrial Art” that was produce in a time when such things were…. “true Art.”

    And Mike has captured and embellished that concept without destroying that magic.

    It’s a….. “thing of beauty and a joy forever” …. for what it is, what it represents, and how it was executed.

    Thanks Mike.

    -nicker-

  11. 11 jatinder pal May 15th, 2009 at 12:11 am

    Always wanted a Indian in my garage….but couldnt afford it..maybe very soon…anyways a very good looking bike.

  12. 12 Conrad May 15th, 2009 at 2:08 am

    Oh I am damn sure not saying I dont like the job he did in the restoration. I just do not understand the hype for Indians. Cool they were the “first” motorcycle and cool they have long, swoopy fenders and a spring seat as their trademark. Anyone could have done that, but I still find them to be ugly no matter how cool the mechanical side of them is,

    Good Job though Mike!

  13. 13 Lyle May 15th, 2009 at 7:39 am

    They weren’t the “first” motorcycle in the USA or anywhere but in their day, they were one of the top brands. The nice thing about them is that you can still ride them on modern highways at speed just like a modern bike. Although they have some limitations, they are very rugged bikes. The swoopy fenders didn’t come until 1940, prior to that is when Indian had their real legacy.

  14. 14 madpuppy May 15th, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Grayhawk said : “IMHO opinion “. lol, I ask Grayhawk if he also says rpm per minuet ? LOL

  15. 15 Ski Maslowsk, Avon Tyres May 15th, 2009 at 10:08 am

    As usual, anything Mike puts a wrench to comes out perfect. Well done Mr. Tomas!!

  16. 16 Grayhawk May 15th, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Madpuppy, My fast two finger typing skills sometimes entangle with my babbling, it is probably an age thing. No excuse we should all probably proof read what we write before we hit the submit button for more than one reason. Thanks lol

    Grayhawk

  17. 17 Jeff Nicklus May 15th, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Mike,

    I don’t care what anyone here says …. if you need somewhere to store the bike or better yet someone to ride the bike ….. I AM YOUR MAN!

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  18. 18 Grayhawk May 15th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    http://www.bikeexif.com/kiwi-indian-big-chief

    Even though I like my big fendered 41 Chief and the late model restore above you gotta see pleasure in the linked hardtail pingback listed and pictured right above with leaf front end, cool.

    Looks like a early Flathead on Steroids.

    Grayhawk

  19. 19 Doc Robinson May 15th, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    … “do not find anything special” – what were you looking for? Indian versus Harley-Davidson spurred competition both in the marketplace and on the race track for many years. The Indian Motocycle Company’s contribution to US motorcycle history is immeasurable. As for “special”, Indian motorcycles were truly state-of-the-art from many years with innovations like the first electric starter on any motorcycle which was introduced in the 1914 model year. That is not a typo …1914 is correct. Onya Mike!

  20. 20 Lyle May 15th, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Or swing arm rear suspension around the same time.

  21. 21 Gina Woods May 16th, 2009 at 1:54 am

    Mike – Awesome job as always …..you bring history to life!!!
    You’re work is bar none …you not only create a master piece, you create a LIFESYTLE!
    Remeber When?

  22. 22 Mike Kiwi Tomas, Kiwi Indian M/C Co May 16th, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Classic Indians have a certain elegance about them. I started working on them over 30 yrs ago because I was attracted to them however they were the pre skirted fender era Indian’s. Over time the skirted fenders grew on me and as I aged I admired their graceful lines. After having designed and engineered over 2000 different part number for Indians and understanding the old timer engineers of what they were up to back in the day, I began to admire Briggs Weaver whom was Indian’s Chief designer. In his day he was a highly recognized designer but today no one knows of Brigg’s and what he truly brought to m/c’s and automotive design. Even amongst the auto designers of the day he was highly respected. Brigg’s Weaver is one of my hero’s and I hope through what I do I can bring attention to this great man. Thank you Mr weaver for bringing a true timeless peice of art to us to enjoy. Classic Indians, timeless beauty

  23. 23 Keith May 18th, 2009 at 9:57 am

    As usual, an incredible job on an iconic Motorcycle!
    I dig those Indians!

  24. 24 Tami Smith May 18th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Like I said, Yankiwi… that bike is pretty! You do what you do – beautifully!

  25. 25 joe dirt May 20th, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    i met mike one time at davenport when i was considering buying an indian. he was very nice to me and spent a lot of time. i was fortunate enough to win a small state lottery and was able to buy a 47 chief basketcase. mike took many, many phone calls from me and always had the patience when i was struggling to restore my indian. i now have a beautiful indian that will be something rare and unique that i can hand down to my son.

  26. 26 Young Scout Jun 8th, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Nice Chief.

    Hey is it true that Kiwi Indian has sold its parts business to Klock cycles in South Dakota?

  27. 27 Gustav Dec 31st, 2009 at 3:37 am

    I just picked up a 48 Chief and I can’t wait to get it together!!
    I visited Kiwi some months ago when I thought I buy one off his floor.
    He wasn’t there that day, but a nice woman showed me and my buddy around.
    I called there a few days ago after purchasing my 48 from Nor. Cal.,
    and I asked about the cost of work at Kiwi.
    $95/hr!!!!
    I love Indians and motorcycling, but c’mon man, gimmie a f****n break!!
    Does anyone know a restorer in So. CA who won’t see to it that you’re buried in a paupers grave for working on your bike?

    G.

  28. 28 Anneke Aug 10th, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Dear Indianfans,about 2 years ago I saw (I think on Discovery) a documentary with Paul Teteul resaurating a beautiful Indian(or was it a Harley?) motorbike. I would like to see this docu again, but I cannot find it on Internet.
    Please help me and thank you so much!

  1. 1 Kiwi Indian Big Chief | Bike EXIF | Classic motorcycles, custom motorcycles and cafe racers Pingback on May 15th, 2009 at 1:30 pm
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