New And Interesting. Electric Starter For Old Indian Motorcycles.

How many old Indians are just sitting in the garage gathering dust because their aging owners are too old, too weak with their legs to be able to kick start them? Probably a lot…Would be nice if these old Indian owners could electric start these bikes and ride them again. Indian purists, don’t feel offended. In 1914 Indian invented the 1st electric starter for a motorcycle, however it was only a 1-year option since battery technology was lacking. In 1999, when Mike Tomas at Kiwi Indian Motorcycle Company started to develop the world’s 1st Indian Flathead Replica, boosting displacement to 84″, he realized very fast that an electric starter would be welcomed by some of his clients and would considerably expand his Kiwi manufactured motorcycles market.

For those who know old Indians, the biggest challenge was of course to overcome the difficulty of fitting a starter in such a confined and tightly packaged motorcycle and make it a bolt on kit without modifications to the original bike, which would be sacrilege to most. Another big issue was to take in account the manufacturing variance from one bike to another whether it be during Indians manufacturing process or the frame moving over its lifetime. This meant there had to have adjustability into the design, hence the 1st part of the drive is via gear while the final drive being chain for the adjustability portion of the drive.   

Problems resolved with the following features. *Easy installation (does not require removal of kickstart pin). *Fits neatly under chain guard and looks part of the original design. *Bolt on kit, no alterations to the original bike. *New high capacity battery still retains its original location. *High torque gear reduction starter. *High end ball bearing/keyed/sealed Sprag clutch. (Sprag only allows drive to move during starting). *Partial gear/chain drive. *Gear primary drive for torque reduction and positive engagement. Chain final drive allows for frame misalignment. *Battery remains in same position as stock. *Neutral safety switch. *American made, engineered and sold by Kiwi Indian Motorcycle Company.


11 Responses to “New And Interesting. Electric Starter For Old Indian Motorcycles.”

  1. 1 Rick Lossner Aug 29th, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Once again, you prove your ingenuity Mike!

    Wondering….. what would a turn key kit cost to retro a bike you list on your page ( any of the 40s/50s)… installed?

  2. 2 Mike Tomas Kiwi Indian MC Co Aug 29th, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Hi Rick,
    Please send your email to me at and I’d be happy to discuss. Mike

  3. 3 Scott Sjovall Aug 29th, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Nicely done Mike. It will blend right in on a street bike.

  4. 4 mike corbin Aug 29th, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Very Nice

  5. 5 Doc Robinson Aug 29th, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Well done Kiwi!

  6. 6 Wiz Aug 30th, 2011 at 3:33 am

    How come nobody’s doin’ this neat stuff fer Harley Flatheads ‘n Knucleheads? Mike, yer GOOD!!! Wiz

  7. 7 Michael Schacht/ Crocker Motorcycle Co. Aug 30th, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Great idea, can’t wait to see one work! Mike, I bet you will sell lots of them! Good on ya mate!

  8. 8 J Sep 1st, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Wow that’s clean- excellent work!

  9. 9 Shortcut Sep 2nd, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    FYI Wiz and everyone interested, check out for the old Harley setup I invented 6 years ago, currently improving the look of this product witha change to castings, testimonials available. Thanks! Kick em while you can!!

  10. 10 Wiz Sep 3rd, 2011 at 3:35 am

    Shortcut, Got a link or sumthun’? Or is that it, just needs a www. in front of it. This computer crap boggles my old gourd!! Wiz

  11. 11 Shortcut Sep 3rd, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Hello Wiz and all, the computer not my forte either, forgot to type hope this makes it a link! My email is , I am here to help keep old iron on the road with an NEW CONCEPT electric start system for the four speed HD trans crowd. Thanks for posting the info Cyril!

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Cyril Huze