Unrestored 105-year Old Indian Camelback Motorbike

Antique motorcycles have always more value when unrestored. At most, you can “oil rag” them, wiping them down with some oil, just keeping rust but postponing somewhat its destructive effect. This 1906 Indian Camelback motorbike fits the profile of what collectors are looking for: less than 1700 were produced and one of a handful known as 100% unrestored, everything piece original from the Indian factory and that you could ride… Supposedly, it was ridden for the last time in the 70’s. 

You could acquire it at the Las Vegas Bonhams auction January 12, 2012 if you are ready to invest around US $80,000, its estimated collector value. The 105-year old machine is pedal assisted, runs on a 2.25 HP single cylinder engine for a maximum speed of 30 mph. Braking system is rudimentary, of the type of the one used on bicycles. Original registration number on the rear mud guard. And the pleasure to know that Indian was the big rival of Harley-Davidson until the company demise in 1953.

9 Responses to “Unrestored 105-year Old Indian Camelback Motorbike”

  1. 1 Shifter Dec 27th, 2011 at 12:13 pm


  2. 2 bigitch Dec 27th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    wonder if that block of wood comes with it or if there is a kickstand???

  3. 3 Rider Dec 27th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    That is sweet , I don’t know if I would ride it though .

  4. 4 william hill Dec 27th, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    its priceless ,,really as a peice of history,no amount of number crunching
    can replace the cultural value of these artifacts ,i hope it gets restored ,,

  5. 5 COE Dec 27th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Cant wait to see this bike along with the many others at all the auctions that weekend!!

  6. 6 Mark Dec 28th, 2011 at 8:51 am

    A bike this “original” is a tough call. It will need tires, probably. They’ll be be shiny and new unless sourced from old parts, which is a possibility. Where do you stop when trying to get it running? But most important is slowing the corrosion, as you mention Cyril. The museum world uses what is known as micro-crystalline wax. It’s the most pure, “distilled” from beeswax, actually, and seals out the elements and offers a bit of a wet look. When the time comes it’s removable should anyone want to do a repaint. Using actual “oil” can be detrimental, taking whatever may be left of the paint. Looks good, but full of the wrong chemicals. The wax will work on the seat, too.

  7. 7 Iron Horse Dec 28th, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Looks like it needs to be left exactly as is…just parked in my living room. Now if I can just scrape together another $79,999.00 I’m in business.

  8. 8 Adrian from YouMotorcycle Dec 29th, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Should definitely be left as is. If you start messing with it, even a well done restoration will only lose value. Iron Horse is right. Leave it as and out it in your living room = the way to go.

    Did anyone else look at the suspension on this 105 year old bike and think it’s probably as effective as the stock shocks on my 5 year old sportster? Lol

  9. 9 Bryon Jan 10th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    have the original number 4 parts list along with signed letterhead and original indian company envelope it was mailed in dated 1906 for whoever might be interested in completing this collection,,,it is perfect as they come museum quality. Pls contact as it is for sale with a fair offer, hard to place a price on something of this nature as even the ones they sell copies of do not compare

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Cyril Huze