Last week, I made a pit stop at Atomic Metalsmith, Warren Lane’s custom shop in south Miami. Objective was to check out his latest works, in particular the custom 1917 Indian Powerplus that he will first exhibit at his own show in Daytona called “True Grit” (Sunday March 12), then race at the Smyrna Beach paved racetrack at the inaugural “Sons Of Speed” race (Saturday March 18) imagined by his brother Billy Lane.
“Sons Of speed” rules require an original or hand-built chassis fitted with a pre-1925 1000cc American V-Twin engine. Riders have complete freedom to customize bars, exhaust, fenders if any, foot pegs and fuel/oil tanks. But as Warren explained to me, he wanted to go even beyond that…
Warren intends to win, and trains hard for that. But he wants his bragging rights acquired with a machine really looking like a pure original racer of that time, patina included. Not looking just like an a “Sons Of Speed” homologated replica. So, he went the very expensive way, bought a 1917 Indian Powerplus, took off the four-stroke 42° flathead V-twin engine (61 cu in, 1,000 cc) and leaf spring fork, and from only these 2 genuine parts, hand-built from scratch his own “antique” speed machine
After rebuilding the 1917 engine Warren designed his own frame from one originally built by brother Billy. He then created a one-off gas and oil tanks, bent his bars with a racing stance from components provided by Rick Petko and fabricated his short exhaust pipes…from a hospital hand rail for handicapped people! He also conceived his own custom HD auto advance, timer spark distributor. 40-spoke 23’ rims were laced by Billy Lane. Tires are Firestones/Coker (at that time they used diameter, not wheel size, for description, 28” in this case). If you are in Daytona, see him between March 8 and 19 cruising around on his custom 1917 Indian Powerplus, then meet with him as the Antiques Master at the “True Grit” event on March 12. Then on March 18 act the “Sons Of speed“, he will show you how fast he can go when playing with the banks of the Smyrna Beach racetrack. Atomic Metalsmith.
(FYI. Between August 24 and 28 1915, Erwin “Cannonball” Baker rode an early Indian Powerplus from Vancouver to Tijuana in 3 days, 9 hours and 15 minutes, establishing a new “Three Flags” record)