’62 Indian 700cc Chief
You know, Indian motorcycles has probably one of the most convoluted history’s of any motorcycle brand name I can think of. From being the first American motorcycle company, 1901, to little Taiwanese mini bikes and everything in between. There is so much in Indian Motorcycle history available here on the web. Because of my love of vintage and unique motorcycles (I own a fleet of one year only type motorcycles, read; hard to get parts for…), I spend a good deal of time searching the web and talking to riders that have these motorbikes.
Indian went from being the winningest racer on the track in it’s earlier lives, to a British made motor (either Matchless or Royal Enfield), tucked into an Italian frame. Interestingly enough however, other than the Taiwanese mini bikes, Indian motorcycles have always been well received by magazine types but not so much by the motorcycle buying public. Police departments were particularly fond of the various Indian models, including the one we are talking about today.
Indian motorcycle stopped production in the original Springfield Mass.factory. From 1955-1959 Royal Enfield’s were marketed as Indians. Production finally ended in 1960. In 1961 everything went back to Royal Enfield.
The 700cc Indian is actually based on the Royal Enfield Constellation twin was at the time was described as the first ‘Superbike’. In 1959 Indian motorcycle took the ‘Constellation’ and stretched out the frame and built up a much stronger gear box…that’s why the cops loved them so much. Sturdy and steady.
There is so much in Indian history that is so fascinating. Harley Davidson maybe the American ‘Lifestyle’ motorcycle but Indian is truly the iconic American Motorcycle. What is great at this time is that finally Indian Motorcycle has found a home (Polaris Industries, makers of Victory motorcycles) that will give the love and respect that this brand deserves. And maybe, just maybe, Indian will now be with us for another 100 years.
I found this really nice 1962 Indian Chief on ebay the other day and and I think it’s a great bike to add to anybody’s collection. As long as you go out and ride it!! Now, there is an interesting thing I found out about this motorcycle, it is titled as a 1962 but…it is probably a 1959 model? If you remember, back in the late 1950’s and the early 1960’s many motorcycles were titled the year they were sold, not the year they were actually made. This is the model that has the stretched frame and the ‘New and Improved’ gearbox. It only has 5504 miles on the clock and the clock is the optional 150 MPH speedo…a little optimistic but really cool to have. This bike has been stored inside for more than the past twenty years of it’s life…So, it looks it’s age but is in easily restorable / rideable condition. There were only about 800 of this particular produced so it falls into the ‘rare’ category really nicely.
Click on the pics below for more pictures and more info about this really cool motorcycle. This is one the bikes that make me really want a bigger barn. And…a bigger bank account.