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1948 Indian Chief

1948 Indian Chief

Have a nice double for this post, first an 1948 Indian Chief that has spent the last 40 odd years in a barn, and is bought back to life again.
What a great bike this would be if given a tidy up , attend to any mechanical repairs it might need, and then ride it.
On the other side of the coin what a find for a restorer to get stuck into.
Any missing or worn out parts Kiwi Indian would be the place to start.

The second video below shows how a 1948 Indian Chief can look after a resto job, and this is well worth watching as the owner takes you through how the controls work when riding it, and why you really need 3 arms at times.  The same applied to the Indian Big Chief.
But like anything a bit tricky it is practice, practice and practice some more until it becomes automatic.  Then you are able to ride it like a pro and have lots fun.

The Indian Chief was first introduced in 1922 and continued to 1942 when Indian made the huge mistake in manufacturing for military only, totally wiping out their domestic market.
They resumed domestic manufacturing the Indian Chief in 1946, didn’t make any Chiefs in 1949, and stopped manufacturing in 1953 being financially broke.
today the Indian name was resurrected by Polaris Industries and they are enjoying growing success with their models.

Motor specifications 1922 to 1928 were 61 cub in ,or 1000cc,  the 74cub in -1210cc- option came in 1923 an lasted until 1948.  1950 saw capacity increased to 80 cub in, or 1300cc.
The girder type fork was introduced in 1946, as seen on both these 1948 Indian Chief bikes.  The telescopic forks started in 1950.
The plunger type rear suspension appeared in 1940, and stayed right through to 1953.
In 1940 the large and quite decorative fenders appeared and continued on.  These were often picked out in a different colour and could look quite jazzy.

Plain open fenders were used for the military version with Indian making around 3000 Chiefs for the US Military, and up to 5000 mostly with sidecars were made for the French military until they surrendered to the Germans in 1940.  No doubt the Germans then made good use of these.
But nothing could beat the WWll reputation of the trusty Jeep that became the favourite of so many countries with the request to  ‘please leave Jeep behind when you go home’ , and the uses the Jeep was then put to.

I often wonder how many barns and sheds have one of these tucked away inside?

A big thaks to   and Wikipedia for missing info.  Photos are video screen shots.


Now come for a ride and see how you control a 1948 Indian Chief