c.1916 Indian 7hp Powerplus
Registration no. Y 9410
Engine no. 84M379
An advanced feature in motorcyclings early pioneering days, chain drive was used by Indian right from the start, when Oscar Hedstrom and Oliver Hendee, both active in the cycle racing world, got together to build their first prototype in 1901. That first machine was powered by a single-cylinder F-head engine that formed part of the frame - in the Indians case it sloped rearwards to act as the seat tube. The Indian single proved immensely successful and was produced substantially unchanged until 1905, when a leaf-sprung front fork and twist-grip control of throttle and ignition were introduced.
Nowadays Indian is remembered mainly for its powerful, large-capacity v-twins, the first of which appeared in 1907. The twins rear cylinder continued to form part of the frame until 1909 when Indian adopted a loop frame of the type favoured by rivals Harley-Davidson. In 1911 Indian broke new ground yet again with its ohv four-valves-per-cylinder racers. The firm achieved its famous 1, 2, 3 finish at the Isle of Man TT that same year, a remarkable achievement made possible by the advantages conferred by the use of all-chain drive.
In 1916 a new 61ci (990cc) flat head (sidevalve) v-twin - the Powerplus - was introduced to replace the F-head type. The Powerplus transmission consisted of a three-speed, hand-change gearbox and foot-operated clutch with, of course, all-chain drive. An immensely influential design, the Powerplus confirmed Indians commitment to sidevalve engines, encouraging rivals Harley-Davidson to follow suit. The model was listed until 1924, but by then was playing second fiddle to the newer Chief.
This Powerplus was purchased, in a dismantled state, from Indian specialist Alan Forbes in 1982, remaining in storage until it was restored in 2005 using an engine dating from 1919. We are advised that the frame, tanks, forks and mudguard tip are Indian original components, while the rest of the cycle parts are replicas. Refurbishment included a new crank-pin, main-shafts and bearings from Alpha Bearings; cylinders relined; valve seats reclaimed; new JP pistons; new G & S valves, guides and springs; new gearbox bearings and pinions (x2); reconditioned carburettor and magneto; new wheel rims, spokes and tyres; and new paint and nickel plating. Completed earlier this year, the machine is presented in immaculate condition and offered with a quantity of restoration invoices, Indian Motorcycle Club dating letter and Indian Motorcycles (Alan Forbes) letter of authentication.
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