1911 Indian 61ci Twin
Engine no. 71C133
It had been only ten short years from the time the first Indian motorcycle existed as a prototype in Springfield, Massachusetts to the 1911 model. Production grew from only 143 motorcycles in 1902 to 9763 units by 1911. In that time, the company quickly advanced from selling spindly looking single cylinder machines with definite bicycle roots to an international manufacturer that was competing on the world market with the most advanced motorcycle technology available. Indian was well on the way to becoming the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world.
This motorcycle was restored from an original machine once owned by AMCA member, Howard Heilman. It features, new for 1911, ribbed mudguards for increased strength, leaving behind the simple bicycle fenders for good. The abbreviated front fender was only used in 1910 and 1911, due to the front mounted leaf spring. The engine was entirely redesigned for 1911 and was also the first year for fully enclosed magnets on the magneto. The serial number reveals it is the 1133rd motorcycle rolled out of the assembly plant for that year.
Indian first marketed motorcycles that used diamond frame chassis where single cylinder Hedstrom engines were stress frame members. Suspension grew from rigid front forks to rudimentary cartridge spring forks in 1909. Engines grew in displacement and the simple atmospheric intake valves gave way to fully mechanical valve trains. That year was also pivotal as it was the final year of the diamond-frame bike or better known as the Camel Back Indian for its gas tank that was mounted over the rear fender, and the first year for the Loop Frame which lowered the engine for better handling and ease of riding. The leaf spring front fork first appeared in 1910 and became an Indian hallmark through 1942. 1911 also boasted improved jetting through the Hedstrom carburetor.
Indian founders, Oscar Hedstrom and George Hendee decided to mount an assault on the famed Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races held on the Isle of Man located in the Irish Sea. The race team selected standard street machines similar to this 1911 Indian, reworked the engines to comply with the rule book, and engineered the gearboxes to suit the torturous mountain course. Indian went home winning the first three places. It was the only time an American motorcycle has won on the TT, and they did it in convincing fashion.
This motorcycle was restored in 2008 and finished in Indian Blue, still the standard color for Indian motorcycles, and correctly nickel plated. Accessories on this 1911 Indian include acetylene lamps, a mechanical horn and leather tool box. The engine displaces 61 cubic inches, or 1000cc and has a single speed transmission with a working clutch. White tires set this 1911 motorcycle off in stunning fashion. Sold on a Bill of Sale.
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