1911 Indian 7hp Big Twin
Frame no. 71C884
Engine no. 71C884
The 1911 7hp Twin model helped ring in Indian's tenth anniversary in a grand way. Already established as the world's leading motorcycle manufacturer, Indian now featured the "free engine clutch" as standard equipment. This clutch helped harness the power of the big 1000cc V-Twin engine, allowing for smooth and easy operation for the rider. Testing of the new-for-1911 model yielded a 1000-mile run in 24 hours, with speeds reaching 80 mph. A quite tremendous feat indeed!
Perhaps more importantly for Indian, 1911 was the year of their legendary sweeping victory at the Isle of Man TT. For the first time bikes competed on the extremely difficult "Mountain Course" (still utilized today), a challenging route that truly separated the men from the boys. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place podium sweep proved to be the first, and unfortunately the last win of this historic race by an American manufacturer. Incidentally, the 2011 Isle of Man TT featured a 100th anniversary celebration of this great achievement for Indian.
This 100-year-old example of Indian's success and dominance of the industry can be traced to Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, then passing to a Herman Koesten of New York in 1986. Herman freshened the bike for pre-'16 touring in his area, and the Indian became a well-known regular fixture. Ten years later, the building in which the bike was stored burned, and the Indian suffered superficially. The leather seat and toolbox were damaged, but correct replacements with a matching patina were sourced. The tank is a replacement unit, as is the luggage rack. Everything else is original, and with rubbing, the nickel plating and paint can be returned to a high luster in some places.
In 1997, this bike was acquired by its present owner, who replaced the old original tank (included with the sale) with a new Jeff Sierk unit. Not just a static display piece, this bike has been used in a variety of events, including the Fort Sutter pre-'16 ride, the Dixon, California meet, and various California Indian runs.
The vendor advises us that this bike is largely original, the only replacement items being the new tank and the luggage rack. It represents a rare opportunity to find such an intact and original specimen that has always existed as a complete bike.