1947 Indian Chief
Frame no. 3478971
Engine no. CDG4913
If ever a motorcycle screamed "Americana" it was the full-skirted Indian Chief. Introduced in 1940, the bike's deeply valanced fenders made an immediate and iconic styling statement, one that is still with us today more than 70 years later as the latest incarnation of the big Indian V-twin is yet again being produced. The Chief, it seems, will always be a part of American motorcycling.
This 1947 example was built to ride, with a host of subtle upgrades and improvements incorporated into its restoration. Prime among the changes is a bump in engine displacement from 74 to 80 cubic inches, using some of the factory's "Bonneville" performance mods, anchored by a set of modern S&S flywheels. The electrics were a focus of improvements, reliability being key thanks to the installation of a 12-volt Bosch/Autolite distributor, its attendant voltage regulator hidden in the stock toolbox. Accurate carburetion was also a prime goal, with the rebuilt Linkert carb benefitting from many new parts plus the addition a "power atomizer." A measure of the detail work that went into making this Chief a better rider is the fitment of a 1952-53 kickstart lever, slightly longer and with better leverage for easier starts than the original piece. All work was carried out by marque expert Wilson Plank of American Indian Specialists.
The vendor is just the second owner of this motorcycle from new and advises us that it has a special place in his collection. "Although I have had several other motorcycles, this one was always my favorite. I love taking it to local bike shows on the weekends. It always draws a crowd, it's clearly an attention-getter. This bike is not a static display piece. I keep it maintained and it is a joy to ride." Included in the sale is the bike's personalized 1947 CHIEF license plate.