From an Important European Collection
1923 Indian Scout
Frame no. 1411
Engine no. 51T951
Indian's Chiefs and Fours were key to the company's image, but many would argue it was the Scout that gave Indian its soul. Like the first Chiefs, the 1920 Scout was the handiwork of designer Charles Franklin. Both models marked Indian's casting off of its bicycle roots and evolving into a proper modern motorcycle manufacturer. The middleweight Scout was powered by a 37-cubic-inch (600cc) v-twin using a three-speed gearbox and was capable of 60 mph. In a somewhat unusual departure, this new, smaller Indian twin featured primary drive by helical gears rather than the more common chain, and soon gained a reputation for indestructibility: "You can't wear out an Indian Scout," claimed the company's advertising. In other respects the side valve v-twin motor followed the successful Powerplus formula. Detachable cylinder heads were the Scout's big news for 1925 and, two years later, a 45ci (750cc) variant arrived. It was followed in April 1928 by the 101 Scout still regarded by many as the finest Indian ever: "...a machine that shoots away like the wind on an open stretch, yet rides as comfortably as a Pullman," read the brochure copy. In 1934 came the Sport Scout, a bike that would win glory on America's dirt-tracks and honor on the field of battle.
The Sport Scout featured a revised 750cc engine in a new, longer-wheelbase frame, and this middleweight model would prove an immense success for the Springfield firm, to the extent that its replacement in 1931 by a heavier Chief-framed model was greeted with dismay. In 1932, a smaller, 30.5ci (500cc) Junior Scout was introduced and this model - referred to as the Scout Pony from 1937 and the Thirty-Fifty from 1940 - continued in production into the war years alongside a revitalized 45ci Sport Scout.
This Scout seems to be characteristic of an export model as it was likely originally sold to Europe. The bike, having been part of a long-term static collection, survives today in well preserved condition though has conceivably seen some refinishing over the years. Equipped with a bud seat as well as straight pipes for a bit of extra growl, some recommissioning should be expected to make it roadworthy again.
- Please note that the title for this motorcycle is in transit.
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