1916 Indian 1000cc Power-Plus v-Twin Engine no. 87J948
Lot 402
1917 Indian 7hp Powerplus Engine no. 87J948
Sold for €28,750 (US$ 35,719) inc. premium

Lot Details
1916 Indian 1000cc Power-Plus v-Twin Engine no. 87J948 1916 Indian 1000cc Power-Plus v-Twin Engine no. 87J948 1916 Indian 1000cc Power-Plus v-Twin Engine no. 87J948 1916 Indian 1000cc Power-Plus v-Twin Engine no. 87J948 1916 Indian 1000cc Power-Plus v-Twin Engine no. 87J948 1916 Indian 1000cc Power-Plus v-Twin Engine no. 87J948 1916 Indian 1000cc Power-Plus v-Twin Engine no. 87J948 1916 Indian 1000cc Power-Plus v-Twin Engine no. 87J948 1916 Indian 1000cc Power-Plus v-Twin Engine no. 87J948
1917 Indian 7hp Powerplus
Registration no. 5479 RY 61
Engine no. 87J948
Competition between the major American motorcycle manufacturers was fierce in the 20th Century's opening decades, a factor that greatly accelerated technological development. In Indian's case, the need to stay ahead of rivals Excelsior and Harley-Davidson prompted the introduction of an eight-valve v-twin racer in 1911, and then in 1916 a new 1,000cc 'flat head' (sidevalve) v-twin - the Powerplus - was introduced to replace the production 'F-head' (inlet over exhaust) type.

Development of the Powerplus had been initiated after Harley-Davidson trounced Indian in the 300-mile Venice road race in the spring of 1915, chief designer Charles Gustafson suggesting that a well-designed sidevalve ought to prove good enough to beat the Harleys. The 42-degree v-twin configuration of the existing Oscar Hedstrom-designed F-head engine was retained, though with side valves and increased use of roller bearings. Gustafson's intuition did indeed prove correct, the new 61ci (1,000cc) twin proving more powerful than its predecessor right from the start, hence the 'Powerplus' name.

As part of the testing programme prior to Powerplus introduction, works rider Erwin 'Cannonball' Baker rode a pre-production model from Vancouver, Canada to Tijuana, Mexico - an event known as the 'Three Flags' - in August 1915, travelling 1,655 miles in 3 days, 9 hours and 15 minutes, breaking the existing record and emphatically demonstrating the new design's speed and durability.

Beautifully restored, this Powerplus features a combined acetylene headlamp/generator, Stewart km/h speedometer and a 'Handphone' (klaxon horn) by The Automobile Supply MFG Company. The machine is offered with documents relating to its purchase, French Carte Grise de collection and various photographs taken prior to the restoration. It should be noted that the engine number is incorrectly recorded on the Carte Grise.

Footnotes

  • Indian 7ch Powerplus 1917
    Immatriculation n° 5479 RY 61
    Moteur n° 87J948

    L'intensité de la concurrence entre les grands constructeurs de motos américains dans les premières décennies du 20e siècle fut un facteur d'accélération du progrès technique. Dans le cas d'Indian, la nécessité de rester devant ses rivaux Excelsior et Harley-Davidson déclencha l'introduction de la machine de course V-twin à huit soupapes en 1911, puis en 1916, de la nouvelle V-twin 1 000 cm3 à soupapes latérales - la Powerplus – qui vint remplacer la semi-culbutée (admission au-dessus de l'échappement) de production.

    Le développement de la Powerplus avait été lancé après la défaite d'Indian par Harley-Davidson dans la course de 480 km de Venice au printemps 1915, l'ingénieur en chef Charles Gustafson suggérant qu'un moteur latéral bien conçu suffirait à battre les Harley. L'architecture du V-twin ouvert à 42 degrés semi-culbuté existant conçu par Oscar Hedstrom fut donc conservée, mais avec des soupapes latérales et un emploi plus étendu de roulements à rouleaux. L'intuition de Gustafson se révéla bonne, le nouveau 61 ci (1000 cm3) se révélant dès le début plus puissant que son prédécesseur, ce qui valut son appellation « Powerplus ».

    Dans le cadre du programme d'essais précédant le lancement, le pilote d'usine Erwin « Canonball » Baker mena un modèle de présérie de Vancouver au Canada jusqu'à Tijuana au Mexique lors de ce qui fut appelé « les Trois Drapeaux » en août 1915, une randonnée de 2 630 km effectuée en 3 jours 9 heures et 15 minutes, record battu et démonstration éclatante de la vitesse et de l'endurance du nouveau type.

    Superbement restaurée, cette Powerplus se caractérise par son phare à acétylène auto-générateur, son compteur Stewart et son avertisseur Handphone de l'Automobile Supply MGF Company. La machine est proposée avec ses documents d'achat, sa carte grise française de collection et divers clichés pris avant sa restauration. On notera que le numéro de moteur porté sur la carte grise est incorrect.

Saleroom notices

  • La machine est vendue avec son certificat d'immatriculation, mais pas la carte grise comme indiquée au catalogue. The machine is offered with a Certificat d'immatriculation, not a Carte Grise as stated in the catalogue.
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