1916 Indian Powerplus  Engine no. 70H215

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Lot 1007
1916 Indian Powerplus
Engine no. 70H215

Sold for £ 21,850 (US$ 26,824) inc. premium
1916 Indian Powerplus
Engine no. 70H215
An advanced feature in motorcycling's early pioneering days, chain drive was used by Indian right from the start, when Oscar Hedstrom and Oliver Hendee, both active in the cycle racing world, got together to build their first prototype in 1901. That first machine was powered by a single-cylinder F-head engine that formed part of the frame - in the Indian's case it sloped rearwards to act as the seat tube. The Indian single proved immensely successful and was produced substantially unchanged until 1905, when a leaf-sprung front fork and twistgrip control of throttle and ignition were introduced.

Nowadays Indian is remembered mainly for its powerful, large-capacity v-twins, the first of which appeared in 1907. The twin's rear cylinder continued to form part of the frame until 1909 when Indian adopted a loop frame of the type favoured by rivals Harley-Davidson. In 1911 Indian broke new ground yet again with their ohv four-valves-per-cylinder racers, and then in 1916 a new 61cu in (990cc) flathead v-twin - the Powerplus - was introduced to replace the F-head type. The Powerplus transmission consisted of a three-speed, hand-change gearbox and foot-operated clutch with all-chain drive. An immensely influential design, the Powerplus confirmed Indian's commitment to sidevalve engines, encouraging rivals Harley-Davidson to follow suit. The model was listed until 1924, but by then was playing second fiddle to the newer Chief.

This extremely handsome example was restored in 2001 and is described by the vendor as in generally very good condition. A must for any serious collector of the Indian marque, the machine is offered without documentation.

Saleroom notices

  • This machine now has the correct saddle fitted together with a leather handle bar mounted tool box.
1916 Indian Powerplus  Engine no. 70H215
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