Indian motorcycle manufacturer
Indian, one of the leading American motorcycle manufacturers was founded in 1901 the year after the bike races at Madison Square in New York, Georg Hendee, a bicycle manufacturer from Springfield, decided with engineer Oscar Hedstrom, cyclist and constructor, start the production of simple and easy-to-drive general use motorcycles.
Already in the first Indian motorcycle model (yes, Hendee Manufacturing Co. she named her product) it was possible to notice a significant novelty in design - the rear wheel drive by means of a chain, in contrast to the belt transmissions commonly used at that time. The power unit of this vehicle was a converted single-cylinder De Dion-Bouton engine, with power 1,2 kW (1,75 KM), equipped with a Hedstrom brand carburetor. The weight of the entire motorcycle was approximately 50 kg. W 1905 In the year, a vehicle with a longitudinally arranged V-twin engine with power was presented 2,6 kW (3,5 KM). All motorcycles of this brand - in the initial period of production - had knob grips and rigid rods with universal joints to control the carburetor throttle and ignition advance.
In year 1909 Indian motorcycles won the European audience, because in serious races the Tourist Trophy, on the road of St.. Johns on the Isle of Man, Lee Evans driving the Indian led five out of ten laps and finished second behind Harry Collier on a Matchless motorcycle. Successes came in 1911 year, when Oscar Hedstrom himself headed the company's racing team. This year, TouristTrophy, considered the largest and most difficult race in the world, has been transferred to the legendary start and finish mountain route in the city of Douglas (the administrative and commercial center of the Isle of Man). Godfrey won on an Indian motorcycle 500, achieving average speed 76 km/h. Motorcycles of this brand were also ranked second and third. Sports successes have made the company successful. Motorcycle, with a three-speed gearbox, chain drive, the front wheel sprung with a leaf spring, From now on, only available in red (until then, the corporate color was blue), has become the dream of many two-track enthusiasts. Demand grew rapidly. W 1914 year (in which luxury models of the Indian company, as the first in the world, equipped with an electric starter, and all produced two-wheelers of this brand received electric lighting) produced close 60 000 Indian motorcycles.
The golden age of the Indian brand is the 1920s. During this period, the production program ranged from small Prince motorcycles to displacement engines 346 cm3, via V-twin cylinders 750 i 1000, up to the Four giants with in-line, four-cylinder engine with displacement 1265 cm3.
W 1951 In the year, the company was taken over by the London-based company AMC - manufacturer of Matchless and AJS motorcycles. The collapse of the company, whose last owner is Floyd Clymer, tried to move the production of Indian motorcycles to Germany, occurred in 1962 year. Today's Indian Company in Beverly Hills, California, has nothing to do with the old motorcycle company – except the name.