Sunday, November 6, 2011
Rebuilding The Indian, Again
This is the book that started me back on the journey to build motorcycles again. I believe it was around 2000 when I picked this book up at a local book store. As soon as I read the jacket I was hooked, it was about an older guy who lives in Montana rebuilding a 1947 Indian Chief. I was an older guy, I grew up in Montana and my Dad was a great advocate of Indian motorcycles.
I bought the book and read it cover to cover, in my mind it is one of the great motorcycle books. It speaks to the humanity in all of us and how a guy with limited resources put together a nice bike while still being a good husband and father.
After I finished the book I was determined to find a Chief and rebuild it (looking back that was pretty naive). I looked at a very nice 46 Chief in Fairfield, it was painted a dark midnight blue and was perfect. It was a bit much for me on the financial end so I continued to look around. I came across Jim Troche who has a little shop in Indian Alley in Vallejo, CA. As long as I had been in Vallejo I had never heard of him. I did remember seeing him on his early 40's Chief years earlier, it was one of those moments when you see something perfect and it just lodges in your mind.
He had a 1948 Chief with a nice rebuilt engine and transmission which made it a done deal. He reluctantly sold it to me for a very fair price and I started my journey toward restoring the bike. Thanks Jim, you are the one who gave me a way to get into Indian Moto-Cycles. I have had a six of them since that time.
It took me about 3 years to finish it up but it was one of the cleanest bikes I ever built. It was too nice in some ways, I was always reluctant to ride it because I didn't want to mess it up. Anyway I sold it years ago to a guy here in SOCAL.
I am now getting redy to do it again by building the 1928 Indian 101 Scout for the Cannonball. We'll see how it goes ?