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Rebuilding a 1913 Indian

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by redware, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. redware

    redware Ecdysiast

    I have a complete engine for a 1913 Indian motorcycle. The engine, a Hedstrom, also has its magneto and carburetor. Save for a few broken fins, it hardly looks like an engine pushing 100 years old. It even has compression. All it is missing is one valve push rod.

    I gather that locating a 1913 frame (a task that has been likened to locating a unicorn) and the rest of the necessary parts would likely cost far more an entire completed motorcycle. Therefore, I would like to know:

    1) if it is reasonable to begin a restoration process on the motor alone. As a lover of engines, I don't believe I would feel too bad having a restored engine mounted on a pretty base if the rest of the motorcycle can't be located. I've restored other antique motors, but a motorcycle is new territory and I'm not comfortable working on something so rare. What is a resonable cost expectation for the restoration of the engine itself and who might be capable of such work?


    2)Who might be able to construct a complete and accurate reproduction of the original frame. Having a frame for the engine might change my reluctance to begin a project of this magnitude. I'm in no hurry, and the costs might not hurt so bad if spread out over several years.

  2. epsylum

    epsylum Boolit Hoze

    Sep 4, 2004
    Racing Capital, USA
    Might want to try contacting someone here. It is owned by the grandson of an ex-Indian racer, "Pop" Dreyer. Pop's son, Junior, just restored one of Pop's old race bikes, an old board tracker. If there is any way you can get ahold of him, he may know a lot of answers to your questions. Junior doesn't technically work there any more as he's retired. But he's there quite a bit since it's the family business and all.

  3. RBR


    Apr 18, 2001
    A machine shop should hopefully be able to fabricate push rods for you & don't forget to get spares. If you don't have experience rebuilding a vintage/scarce motorcycle engine then be real careful that you don't damage it's value or let someone else work on it who isn't familiar.

    This book was a pretty good read about the authors experiences in taking on a basket case and his life.