Four Rare Indian Motorcycles Up for Auction

January 17, 2014
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
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Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

Indian Motorcycles have a history nearly as old as motorcycling, and early model Indians are highly sought-after collector’s items the world over. RM Auctions, the official auction house of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, has four rare Indian Motorcycles prepared for auction on March 8, 2014 at the Ritz-Carlton: a 1909 Indian Light Twin, 1911 Single Board Track Racer, 1911 Single Road Model and 1914 “Hendee Special.”

1909 Indian 5-horsepower Light Twin; Engine no. 20A352
Seven years after the first production Indian Motorcycle became available to the public, Indian produced the Light Twin. It’s a pocket-valve Twin with mechanical intake valves, Hedstrom carburetor and single-speed transmission. Its loop frame, new for production Indians in 1909, replaced the bicycle-style diamond frame of the company’s first motorcycles and fitted the torpedo-style gas tank underneath the upper frame rail. Loop frames were used previously on Indian racing machines, marking an early example of race technology informing the development of production units. Chain driven, the 1909 Light Twin also comes with a cartridge spring fork and pedal start with rear band-brake. This selection comes from the Jim Atchley Collection and is in unrestored, original condition. It retains the Green factory paint and has the original engine, carburetor and Bosch magneto. The seat, pedals and grips are also original. The 1909 Indian Light Twin is offered in operational running condition and RM estimates it will fetch between $125,000 and $150,000.

1911 Indian 4-horsepower Single; Engine no. 42C491
The 1911 Indian Single up for auction features a 30.5 cubic-inch Hedstrom-type Single, magneto ignition and Hedstrom carburetor. It comes with a single-speed countershaft with chain drive, pedal start, and leaf-spring trailing link fork. The 1911 Single is in original condition and is in fully operational running condition. It comes with its original red paint and a number of authentic accessories such as front-wheel drive speedometer, acetylene-powered headlight and taillight, accessory air pump, leather tool bag and original tool kit. Also included is an original Indian flag that mounts to the handlebars, leather saddlebags and a manual Indian horn. RM Auctions estimates the 1911 Indian Single to go for between $55,000 and $75,000.

1911 Indian 4-horsepower Single Board-Track Racer; Engine no. 40C169
The 1911 Indian Single Board-Track Racer comes with a 30.50 cubic inch pocket-valve Single, Hedstrom carburetor and single-speed chain-drive countershaft with clutch. It features a trailing-link spring fork and pedal-assist band brake as well. According to RM Auctions the “1911 Indian Board-Track Racer presented here is among the most original early racing machines in existence, and it remains in virtually as-raced condition.” It comes with original factory paint, features partial dealer decals on the tank and has the original factory-dropped racing handlebars. All parts, excluding the tires, are original. This selection has been held at the Wheels Through Time Museum in North Carolina and is presented in original running condition. RM Auctions estimates the Board-Track Racer will price between $75,000 and $100,000.

1914 Indian “Hendee Special” 7-horsepower Twin; Engine no. 83F037
This is the first motorcycle equipped with an electric start and the model was produced for less than one year. It features a Hedstrom-type Twin engine, Hedstrom carburetor and two-speed transmission. The 1914 “Hendee Special” also has a multi-place dry clutch, cradle spring frame and leaf-spring trailing link fork. Due to the development state of batteries of the time, the electric start was only operable for a handful of starts before the battery was completely exhausted. Continued battery failures and public upset caused Indian to produce the machines without electric starts from March 1914 onward. The particular selection to be shown by RM Auctions is “among less than a handful of Hendee Specials known to exist today.” Offered by the Dick Olaf Collection, the 1914 Indian “Hendee Special” is in original, unrestored condition and comes with its original paint. It’s also in fully operational condition and all components, excluding the tires, are original. When it was first advertised, the Hendee Special could be had for $325. Expect to pay between $140,000 and $160,000 at auction.