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Backmarker Features Picture 4 of 278
Photo 4 of 278
Ace custom builder Shinya Kimura rode his 1915 Indian big twin almost all the way across the U.S. in last year's epic 'Cannonball' motorcycle rally. By the time this bike was built, Indian's best years were already behind it.
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November 12, 2013 03:35 PM
Best years behind it? Maybe the peak years were behind it, but certainly not the "best". They were still the largest motorcycle company in the America in 1915. Harley had to previously hire Oley Evenrude to get their v-twin functional. Indian had already made an electric starter, a generator, and electric lights on their 1914 bikes. The 1915 also had a well tested 3 speed transmission and a well functioning rear suspension, not found on a HD. In 1916 the famous PowerPlus engine came out, it was a side-valve (flathead instead of the IOE). An engine design Harley didn't use for another 10 years. Indian had many more years of racing and sales success after that. But no one could fix bad management and they finally failed in 1953.
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