[ExI] Three Indians for spike!

spike spike66 at att.net
Wed Oct 27 17:33:32 UTC 2010

Greetings Extropians!

At one time we had a guideline to avoid posting photos on ExI, because it
was the mid 90s memory was expensive you know, and many of us had dial-up (I
did until 1999, such a primitive savage was I.)  But that was then and now
is now.  Today, memory is cheap and bandwidth is mind blowing.  See how far
we have come in just the past 15 years?  What will it be 15 years hence?  
Ahh, life is good.
Jim and other sight impaired ExI-ers, does an embedded photo mess up your
text to voice?
If there is still a good reason why we should not post photos, do offer it,
so I can desist forthwith.

> ...On Behalf Of MB
> Subject: [ExI] Three Indians for spike!
> Hey spike, I thought you'd enjoy seeing this:
> http://www.shorpy.com/node/9225
> :)
> Regards,
> MB

Thanks MB!  The photo is dated 1926, but all three of the bikes in your site
are pre world war 1.  I can tell by the shape of the fuel tank.  After
production for civilian use resumed in 1918, Hendee went with a more rounded
design than the torpedo tank.  The closest bike in the website photo is I
think a 1915 model.  Actually I think all three of these bikes are 1915s,
although the guy in back might be a 1916 because of the headlight, or it
could have been added afterwards.  Reasoning: look closely at throttle
linkage in the photo on your site and compare to the photo below that I took
at a local show.  Hendee didn't use throttle cables in those days, but
rather an articulated shaft attached to a left hand throttle.  The Indian
liter twins had a spark advancer on the right hand twist grip and a shaft
actuated throttle on the left hand grip!  {8^D  

Here's another bit of fun trivia for you who fail to ponder every day how
good we have it.  The Europeans passed a law that said every motorcycle
needed two brakes.  Indian wanted to export bikes to Europe, but they needed
to meet that standard.  Front brakes were a technologically difficult
problem in the days before cable actuation was common, but you already had
one interface with the back wheel, thru the chain.  Some yank (who worked
for Harley Davidson) realized the European law didn't actually specify that
it needed to be one brake on each wheel, rather only that there be two of
them.  So they came up with a linkage that would tighten a leather belt
around the rear hub, to make a (kinda sorta) second brake.  Notice that none
of these three bikes have a front brake, those would be for sissies.  

The European law didn't actually specify that the brake had to actually work
either, just that the bike have two of them.  Remember these were the days
before product liability and safety laws.

Most Indian buyers immediately removed that utterly worthless second brake
and threw it away, making that the rarest and most expensive piece for the
Indian restoration crowd.  If you find a prewar Indian (or Harley) twin in
of great grandpa's barn with that original factory rear brake linkage still
in place, the bike is worth a fortune.  {8^D

It is amazing any of our ancestors survived to breed.

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