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Indian identification resources?

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  • Indian identification resources?

    I am asking for suggestions on Indian identification. Out of the dozens of books published on Indian motorcycles, what do you feel are the best couple resources for identifying correct, original parts for the 1940s to '53 Indian Chief, etc.. Something in the line of Bruce Palmer's "How to restore your Harley-Davidson" published by Motorbooks International. Also a history book on Indians showing correct photos of the original models. I've never owned an Indian & need some schooling though I've been riding motorcycles for 60 years. Thanks!

  • #2
    Jerry Hatfields "Indian motorcyccle guide 1932-53"
    Not sure if its still in publication as i have seen ebay copies for more than the original $29.95.Not perfect but very good with lots of pics.


    • #3
      In addition to what Tom said, a valuable resource is Jerry Greer Engineering's on-line catalog if you don't mind additional screen time. They've gone to the trouble of providing detailed parts diagrams that are a really big help in understanding which parts belong on which bike according to the year (e.g. top links on the girder forks changed in 1947 and Greer's show the correct links for a '47-'48, and the different, correct links for the '46)

      I also liked Iron Redskin by Harry Sucher, more information on earlier Indian history and machines than on the later ones.
      Last edited by pisten-bully; 11-27-2020, 11:34 AM.
      Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.


      • #4
        I know you are looking for a book specifically but also there is no substitute for attending AMCA meets and talking to people and looking at bikes to gain knowledge. In some ways Indian didn't change much from the 40s on aside from obvious designs over the years but in other ways there are countless variations year to year even within a same model there can be many subtle changes......particularly of interest if one is attempting to build a point bike. Taking detailed photos of high scoring point bikes will add to your knowledge base along with Hatfields books and other resources. No one stop shop for what you are seeking. for example when trying to determine what is correct for a single year like my 48, I've had to call on several resources at times. And then there always tends to be inaccurate info as well to sort through.
        Jason Z
        AMCA #21594
        Near Pittsburgh PA (Farm Country)
        Allegheny Mountain Chapter


        • #5
          Good advice Skirted! The Illustrated Indians Buyers Guide can be useful too... and those aren't that expensive on Ebay.

          AMCA #6520