Springfield, MA (April 2013) – Indian Motorcycles……. when I (Jim) visualize this ride, I think of the early classic types from the 30’s and 40’s with big “teardrop” fenders and single leather saddle seats. The birthplace brick factory on Hendee Street that produced 10’s of thousands of bikes is long gone and was torn down in 2009. Here’s a video of what it looked like (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkadGL9yhf8)
On Edwards Street in downtown Springfield you’ll find over 35+ bikes donated at the Museum of Springfield History ( www.springfieldmuseums.org ) . For a small fee, I recommend you take the time to learn about the successes and the failures of the company. Learn about the Harley/ Indian War. Read about the riders that race these two-wheel crazy rockets, bike farmers bought, or soldiers rode. Yes, the military was a large consumer of these rubber metal shakers. Enlisted military men loved to ride these cost effect rides and when they got out.
I learned that Indian made more than just bikes. They made a 4-wheel Roadster car for 4 to 5 years in the 20’s with a modified motorcycle engine. I also learned that they made marine engines for a bit too. It was cool to see how creative they got to sell the bike, like adding snow skies or making a toboggan.