1946 Indian Chief

This is the motorcycle that induces uncontrolled drooling. I have to bib myself every time I see an Indian Chief. From my viewpoint, the ultimate model is the 80 cu. in.1951 through 1953 Chief Roadmaster.

This particular one is a 1946 Chief. It is on display at The Vintage Motorcycle Museum in Solvang, California. The 74 cu. in. Flathead V-Twin emerged as Indian’s flagship model after World War Two. “Indian Red” was the popular, standard color, although other colors were available, including some two-tone paint schemes.

New for the 1946 model were the girder-style forks adopted from Indian’s 841 model which was designed for military use in the desert during the war. The new forks provided for 5 inches of travel, rather than the 2 inches of travel of the previous leaf-spring design. The rear suspension was the pre-war plunger type, but the spring rate was softened, which produced a smoother ride than previously.

The photographs shown here were made with a Nikon D200. Click on a photo to view the larger version.