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Indian motorcycle

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Indian motorcycle
Negative #: 39,052


This object appears in the following sections:

Smithsonian Motorcycle Collection — Roper, Clarke, Indian and Harley

1902 Indian motorcycle
1902 Indian motorcycle

Indian motorcycle
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
This motorcycle was designed in 1901 by the noted bicycle racer Oscar Hedstrom for the Springfield, Massachusetts, firm of Hendee Manufacturing Company, later (1924) known as the Indian Motorcycle Company. It is one of the 143 built in 1902, the year that the model was first offered for sale.
Physical Description

The 1 3/4-horsepower, 1-cylinder, 4-cycle, air-cooled engine, bearing the number 150, has an automatic intake valve and a cam-actuated exhaust valve.

The ignition system consists of dry cells and a coil, timer, and spark plug. The timer is advanced and retarded by means of a small lever at the front of the frame to the right of the steering head. The same lever is also used to release compression-when moved to the retard position it lifts the exhaust valve from its seat-and it serves as the ignition switch.

Fuel adjustment is controlled by means of a lever attached to the crossbar of the frame. A two-sectioned tank on the rear fender supplies gasoline to a float-equipped Hedstrom carburetor and oil to the crankcase. The oil flows by gravity through a sight glass. A small exhaust pipe leads to a muffler beneath the crankcase.

A double-reduction sprocket-and-chain drive (on the left side of the frame) transmits power from the engine to the rear wheel. Because the machine has no clutch or change gear, the engine is connected to the wheel at all times. Supplementary power is available from a pedal-and-chain drive (on the right side) incorporating a New Departure coaster brake that engages when a slight backward pressure is applied on the pedals. The pedals remain at rest when the engine is propelling the machine.

The diamond-type frame is of tubular construction; the wood-rimmed wheels carry 28-by-1 -inch, single-tube, pneumatic tires; and the complete machine weighs just under 100 pounds.

Date Made:
Gift of B. E. Andre, through Indian Motorcycle Company

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