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Indian Big Chief 1923


Indian Big Chief. This motorcycle comes from 1923, the first year of production.

Big Chief was manufactured until 1928. It was basically the same as 61 ci (998 cc) Indian Chief (introduced in 1922, based on earlier Scout model) only with a more powerful engine; Big Chief's displacement was 74 ci (1206 cc). Both Chief and Big Chief models were very succesful. Big Chief features: air-cooled 2 cylinder 42 degree V type engine, Indian Schebler automatic carburetor and ignition by Splitdorf high tension Magneto. The frame was reinforced and constructed with special tubing. Its construction insured very low saddle position. Controls: Throttle, left grip: and spark, right grip: by Indian "Twist-of-the-Wrist," with wire cables enclosed in handle bars. Exposed cable covered with leather. Brake pedal on right side, clutch pedal on left side. Valve lift compression release by push rod on right side of tank. Electric system: Electric current for head light, tail light, and horn, furnished through Splitdorf generator and Wico 6 volt, 20 ampere hour battery acting independent of ignition. Head and tail lamps controlled with single switch. Ammeter combined in casing with switch mounted within easy view and reach of the rider on frame top tube. Finish: Indian Red with gold striping. Standard equipment: combination dim and full electric head lamp, tail lamp, ammeter and switch, motor driven horn and push button, tool box and tool kit, Mesinger air cushion saddle with auxiliary spring seat post. The luggage carrier had to be bought separately. For 1923 motorcycles, the legend placed on the clutch cover was "Hendee Manufacturing Co." In the end of the next year it was changed to "Indian Motorcycle Co., Springfield Mass. USA."

Big Chief was recommended for heavy duty side car service, but also for police and other users, who required maximum speed and power.