1941 Indian Four
The 1941 Indian Four is one of the last of the American in-line fours, all of which are interrelated design-wise.
1941 was the next to the last year of Indian Four production and only a handful of 1942s were built. The 1941 and 1942 models were almost identical and production of the late ones was very limited. The inline four was expensive to produce because the United States was at the height of World War II.
Indian was a supplier of police motorcycles almost from day one, providing mildly modified versions of its V-twin models for police use. But in 1927, Indian purchased the rights to the Ace Four, produced by Ace Motor Corp., a Philadelphia company founded by American Motorcycle Museum Hall of Famer William G. Henderson.
The Indian Four evolved over the next decade and a half, becoming one of the most luxurious and powerful motorcycles on the market. By the early 1940s, the bike featured a 77-cu.in. (1,265cc) F-head four-cylinder, a three-speed, "suicide"-shifted transmission and Indian's trademark, heavily valanced fenders.
While Indian motorcycles were "modified" for police usage, most of the modifications consisted of the red and white lights on the handlebars, and a siren driven off the rear wheel. No other performance modifications were required, a testament to the durability and solid performance of these bikes.
The biggest drawback to Indian Fours is that the big four-cylinder is fed by only a single carburetor. Rumors of poor oil dispersion and inadequate cooling of the rear cylinder have been proven to be false.
The LeMay Museum Indian Four was generously donated to us by Mrs. Barbara Olson and is currently undergoing full assembly to complete the restoration begun by the donor's husband.
Hemmings Motor News - MARCH 1, 2006 - BY CRAIG FITZGERALD