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The Indian Chief Predecessor

Discussion in '24-7 Lounge' started by kiwi dave, Jan 27, 2021.

  1. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    I posted this originally on an Indian forum, but got very little response. So I'm hoping you guys can help me.

    Many years ago, I was touring southern California on a Moto Guzzi (California!). I joined another rider who was on a Victory (I can't remember which model). It had the same iconic motor as my current 2017 Indian Chief. My Chief motor has the valve covers that are modelled to resemble a side valve V-twin, and this bike had the same style of valve covers.

    I've searched the interweb looking for this model of Polaris and/or Victory but haven't managed to find a suitable photo to jolt my memory. Perhaps I have my models mixed up? At the time the Indian name was being revived by Kawasaki, my research shows a Kawasaki Drifter 800 cc, but the pictures I've managed to view does not include the "side-valve" rocker covers look.

    Can anyone help jog my fading memory?

    Indian Chief 111 cu inch motor.jpg
     
  2. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Hi Dave, you’re confusing yourself it seems. (Polaris) Indian launched in 2013 with the Thunderstroke 111 engine you have pictured above. Victory never had such and engine with this (side valve) look, only the Vision and Cross Country models shown below.

    DB2E0F79-8FBE-4382-8079-60813EC27E76.jpeg
    6540D25D-F829-46FA-BBA3-48934EF7CF1B.jpeg
    With some irony, though the public in large would likely not know this, but the new Indian Challenger was developed as a Victory. It never saw the light of day until 2020 as an Indian. Side by side, you can see the engine lineage.
    EC84D859-7C0B-49C6-A4C9-8E04D50D29CD.png
     
    PaulDavies, Moto-Uno and Mayakovski like this.
  3. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    You're right Todd, I'm very good at confusing myself. In fact it would have been 2013 when I purchased my first Cali 1400 (1st in the USA I'm claiming, but that's another bone of contention) when I laid my eyes on the Indian Chief with the iconic "side valve" V-twin motor that I've posted above (of my 2017 Indian Chief).

    What I was thinking of was the Victory with the "bottle-cap" motor earlier than this. I saw one down in Long Beach after visiting Moto Guzzi Classics, it was a good looking bike.
     
  4. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Gotcha; https://www.autoevolution.com/moto/victory/
     
  5. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    Thanks for the link, Todd. Which Victory model had the "bottle-cap" motor that I was referring too? I looked at all the models in the article, but I just couldn't see it.

    Then again, my eyes are only painted on.
     
  6. SMTCapeCod

    SMTCapeCod Mechanochondriasism GT di Razza Pura

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    Closing in on a decade of Vic ownership and club involvement here...not sure that the timeframe aligns but might you be thinking of the Octane....which set the stage for (and was superior to) the Scout?
    They are a little bottle-cappy, though not channeled like the Indian heads.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    Nope. It wasn't this one. The valve covers resembled crown tops on a non-screw top beer bottle.
     
  8. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Welcome, and sorry... can't recall any model that had such an engine. All of the models are shown on that link (outside of the Octane, which I nearly completely forgot about).
     
  9. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    I've found an image of the motor in a custom frame. If it's not a Victory, any idea what it's off?



    upload_2021-1-31_9-16-33.png
     
  10. SMTCapeCod

    SMTCapeCod Mechanochondriasism GT di Razza Pura

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    I'd say Harley panhead given pushrod tubes and some other cues. Maybe custom machined covers or something from back in the day.

    Edit...then again: ebay.com/itm/184618614984
    Edit2: So, Indian as it turns out. Here's some backstory: jamltd.com/Powerplus engine.html
     
  11. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Ah, yep, saying it was a Vic threw me off. Per above, that was the "Kings Mountain" (N.C) Powerplus (S&S) V-twin (shown below).
    This is my memory of it confirmed by Wiki:
    '99-03 - Gilroy (California Motorcycle Company - CMC) Indian.
    '06-11 - King's Mountain (N.C. - Stellican Limited, a London-based private equity firm) Indian (below).
    '11 - current: Polaris Ind - Spirit Lake, Iowa production. They actually ran small production numbers of the bike below until the official launch at Sturgis 2013 (which I was graciously part of, pic below).

    2010-Indian-ChiefVintagec.jpg

    Backstage at the Buffalo Chip, riding one of the bikes for the unveil.
    F9959392-0B9C-461A-9885-BD580A5ABEA7.jpeg
     
  12. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    That's the one I was originally referring to. Seems history is going round in circles!

    Not helping is my erratic memory!!!
     

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