2021 Shannons Autumn Timed Online Auction

1923 Indian Standard Power Plus Outfit with Sidecar (Project)





This lot is no longer available

Based in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Indian Motorcycle Company was the only motorcycle manufacturer able to compete on equal terms with the might of Harley-Davidson for the first half of the 20th Century. With its origins as a producer of bicycles, the partnership of George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom followed the familiar practice of building a powered version in 1901, using a proprietary Thor single horsepower engine, and from the emergence of the first V-twin in 1907, Indian quickly established itself as a maker of quality motorcycles. Indian steadily evolved over the next decade, with developments like a steel cylinder head in place of the original cast iron one, sprung front forks and the first ever use of a twist grip sealing the company’s reputation for technical innovation. Starting in 1906, Indians were powered by engines built in-house by the Hendee Manufacturing Company, using Hedstrom’s own carburettors, while the first Indian V-twin appeared the following year. Following Oscar Hedstrom’s decision to quit in 1913, his replacement Charles Gustafson designed a number of new products, including the new V-twin Powerplus range in 1916. The Powerplus was Indian’s first ever flathead engine, a four-stroke unit displacing 61ci and developing 16 horsepower, a considerable improvement over Hedstrom’s own V-twin. Initially mounted in the existing rigid frame, Indian offered the Powerplus with the option of its patented Cradle Spring Frame from 1913, featuring a rear swingarm with trailing leaf springs for a more comfortable ride.  The Powerplus had a three-speed gearbox and kick-starter, while early problems with piston slap were cured by lengthening the barrels and pistons and relocating the piston wrist pin in 1917. In September 1919 a revised frame design, using the engine as a stressed member, was introduced and a version with a lowered top tube and steering head earned the nickname Daytona the following year. From 1920 the Powerplus was offered with the option of a larger 74ci engine and remained in production until 1923, being renamed the Standard that year and sold alongside its eventual successor, the Chief.