1950 Indian Chief
Price: $37 500 ≈ €34686 ≈ £29703
Item location: Glendale, Arizona, US
Seller notes: This is an original motorcycle rescued from a basement. It has dings and scratches. Newly rebuilt power-plant. This is as pictured and as described. No refunds, no warranties expressed or implied.Check the pictures carefully and ask questions.
Classic Motorcycle Consignments
1950 Indian Chief
Original Paint, Fresh power-plant
The bike was found in Elk Lake, Pennsylvania. It spend several years in a barn in Silvara, Pennsylvania and was moved to a cellar in Elk Lake Pa in the early to mid-70's. it was last licensed for the road in 1966. It sat in the cellar beneath a house until early 2012. I knew of its existence from around the time it was put in the cellar. I acquired the bike in early 2012 and my first problem was how to remove it from the cellar as the homeowners had built an addition on their home and it no longer had storm doors leading to the cellar. Apparently, it was put down there by several men and a rope. After much debate, a backhoe was acquired and we used that for pulling power while several of us steadied the bike while we moved it up and out of the cellar.
The motorcycle was black in color and still had oil in when it was removed from the cellar, the seat was pretty beat up too, it was covered in electrical tape and apparently mice like the taste of seat foam. The owner also provided me with a windshield and the original saddlebags. The bike had around 24k miles on it at this point. I being fresh out of the military and not quite sure what I was going to do with my life decided to travel for a year in a toy hauler, I loaded up the Indian and my daily rider a Triumph and proceeded to start researching the bike.
I chose Highway Choppers in AZ to handle the mechanical repair and I could not be happier with the work they did and the aftercare they provide. Since bringing the bike back to like it has had roughly 4700 mile put on it. It is started and or ridden weekly using only premium gas. The bike starts easily when cold or hot.
The bike is taken in every 1000 miles for a checkup and as of yet has had no issues since the motor rebuild, the valve adjustment has stayed perfect. I have no issue riding this bike on the highway at 55 mph for 20-mile jaunts, that is the longest I have done at one time. It has been ridden for one 3 hour trip.
This is the story of the reconditioning of the bike back to original paint.
Condition of the frame and tins. (original patina maintained on as much of the bike as possible)
1. The bike had been painted black post purchase, it took approximately 3 months with mineral spirits rags and toothbrushes to get it back to its original red.
2. The front forks were bent and the fender was crooked, no history on how this happened, but forks were taken of straightened and the bike runs true down the road, although the left side of the handlebars are bend slightly back, did not want to chance breaking them by bending back straight.
3. The frame was not touched other than to clean it up while the tins and engine were being worked on.
4. The tins show were straightened were in pretty decent shape considering the year of the bike which helped me make the decision to keep it original.
5. Paint it was necessary to touch up the paint around the oil cap and front fender as there was 0 paint where the oil had turned to grease on the right hand gas tank, and minor welding was required on the right hand side of the front fender. All other paint is original.
Condition of the Motor.
1. Parts of the lower front piston were located in the crankcase, the good news is the cylinders were not scored so new pistons were purchased, (4 sets until we got a set we were happy with, it was bored out .10 over, so it still has 4-5 bores if necessary in the future.
2. The rest of the engine work consisted of replacing worn parts and balancing and blueprinting the engine
1. The windshield is quite useable, it does have a crack in it, not sure if its an Indian product or not as it has no markings whatsoever on it. As this was attached to the bike I have all the mounting brackets and attachments, personally I like the looks without the windshield.
2. The horn is not Indian and does not currently work, it has power but fails to be horny. I spent quite a bit of time looking for an original horn with no luck, was not going to put a replica horn on the bike.
3. The exhaust pipes are reproductions as the original was so pitted rusted and thin it was unusable.
4. The rims we thought were unusable initially but once they were cleaned up they were in quite good shape with the exception of the spokes and the chrome was completely gone, the rims are the original rims, they have re spoked nickel chrome plated.
5. The seat is an original Indian Chumee (2 up), while it has no markings it has been verified it is an Indian seat pan by Worsham Castle Cycle Leathers. it has been re covered in distressed leather to match the condition of the bike. The seat rail is still a mystery to me, again no markings not sure if it is original Indian or not, but it looks good on the bike, so I kept it. (seat re upholstered by Worsham Castle Cycle Leather who are quite familiar with antique motorcycle leather).
6. The saddle bags were in pretty bad condition and originally had fringes on them which were brittle and could not be saved. They were brought back to life, without the fringes by Worsham Castle Cycle Leathers also.
7. The Steering damper knob had to be replaced on the handlebars with a reproduction as the original was unusable.
8. Dashboard was still functioning and just cleaned up, some of the paper on the miles indicator has peeled of but it is original and perfectly functional
9. Generator was functional and just cleaned up and reinstalled.
10. The battery case is a 6v wet cell battery case which you need because the generator belt is tensioned by a bolt that tightens of the of the top of the battery case. The wet cell case has been hollowed out and a lithium battery placed inside of it for a longer life and better reliability as the 6v wet cells are just not reliable or long lasting.
11. The headlight is hard wired to high beam and the switch on the handlebars is inoperative due to my inability to find a switch that would fit in the casing, I have yet to have somebody complain about my 6v high beam being too bright.
PAINT: Original paint, Red
SHEET METAL: Original, dents and dings
CHROME: Original minor pitting and patina
MECHANICAL: 80 C.I. rebuilt at 24k miles
WHEELS & TIRES:
Rims: re chromed, original
Front Tire: 500 X 16
Rear Tire: 500 X 16
TITLE: (Currently Registered in Glendale Az)
Engine # CEJ 1401
Frame # 350 1401
Very Good $30,645
Hagerty Value Guide: https://www.hagerty.com/apps/valuationtools/1950-Indian-Chief
# 1 Concours $44,000
# 2 Excellent $35,000
# 3 Good $26,000
Accessories: As shown on the bike in the pictures.
Double spotlights; Rear fender luggage rack; Fringe leather seat with Conchos
Valuation: Because of the original paint, history and new power-plant this 1950 Indian Chief is valued near the top of the values.