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1941 Indian 841


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Many of you are familiar with the story of the Indian 841. It was an experimental bike built to spec for the U.S. Army for WWII. Due to the advent of the Jeep, the bike never went into production beyond the roughly 1,000 built for Army testing. A truly unique bike, it had many firsts for Indian. First hand clutch, first foot shift 4 speed transmission, first and only shaft drive, etc. This bike was purchased in early 2003, and underwent a 6 year total restoration. I was lucky with this bike, as it only had a little over 1,000 original miles from new. The engine was still completely disassembled and completely gone through by Indian guru Jim Mosher at Performance Indian. There was very little wear on the transmission gears, however, a NOS set of gears purchased from Bob Stark was installed. The carburetors were absolutely mint and did not require attention. Same with the generator. The engine received all new bearings and seals, as did the front and rear wheels. The rear differential was disassembled and all new seals and bearings were installed. Every nut, bolt and other metal part that was originally parkerized was replated in fresh parkerizing. Being a high number Indian 841 it had the second, larger blackout light installed above and to the right of the headlight. A NOS keyed ignition switch was installed. Janus Napierala completely rebuilt the proper speedometer. There are no broken engine fins and the kicker housing is in perfect condition on this bike. The seat was recovered by Wayne Hagler at Heather’s Leathers, and a proper set of leather saddlebags were installed.

These are new but exact in every way to the originals. All the blackout lights, dash lights and running lights work perfectly. This bike is a one kick starter, and like too many of my bikes has only been ridden once around the block by me after the full restoration was complete. This bike has two upgrades to make it far easier to ride and enjoy. First, the bikes came from the factory with low gearing. As the bike is shaft driven re-gearing the bike is difficult, to say the least. While I had the rear end apart, I purchased and installed the last remaining higher ratio rear gearset from a small run that was produced by an Indian 841 enthusiast in Europe. This enables you to ride the bike at highway speeds without any loss of low speed power. Second, an exact replacement set of handlebars were made by John Bivens at Indian Engineering, with the controls reversed. These have the throttle on the right, so the hand clutch lever could be placed on the left bar. The 1943 Indian 841 has a distributor with an automatic spark advance so there is only one handlebar control. This makes riding this Indian 841 the same as riding a modern bike rather than trying to master the left hand throttle, left hand front brake and right hand clutch lever the bike came from the factory with. This bike is pristinely restored, and is ready to ride and enjoy.





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