1951 Indian Brave

In America, England, Standard by Tom WackerLeave a Comment

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Did you know that you have 11 choices to describe your personal relationship on Facebook? And that one of them is “It’s complicated”?

I’d really like to give you a background and lineage on this Indian Brave but, well, it’s complicated. If anybody has a definitive history of the Indian Brave, I’d love to know. I’ll tell you what I do know.

In 1945 Indian was sold to Ralph B. Rogers. Rogers decided that Indian needed to compete with the British twins that were gaining in popularity and put all the R & D money into developing them. That particular experiment failed completely. In 1950 Indian entered into an agreement with Brockhouse Engineering of England as a major shareholder and marketed a 250 CC single badged as the Indian Brave.

The 1951 Indian Brave was a 248 CC air cooled single cylinder two stroke with a three speed transmission that apparently did nothing well. The Brockhouse/Indian Brave continued until 1955 when Brockhouse made an agreement to badge Enfields as Indians for sale in the US.

The official Indian timeline does not mention the Brave. The Wikipedia Indian page does not mention the Brave. The Brockhouse Engineering page says “It was. however, poorly designed and commercially unsuccessful.” A look at the Indian forums shows words like ‘crap’ and ‘junk’

This particular 1951 Indian Brave is in Linwood, Kansas and is listed as an “80% Restored Authentic Antique Indian bike”. There is an impressive pile of parts included with the listing which is good. Sourcing parts will be a problem on this bike. The Brave has a Buy It Now Price of $4,400 in an Auction that ends Tuesday, February 21st

For the record I think this one is wildly overpriced. I told you it was complicated. In looking at many pictures, I can now say with some certainty that the ‘war bonnet’ tail light has been added. That symbol was only used on the Chiefs front fenders. The entire rear fender is also incorrect.

Sources:
Sump
Graces Guide Brockhouse Engineering
Indian Motorcycle Timeline
Wikipedia

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