Little American Enduro – 1972 Indian ME100

In America, Dual-Sport, Small Displacement by Tim HuberLeave a Comment

Though utterance of the Indian Motorcycle name typically conjures up images of big-bore American-style V-Twin baggers and cruisers, the now Polaris-owned outfit for a time produced a decent number of small and micro-displacement dual-sports, mini and dirt bikes. Primarily produced in the late 60s and 70s, Indian’s range of off-road-oriented tiddlers included some very cool offerings such as the Boy Racer, the mono-tank-and-bodied MT5A, the SS125MX, and even a kid bike with a full-on mini sidecar.

One of the more basic and no-frills models from this lineup was the ME100, and while the ME had a headlight and the other necessary road-going bits — unlike its cousin, the MT100 — it was still more or less motorcycling at its most basic (+ oil injection I suppose). A simple steel frame, a thumper mill, primitive suspenders and drum brakes front and rear. Add a seat, tank, and lighting, slap an Indian logo on it and voila, ME100.

The ME100 (and MT100) were powered by a Fuji F500K air-cooled, 97ccc, two-stroke single fed via a 20mm Mikuni carb (though it was supposedly replaced by a 22mm unit in ’74) and paired with a five-speed transmission, the ME100 was reportedly good for around 8hp. A surprising number of parts on the little ME were adjustable, including the foot pegs and the suspension. With a dry weight of under 180 lbs, the 97cc ME was reportedly good for as many as 55mph (with some help from the wind). While it may have sold new in the mid ‘70s for $750, examples today fetch a pretty decent amount considering you’re paying for a forty-something-year-old small displacement dual sport. Parts for the ME — or any little dirt-going Indian of the era — can still be found on eBay, and — which offers a free digital copy of the owner’s manual online. The site also has some cool adverts and press material for the unconventional Indians.

This particular 1972 example is said to be in good shape with less than 500 original miles on the clock. According to the seller the bike also has an “improved version of original forks with upper and lower triple clamps and real oil damping”. Out back, the ME also has “matching improved rear shocks”, which, when combined with the up-specced fork allow for an additional two inches of travel fore and aft, resulting in a total of 8” of travel in front and 5” in the rear.

You can find this 1972 Indian ME for sale here on Craigslist on Long Island, New York with a price of $7,000.

While this is a plenty-cool example, its price does seem a little on the steep side, so if this is too rich for your blood there’s also an ME100 project in Tampa for just $750 that’s said to be complete with everything there, only requiring assembly. (Please someone buy this, if I lived in Tampa I would).