Post-Sale Update: After being relisted, this Indian Motoplane sold for $65,000.
No, it’s not a plane. If anything, the Indian Motoplane actually represents the firm’s plummet to the ground during the Great Depression. At the time, Indian’s customer base was looking for a bike like the discontinued 101, a light 45 cubic inch bike. But the company didn’t feel like the bike was modern enough. So they forced a 45ci (Scout) engine into a chassis designed for the 30ci (Scout Pony) engine, creating a semi hot-rod.
And though Indian would end up going out of business, and Harley would go on to evolve, this bike did introduce some technology way before its American competition – a dry sump system with recirculating oil. Harley wouldn’t catch up for 3 years, and their marketing department tried to skirt around the issue by claiming their system was superior because ‘it only used oil once’. Want to learn more? Head on over to Indian Motorplane.com
This specific Indian Motoplane, like any bike from the 30s, has quite a story. It’ll need paint, and it’s had some custom work done. These bikes might be relatively easy to replicate, using parts from other Indians of the time, so someone more knowledgeable than me on vintage Indians would have to confirm it’s authenticity. Still, I figured you’d want to see a bike that even Indian fans have never heard of.
Find this Indian Motoplane for sale in Enumclaw, Washington with bidding up to $15,406 and the reserve not yet met