As America’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer, Indian was also once the world’s largest producer. Originally named Hendee Manufacturing Company in 1901, founders George Hendee and Carl Oscar Hedstrom quickly changed the name to Indian Motocycle Company. The apparent misspelling of “motorcycle” was not only intentional, but trademarked. The pair’s inspiration for their motorcycles came from their mutual bicycle racing past. Early designs were inspired by pacing bicycles. In 1907, Indian introduced its first V-twin. As with other motorcycle manufacturers, competition played a major role in Indian’s development and advertising, and their bikes broke records for speed, endurance and reliability.
The Scout had a good power-to-weight ratio for performance with a lighter weight rider and was still handy to move about while the engine was stopped. The Scout was the lifeblood of the Indian Company throughout the 1920s and 1930s. “You can’t wear out an Indian Scout, it will wear you out first,” was its slogan. The Scout outperformed the comparable Harley Davidson 45. Production of the Junior Scout ended in 1942.
Specifications: 5 horsepower, 30.5 cubic inch, two-cylinder, air-cooled V-twin engine. Bore 2½”, stroke 3 1/16”. Cost new: $215.
Accession no. 1985G11