The History of the Chopper Motorcycle
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Indian Motorcycle is an American brand of motorcycles originally produced from to in Springfield, MassachusettsUnited States. During the s, Indian Motorcycle became the largest manufacturer what does a seaman do in the navy motorcycles in the world.
Indian Motorcycle's most popular models were the Scout, made from toand the How to get baby oil out of shirt, made from untilwhen the Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company went bankrupt.
Various organizations tried to perpetuate the Indian Motorcycle brand name in subsequent years, with limited success. InPolaris Industries purchased Indian Motorcycles and moved operations from North How to fake a bob hairstyle and merged them into their existing facilities in Minnesota and Iowa.
Since AugustPolaris has marketed multiple modern Indian motorcycles that reflect Indian Motorcycle's traditional styling. The "Indian Motocycle Co. Hendee in to manufacture bicycles. These were initially badged as "Silver King" and "Silver Queen" brands but the name "American Indian", quickly shortened to just "Indian", was adopted by Hendee from onwards because it gave better product recognition in export markets. Oscar Hedstrom joined in Both Hendee and Hedstrom were former bicycle racers and manufacturers, and after building three prototypes in Middletown, Connecticut they teamed up to produce a motorcycle with a 1.
The motorcycle was successful and sales increased dramatically during the next decade. Ina prototype and two production units of the diamond-framed Indian Single were successfully designed, built and tested. The first Indian motorcycles, having chain drives and streamlined styling, were sold to the public in InIndian's co-founder and chief engineer Oscar Hedstrom set the world motorcycle speed record of 56 mph.
Annual production of Indian motorcycles then exceededrising to a peak of 32, in Aurora produced engines under license for Indian from about to Aurora was also allowed to sell Indian design engines to third parties and pay Indian a fee. InIndian built its first V-twin factory racer and in following years made a strong showing what year did the first motorcycle come out racing and record-breaking.
Inthe company introduced the first street version V-twin and a roadster styled after the factory racer. The roadster can be distinguished from the racers by the presence of twist grip linkages. Inhe rode an Indian across America, from San Diego to New Yorkin a record 11 days, 12 hours and ten minutes.
Baker's mount in subsequent years was the Powerplus, a side-valve V-twin, which was what year did the first motorcycle come out in The Powerplus was highly successful, both as a roadster and as the basis for racing bikes.
It remained in production with few changes until Competition success played a big part in Indian's rapid growth and spurred technical innovation as well. Indian star Jake DeRosier set several speed records, both in America and at Brooklands in Britainand won an estimated races on dirt and board tracks. Oscar Hedstrom left Indian in after disagreements with the board of directors regarding dubious practices to inflate the company's stock value.
Indian introduced the cc single cylinder two-stroke Whats a good nickname for a girl you like K "Featherweight" in The Model K was manufactured for one year and was replaced in by the Model O. The Model O had a four-stroke flat-twin engine and a new frame, but retained the pivoting fork at the front. The Model O was manufactured until This blow to domestic availability of the motorcycles led to a loss of dealers from which Indian never quite recovered.
The Scout and Chief V-twins, introduced in the early s, became the Springfield firm's most successful models. Designed by Charles Franklinthe middleweight Scout and larger Chief shared a degree V-twin engine layout.
Both models gained a reputation for strength and reliability. InIndian merged with Du Pont Motors. Paul DuPont ceased production of duPont automobiles and concentrated the company's resources on Indian.
Models of that era had Indian's famous war bonnet logo on the gas tank. Indian's huge Springfield factory was known as the Wigwam, and native American imagery was much used in advertising. InIndian sold nearly as many motorcycles as its major rival, Harley-Davidson. During this time, Indian also manufactured other products such as aircraft engines, bicycles, boat motors and air conditioners. The Indian Scout was built from through It rivaled the Chief as Indian's most important model.
The Scout was introduced for Designed by Charles B. Franklinthe Scout had its gearbox bolted to the engine and was driven by gears instead of by belt or how to create more testosterone. Later inthe Scout and Scout 45 were replaced by the Model Scout. Another Franklin design, the Scout had a longer wheelbase and lower seat height than the original.
The Scout was well known for its handling. The Scout was replaced by the Standard Scout for The Standard Scout shared its frame with the Chief and the Four; as a result, the Standard Scout was heavier and less nimble than the A second line of Scouts was introduced for Based on the frame of the discontinued Indian Prince single-cylinder motorcycle, the Motoplane used the 45 cubic inch engine from the Standard Scout while the Pony Scout had a reduced displacement of The Sport Scout and the Junior Scout were continued until civilian production was how to remove small moles from face at home in early Introduced inthe Indian Chief had a 1, cc 61 cubic inches engine based on the Powerplus engine; a year later the engine was enlarged to 1, cc 73 cubic inches.
Numerous improvements were made to the Chief over the years, including the provision of a front brake in Inall models were fitted with how to remove malware protection virus manually large skirted fenders that became an Indian trademark, and the Chief gained a new sprung frame that was superior to rival Harley's unsprung rear end.
The Chief had a 74 cubic inch engine, hand shift and foot clutch. While one handlebar grip controlled the throttle the other was a manual spark advance.
Inthe V-twin engine was enlarged to 1, cc 79 cubic inches and telescopic forks were adopted. But Indian's financial problems meant that few bikes were built. Production of the Chief ended in Indian purchased the Ace Motor Corporation in and moved production of the 4-cylinder Ace motorcycle to Springfield.
It was marketed as the Indian Ace in Inthe Indian was replaced by the Indian which received a stronger twin-downtube frame based on the Scout frame and a sturdier five-bearing crankshaft than the Ace, which only had a three-bearing crankshaft.
Despite the low demand for luxury motorcycles during the Great DepressionIndian not only continued production of the Four, but continued to develop the motorcycle. One of the less popular versions of the Four was the "upside down" engine on the models. While earlier and later Fours had inlet-over-exhaust IOE cylinder heads with overhead inlet valves and side exhaust valves, the Indian Four had a unique EOI cylinder head, with the positions reversed.
In theory, this would improve fuel vaporization, and the new engine was more powerful. However, the new system made the cylinder head, and the rider's inseam, very hot. This, along with an exhaust valvetrain that required frequent adjustment, caused sales to drop. The addition of dual carburetors in did not revive interest. The design was returned to the original configuration in Like the Chief, the Four was given large, skirted fenders and plunger rear suspension in Inthe inch wheels of previous models were replaced with inch wheels with balloon tires.
The Indian Four was discontinued in An early war military design by Indian was based on the cc 46 cu in Scout and was often compared to Harley-Davidson's WLAbut was what does nous mean in french too expensive or heavy, or a combination of both.
Indian's later offering, the cc 31 cu in B was not selected to gain a US Military contract. Indian also made a version based on the 1, cc 73 cu in Chief, the Approximately 1, experimental versions mounting the cc motor sideways and using shaft drive, as on a modern Moto Guzzithewere also tried.
Indian made a prototype of a lightweight bike, called the M1 light motorcycle for the World War 2 Airborne forces. The lightweight design could be airdropped with the troops. The design never made it past prototype. Approximately 1, models were built. Although its tubular frame, plunger rear suspension, and shaft drive were similar to the BMW's, the was different from the BMW in several aspects, what year did the first motorcycle come out noticeably so with its degree longitudinal-crankshaft V-twin engine and girder fork.
The Indian and the Harley-Davidson XA were both tested by the Army, but neither motorcycle was adopted for wider military use. It was determined that the Jeep was more suitable for the roles and missions for which these motorcycles had been intended. Ina group headed by Ralph B. Rogers purchased a controlling interest of the company. Indian also produced a limited amount appx. Inthey discontinued the Chief, as they began domestic manufacture of two lightweight motorcycles, the single-cylinder cc Arrow and the twin-cylinder cc Scout.
The Scout was offered in various trim levels. The initial shipment of lightweights developed a reputation for unreliability, often associated with a rush to market. Later shipments were reported by publications of the time to have resolved most reliability issues by the following year. The lineup brought back the Chief, with telescopic forks.
It also saw the introduction of the twin-cylinder cc Warrior model, which received both a standard and high pipe sporting TT trim. Replacing Rogers was hand-picked successor John Brockhouse, President and owner of Brockhouse engineering. Unfortunately, new management did not bring new fortune, and production of all models wound down inwith most Chiefs built from remaining parts.
Dec 10, · Austrian engineer Hans Trunkenpolz opens a metal-working shop in Mattighofen, Austria. The name of the business is Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkenpolz Mattighofen. The company’s first motorcycle is developed – the R The company becomes officially known as ‘Kronreif, Trunkenpolz, Mattighofen’ (KTM). Nov 23, · Indian Chief Bobber Motorcycle. 50's era Harley Knucklehead bobber and legendary British bike, the Vincint Rapide, one of the fastest production bikes of its time. Flathead Harley 45inch surplus war bike turned into a Bobber in the 's. 's . Apr 26, · history Can-Am, the motorcycle subsidiary of the Canadian Bombardier Corporation traced its roots back in when Gary Robinson, an American engineer and .
Performance modifications in the late 40s and 50s often meant grinding your own cam profiles or adapting side draft carburetors from small import cars American cars used down draft carbs, and the Harley and Indian side draft, so side draft carbs from British cars — the SU, and German cars — the Weber, became performance options for American bike builders. Imported British TT bikes were quicker and lighter than the Harleys and Indians on the road, both Flathead and overhead valve models, and by the s, the Triumph twins were hard to beat in a street race.
Harley introduced the K-Model in to compete in TT races and on the flat track, and in added an overhead valve top end, and the Sportster was born. Instead, they looked to the American bikes they knew and loved and sought ways to improve their performance. This was, of course, unacceptable to those folks who loved their Harleys and Indians to the exclusion of any other brands, and the easiest solution for improved performance was to remove weight from the bike.
Remove the cowling from wide glide forks, swap in a smaller Bates headlight, and remove the big tractor seat and seat tube and spring in favor of small Bates solo saddles and pillion pads from those same British bikes, add an SU carburetor or an additional Linkert carb to a custom made intake manifold, and your Flathead, Knucklehead or Panhead, or Indian Scout or Chief could perform as well as the British twins.
As the 50s progressed, people with the customization bug took hold. Car customs were becoming a big thing, too, and hot-rodders and drag racers were making wild changes to stock cars. Style changes came from unusual places- fishtail and megaphone exhaust from British bikes became inexpensive style modifications to American bikes. Springer, girder and glide forks were extended by creative welders to increase ground clearance a bit, then a bit more, then a lot.
Modify the frame neck to accommodate the longer forks without picking the bike up too far, and the chopper was born. Chopper culture, as well as custom car culture with builders like George Barris and Ed Roth, was at its height in the 60s and s, but by the early s, most of the long choppers were remodded back to more practical configurations, or sat in the corner collecting dust while disc brake bikes with electric starters became more prevalent and Japanese imports took over the largest section of the motorcycle market.
As choppers got wrecked or repurposed, folks without much budget would begin shifting back to glide forks which were readily available in parts collections. As preferences in style and taste changed, and the availability of more effective disc brakes and swingarm frames lent themselves to more comfort and practicality to an aging biker population, the chopper in the US became a fetish that held interest for few builders. The riders in their twenties and thirties in the 50s and 60s were now in their forties and fifties and even sixties, and wanted something more comfortable and practical.
And yeah, a lot of bikers wanted a bike that could stop better, too. In Sweden and Europe however, chopper culture got started a bit late. The Swedish chopper looked a lot like the American chopper, but with extremely long forks, and rode low to the ground. The Swedes, not having a large supply of surplus US Army flatheads to pirate springer forks from, resorted in most cases to using very long fork tubes on hydraulic forks, modifying frame necks for severe rake, and created a style of their own that still survives today.
But the chopper of old had not died completely, and bike and parts were in garages all over the US and even Canada. Lots of bikes were returned to their original form, as restorers began snapping up vintage barn finds and garage queens in large numbers and by the early s, vintage restored bikes were bringing high dollar at auctions across the US. The internet is probably as responsible as anything for this, as eBay made parts more available, and in the last few years web apps like Instagram became a place where bike parts and engines and even whole bikes were traded and sold.
Groups like Chopcult and the various Harley forums, and online parts and customization vendors have helped lead a chopper building genesis that is both refreshing and new. Modern machine tools, fabrication techniques, and welding shops are turning out narrowed triple trees, custom handlebar configurations, and frame mods in ways that were never practical in earlier times. A quick look at Instagram with chopper-centric hashtags, or a Google image search will show you many old-school choppers with stretched springer or girder front ends, lengthened and narrowed tube forks, and frames built or modded in rake and stretch to accommodate such things.
Chopped Panheads, Shovelheads, Evo Big Twins, and even Sportsters are being built, rebuilt, and ridden as daily rider bikes, maybe in greater numbers than they were in the 60s and 70s. Chopped Sportsters are seeing a comeback and popularity in a way they never did even in the 60s when the Ironhead cc Sportster was pretty much the hottest thing on two wheels until the Honda came along and imports took over the market in the 70s and early 80s.
Yes, we were building Ironhead choppers in the 60s, 70s, and early 80s, but not nearly in the numbers you see today. Buy a new chopper rigid frame from any number of vendors, or weld on a hardtail, stretch and rake the frame neck, add a vintage or new aftermarket springer front end or narrow trees and long fork tubes for the original hydraulic front end, and VOILA!
You have a s style chopper that is unlikely to have most of the reliability issues that Sportsters were known for in the past, and for less than the cost of a 10 year old Dyna Street Bob in most cases. Of course, the mechanic building and maintaining the bikes today, just like in the old days, will be the biggest difference between a reliable ride and needing to own a pickup truck. The chopper today has developed a growing and devoted following, and creative builders are putting together bikes that bikers in the 60s would be envious of.
I built the black rigid chopper with the leather tank strap. The strap is actually a tooled leather guitar strap. There was one chopper which was purple with a molded tank. Sign in. Log into your account. Password recovery. Recover your password. Friday, April 30, Forgot your password? Get help. Get Lowered Cycles. Features Harley. Bobber Motorcycles over the years. Flathead Harley 45inch surplus war bike turned into a Bobber in the 's.
Classic Panhead Bobber. Fenders removed or trimmed, exhaust cut down, seat exchanged for lighter, smaller seat. They're Back - Modern Choppers. Modern Panhead Chopper. Modern Rigid Frame Chopper.
Modern Swedish Chopper. Harley Sportster Choppers. Visit the Adirondacks on Your Motorcycle. Benefits of Switching from Car to Motorcycle. Are Harley Davidsons Reliable? Hell Yes! Exploring off the Beaten Path with Your Harley. A great informative article as always.. Ride On. Please enter your comment! Please enter your name here. You have entered an incorrect email address! Contact us: Info getlowered. The History of the Chopper Motorcycle November 23,
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