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Indian 741B Motorcycle used by US in WW2?

Discussion in 'Military Vehicle Restoration' started by Don, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. Don

    Don recruit

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    I have recently spent a great deal of time, money and effort restoring an Indian 741B, WW2 era military motorcycle(manufactured in Springfield, Mass about 1941).
    Most of the bikes used by the U.S.military were
    Harlies.
    I am trying to prove that the U.S.Military ctually used at least a few of this model Indian, if only for a while.
    If anyone has any WW2 photos, particularly of G.I.'s on this model Indian or other documentation that I can purchase or pay to copy,
    or personal recollections to help me prove they did I'd be greatly apreciative of them.
    I do know they made over 32,000 of them and that many went to the British, New Zealanders, Australians, Russians and possibly the French.
    Please email me if you have any info.or suggestions.
    Thanks in advance,
    Don Snowdon
     
  2. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hello Don and welcome aboard.

    I have seen photos of British Dispatch Riders before, but I havent a clue in what books they were in. I have seen documentary footage of them riding motorcycles in England and in Italy, but I cannot recall what type of chopper they were riding.
     
  3. Keystone Two-Eight

    Keystone Two-Eight Member

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    Nothing to prove, it's a well known fact.
    Indian Motorcycles on wikipedia.

    World War II [​IMG] [​IMG]
    1939 Indian Dispatch Tow, 3-wheeler


    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    1942 Indian Scout 500, the 741, used by the US Army


    Chiefs, Scouts, and Junior Scouts were all used for various purposes by the United States Army in World War II. However, none of these could unseat the Harley-Davidson WLA as the motorcycle mainly used by the Army. The early version was based on the 750cc Scout (45 cu.in.) 640 compared directly with Harley's offer, the WLA, but was either too expensive or heavy, or a combination of both. Indians eventual offer, the 500cc (30.5 cu.in.) 741, was underpowered and could not compete with the WLA. Indian also offered a version based on the 1200cc (74 cu.in.) Chief, the 344. Approximately 1,000 experimental versions mounting the 750cc motor sideways and utilising shaft drive, as on a modern Moto Guzzi, the 841, was also tried."


    Videos of Indians during WWII


    Harleys were the motorcycle of choice, but Indians were used. Google is your friend!
     
  4. Keystone Two-Eight

    Keystone Two-Eight Member

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    Wow, just looked at the date this was initially posted!
     
  5. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    History never dies, it just fades away for a while. Great info on the Indian.
     
  6. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    I used to have a link to the motorcycles the Army was testing out before we got into the war. It was in an old Popular Mechanics magazine I think. It showed both the horizontal twin of the H-D people with a shaft drive copying the BMW, and the Indian with a V-twin mounted with the cylinders protruding out at 45 degree angles like a Moto-Guzzi. I don't remember if it was shaft or chain drive, but both it and the Harley had incorporated left-hand clutches and left-foot shifts into their designs. A first from both companies.

    I'll look around and see if I can chase down the link for you guys if you are interested. I too like seeing old threads that have new information and pics in them. Thanks for posting them "Keystone"!
     

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