National Army Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand : Military History & Army War Museum

The Indian Motorcycle

The Indian motorcycle was used extensively by New Zealand forces during and after World War II.  The bikes were built as a modified version of the civilian model, Indian Scout by the Indian Motorcycle Company in the USA between 1941 and 1944.  Over 18,000 of these bikes were produced, many of them being sent to Britain or Commonwealth countries as part of the American Lend-Lease programme.

Engine:            2 Cylinder, 15 hp Indian GDA 30.07 cubic inch air cooled side valve

Weight:           208.6 kg

The 714B Indian was a common sight on New Zealand roads in the late 1950s. All were made to army specifications with low gear ratios and higher suspension giving greater ground clearance. All had standard blackout head and tail lighting, oil bath air cleaners, sump guard and crash bars fitted.

The Indian motorcycle was famous New Zealander Burt Munro’s motorcycle of choice as depicted in the movie of his life, ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’.