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old man emu

Do you know of any Model 741 Indian Scouts?

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I'm currently creating a list of US motorcycles used by the Australian Army in WWII. There were two makes supplied under Lend Lease - Indian (early in the war) and Harley Davidson from 1942 onward. The Harleys are relatively easy to find nowadays, but the Indians are not.

 

Since members of this forum are located all over the country, I was hoping that some might know of the location of some of these bikes.

 

The easiest to see difference between an Indian Scout and the Harley is the gear shift lever. The Indian lever is on the right hand side of the tank, and doesn't operate through a cage. The Harley lever is on the left hand side of the tank and is located in a cage.

 

Here is a link to a site which has good pictures of a 741B: Indian 1941 741 500 cc 2 cyl sv - Yesterdays

 

Thanks for your help.

 

Old Man Emu

 

 

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There aren't many 741's in the US. There were quite a few out here and they also went to the USSR, and they weren't impressed. They didn't pay for them. They are spectacularly underpowered. Indian also made a shaft drive with the 750 scout motor mounted like a GUZZI, (Not a large number) and the Chief 1200 cc was also used by the military. with or without a chair. Some were painted black and used by the cops after the war.

 

Harley made the 750 WL models ( about 90,000, all up) which were detuned civilian models. Most are numbered 42 WLA XXXX also a version of the knuckle OHV in small numbers. Two knuckle motors were used in a small tank, briefly. The model "U" 1200 SV was popular probably being the best bike of the lot all things considered, and a flat twin DELCO engined shaft drive offering . An unashamed copy of the R38 BMW with UN threads and schebler bronze carburettors but the field mechanics preferred working on the WL models and it wasn't continued. There's some of them around. Quite a good thing. The Chinese have built similar but they haven't met the Australian standards for braking, amongst other things, so while there's some around you might have trouble getting them on the road till they are over 25 years on the red plate permit scheme. There's a Russian thing similar. Pretty ordinary. The best War outfit was probably the Zundapp shaft drive horizontally opposed twin outfit with sidecar driven wheel. Nev

 

 

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Yes. The 741 was mainly shipped to the Allies. That's why they hardly exist in the USA. I haven't counted how many the Australian army got because I haven't finished the transcription. However, there do seem to be a lot of them, and I will not be surprised if the numbers of both come out much the same. That is why my curiosity was stirred. There have always been WLAs about. I had one in 1969, and I have another now. However, I've never seen a 741.

 

Don't try regaling me with stories of bikes buried in packing crates etc. The records I am copying show that virtually all the bikes listed were sold off to motorcycle dealers like Hazell & Moore or Motorcycle Traders. The names of the purchasers are all in the records.

 

OME

 

 

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The person who owned Hamilton Island, Keith Williams?made money out of military Indians. I know a few of the old dealers who had a lot of it. There was also a lot of BSA M20 and Norton military stuff around. Do you want a 741? A lot of them have been destroyed racing them in the last few years.. Nev

 

 

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If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Yes, I'd like one, but two things prevent my getting one: money, and the person who holds the purse strings.

 

The records I am using also list lots of M20, Norton, Triumph and Royal Enfields. Most of these English bikes went to the Middle East and Singapore.

 

At the moment I am interested in finding out what happened to the hundreds of Indians that the army sold after the war.

 

 

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I did see some Matchless bikes recorded. They may have been impressed because there are not a lot of them. Also, most of the bikes listed have disappeared from the face of the Earth like the Indians.

 

 

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I couldn't find any record of a Matchless WD /CO or G3L in the Australian military services. The Navy had a smattering of ARIEL W/NG s. IF you have any other information I would like to see it. I'd also like to know about the Malaysian "Dirty" war (1949?) and what machines went there from the UK. Matchless made a large number of bikes for the second war effort. Over 60,000. (40,000 Ariels) Nev

 

 

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If you don't mind doing some gossip and negotiating, you could have a chat with Prices at Dalby. He used to have a fair bit of old army auction stuff. Maybe a lead worth following up. Friend of mine got some old tin there a few years back.

 

Phone 4662-1013

 

 

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Just an update on Motorcycles.

I came across a couple of interesting pics,!.

HarleyDsPuru.thumb.jpg.8a6b02ad2f1d8ec23f31d79646a16b73.jpg HD going for $1500 each spacesailor

48PotKawasaki.thumb.jpg.605b17257e21118c4cd5f0ea6ac892e5.jpg

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Those Harleys are probably around 1992 police models. Of the WW2 models the WLA Harley made 90.000 but the British BSA M 20 was a straggering120,000 produced. The most sought after by the riders were the Matchless G3L (Tele forks) and the Ariel W/NG,.which was a copy of the 1938 ISDT (Trials) bike.

The 741 Indian was only 500cc and were fairly common here but were monstered and raced till most engines were ruined fairly recently. That did not take long, probably 6 odd years. Some were bored out to the readily available (then) 600 cc piston size. and not worked over. This still makes the cylinder wall thickness less than desired but acceptable. Some of these still survive as well as a few that are still near original bore size but you would be much better off with a 39 model 750cc sport scout in good nick. Nev

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Although I like the appearance of any pre-1950 Indian, I think that the contemporary Harleys were better designed (not going to argue "better made"). I don't like that the gear lever of an Indian is not retained in a gate system. I only have to glance down to see what gear I am in. Also the gear lever knob can be located blindfolded. Indians seem to be the only bikes in the world whose gear lever was not in a gate.

 

The 741 Indian was underpowered compared to the WL series Harley. They must have been bad, because the WL is only 25 HP!.

 

I wouldn't like to be riding a 741 on the seat springs they have. The WL has a thick post going into the frame with an adjustable spring at the bottom. I've got to hit a fairly big pothole to bottom my seat post, even with my fat body on the seat.

1586862880689.thumb.png.e690d4f683e6042e8f767220a85a423f.png

1586863081741.png.2f43d398d62c6bf8ab4e364d1a9718c9.png

  • Sad 1

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I've never seen a Wartime Indian motorbike - but the WLA's abound in numbers.

A friend owned a WLA, he rode it from Perth to Albany, W.A. (about 400kms) and reckoned the sheer amount of muscle power to keep it upright and on the road, drained him so much, he had to get off regularly, for a rest!

My wife has a photo of her Dad on his Wartime Police Harley (about 1943 or 1944), he does look very impressive. He went on to become a Superintendent, and he died in 1990, aged 74, only a short time after I first met him.

 

Here's what the local Wallopers rode when I first got my licence. A 650 Beeza in 1965.

 

WAPolice1965BSA.thumb.jpg.585356f44222704b1159c1f67b0a0f45.jpg

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On 07/08/2017 at 9:12 PM, old man emu said:

I'm currently creating a list of US motorcycles used by the Australian Army in WWII. There were two makes supplied under Lend Lease - Indian (early in the war) and Harley Davidson from 1942 onward. The Harleys are relatively easy to find nowadays, but the Indians are not.

 

Since members of this forum are located all over the country, I was hoping that some might know of the location of some of these bikes.

 

The easiest to see difference between an Indian Scout and the Harley is the gear shift lever. The Indian lever is on the right hand side of the tank, and doesn't operate through a cage. The Harley lever is on the left hand side of the tank and is located in a cage.

 

Here is a link to a site which has good pictures of a 741B: Indian 1941 741 500 cc 2 cyl sv - Yesterdays

 

Thanks for your help.

 

Old Man Emu

 

 

ome, apologies for the late post on this topic (48 years too late). I had one in my shed in 1972 along with a Dusting sidecar that I was going to try to fit to it. Sold them both for $70. Thanks for the link; it brings back some memories.

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2 hours ago, willedoo said:

I had one in my shed in 1972

I bought my WLA with sidecar in December 1968 when I turned 16y 9mths and got my permit. Sold it in 1970 to buy an old VW Beetle, cause the girls didn't like riding in the sidecar.

 

I was just looking at mine in the garage. It has been sitting there for most of the year because of regulator problems. At least it's not wearing out, and is appreciating in value. 

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The girls in 1970 didnt like riding a VW Beetle either, one girlfriend moved across to a bloke with a GT Falcon

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There was a bloke on the roadside trying to get his bike going when a panting guy came out of the scrub.

Hi mate, called the bike guy, You ever ride an Indian?

Nope, said the panting guy before running off, but I just rode a lubra and now the whole tribe is after me...

  • Haha 1

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