Tom W 1949 Indian Scout

Old Indian Comes Back To Life

Having ridden motorcycles most of my life, mostly Harleys, I became excited when I came across a 1949 Indian Scout. It was mostly in boxes and everything disassembled. I brought it home and began searching the internet for information, parts etc. One of the first things I discovered was that this particular model Indian (249 Vertical Twin) has been labeled as the reason that Indian went out of business in 1953. Although it was ahead of it's time with hand clutch, foot shift, oleo type front forks and vertical twin engine, it had a lot against it. Number one it's small, weighing in just under 300 pounds and an engine of 440 CCs/27 CI. When it is sitting next to my Harley Limited, it looks more like a mini bike than a full size motorcycle. I don't think it would sell today if for no other reason than the size. Indian's CEO at the time was trying to improve biker images I guess, because in the advertising, the riders were wearing suits and ties. It's also been said that Indian's main goal was to be prepared for the British Invasion of motorcycles such as BSA Triumph, Norton, Vincent etc. This did not happen due to the Brits devaluing the pound and their bikes were cheaper. The Indian was also released too soon as there were constant engineering flaws and recalls. All of this I have learned since I picked it up. However my Bride and I were determined to bring her out of the coma she had been in for decades and she barked to life on December 27, 2013. We are very proud of her and we receive compliments from all who gaze upon her.

Tom and Susan Williams

Madison, Alabama

2 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Kellar Bismarck, ND February 14, 2014 at 14:09
    It's absolutely beautiful, but would look even nicer sitting in my driveway:)
  • 2
    Jeff Rhode Island February 14, 2014 at 15:09
    Brought a big smile. I owned what was left of one, college days ,1963. It was a very tired bike, but ran and carried me, buddies, girlfriends on great adventures. Oddly, never stranded me, unlike a number of much higher priced stuff over the years. Good luck with it, will be great fun. Have always wished I had mine back, even in the shape it was in.

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