1920 Indian PowerPlus

Price: US $30,000.00
Item location: Rollinsford, New Hampshire, United States
Make: Indian
Model: PowerPlus
Year: 1920
Mileage: N/A
VIN: 80R308
Color: Indian Red
Engine size: 1180CC
Vehicle Title: Clear

The Indian Power Plus

The Indian Powerplus is a motorcycle that was built from 1916 to 1923 by the Hendee Manufacturing Company. Designed by Charles Gustafson, he Powerplus's engine was Indian's first flathead.


Charles Gustafson left Reading Standard in 1909 and joined Indian as Oscar Hedstrom's assistant. Gustafson had designed side valve flathead engines for Reading Standard, hich had been the first motorcycle manufacturer in the United States to use a flathead engine in a production motorcycle. When Hedstrom left Indian in 1913, ustafson became Indian's chief engineer. In late 1915, ndian introduced Gustafson's replacement for Hedstrom's 61-cubic-inch (1,000cc) V-twin engine. The new engine used side valves instead of the inlet overhead exhaust valve layout used in Hedstrom's designs. The flathead engine was quieter and less expensive to manufacture than the earlier IOE engine and needed less maintenance. It was named "Powerplus" because its output of approximately 16 horsepower (12kW) was noticeably greater than that of the earlier engine. The new engine was installed in the existing frames for Indian V-twin motorcycles, nd used existing drivetrain components, anks, andlebars, nd other components. The drivetrain included a clutch, kickstarter, nd a three-speed gearbox. The standard frame for the Powerplus had a conventional rigid rear wheel mounting, ut the Powerplus was also available with Indian's Cradle Spring Frame. Introduced in 1913, he Cradle Spring Frame had a rear swingarm linked to trailing leaf springs.


Detail shot of 1918 Indian Powerplus, howing engine, ith removable caps for valve removal, and control levers for clutch, earbox, nd exhaust valve lifter, nd pedal for the rear drum brake. The Powerplus had twist grips on both handles; the throttle was controlled by the left twist grip while the right twist grip advanced or retarded the spark. Three controls were on the right side of the gas tank, vertically-operated shifter, n exhaust valve lifter, nd a hand clutch lever. The clutch lever was linked to the clutch pedal positioned on the left side of the bike.

Promotion and development

Between 24 and 28 August 1915, rwin “Cannonball” Baker rode an early Indian Powerplus from Vancouver to Tijuana in 3 days, hours and 15 minutes, stablishing a new "Three Flags" record. The Powerplus engine was revised in 1917 with the barrels and pistons lengthened by a quarter of an inch and the piston wrist pin relocated below the piston center. This was done to reduce the occurrence of piston slap. The valve caps in the cylinder head were finned from 1917 until the end of production. A larger engine, ith a displacement of approximately 72 cubic inches (1,180cc), ecame available in 1920.

End of production

Production of the larger Powerplus engine ended in 1922, he year in which production of the Powerplus's eventual successor, he Chief, egan production. The Powerplus was renamed the "Standard" in 1922, eflecting the fact that it was not as powerful as the Chief. The Standard was discontinued in 1923, nd the Cradle Spring Frame was discontinued with it. Indian would not offer rear suspension on a production motorcycle again until 1940, hen the Chief and the Four would be given plunger suspension.

Our 1920 Power Plus

This particular PowerPlus heralds from the State of Connecticut where it was enjoyed by one family before we were fortunate enough to acquire it several years ago. And while it has never been dismantled it went through the unfortunate pain of having been brush painted by its owner sometime in the late 1940’s. Later storage with a blanket which became moist resulted in minimal surface corrosion on the fuel tank. This cycle features virtually every possible option made for the model and was fully functional when purchased and serviced for static display by us many years ago. Some literature and additional provenance will be included along with a Bill of Sale. It is ready to enjoy be it for display, otoring or complete restoration. Please enjoy our numerous detailed Photographs https://www.flickr.com/gp/113611455@N07/C8w2K0/ and should you have any questions simply contact us at your convenience! Please note that this cycle is also available for sale locally which may result in the early termination of this auction.

Also published at eBay.com