Motorcycle Monday: 1948 Indian Chief

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This thing just bleeds cool.

Welcome back to Motorious’ Motorcycle Monday where we highlight an interesting motorcycle for your consideration. This time we’re taking a look at this cool ’48 Indian Chief with attached sidecar. While it’s not in pristine condition, you could park and display this motorcycle for others to admire if that’s your thing. Even better, a classic like this just screams to be taken out on the open road and with that sidecar it’s easy to bring along a companion.

Photo credit: Speed Digital

People go absolutely nuts over classic Indians and for good reason. If you look at the details on these motorcycles, they’re unique and undeniably neat. For example, the Indian head fender ornaments, Indian insignia stamped on chrome trim pieces, and the decorate gauge face.

It’s not unheard of to find old Indian Chiefs in red, but you might have to hunt to find one. It’s a nice color, especially with the chrome and black accents. The saddle looks like it’s new and the sidecar interior has the same appearance, so that’s a big plus for comfort during long rides.

Photo credit: Speed Digital

This motorcycle features an old-school 74ci V-twin flathead engine. It has a side valve layout and is fed through a big Linkert carburetor. There’s a manual spark retard/advance lever on the handlebar, something you don’t see on too many bikes these days.

Another unique design is the gas tank, which is split into two sections. On the left side is a compartment which will hold over 2 gallons of fuel. On the right is a compartment which can hold another gallon, plus another compartment which holds the 2.5-quart oil reservoir. You’ll note the three caps on the tank, one clearly marked for oil. According to legend, during the Prohibition era riders would fill the left tank with moonshine and make a run using the fuel in the right tank, so there’s some neat history behind this design.

There are a lot of other neat designs on this 1948 Indian Chief, like the left-hand shifter and right-hand throttle, spare tire on the back of the sidecar, and luggage rack on the rear fender. If you want to get more details about its history, get in touch with Sunnyside Classics.