Production Quantity 1056
Engine size 45 cu. in. (737 cc) 90° air-cooled side-valve V-twin
Power 25 bhp
Transmission Four speed, foot shift; shaft drive[
Front Suspension Girder fork with coil springs and shock absorber
Rear Suspension Plunger-type with coil springs
Brakes Front and rear: Drum
Related Indian Sport Scout (engine internals)
The Indian 841 was designed by the Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Co. for desert warfare.
It pioneered the drive train configuration later popularised by Moto Guzzi, having a longitudinally-mounted air-cooled 90-degree V-twin with shaft drive to the rear wheel.
During World War II, the US Army requested experimental motorcycle designs suitable for desert fighting. In response to this request, Indian designed and built the 841.
The Indian 841 was heavily inspired by the BMW R71 motorcycle, as was its competitor, the Harley-Davidson XA. However, unlike the XA, the 841 was not a copy of the R71. Although its tubular frame, plunger rear suspension, and shaft drive were similar to the BMW's, the 841 was different from the BMW in several aspects, most noticeably so with its 90-degree longitudinal-crankshaft V-twin engine and girder fork. In order to reduce costs, the new V-twin shared several internal components with the existing Indian Sport Scout, resulting in the same bore and stroke of 2.87" x 3.50" (73 x 89 mm).
The 841 had shaft drive and foot-shift/hand-clutch and weighed close to 550 lbs.
The Indian 841 and the Harley-Davidson XA were both tested by the Army, but neither motorcycle was adopted for wider military use. It was determined that the Jeep was more suitable for the roles and missions for which these motorcycles had been intended. Surplus 841s were eventually sold from the corporate warehouse in Springfield.