INDIAN MOTORCYCLE CLASSICS

AMERICAN IRON IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

PARTS

RESTORATION

MOTORCYCLES

LITERATURE

MEMORABILIA

www.indianmcc.com

The History of the Indian Motorcycle

The History of the Indian 841

841

Indian 841

Specifications;
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)

Overview
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.

History
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.

Demise
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.

This page maps the history of the Indian 841 Motorcycle, taking you through the purpose, specifications and demise.

The chapter ‘titles’ are listed here for ease of navigating the page;

To navigate through this pages you can;

...click on the Titles in the Index

...scroll down using your mouse

...’mouse hover’ to enlarge pictures

To navigate through other History pages;

...click on the History drop down menu


Home Privacy Policy Terms of Use

Follow us on…