Flat track is not huge in Australia, so when a classic collector grabbed this Indian Vintage Racer and brought it to Australia, it caught everyones eye. Words & Photos: Knackers BDP...
I first set eyes on the Hot Shoe Indian at the Broadford Bike Bonanza several years ago. It’s hard to miss such a ride, it even looks fast standing still with an Indian V Twin power plant, metal finish and identified as a flat track racing bike, it really is an eye-catcher.
It’s not a common thing to see such a set up as this bike in Australia, we’re into speedway bikes with the likes of solo rides and sidecars. Flat track and Vintage racing is the American equivalent of our Speedway in a broad sense. But, the closest thing in common with our bikes compared to the Americans is that they are ridden in a similar way. However, flat tracker bikes have gears unlike speedway racers.
This amazing looking bike is a one of a kind purpose built 1941 Indian Chief 74 cube flat track racer. It was built to race up against one of the greatest flat track racers, the legendary Jay Springsteen, who was aboard a very fast 1966 Harley-Davidson KR Racer. Jay can absolutely attest to the horsepower this bike produces as it won eight of nine events against him.
This bike has won main events in the States at Davenport, Iowa, Wauseon and Ohio race tracks. The eight times it won was a achieved via a combination of three riders throwing it around in full noise mode: Wade Camlin, Aaron Lindfors and another iconic legend of flat track racing world George Roeder II.
It was built by master Indian bike builder, Kelly George, starting with the custom nickel plated chromoly frame he made along with a girder fork front-end steered by custom alloy bars. He completed the front with Works Performance gas shocks that have ten preload adjustments and billet connecting rods, all of which houses the potent Indian V twin also built by Kelly.
This flat track racer has the best of everything when it comes to the Indian power plant. The engine internals are full on, with Carrillo rods married to the J&E slugs and Big Ollie cams working with the titanium valves. There are titanium bolts and studs fitted throughout the whole bike including cylinder studs and head bolts.
The fuel is fed through to the 44mm Mikuni juice extractor fitted with a K&N air filter. For spark the electronic Ignition has a needle and ball bearing distributor housing, which is an upgrade from the stock bushing type. To protect the sump, a billet plate was fitted and keeping the oil cool is a finned billet canister oil filter housing.
The gearbox is an Indian hand shift three speed with first gear was removed, this was a weight saving measure with the clutch basket and pressure plate also lightened. In order to change it back to a three speed, the cluster gear would need to be changed which is very easily done. It rolls on 19in anodised red alloy spoked Sun Rims, which have alloy hubs and the rear has adjustable axle plates.
Also featured is a neat custom reverse embossed alloy fuel tank topped off with a centre mounted Pingle petcock, it works well with the genuine leather tuck and rolled twin sprung seat. Despite there being no comfort options on the bike, it has plenty of grunt to make up for it. Unfortunately, the flat track at broadford was too small to really open it up and appreciate the full power it possesses.
This is truly a one of a kind amazing machine, twice it’s been at the track and it sounds like heaven to the ears. For now though it’s part of an impressive private motorcycle collection but it’s American made, Aussie owned, so Australians get to hear the roar of this V-twin more than anyone else.
Hot Shoe Indian Flat Track Racer Gallery