Monday, November 6, 2017

Indian 741

A nice old image of an ex-WD Indian 741 on holiday. The photo is annotated to the reverse 'Horse Shoe Pass August 1949'. Indian 741s were sold off army surplus in great numbers by Pride and Clarke in London. All Pride and Clarke ex WD bikes were re-finished from olive drab to their trademark shade of maroon.

Though very desirable these days Indian 741s were seen as a wonky option in post war Britain. Rather outdated with a hand change gear lever and performance that could be described as stodgy at best, an ohv British 350cc single would leave the 500cc v-twin 741 for standing. I know someone who has stories of ownership of a 741 back in the day and he maintains that it was the very worst bike he ever owned! Times and tastes however change and I for one would love to own a 741, though I think I would tweak the motor to 600cc Sport Scout spec....


  1. Funnily enough I hav been reading some 1946-50 motorcycle mags, Indians and harleys were being hived off cheap in large numbers, noticable is the low mileage, very low under 100 miles mentioned in some adverts,another decribes some cheaper ones as "weathered from outside storage." We were forced to accept these bikes as a condition of USA aid, and they were without doubt total rubbish. Slow, thirsty, heavy and with controls alien to british riders. Of all those bikes sold off very few seem to have survived even into the late 1950s, I can't remember seeing one. I have nevr undrtsood how anyone can get excited over them these days,same for WLH Harleys.

    1. Never knew they were part of the post war aid deal. No doubt at all an Indian 741 or a Harley WL would have been a rotten thing on post war British roads. Neither really seem to be the quality of machine that justifies the prices they achieve nowadays, Indians are in Vincent Comet territory. I don't know any 741 owners but Harley WL owners I've spoken to have been really fond of their machines so there must be some charm to them.

    2. No, they were sent over at the beginning of USA aid, there was no post war aid, we got dropped into the manure when that stopped. My old dad got conscripted in 1942 and was given one of those dreadful Indians, he kept falling off it, so they gave him a rifle instead,later a tank but thats another story. Shame we can't paste into these boxes as those disposal ads give a whole different insight into the Harley/Indian myth. The Indians seem to have been unloaded and thrown into a heap and forgotten.

    3. It'd be interesting to see and post up the ads. You could always mail them to
      Cheers, Richard