Keeping It Original

Revitalizing the Indian Chief Motorcycle

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Brett Herrey is a biker living in the Latham, NY area.  An old bike in the corner of a rickety old cellar caught his eye as a child, not knowing at the time that it was an Indian motorcycle.  Once he was old enough to buy his own bike, he settled on a 1947 Indian Chief with the skirted fenders and solo seat that bounced up and down like the old one he remembered in the cellar.  Brett chose the DuPont two-color scheme with black over red, with all the options he could get on it.  After the Indian was restored by a friend, the first ride was a disaster with overheating, parts falling off, and an overall feeling of dread. After examining causes and results, Brett decided to work on the bike himself. He took the bike apart and rebuilt it almost from ground up.  Brett has restored several Indians and has had the bikes featured in magazines and shows. Many can be found in the pages of Indian Illustrated Magazine.  In the "old days," if you happened to pass another rider, the brotherhood would kick in and a courteous wave was done by both. However, a foreign bike rider would learn quickly that the wave would be with one finger rather than a whole hand.  Brett currently owns Indians and Harleys, and finds that riding one or the other is better than getting a one-finger wave anytime. Brett can be contacted at

If you could own a "vintage" motorcycle, what would you settle on?  Would you be willing to put the time and energy into a restoration?  Let's hear what you have to say!

Brett -indian -bike

Written by Lisa Petrocelli at 12:00 AM

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