1942 Indian 741-B Scout

It’s 1939, and countries across the Continent have gone to war.

Although the United States wouldn’t enter WWII for some time, the shift in global relations was enough for American motorcycle manufacturing firm Indian to start developing something new: a bike that it dubbed at the time the Model 640.

The top brass of the United States military asked the country’s leading motorcycle manufacturers – Indian and Harley-Davidson – to develop bikes suitable for use by the army. They then checked out every nook and cranny to evaluate the bikes’ front-line suitability. While authorities preferred the Harley-Davidson WLA model, Indian was able to supply substantial numbers of its 500cc – designated the 741-B Scout – to the Allied forces. The bike was used across Britain, Poland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

It had an engine that took its roots from the Junior Scout, which was equipped with modifications and features designed to ensure reliability: lowered compression ratio and mild valve timing, for example. Longer front forks gave it plenty of ground clearance, and the mudguards were mounted well clear of the wheels to prevent them from being clogged with mud.

Our 1942 Indian 741-B was restored by Nelson-based specialist Bob Bullock in 2015.

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