1912 Indian Twin for Sale

Indian was on top of the world in 1912, boasting the largest factory and highest production figures anywhere.

It had also made a world tour of racing the previous year and had come out of it with speed records galore, as well as a never-repeated 1-2-3 victory in the Isle of Man Senior TT in 1911 with its 2-speed racers. Indians used all-chain drive from the start of production—probably due to George Hendee’s origins as a bicycle manufacturer—and were the only racing team at the Island with 2-speed gearboxes that year; Scott 2-stroke motorcycles came closest with its twin primary-chain system, and Zenith had an infinitely-variable “Gradua” belt-drive system, though neither of these could match the Indian that year.

Remarkably, these were not Indian’s 8-valve racers, but F-head V-twins like its production roadsters, although of special capacity to suit the rules of Isle of Man competition. But Jake DeRosier—who didn’t much like the rough dirt track on the island and crashed several times at the 1911 TT—brought his own 8-valve racer to Britain to set speed records and set up a successful challenge to Charlie Collier’s Matchless V-twin, the pre-eminent racing machine in Britain. DeRosier won the best-of-3 match series at the Brooklands race bowl, and Indian was suddenly and absolutely the only racer to have.

Indian of course offered to sell racing motorcycles to private owners in various engine capacities from 500cc to 1,000cc, in F-head and 8-valve configuration, and a few virtual “TT Replicas” were built in 1912, one of which is this very special machine. This 1912 Indian production racer was purchased from Mike Wolfe back in 2007, and it was the subject of his first TV pilot submission to the History Channel, which later became “American Pickers.” Wolfe found the Indian in long-term crated storage at a garage in Florida and immediately sold it to the current owner, who speculates Wolfe—an old friend—sold it over the phone the moment his truck left that Florida garage.

The 1912 racer is remarkably complete and correct, and while much of the paint has oxidized away, plenty of that Indian red remains; the ghost of the original tank decals can be seen clearly. This is an extremely rare, unmolested, original Indian race machine, and it’s a gem awaiting the right home.


  • Sold on Bill of Sale
  • Purchases by a Nevada Resident or Nevada Dealer are on Bill of Sale for display purposes only
  • Original Paint
  • Privateer racer
  • From American Pickers pilot video
  • Comes with copy of original title, correspondence between previous buyer/sellers, engine casing

Report by mecum.com