Early brakes 1923/28



Early brakes 1923 -1928

In 1923 Indian released the new Chief (1000cc) and the Big Chief (1200cc) a completely new design which became the starting point for one of its most successful models. The 1923 and 1924 had a rear only expanding shoe and band brake of 6.5 inches O.D. There were no front brakes fitted to the Chief or Big Chief travelling mostly on dirt roads it seems brakes were not a big priority then. For 1925 the external band brake of 7.0′ O.D was fitted and the internal expanding shoe was removed. This continued for 1926 and 1927.  1928. The authorities in Australia refused import to these machines until 2 brakes were fitted so an export auxillary secondary brake was fitted. (I believe only on Australian bikes but maybe other countries) the auxillary secondary brake consisted of a single sided shoe brake operated from the front handlebars operating inside of the standard rear external band brake. It seems this brake shoe is common also to the 1927-1928 Early Scouts and the 101s of this time as it was a 7.0′ outside diameter. On investigation it appears the basic shoes are all from the same casting albeit machined slightly differently. Finally in 1928 the 101 scout was launched with drum brakes at the front and the rear similarly in late 1928 a conventional front and rear expanding drum brake was finally fitted to the Chief as well. Its a well known fact the Indian Motorcycle did tend to use up remaining sub assemblies so characteristically we can use these dates loosely. There were also a large number of interchangeable parts in the wheel area so over the years many of these parts, particularly brakes have been swapped over to keep the bikes running so don’t be alarmed if your own bike is different to the above. Sadly these parts are becoming all but impossible to locate however with some help from friends within the industry i located one of the brake shoes complete and we have now managed to make the shoe casting. This is already available for sale and hopefully it will help Australian Scout and Chief owners to keep their brakes working as its a relatively simple matter to machine and friction line these brake shoes. I would like to thank Chris Knoop for his valuable insight to these rapidly changing specifications on the old model Indians.


PO Box 5118

Mordialloc VIC 3195

E: sales@zorros.net.au

W: www.zorros.net.au