Bike Find of the Day – 1928 Indian Inline Four Model 401

You know you want it.

With a load of engineering and design upgrades, the Indian Four was produced through 1943. The mid-thirties models featured a 77 cubic-inch 1300 cc engine, and were among the first models to feature battery ignition and 14 mm spark plugs instead of the usual 18.

The best thing about these classic Indians was the top speeds they were capable of reaching – 80 – 90 mph. The plunger-framed Inline Fours also boasted an incredibly smooth ride.

Indian 401 (1928)












1928 Indian model 401, 1265 cc inline four cylinder.

Engine VF 281

Early in 1927 Indian bought the entire assets of the famous ACE motorcycle corporation.

Indian then ran with the ball but kept manufacturing the Indian ACE until 1928 when the Indian Four took took over with it’s significant engineering and design improvements.

The 1265 cc powerplant featured overhead inlet valves, the side exhaust valves which gave the motor its signature look and in its late twenties incarnation, put out about 30 BHP.

The output of the engine had, after about ten years of design and development, upped the ante to around 40 BHP and properly tuned examples could manage closer to 50 BHP. Improvements in engine output also mean the over weight of the machine grew, and by 1928, an Inline Four would weigh in around 455 lbs. By 1942 ( the last year the Inline Four was manufactured), the weight of the model had ballooned to 568 lbs.

The Indian Four of 1928-31 shares most of its frame and parts with the model 101 Scout. It’s a low-to-the-ground, beautifully streamlined machine, and the smooth and nearly silent powerplant made it a unique entrant into the marketplace.

Examples of the Inline Four in excellent condition can – and regularly do – bring in excess of $50-70,000 at auction.



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