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Indian Motoplane (1933). Creation of perfection for Jelle.

Indian Motoplane (1933). Creation of perfection for Jelle.
ER Classics Desktop 2022

The real classic motorcycle connoisseur knows immediately what makes this Indian Motoplane from 1933 unique. “The engine where everything is”, was the text of the advertisement in the 30s. An engine with great pulling power and speed, but also with enormous endurance. The twin-cylinder was developed for the sporty rider who was disappointed in the performance of the Indian Standard Scout.

By: Dirk de Jong


For Jelle it is a motorized delicacy that has a special place in his museum 'De Veteraan' in Metslawier in Friesland. According to the experts, only 400 copies of this type of Motoplane were built, of which 200 came to Europe at the time. That only happened in 1933. Now the number of copies that are left can be counted on one hand. 

The Great Depression of the 30s

It was a difficult time for Indian Motors. It was decided to make it possible for three types to build in different engines, but to keep everything the same in order to save the necessary extra costs. The Indian Scout Junior got a 500 cc engine and the Indian Prince was the cheapest with a 350 cc engine. However, the Indian riders were disappointed in the Standard Scout's replacement of the 101 Pathfinder. So came the Indian Motoplane. He got the largest power source of 750 cc. That power source was screwed into a frame of the Indian Prince. However, that was too much of a good thing for the light frame. The project only lasted a year before it was cancelled. 

Any one in the Netherlands? 

This is probably the only Indian Motoplane in the Netherlands. The 750cc Indian has the power and speed of an OHV, and according to the 30s ad it is: quiet, runs very smoothly and can handle the powerful torque in city traffic without shifting into top gear. 

Reliability

This Indian Motoplane was registered in America in 1933 and came to the Netherlands in 1972. Despite his advanced age, he is still vital and ready for the road. No, not polished, straight from the hidden in an old barn to the sunlight. 

Advertisement

The enthusiastic advertisement (in old Dutch) tries to persuade the disappointed Indian enthusiast of those days with this text:

“Riding the Indian Motoplane. Open the throttle and you will experience a new sensation. You do with him what you will. Indian Motoplane, the all-in-one engine for just $200. For 795 Dutch guilders, it will more than meet your requirements in terms of reliability and comfort. Your costs with this engine will be greatly reduced! A long life due to the processed Indian materials with superior properties.” Speaking of longevity, the Indian Motoplane is almost 90 years old! 

What stamina

To be able to afford a purchase now, the wallet will also have to have a lot of stamina. So calling the asset manager beforehand seems to be good advice. Because if you find it, you can count on a hefty purchase price. And will you ever find one? Certainly not in an original condition like our model. 

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5 Comments

Give a reaction
  1. Beautiful engine.
    Max has a nice collection of motorcycles in Raalte in his American Motorcycle Museum Holland.
    Next week during the Ascension weekend there will be the annual AMCA fair, so you can feast your eyes on all that beauty from bygone times!

  2. There used to be several Indians at Mad Max in Zwolle, but also HD and jukeboxes. I don't know if he has or had it.
    Can't find it online so don't know if it still exists.

  3. 67 years ago my old gentleman exchanged his Indian for a second-hand Aero Minor due to the fact that my family started to number 3 people, one too many for the Indian. That was the end of 10 years of Indian riding, during which rides to Austria and Switzerland were not shunned. What I know is only hearsay, but his Indian had a TOP speed of about 80km/h, so a trip to the Alps was really a trip back then. (By the way, the Aero Minor didn't go much faster, the top of which I believe was 90 km/h).

  4. I know a little bit about that other American. A lot less of the competitor, but I had never heard of a "motoplane". You keep learning here.

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