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Discussion Starter #1
After 562 km of riding my Springfield Blue Vintage #1 of 111 Originals, I have the following impressions to report to all interested people. At 172cm and 78 kg I won’t be the largest person to ride an Indian, just keep those numbers in mind. The closer you are to those numbers the more pertinent some of this report will to you.

Ride Comfort - In general terms this is a very comfortable and easy bike to ride. I rode on some freeway/toll roads as a matter of necessity, mostly on country roads of mixed quality, and some gravel roads (sections of road under repair). The only thing to upset the bike (really the rider more than the bike) was plastic/rubber speed humps. They do test the suspension.

Colour - I have a custom number plate (hang the expense, it is the only #1 Indian) which happens to match the bike. Vicroads calls it ‘in the navy’ but could have called it ‘Springfield Blue’. The colour it sensational as it varies in hue depending upon the sunlight and angle of the light.

Chrome - OMG there is a lot of it! It all appears to be really high quality. With the sun over my shoulder, at times, it is difficult to not be blinded by the reflections off the dash and headlamp cowling. I remedied this my tilting my head back slightly so the chin piece of my full face helmet would block the reflections.

Windscreen - It is big. If I stretch I can look over it, but can’t do this for any length of time greater than a few seconds. So, I look through it. Again, this is old style. I have photos of a grandfather on a bike in the 1930s looking through the screen. Big advantages are the wind goes over my head and the rain does too! I didn’t seem to get as much up draft from below the screen as I have on other bikes with screens. It also does a really good job of reducing the bug population! Polycarbonate and chrome/stainless steel.

Handlebar - Chrome. I had concerns about the before riding as I just wasn’t sure about the reach to the bar. Concerns are gone. Reach is nearly ideal for me. Taller people will probably need to raise the bar.

Hand controls - Chrome. Clutch. Works easily enough. I wouldn’t say it has a light pull, but I have had bikes with heavier pulls. Left hand switches are not in a good place for me as they are too far up for comfort. Can’t rotate the switch block down as it has a pin which locates into a hole in the bar. I checked! Brake. Works well and has a consistent feel. Can’t report on the ABS. The reach adjuster for the brake is next to useless. The adjustment varies the lever about 12mm. People with small hands will have to adapt. Right hand switches. Nice and easy to reach, for the most part. The only thing I would like to see changed is the locations of the starter switch and cruise control set/resume switch reversed. The starter switch is used less than the cc s/r one yet is closer. Not likely to see that changed so I guess I better get used to it. CC does its job well, holds speeds up and down hill.

Dash - Fuel gauge is easy to see. I haven’t had one for awhile and I don’t check it that often, inside, using the distance to empty and trip meters. Speedometer is easy to read, but is too close to the seat. Can’t see it with the full face helmet, so I need to tuck my chin in to see it. More chrome!

Seat - Beautiful tan leather. Leather is soft, seat is firm but comfortable. I haven’t ridden enough to get it adapted to me. Some chrome but can’t see it while riding. This isn’t the lowest seat I have had on a motorcycle, although it should be. The numbers indicate it is the lowest seat, but the factor overlooked in the ability to reach the ground in the width of the front of the seat. This seat has enough width so I can’t put both feet flat on the ground simultaneously.

Floorboards - First bike with them in over 45 years of riding. Took some time to get used to them - 45 seconds! Comfortable. It is nice being able to move feet around.

Gear shifter - I have read reports about the clunky shifting. Can’t agree with this. I tried various techniques and put these reports into the rider error category. I get smooth shifts by preloading the shifter, i.e., put a slight amount of upward pressure on the shifter just before releasing the clutch. Nice, quiet, smooth shifts. You want clunky, well then release the clutch then shift then engage the clutch.
Rear brake - Wooden. I agree with many of the reports. No feel to it. It is really a good thing it has ABS, otherwise it could easily be locked up. The lever itself is a piece of art!

Bags - Top, front and sides are leather. Bottom and back are vinyl. Not waterproof in any way shape or form. That said, they may be weather resistant due to airflow around them.

Exhaust - 90db. Nice tone at idle, can’t hear much at 100 kph. Chrome.

Thunder Stroke 111 - Extremely flexible. Easy to forget which gear you have the transmission in, as this doesn’t really seem to care. Care needs to be taken not to lug it. 5.4 km/l on a new engine, I can live with that. Needs 95 octane fuel. Chrome.

Wheels/tyres - Chrome/black & white. Round.

Handling - NO CHROME! I have done mostly gentle turns/curves as I am getting used to the bike. I have had a few tighter corners on familiar roads and felt more comfortable on this bike than either of the two previous bikes (H-D & Victory). It is easy to guide on the road, not top heavy, doesn’t drop into corners (a good thing) and is remarkably easy to ride considering its bulk.

Air Cleaner - Chrome. Does impinge upon the leg/knee area, but its shape helps to minimise the annoyance.
Engine Heat - When temp was 35 no heat noticable, but when the temp was only 20 the heat was very noticable and useful on both sides of the tank/engine. Not sure if the chrome helped to disperse the heat or not!

Happy - Yes!!! Do it over? You Bet! Bragging RIghts? Of course. Worth the wait? Definitely.
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Great review, Hey_Yu. I am wondering how you got Vintage #1? I assumed that some suit at Polaris or Indian got the first bike. Anyway, I'll bet your VIN number will be worth more money in the future to some collector, so don't paint it some crazy color or crash it (knock on wood). Enjoy it for many miles to come.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
i predict a blacked out chieftain or vintage in the near future.

Mother of god... that would be incredible.

-kg

Good review btw! I had to get these thoughts out after your comment on all the chrome.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
' Springfield Blue Vintage #1 of 111 Originals,'
Are they numbering them differently? Or did they do a custom series as well? We have 597 of 1901 and I'm sure most of the bikes are numbered similarly as #--- of 1901. Really cool that a regular 'Joe' gets a #1 bike, but I'd really love to see a pic of your aircleaner!
Fantastic write up, BTW.
EASY
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Yu. Just drill a new hole in the handlebar a little lower. I do that with all my bikes to get controls where i want them.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
18880 said:
Hey Yu. Just drill a new hole in the handlebar a little lower. I do that with all my bikes to get controls where i want them.
Yeah, I know, just shouldn't have to 'modify' in this way.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
19655 said:
' Springfield Blue Vintage #1 of 111 Originals,'
Are they numbering them differently? Or did they do a custom series as well? We have 597 of 1901 and I'm sure most of the bikes are numbered similarly as #--- of 1901. Really cool that a regular 'Joe' gets a #1 bike, but I'd really love to see a pic of your aircleaner!
Fantastic write up, BTW.
EASY
I don't understand the interest/fasination in the aircleaner?

Photos can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.244727502354286.1073741854.126188804208157&type=1
 
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Discussion Starter #9
If I understand the situation, the first 111 Indian bikes going to Australia were sold by ticket holder and Hey-Yu was the No. 1 ticklet holder. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The first 1901 bikes are actually numbered on the air cleaner as '#1 of 1901' etc. and so on from the Indian factory.

Your blue Vintage looks awesome.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
14087 said:
If I understand the situation, the first 111 Indian bikes going to Australia were sold by ticket holder and Hey-Yu was the No. 1 ticklet holder. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The first 1901 bikes are actually numbered on the air cleaner as '#1 of 1901' etc. and so on from the Indian factory.

Your blue Vintage looks awesome.
I think is looks awesome as well! Aren't ther 1901 bikes in North America numbered on the horn cover?
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Enjoy Hey_Yu. Please correct me or add details to my comments. Indian created a special series of 111 numbered bikes. They have a number plate on the engine case near the dip stick (see pic) and also come with a brass key chain number stamped as well. Great idea for owners across the pond that a re supporting Indian.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
19011 said:
Enjoy Hey_Yu. Please correct me or add details to my comments. Indian created a special series of 111 numbered bikes. They have a number plate on the engine case near the dip stick (see pic) and also come with a brass key chain number stamped as well. Great idea for owners across the pond that a re supporting Indian.
The Key Ring is the Standard Indian metal key fob (<span class='supplemental'># 2863336, This handsome 100% metal alloy warbonnet logo has a bottle opener and a key ring. Doesn't look like brass.)</span> with a stamped steel disk with the # on one side and '111 Original' Indian est. 1901 with the Indian bonnet logo in the background, molded into the other side. There are a couple of photos on the Indian Australia facebook page.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah you are right, the horn cover... My screw up...
I still find it pretty cool that a regular individual can have a #1 bike, of any series. So the #1 of 1901 is still not accounted for and probably sitting in a corporate office somewhere....
EASY
 
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