Don't know if I mentioned this before or not,but before buying the Indian,I took out several brandy new Moto Guzzi 1400 California Tourers,fully dressed,and they all were in fact,excellent riding machines with more then adequate power.The problem I had with em [and I took out several different machines from several different dealerships],was every single one of em "BUCKED" while trying to maintain a steady speed at any speed.In other words,they were NOT smooth at all,ya had to be either on or off the throttle to get it to run smooth,and that turned me right off,and the dealers'answer was "THEY ALL DO THAT"!! Well "SINCE THEY ALL DO THAT", I passed on it and moved on to the Indian and have not been sorry.Dave!!!
My bad about BMW engine and I apologize. According to the Wiki article it was built for desert warfare. The engine actually contained many parts used in the 741 Military scout engine. I remember seeing several of them in the old Springfiield Indian Museum run by Mrs. Mathos who subsequently willed her extensive collection to the city of Springfield. These bikes are very rare and collectable today.The Wiki article also further states the Moto Guzzi expanded on the engine configuration (hence my confusion). If you actually do the research you will find the Indian was in the forefront of most motorcycling engineering from 1901-1953. First Belt drive, first V-twin, first hydraulic front end, first rear shocks and on and on. Many view Indian's strict adherence to the Army's design constraints as the beginning of their downfall. Harley chose to ignore the contractual design requirements and built a more powerful WLA, as opposed to Indians strict adherence to design constraints which led to the under powered 741. Harley won the lion's share of the contract for the US forces, the Indians were for the most part sent to the allied nations and Indian was relegated to the manufacture of items essential for the war effort (mess kits, helmets etc).
Here is a link to a thumbnail history of Indian Motorcycle
Indian Motorcycle History. From 1901 to current. Check out the history of the iconic brand of Indian Motorcycle through our online timeline. George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom,First American Motorcycle Company