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Pretty cool documentary! Looks like Crocker beat Harley-Davidson to market with it's OHV motor, honestly, the release of the 1936 OHV Knuckle Head was the death knell for Indian, along with mis management of the company by the DuPont brat, going to a parallel twin instead of staying with the heavy weight V-Twin motor. One can only imagine how things would have played out if Indian would have followed suit and went to the OHV motor instead of staying with the side valve design, to remain competitive with Harley's engine performance.

Crocker are pretty cool motorcycles, and did change motorcycle history....salute! =)
 

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The DuPonts sold the whole thing to Ralph Rodgers right after WWII and it was he who dropped the ball and destroyed what was left of the company. The 1949 vertical twins was the biggest but not the only reason. They had an OHV prototype Chief using a Vincent engine. Had they gone that route it might have save both Indian and Vincent.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The DuPonts sold the whole thing to Ralph Rodgers right after WWII and it was he who dropped the ball and destroyed what was left of the company. The 1949 vertical twins was the biggest but not the only reason. They had an OHV prototype Chief using a Vincent engine. Had they gone that route it might have save both Indian and Vincent.
An opportunity missed. As Monday morning quarterbacks, we have the good fortune of hindsight. Indian definitely was miss-managed and miss-engineered. When everyone else was going to a more powerful and efficient overhead valve engine, Indian Motorcycle persisted in using a less powerful and less efficient sidevalve/flathead engine. Dupont made the brand more colorful and appealing, but in the end, they should have seen the writing on the wall regarding engines.
If all that hadn't happened, we wouldn't have what we have now... the excellent Polaris/Indian Chief, Scout, and Challenger series of motorcycles.
 

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3,345 Posts
good read... but isn't it ironic that the failure to develop modern engines killed Indian... fast forward 67 years and HD is in trouble relying on a air cooled V-Twin and Indian is moving on to more efficient, powerful, modern water cooled motors...
 
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