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Discussion Starter #1
I'm quite serious about buying a vintage Indian... I've even sold a car to make garage space. It seems like the '46-'48 seem to capture my eye the most.
Major confusion is: there seems to be such a huge range in price on these. One will be priced at $6,000 and one that looks just like it with similar description will be listed for $36,000!

I understand that some are professionally restored, numbers matching, show-winning, etc. (none of which really interests me)... but what things does one need to know before pulling the trigger on one of these? Are there common problems/reasons why something would seem underpriced?

Your guidance is greatly appreciated - can't wait to join you Indian riders!
 

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Never worked on old Indian. But restored 6 British bikes and like 10 old cars. If matching number or show quality paint don't matter. Make sure parts aren't missing. Old bikes are for mechanics. Electrical systems gave me most trouble. Lucas prince of darkness. Noticed price difference too. Some guys think it's worth a trillion dollars. I enjoy working on old cars and bikes. The simplicity of them. Currently restoring 1964 Impala SS convertible. Someday will buy old Indian sounds great good luck.
 

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Texas Hill Country
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I think you are asking the right questions.

What is an old motorcycle worth?
What ever the buyer pays for it?....yeah but there are also "comparable" from auction results and recent sales.

If I were the seller, I would be looking at this to set a base price. I've always used e-Bay auctions to get sort of a feel for things.

One thing that is real as rain are on-line sales scams. Watch out for this on CraigsList especially. All sorts of "real bargains" there. When you check into them the "seller" will want you to do some crazy things like wire your money to Nigeria.

As always...buyer beware.

If you find a legit seller with a really low price? I would not hesitate to ask him why his price is thirty thousand below reasonable value. If he hangs up or comes up with some "sick uncle" story....ya know ya got a scam on your hands. More than likely, if the guy is honest, he will tell you why the price is so low. The bike might look good but have roached out engine...etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Never worked on old Indian. But restored 6 British bikes and like 10 old cars. If matching number or show quality paint don't matter. Make sure parts aren't missing. Old bikes are for mechanics. Electrical systems gave me most trouble. Lucas prince of darkness. Noticed price difference too. Some guys think it's worth a trillion dollars. I enjoy working on old cars and bikes. The simplicity of them. Currently restoring 1964 Impala SS convertible. Someday will buy old Indian sounds great good luck.
Agreed - a buddy of mine lived in England and told me all about Lucas! Have you seen the smoke recharging kit? All you have to do is put the smoke back IN the electrical system and they work great ;-) I love to wrench - my first love is a '27 Ford with a blown 350 Chevy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good advice - thanks. A friend of mine has a '34 Harley - I'll ask him what to look for as well... but I was mostly looking on oodle so far. Anyone purchased from there?
 

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Hello,just crawled in here. I ride a 47 quite alot.Be aware you have three gears and about 75 mph tapped out stock.Tank shifter and foot clutch. 36 mpg. 6 volt electric.No signals. Round profile tires. Not a freeway machine. With all that said the old girl is a riot to ride. You want a motor built by a real Indian mechanic or it won't last. Fuel tanks need to be resoldered or they will leak and fall apart. Frames are often bent. The difference in price is usually related to the quality of rebuild workmanship. Owning a vintage machine is a labor of love and very satisfying sometimes bordering on obsession. Have a new 2014 for freeway work. Fantastic! Good luck on your search and Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello,just crawled in here. I ride a 47 quite alot.Be aware you have three gears and about 75 mph tapped out stock.Tank shifter and foot clutch. 36 mpg. 6 volt electric.No signals. Round profile tires. Not a freeway machine. With all that said the old girl is a riot to ride. You want a motor built by a real Indian mechanic or it won't last. Fuel tanks need to be resoldered or they will leak and fall apart. Frames are often bent. The difference in price is usually related to the quality of rebuild workmanship. Owning a vintage machine is a labor of love and very satisfying sometimes bordering on obsession. Have a new 2014 for freeway work. Fantastic! Good luck on your search and Cheers!
THAT'S what I wanted to know! Thanks.
And know that my enthusiasm has not been shaken.
 

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Buy the best one you can afford. Its much cheaper to buy a good bike then it is to build a good bike. (Unless you can do the bulk of the work your self) Restoration costs can quickly out pace the market value.

Many old bikes are registered (titled) by the engine number. ALL states now register vehicles by the frame number. Some states are very picky.
This usually come up when the bike crosses state lines and has to have a VIN inspection before the new state will issue a title.
So do your home work BEFORE you buy. If you buy a bike that the frame and engine do not match and it registered with the engine number then you might have a real hard time getting it titled in your state. There are ways of getting it done so if you get to that point you can drop me a line and I will give you some ideas.

Good luck and good hunting.

Bruce
 
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