Indian 1927 Model HEP “Big Chief” 1200 cc side valve V-twin s engine # BH 970
After WW I the Indian factory decided it was time to market a somewhat lighter model than the 1000cc Powerplus.
The new model was labelled “Scout” and it created a sensation when brought out in 1920.
The strong points of the new design were easy handling, lightness, ample power for the 1920s roads and unbeatable reliability.
The new middleweight was also appealing to the prospective motorcyclists who were put off by the usual heavyweight big twins.
The Scout featured a semi-unit construction power plant with a 3 –speed transmission bolted on to it. Primary drive was by a set of helical gears that were enclosed in a cast aluminium cover and ran in an oil bath. The clutch was foot-controlled.
The overwhelming enthusiasm for the Scout caused many riders, dealers and overseas agents to push the factory to design a lager, heavyweight v-twin along Scout lines with more speed and power, especially suited for sidecar work.
Many factory executives supported the idea because the still popular PowerPlus began to look a bit old-fashioned. Franklin retired to the drawing board and designed a new model that would be known as the Chief.
The new model was announced in the fall of 1921 and was essentially an enlarged Scout with many PowerPlus ( or Standard as it was now called) features: engine, front forks, wheel assemblies and other parts were basically similar to the Standard, with the addition of the Scout-type helical gear drive and unit construction of engine and gearbox.
The Chief was a successful model from the start and for the 1923 season a 1200 cc Big Chief model was added to the range.
Some of the new features for 1927 were: bigger mudguards, improved muffler (the factory claimed a 50% reduction in exhaust sound), Alemite fittings for lubrication, valve release through tank and removable cylinder heads.
We think this machine might be a late 1927 model because it has a number of features that were new for model year 1928, like the handlebars, the dashboard and the very practical internal expanding front brake.
This Mighty Twin has been restored a number of years ago.