Indian 1946 Chief 1200cc Frame # 3465033 Engine # CDF5033 B
In 1940, 39 years after the company’s founding, Indian went all-in on the skirted fender design, outfitting Scouts, Chief and Fours with the new tin ware.
For many, the pre-’50 girder-fork Chiefs offer the best styling.
After that date, telescopic forks were fitted, which threw off the aesthetics a bit in many people’s opinion.
The 1946 brochure’s opening sentences are surely tempting: ”Drop into the saddle of this newest of Indian motorcycles … spin the engine into action…and enjoy the motorcycling thrills that wait you as you ride this great new Chief! Most notable is the new front fork…of Indian truss design with dual soft-action coil springs, hydraulic shock absorber controlled.
New fork action holds the front wheel to the road…results in handling qualities proven most satisfactory under severe testing.
Then, Indian’s Spring Frame has been further developed with more flexible springing allowing the rear wheel to “float” over rough surfaces.”
Other new features for 1946 included rubber mounted handlebars, built-in steering damper, new seat post springing, full foam rubber cushioned saddle and greater brake lining area.
The “B” after the engine number refers to battery ignition; magneto ignition (“M”) cost $15 extra.
This mighty road-registered 1946 Chief has matching frame and engine numbers. She has been restored and comes in excellent overall condition.