WRITTEN BY HARRY V. SUCHER
The Indian has been the iconic image for American big V-twins down the years, due in no small measure to the motorcycles designed by Charles B. Franklin – the Indian Scout and the Indian Chief.
Charles Franklin was born and raised in Ireland where he became involved in motorcycle racing during the pioneer years. He rapidly established himself as Ireland’s first big star of racing and was the first to represent Ireland in international motorcycle competition. In the Isle of Man TT he consistently finished in the top eight, and in 1911 claimed second place, a remarkable achievement in itself.
But it was when he moved to Indian in the USA, where he became the Chief Design Engineer, that his genius really flowed. His designs catapulted Indian back into the forefront of motorcycle development in the 1920s and 1930s and his racing engines and motorcycles won much glory for Indian against stiff opposition.
This book not only chronicles his life but also sheds much new light on the history of Indian motorcycles and the often turbulent times of the Indian Motorcycle Company itself.
THE FIRST GREAT IRISH MOTORCYCLING COMPETITOR
Prologue : In the beginning
Birth, ancestry, and upbringing
Ireland in Franklin’s day
In competition at the dawn of motoring
From International Cup to Isle of Man Tourist Trophy
Indian gets noticed in Britain
1911 – an Indian Summer
Charles Franklin – Indian’s man in Dublin
Franklin goes to America
Franklin’s competition career summary
AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE DESIGNER
Springfield in 1916
Settling in at Indian
Powerplus and Light Twin
US motorcycle competition up to 1919
Indian Scout – the marvel of motorcycle engineering
Harley vs Indian Wars 1919-22
Out on a high note – Indian in British competition 1920-1923
Indian Chief – a heavy-duty plugger
Overhead-valve racer experimentation
Indian Prince – the personal motor
Scout Forty-Five and the overhead-valve hill-climb motors
Weird scenes at the Wigwam
The immortal 101 Scout
Modernisation for the ‘thirties
Illness and death
Franklin’s motorcycling legacy
Appendix : The search for Charlie Franklin
The book is used, but it is in as new condition, hard cover, 337 pages, English text.
ISBN : 978-0-9564975-5-0