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post #1 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 9:35 am Thread Starter
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Barn fresh Indian - what to do?

I've got a unique opportunity coming up next week to have a first look at an Indian that has literally been sitting in a barn in Texas for years. The fellow who owned it passed away recently and his widow is an old friend of mine who thought I might be interested in it. It's a complete bike although not running.

She knows zero about mc's, and I really don't want her asking others to evaluate it for me since it may suddenly "vanish" before I have a chance to inspect it.

I've rebuilt several older Japanese bikes from beaters to showroom condition and enjoyed it a lot - but an Indian seems to be a pretty daunting task since I can't just call up the dealer and order parts...

So, several questions:

Anyone rehabilitated an old Indian?

Or should I just buy her, hold onto her for a while then return her to the reservation for a handsome profit?

What is the market these days in antique bikes? (it is about 50 years old although I don't yet know what model it is..)

Where the heck can I find out how much it is worth?

Do Indians have rear end failures?


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post #2 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 9:39 am
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walk into barn, look at bike, scratch chin....offer 100 bux. Buy this bike regardless...you will make money. The market is ripe for old bikes especially since all the Rubbies are on the new iron....old stuff sells for ridiculous money.


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post #3 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 10:43 am
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post #4 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 11:16 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller

So, several questions:

Anyone rehabilitated an old Indian?

Or should I just buy her, hold onto her for a while then return her to the reservation for a handsome profit?

What is the market these days in antique bikes? (it is about 50 years old although I don't yet know what model it is..)

Where the heck can I find out how much it is worth?
Last real Indians came off the line in 1953.
Whole bike (Chief ) not running but all there $5-10 K
Remember it can only be origanal once, it can be restored many times.
Take pictures of it, send them to Dale Walksler "Wheels Through Time" Magee Valley NC. He will be able to tell you what it's worth.
Rock
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post #5 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 11:29 am
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Yep I say buy it QUICK. My boss buys these when he can find them for about 5-10K then restores and sells for 20-30K.

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post #6 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 12:06 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleRock
Last real Indians came off the line in 1953.
Whole bike (Chief ) not running but all there $5-10 K
Remember it can only be origanal once, it can be restored many times.
Take pictures of it, send them to Dale Walksler "Wheels Through Time" Magee Valley NC. He will be able to tell you what it's worth.
Rock
Cool, thanks Rock.


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post #7 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 12:07 pm Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by scottydawg
Yep I say buy it QUICK. My boss buys these when he can find them for about 5-10K then restores and sells for 20-30K.
I had NO idea.... - thanks!


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post #8 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 12:10 pm
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buy it buy it buy it I'll go halves on the investment buy it buy it buy it

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post #9 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 12:16 pm
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Ron, you have a bit of a dilemma. What to offer your old friend for the bike without taking advantage of her or getting screwed yourself? Fair value is very subjective and I think that is why you are asking for assistance here. Don't forget to factor in your time, tools, cost of replacement parts, and resale value if that is what you intend to do.
To her it is found money, and to you it is a fun project and an opportunity.
Just enjoy rehabing the old bike!

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post #10 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 12:53 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy_gg
Ron, you have a bit of a dilemma. What to offer your old friend for the bike without taking advantage of her or getting screwed yourself? Fair value is very subjective and I think that is why you are asking for assistance here. Don't forget to factor in your time, tools, cost of replacement parts, and resale value if that is what you intend to do.
To her it is found money, and to you it is a fun project and an opportunity.
Just enjoy rehabing the old bike!
Ya' know Gilles you hit the nail on the head - really tough. You always want to score a gonga deal but you would feel like a creep if you stole it. I think once I get a better handle on the model and condition I'll be able to make a fair decision.

I've got a buddy who has restored and driven the wheels off several Model T's and A's. I think his expertise at restoring the OLD stuff will be really helpful since so many times you need to rely on specialized vendors to git 'er done.

I really think I would have to keep and ride her. I've been needing an "around town" scoot for a while. There may be a puddin' bowl helmet and white silk scarf in my future.


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post #11 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 1:19 pm
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Talking You asked.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
I've got a unique opportunity coming up next week to have a first look at an Indian that has literally been sitting in a barn in Texas for years. The fellow who owned it passed away recently and his widow is an old friend of mine who thought I might be interested in it. It's a complete bike although not running.

She knows zero about mc's, and I really don't want her asking others to evaluate it for me since it may suddenly "vanish" before I have a chance to inspect it.

I've rebuilt several older Japanese bikes from beaters to showroom condition and enjoyed it a lot - but an Indian seems to be a pretty daunting task since I can't just call up the dealer and order parts...

So, several questions:

Anyone rehabilitated an old Indian?

Or should I just buy her, hold onto her for a while then return her to the reservation for a handsome profit?

What is the market these days in antique bikes? (it is about 50 years old although I don't yet know what model it is..)

Where the heck can I find out how much it is worth?

Do Indians have rear end failures?
Go pick it up!

If the widow needs the money, split your future proceeds with her. Pay her a fair price. Karma baby. If she is filty rich, make a fair offer and drive away.

Rob Nelson

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post #12 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 1:52 pm
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Ron, maybe you should give her a deposit and explain that you are trying to ascertain a fair value for the bike in its current condition. This way she won't sell it to another party and she'll know you are being honest.

So, will you throw some saddlebags on the Indian and do your grocery shopping like I do on the LT?

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post #13 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 3:44 pm
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The Golden Rule applies here...

I'd just tell her that you have no idea what it's worth and ask her what she wants to get out of it..That way you'll see where she's at..

Tell her your real intentions, If you want to fix it up and keep it for yourself tell her that and she'll most likely just give it to you.....

If you want to fix it up and sell it maybe you should offer her a percentage of the profit or something like that. She may be willing to speculate on the thing......


Take the truck and a thousand in cash with you....Be prepared to haul it away right there and then before anyone else can ruin your deal...


Good luck and be sure to take a bunch of pics and post them for us to see...

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post #14 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 5:35 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
I've got a unique opportunity coming up next week to have a first look at an Indian that has literally been sitting in a barn in Texas for years. The fellow who owned it passed away recently and his widow is an old friend of mine who thought I might be interested in it. It's a complete bike although not running.

She knows zero about mc's, and I really don't want her asking others to evaluate it for me since it may suddenly "vanish" before I have a chance to inspect it.

I've rebuilt several older Japanese bikes from beaters to showroom condition and enjoyed it a lot - but an Indian seems to be a pretty daunting task since I can't just call up the dealer and order parts...

So, several questions:

Anyone rehabilitated an old Indian?

Or should I just buy her, hold onto her for a while then return her to the reservation for a handsome profit?

What is the market these days in antique bikes? (it is about 50 years old although I don't yet know what model it is..)

Where the heck can I find out how much it is worth?

Do Indians have rear end failures?
Hey, seat boy - you're gittin' too much angst over this ole Indian scoot thang. Since it's in Tejas, lemme help ya out here. I'll grab one of them mo-sickle haulin' trailers; grab Grif to ride shotgun; and we'll head over to your widow-lady friend's barn and brung that thang back to New Braunfels. Grif hasn't worked on a complete re-build since his Harley bangin' daze when he turned out some super iron, and if I can get him off that GT (I think he keeps it inside the casa with he and Sandar when it's not on the road! ), I'll drop over there almost daily and give him moral support and run his regular job for him. Meantime, you and the lady negotiate on a fair deal; she'll know that her husband's vintage mo-sickle is in good hands, and if she wants, we'll take her for a ride on it when all is said and done. You're out the angst; I get to watch Grif perform magic on some old iron AND deliver his payroll; your lady friend can rest comfortably, knowing that all is well with the Karma gods; and eventually, we'll deliver the project to you after a shakedown period, and you'll have a grand ole bike in your stable to brag on and enjoy.

What wuz her address again???

P.S. Ron, the best of everythang in this. I know you'll handle it the right way so that everyone involved will appreciate the way it transpired and all parties will be very happy with the outcome - no follow up woulda/coulda/dida. Best of luck.

What wuz her addre.....

Oh wait, Kings X. I slipped.
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post #15 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 5:58 pm
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Big heart...

Dick, you are ok! I'd even volunteir to run over and get it for ya. Heck, I'd put it in my spare bedroom! I doubt Grif has time to fool with it right now....

Say, did you make the Cowboy b'fast?

Just old, clutchless and clueless
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post #16 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 6:30 pm Thread Starter
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Dayem Dick.... - angst - that is the RIGHT word. Sometimes these opportunities get crazy.

Channing got me to thinkin'...

I think I'll buy her, bring her home, give her a good bath, get her running and spend the spring "adjusting" the carbs a bit... I'm not really sure I want to spend the next couple of years polishing and chasing down parts.

...then E-bay her in support of my fav charity www.FisherHouse.org (they support families of wounded vets coming home from Iraq.) Better yet I'll put the procedes in my friend's husband's name and take out a small commission to cover my expenses to retrieve her and get her in runnin' condition. My friend will be up for that since he was an electrical engineer and left her in good shape financially.

Dillema solved: I get to caress her, ride her for a while, then add brownie points to my Karma kollective - and for darned sure I need a few extra...

I just want to RIDE her after all. She needs to be out in the sun and free again.


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post #17 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 7:42 pm
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Originally Posted by McRuss
Dick, you are ok! I'd even volunteir to run over and get it for ya. Heck, I'd put it in my spare bedroom! I doubt Grif has time to fool with it right now....

Say, did you make the Cowboy b'fast?
Chicken'd out last nite. Hated to give up my comfy seat at *$$!!

Missed ya. Doug rode in on Bertha. Dave and George showed up. Eye candy wuz lacking due to the Cowboy b'fast!!
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post #18 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 7:57 pm
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Thumbs up

Go here to orientate yourself. http://www.photos.indianmotorbikes.com/

The chief , 4 cyl ,and power plus are the most desirable. I have been restoring this stuff for the last 15 years.

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post #19 of 40 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 8:41 pm
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post #20 of 40 Old Jan 27th, 2007, 6:34 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller

Channing got me to thinkin'...

I think I'll buy her, bring her home, give her a good bath, get her running and spend the spring "adjusting" the carbs a bit... I'm not really sure I want to spend the next couple of years polishing and chasing down parts.

Better yet I'll put the procedes in my friend's husband's name and take out a small commission to cover my expenses to retrieve her and get her in runnin' condition. My friend will be up for that since he was an electrical engineer and left her in good shape financially.

Dillema solved: I get to caress her, ride her for a while, then add brownie points to my Karma kollective - and for darned sure I need a few extra...

I just want to RIDE her after all. She needs to be out in the sun and free again.
Thats a pretty good call,
Whatever Pete can't help you out with, Old man Bnuynac can, he has a tiny shop in Ebensburg PA. Has over 100 bikes in his own collection (including a Black Shadow that he wont sell me) has been a dealership for bikes continuously since the 40's
He has forgotten nothing about motorcycles ever , and knows more than I could ever hope about them. Most times I stop there, I'm at least 2-4 hours

Rock
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post #21 of 40 Old Jan 27th, 2007, 7:02 am
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Good luck

When you walk into the barn I hope it's what you're looking for. There were lot's of bikes built in the 60's and 70's with the Indian name on them including dirtbikes.

Bruce Hodges
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post #22 of 40 Old Jan 27th, 2007, 7:19 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murray
Go here to orientate yourself. http://www.photos.indianmotorbikes.com/

The chief , 4 cyl ,and power plus are the most desirable. I have been restoring this stuff for the last 15 years.
Thanks for the help!


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post #23 of 40 Old Jan 27th, 2007, 7:25 am Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Motomadman
Contact Dave I have known him for 25+years after you find out what you are getting into www.cycleshop.com.
I forgot about those guys - went to one of their swap meets a few years back - thanks!


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post #24 of 40 Old Jan 27th, 2007, 7:43 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
I've got a unique opportunity coming up next week to have a first look at an Indian that has literally been sitting in a barn in Texas for years. The fellow who owned it passed away recently and his widow is an old friend of mine who thought I might be interested in it. It's a complete bike although not running.

She knows zero about mc's, and I really don't want her asking others to evaluate it for me since it may suddenly "vanish" before I have a chance to inspect it.

I've rebuilt several older Japanese bikes from beaters to showroom condition and enjoyed it a lot - but an Indian seems to be a pretty daunting task since I can't just call up the dealer and order parts...

So, several questions:

Anyone rehabilitated an old Indian?

Or should I just buy her, hold onto her for a while then return her to the reservation for a handsome profit?

What is the market these days in antique bikes? (it is about 50 years old although I don't yet know what model it is..)

Where the heck can I find out how much it is worth?

Do Indians have rear end failures?
Ron, buy it quick! Don't ask any questions. Give her whatever she wants for it. Talk about classic iron!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #25 of 40 Old Jan 27th, 2007, 8:25 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
I've got a unique opportunity coming up next week to have a first look at an Indian that has literally been sitting in a barn in Texas for years. The fellow who owned it passed away recently and his widow is an old friend of mine who thought I might be interested in it. It's a complete bike although not running.

She knows zero about mc's, and I really don't want her asking others to evaluate it for me since it may suddenly "vanish" before I have a chance to inspect it.

I've rebuilt several older Japanese bikes from beaters to showroom condition and enjoyed it a lot - but an Indian seems to be a pretty daunting task since I can't just call up the dealer and order parts...

So, several questions:

Anyone rehabilitated an old Indian?

Or should I just buy her, hold onto her for a while then return her to the reservation for a handsome profit?

What is the market these days in antique bikes? (it is about 50 years old although I don't yet know what model it is..)

Where the heck can I find out how much it is worth?

Do Indians have rear end failures?
Buy it, Ron. Don't worry about the price as long as you can look yourself in the mirror and see a man who didn't take advantage of his friend's widow in the deal. You're a smart guy, you know the difference between right and wrong, and you understand the value of friendship and integrity. Now, go buy the bloody bike before it disappears!

Antony (Tripod)
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If you want to be happy for a lifetime, ride a motorcycle.

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post #26 of 40 Old Jan 27th, 2007, 11:57 am
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Good Luck!

We're in the process of restoring a 250cc "Scout" Indian for a widow. Her husband had disassembled and restored the major structural pieces and had the engine rebuilt by a guy who does that to old mc engines, so the large work was done, but there are endless boxes of aggravation left! How do you rebuild the rear shocks that are one of a kind? And many more.

With your experience, you know that there are many levels of restoration, and that one should learn to use the word "patina" often to describe almost anything that isn't perfect.

There are a few good sources for work and parts on these bikes, but you have to hunt for them, and build a network that leapfrogs from one contact to another. It seems most of them still have rotary phones, and no answering machine. Some parts are easy, some seemingly impossible. We have a modern wheel shop in town that just happens to have a supply of spokes for Indian wheels, and knows which ones go to each wheel. Nice surprise.

Give me a call if you need info. I won't give you any, don't know anything, ...but hope to refer you to someone that can help.

Oh, and you know this, but don't offer Anything for it. They have a finite number of buyers who do have a top number they will pay. Go too wild and your executor will dump (for nothing) an extravagantly restored piece that you couldn't afford to part with monetarily or mentally, and your kids wanted nothing to do with! Yeah, he'll sell it at an estate sale along with the furniture, and the lawn mower will bring more than the mc.

Pete

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post #27 of 40 Old Jan 27th, 2007, 2:05 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce2000ltc
When you walk into the barn I hope it's what you're looking for. There were lot's of bikes built in the 60's and 70's with the Indian name on them including dirtbikes.

Bruce Hodges
I hate to admit that I am old enough to have seen a 50cc "Indian" mini-bike brand new...

She's going to send some digital pix later this week - can't wait - better then Christmas!


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post #28 of 40 Old Jan 27th, 2007, 3:10 pm
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What is the market these days in antique bikes? (it is about 50 years old although I don't yet know what model it is..)
From the NADA book

Antique Motorcycle
1953 INDIAN
CHIEF 80ci Model: CHIEF 80ci
January 27, 2007

Price Excellent:$45325 Very Good:$31150 Good:$20600 Fair:$13625 Poor:$8250

Jerry
2004 K1200LTC Night Black
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post #29 of 40 Old Jan 28th, 2007, 3:09 am
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The Golden Rule applies here...

John, I've heard of this rule: thems that gots the gold makes da rules!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #30 of 40 Old Jan 28th, 2007, 8:26 pm
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Buy the bike at the low market price, 5-10K, 5 would be appropriate, after all its been sittin and does not run. Your taking a risk that motor will run, if not it could cost 5+K to rebuild.

Do not restore, new tires chain and fluids, clean but do not scrub anything, fix things like speedo, lights etc. make everything works and runs and ridable, it will be worth more original than restored.

Do a search for Antique Motorcycle Club of America, I was a member for yrs, you will find tons of info on all types of old american M/C's. Lots of old timers to share info with, used to cost $35 per yrs includes bi montly mag. The Swapmeet/Shows from each chapter every yr is like traveling back in time. The shows are mostly east of the mississippi. 10 yrs ago when I was interested in restoring there was a guy that rode his 1880 something 3 wheeler from france of all places,all over the show grounds, it looked brand new.

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post #31 of 40 Old Jan 29th, 2007, 8:25 am
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What a great thread and story this may be. I'm following along as excited as any of us would be at the opportunity here. Hope it all works out and can't wait to see the pics.

Randy
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post #32 of 40 Old Jan 31st, 2007, 6:15 am
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Barn fresh Indian - what to do?

Ron, when you make that barn in Texas, please take a few pic's and post. I would love to see this m/c.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #33 of 40 Old Jan 31st, 2007, 6:44 am
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My coworker and his father have (currently) over a hundred indians in various states from 100 pt to basket cases, from Fours, chiefs, scouts, 841s to military. If you've seen any Indians in calenders, you've undoubtedly seen some of Drew's work.

He's a great resource for how to fix, where to find, what you should spend, etc. I'd be happy to put him in touch with you if you'd like.

Lurch
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"As the light changed from red to green to yellow and back to red again, I sat there thinking about life. Was it nothing more than a bunch of honking and yelling? Sometimes it seemed that way. - Jack Handy
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post #34 of 40 Old Jan 31st, 2007, 7:00 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurch102
My coworker and his father have (currently) over a hundred indians in various states from 100 pt to basket cases, from Fours, chiefs, scouts, 841s to military. If you've seen any Indians in calenders, you've undoubtedly seen some of Drew's work.

He's a great resource for how to fix, where to find, what you should spend, etc. I'd be happy to put him in touch with you if you'd like.
Kewl, thanks!


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post #35 of 40 Old Feb 1st, 2007, 2:06 pm
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Pm'd his contact info to ya.

Lurch
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'00 LTC - Pacific Blue
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"As the light changed from red to green to yellow and back to red again, I sat there thinking about life. Was it nothing more than a bunch of honking and yelling? Sometimes it seemed that way. - Jack Handy
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post #36 of 40 Old Feb 1st, 2007, 8:31 pm Thread Starter
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by lurch102
Pm'd his contact info to ya.
I am BUMMED. Her Brother In-Law sold it last week. If I would have jumped on it and flown there it would have been different - but hard to justify without knowing exactly what it was.

Oh well.... maybe another one will pop up.

Thanks anyway.


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post #37 of 40 Old Feb 1st, 2007, 9:19 pm
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Smile

It's OK Ron, it just wasn't meant to be.Someone's brother in law will sell you an older bike in better shape that will do it for you.

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post #38 of 40 Old Feb 1st, 2007, 9:55 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
I am BUMMED. Her Brother In-Law sold it last week. If I would have jumped on it and flown there it would have been different - but hard to justify without knowing exactly what it was.

Oh well.... maybe another one will pop up.

Thanks anyway.
I wonder how much the brother-in-law pocketed? Hmmmm...
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post #39 of 40 Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 2:29 am
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I am BUMMED. Her Brother In-Law sold it last week.

WOW! That was quick.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #40 of 40 Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 5:15 am
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
I am BUMMED. Her Brother In-Law sold it last week. If I would have jumped on it and flown there it would have been different - but hard to justify without knowing exactly what it was.

Oh well.... maybe another one will pop up.

Thanks anyway.
Sorry about the news. When these bikes are available you have to go after them. The news of their availability spreads like a bad Disease.

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