Franklin's Indians : Irish Motorcycle Racer Charles B Franklin, Designer of the Indian Scout and Chief, Hardback

Franklin's Indians : Irish Motorcycle Racer Charles B Franklin, Designer of the Indian Scout and Chief Hardback



The Indian Scout and Chief are two of the best known and best loved of all classic American motorcycles. The man who designed them, Charles Franklin, was responsible for many advanced design concepts including remarkable improvements in side-valve combustion chamber design that pre-dated the work of Ricardo.

He championed an holistic approach to design that popularised new features such as the semi unit-construction 'powerplant', helical-gear primary drive, double-loop full-cradle frames and a host of other improvements to the early motorcycles.

This book not only chronicles his life but also sheds much new light on the often turbulent history of the Indian Motorcycle Company itself. Franklin was born and raised in Ireland where he quickly 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 design in the 1920s and '30s and his racing engines and motorcycles won much glory for Indian against stiff opposition.

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.

This is a much needed book for all Indian fans and all who love the history of the classic American V-Twins.

An enthusiast's dream of a book!


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 352 pages, colour and black and white photos and drawings
  • Publisher: Panther Publishing Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Motorcycles: general interest
  • ISBN: 9780956497550



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