This 1927 Indian Motorcycle Was Built to Defy Gravity
The modern Indian Scout motorcycle is a boulevard cruiser of a bike, but the original Scout was a svelte, nimble machine. Its 600cc V-twin engine made it an ideal bike for all manner of military and racing use, but there was another use for the Scout, and it would likely have been described as “death-defying!” The silodrome was the name of a carnival exhibition involving a silo- or barrel-shaped track. The riders would ride along the walls of this silo, and centrifugal force would keep the rider upright. The ride gained real popularity when the name was changed to the far more dramatic “Wall of Death.” Here is an example of modern daredevils performing the stunt: RELATED: See more images of Indian Scout motorcycles
The challenge of being successful at this stunt was to find a bike that was light enough to stay up, but also powerful enough to keep it going around the barrel. That combination was found in bikes like the 1927 Indian Scout. According to the site Silodrome (named after the exhibit), the Scout’s 600cc V-twin was strong enough to keep the rider glued to the sides, and reliable enough so that he stayed that way.
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The Scout became the preferred bike for silodrome riders all over the globe. This may not look like other Scouts, as silodrome bikes have parts like the fenders, luggage rack and saddles removed to save any unnecessary weight. This particular Scout is set to be auctioned by Bonhams, who has valued the bike between 7000 and 10,0000 ($11,000-$15,000). That’s a pretty reasonable sum for a piece of motorcycle (and/or carnival) history!
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