Tag Archives: motorcycle

The Hendee Special: 1914 Indian

13 Sep

Over a hundred thousand V-twin Indians had been sold since 1907 and 31,950 motorcycles were built during 1913 alone. By1914 the Hendee Manufacturing Company was the largest producer of motorcycles in the world and had over 3,000 India

Hendee Special with Princess sidecar

Hendee Special with Princess sidecar


Hendee Special -- 1914 sales brochure.

Hendee Special — 1914 sales brochure.

The two-speed gearbox was introduced in1910 and the success of the Indian race team at Isle of Mann in 1911 led to the design of the Tourist model the following year. The Tourist models featured dual rear brakes (drum and band), knockout axles, roller bearings on the rear hub, and were fitted with the new Gustafson kickstarter. The innovation for 1913 models was the “Cradle Spring Frame” that, along with the front leaf spring of 1910, provided the first complete suspension system for a motorcycle. Something impressive was required for the next model year.


Patented Indian kickstarter.

Patented Indian kickstarter.

Seven Indian models were introduced for 1914, one with a single-cylinder engine and six V-twins. The Hendee Special was the elite model and featured the first electric starter used on a production motorcycle. Unlike on the other two electric models where the batteries had to be removed and manually recharged every 12.5 hours (or less), the starter motor also functioned as an electric generator to automatically recharge them. Another innovation was the use of waterproof condenser coils to provide the spark, which improved the reliability and efficiency of ignition and certainly made starting easier. It was a brilliant design and it utterly failed.

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Fashion and Style

18 Oct

My girlfriend has often—quite often—accused me of not dressing stylish and having no fashion sense. The reality is quite the opposite. My boots are from Italy, my jeans are not something you’ll find anywhere but in the most exclusive boutiques, the logos on my shirts are very limited editions, and my suits are absolutely haute couture made by some of the best designers in the business. Even some of my underwear is made of high-tech, micro-mesh, space-age fabric. The problem is that we read different magazines and I ride motorcycles. Continue reading

Touring the Charlevoix: From Mills to Motorcycles

7 Oct

The wheel turns and gears mesh as the shaft spins and all the components shutter into motion with an agonizing groan. The word “meccanic” wasn’t even in common use at the time this was built in the 1790’s, although this type of “engine” had been in use across Europe for hundreds of years. This original gristmill is a rare gem that still grinds wheat and buckwheat for a local baker.
Located on Route 362 east of Baie-Saint-Paul in the heart of the Charlevoix Region, the Moulin Seigneurial des Éboulements (Banal Mill) is one of those exceedingly rare sites that survived unchanged to the modern era. The seigneurial system was the quasi-feudal system that was instituted for the settlement of New France and that continued under British rule until 1854. This is one of only four seigneurial sites that have survived to the present day. Except for the electrification of the miller’s house, which remains as the private residence of the miller, and the jostle of summer tourists this place exists in a mid-19th-century time warp without the theatrical trappings of a living-history museum. Continue reading

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