Indian - Flat twin Model O
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Indian D2-492-27-01
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 250
Model : Flat twin Model O
Production : 1917 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


260cc Model 0 - 1917

A frustrated hope

After the 1912 Featherweight the Model 0 represented the second attempt by the firm to market a lightweight machine in the US. Convinced that the end of WWI would signal the opening of a market for cheap utility motorcycles, Indian executive Frank Weschler decided to launch the Model 0.

Designed for a New Clientele

The single-cylinder 225cc Featherweight, designed along European lines, had failed to make its mark. Indian hoped that the Model 0 – reputedly inspired by the British Douglas flat-twin – would compensate for this setback by attracting a new type of customer who didn't want machines as big and powerful as Indian's famous V-twins.

Light and Reliable

Created by Indian's new chief designer, Charlie Gustafson, the Model 0 proved to be reliable, light and relatively simple to use. It was also twice as powerful as its two-stroke predecessor. However, having failed to excite the interest of the marque's dealers and clientele, it was dropped from the Indian catalogue after barely two years. For American motorcyclists there was no substitute for cubic inches, and however good the Model 0 was, it did not possess the charisma of Indian's big V-twins. Additionally, it had the misfortune of appealing to the feminine market and was soon being catalogued as "a machine especially designed for the fair sex." That was enough to sound its death-knell.


Engine: 257cc (50.8x63.5mm) air-cooled flat-twin four-stroke; lubrication by splash and hand pump

Power Rating: 3 hp

Valves: side-valve

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: 2- or 3-speed hand change, chain final drive

Suspension: "Indian Cushion Cartridge" (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: none (front); drum with internal and external shoes (rear)

Wheels: wire clincher (front & rear)

This 1917 Type 0 Indian bas a rigid front end. Normally, it was fitted with an "Indian Cushion Cartridge" articulated fork; later models had leaf sprung forks.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

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