An (almost) half million mile Beemer, a stunning Indian a Triumphs (for scale) and a nice ride report from our old friend Chuck Lathe.

First of all sorry for the delay Chuck. Your e-mail got tangled up in the usual laundry somehow and I just found it after doing some inbox cleanup. Not sure what happened. Anyway Chuck sends in a ride report from a recent trip along with some interesting shots.

Hey Steve,

I’m attaching a few shots of a couple of bikes we saw on the Blue Ridge Parkway — Virginia — on Tuesday morning.

I continue to check your site daily — except when I’m out riding around looking for photo ops.

I didn’t get the name of the fellow with the Indian. There was a Honda Rebel parked next to it and the Rebel had been crashed. It turns out it was the wife who crashed. She is going to be alright, but if she is as old as he is, she’ll be sore. His father owned an Indian dealership and he has his Dad’s old bike, but it isn’t this one. He has several other Indians. The one in the truck belongs to a friend and was going back to Ohio for some work. I don’t know what it needed since it looked pretty good to me. The Triumph is my Bearshark. I put him in the picture to show how small some of those old bikes were. I’ve been on three or four stock Knuckleheads in the past year and I’m always surprised how small they are. The V-Twin Indian is a 1941 Sport Scout. I don’t remember which model the Indian vertical twin is.

The BMW is kind of special for me. I bought a 1974 R90/6 in 1983 when my ’68 Shovelhead was stolen — I rode the bejeebers out of that Shovel for seven years and when it went, I said, “I’m gonna to try a BMW.” My R90 had the same Vetter fairing and it was also black. I called him Fritz. He had some funky teardrop shaped saddlebags and a flatter seat. My T100 shares a lot of the same riding characteristics except I popped lots of wheelies on the Beemer by dropping the clutch in second and I don’t do that on the Triumph. The R90 in the photo is owned by the guy standing with it. His name is, Steve. He bought the bike used in 1982 and it has 451,000 miles on the clock. He totaled it on the Interstate and bought it back from the insurance company for $250. He had to replace one head and a few other things, but he says the cylinders and pistons are original. He did put new rings in after the crash.

Bearshark took Nina and me into West Virginia last weekend — I had Monday and Tuesday off. We found some great roads, a cool little town with a bed and breakfast, and we watched a bunch of people parachute off the New River Gorge bridge — 800+ foot drop. They were supposed to hit a mark next to the river, but it was very windy and most of them landed in the river — shiver — and were picked up by boats. It was weird to watch people free-fall from above and then see their chutes open. I’m not interested: 80 miles and hour on a motorcycle is enough thrill for me anymore.

Regards, Chuck Lathe, North Carolina

Hell of a nice trip Chuck. I’ve got to get back to the mountains this spring and get in on some of this. I’m way overdue.


That looks great for the equivalent of almost 20 times around the planet and a bad wreck!



The thing that gets me the most about this picture is that the Triumph isn’t exactly a large bike either.


If I’m not mistaken I believe that this is the rebadged Royal Enfield?  Can someone correct me on that?

One comment

  1. Apparently Royal Enfeild aquirred the rights, or at least used the Indian name form about 1959 until, I believe, 1963. They badged their Constellation models with the Indian logo in an attempt to improve U.S. sales. I have even seen U.S. police models with the Indian name. My brother bought a chopper in the early 70’s made from one of these models. The name and logo are also stamped into the timing cover. As you know, the Indian name has been reserected and fought over several times since the original company died. In my humble opinion no one will ever be able to do justice to the original, but who can blame them for trying?

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