1948 was the last year the Indian Sport Scout was produced.
The rich history of the Indian brand of motorcycles can be traced back as far as 1901 when the company was founded. The first Indian motorcycles were geared towards the racing industry. Indian also manufactured motorcycles during World War I and was a staple bike manufactured during the World War II era as well. 1948 marked a significant year for Indian as the demise of the industry began due to a post war decline in sales.
Indian Sport Scout
As Indian scaled down its production in 1948 due to an effort to cut costs in the post World War II economic downturn, there were only 50 Indian Sport Scouts manufactured for the racing industry. The 1948 Sport Scout, also commonly known as the big base Scout or the 648 Daytona because of the successful win of Floyd Emde in the Daytona 200, was produced with a 44.72-cubic-inch (750 cc) V twin power-plant flat head engine equipped with a three-bolt pattern Linkert carburetor and ran on a three-speed transmission. During this era there was a lack of rear suspension and no brakes so racers used their legs and feet to absorb shock and pitched the bike sideways to stop. This bike also had a large oil capacity due to its large sump cast in the rear. Due to the small number of these bikes that were produced and the limited number still around today, this motorcycle is considered a vintage collectible.
Indian Chief and Roadmaster
The Indian Chief was a successful American made alternative to its rival Harley Davidson. The 1948 factory manufactured Chief was 100.5 inches in length and 40.5 inches wide. The height of this bike was 50.5 inches. The wheelbase of the 1948 Chief was 68.4 inches. This made for a sturdy machine equipped with a 74-cubic-inch V twin engine that was capable of 85 miles per hour and up to 100 mph when fully tuned. The Roadmaster dressing was added to the Chief giving the bike 1300 cc instead of the standard 1200 cc, and it also had a modern telescopic hydraulic fork. The optional upgrade with the Roadmaster was the additional chrome twin spotlights and handlebars as well as saddlebags with chrome rivets.
Imported British Bicycle
As an effort to diversify and gain sales, in 1948, Indian decided to venture back into bicycles. Rarely known three-speed bicycles were imported from Britain and labeled with the Indian brand. This venture was not successful and a very few number of these vintage bikes are in circulation today.