July 2024 Bike of the Month
Bike of the Month Bob Barnett of Costa Mesa with his 1947 Indian Chief

Make: Indian
Year: 1947
Country of Origin: USA
Engine: 1300cc Twin
Transmission: 3 speed
Owner: Bob Barnett
City: Costa Mesa

1947 Indian Chief

Congratulations to Bob Barnett of Costa Mesa for winning Bike of the Month with his 1947 Indian Chief. Bob won a plaque provided by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys.

This bike has been in Bob's family since it was bought new. Bob's Uncle Dick McCune lived in Torrance and bought it in 1948. He rode it for 20 years and in 1968 quit riding.

Dick gave the Indian to Bob in 1994. It wasn't until 2007 that Bob got the bike running again, and Dick was able to see it run before he passed away in 2008.

Fast Forward to December 2023 when Bob started working on the bike again with the help of Wilson Plank of City of Commerce. They reworked the top end with Chevy 409 valves that Bob was able to machine to work.

Here is a list of modifications and features on the Chief.
  • 14:1 Compression - Modified Heads
  • Schunk Cams
  • Balanced and Ported
  • 110 Octane Leaded Fuel Only
  • 409 Chevy Valves
  • Bonneville Pop-Up Pistons
  • Bonneville Cam Followers
  • 2° Retard on the Rear Cylinder
  • Modified Carb with Accelerator Pump

One of the most challenging issues when working on a project like this is keeping the patina matching throughout the bike. Bob told me that he probably spent 10 hours on the horn alone with 4 donors. One clean horn that functioned and several for all the other parts.

Bob has been to our meet over the years, but today was the first opportunity he's had to bring the Indian. Now retired, he ran BNB Machine in Santa Ana for 38 years. Much of his later years were spent machining racing parts for different motorcycle teams.

Thank you, Bob for bringing your Indian out for all of us to see. See all the photos in our July 2024 Gallery.

The Bike of the Month contest is held monthly at the Vintage Bike OC meet. Qualifying motorcycles must be 30 years old or older. Former Bike of the Month winning bikes are not eligible to win again. Anyone attending the meet is eligible to enter a qualifying bike in the contest and vote for their favorite bike. The winning bike is chosen by a popular vote and is featured on the Home page for one month and in this feature article. The Bike of the Month articles are permanent content on the site.

Bike of the Month Gallery
Photo gallery of all the Bike of the Month winners.
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July 2024
1947 Indian Chief
June 2024
1958 Cushman
May 2024
1979 Honda CB-X
April 2024
1972 Rickman Yamaha IT 200
March 2024
1970 Honda US90 Trike
February 2024
1984 Yamaha RZ485
January 2024
1993 Moto Guzzi 1000S
December 2023
1953 Moto Guzzi Falconi
November 2023
1961 BSA D1 Bantam
October 2023
1964 Honda CB77 Super Hawk
September 2023
1966 Honda S90
August 2023
1973 BMW R75/5
July 2023
1974 Honda XR75
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