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Who has an Indian Prince frame for me ?

Post Mon May 19, 2008 10:17 pm

Posts: 8
I'm still looking for an Indian Prince frame for a board track bike project . I know someone out there has one . Good to bad shape is ok , if it's missing tabs etc even better . I really don't want a butcher a nice frame so help me out guys . Thank you


Posts: 1654
I've got to suspect this might do better on one of the "chopper" boards. I'd rather think that most people round here have a very different idea of what constutes a 'board-track' bike than you seem to be talking about.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...


Posts: 8
I hope to Hell the guys on this site know what a "Board track motocycle " is .Why do you think I would have a better chance on the chopper page ?? What I want to build is not even close to a chopper . The one I'm building probably would have had an OHV race head.....I can't afford one of those so I'll have to run it stock or try and use the Old Crocker head I have.


Posts: 1654
what are we talking about here? The chopper boards are full of what they call 'board track bikes' right now, just another unrideable 'fad of the week'.

Most people here know what a board track bike is.. a highly specialised antique, built in very small numbers in the early 1920s for a long-defunct form of racing, without clutch, transmission, brakes or even throttle in most cases.

are we talking about the same thing?
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...


Posts: 8
Your right and wrong . for some it's just a fad but not me , I dig most anything old with an engine .I'm not building one with a 100ci engine and 6spd trans. It will be a 21ci little indian with 3.5hp.It will be closer to a board bike than a Chopper, I think most will agree . After I build this thing I will ride the sh.t out of it , trust me !. The only " chopper type things " will be a rear brake set up.It uses the sprocket as a brake, think it's called a sprotor .I'll probably use a single speed transmission too , like the ones they use on speedway bikes.
Maybe I should of called my build a speedway/boardtrack motocycle ?. What do you think the non Factory riders raced ,it was a mix and match of parts that worked the best for them on the track.I've seen a few board bike up in person, all had throtles but no brakes or trans.


Posts: 1654
why bother with a sprotor on a 21inch sv Indian? In fact, why bother with hunting such a rare frame at all? Have you got an engine and transmission to match, and if so, why not do a proper restoration?

I've got a 1920s 350cc sv Raleigh, which is a fairly comparable bike, and it does about 45mph flat out, and has brakes comparable to a push-bike, and they are enough for it. It is fine for pottering about on Sunday mornings with the VMCC, but 'ride the sh1t out of it'?? hardly... the Indian Prince is a more-or-less direct take on the contemporary British designs, nothing new there then.

I raced a 350cc ohv BSA Blue Star for vintage grasstrack a few years ago, that had a single-speed transmission ( because I didn't have a decent BSA gearbox available at the time ) and it was hopeless. Even with Gold Star cams, 11:1 compression and running a 10:1 overall gear ratio on methanol, it used a set of clutch plates every couple of meetings and could hardly get out of its own way. Any pre-war 350cc bike needs at least a three-speed transmission

Speedway-style bikes cope with the effects of a fixed single-gear transmission by having a gear ratio which means they do 70mph at about 11,000 rpm, and a very low right-side footrest which doubles as a side-stand for lifting the wheel off the ground, of course the result is that they can't turn right. For speedway bikes this doesn't matter, of course, but to attempt to ride a fixed-gear bike on the road is plain stupid.. I don't really care about what chopper people do to new gear, they keep the aftermarket companies in business which is handy for restorers at times, and anything they trash can be replaced, but I hate to see rare old stuff abused.

I know someone who has a 'Baby Triumph', a little 1920s 211cc two-stroke, with no clutch, and he rides it by stalling the engine as he comes to a stop and just paddling it off again using the decompressor. General performance is about the same as a VeloSolex.

your project reads as though you really don't know much about the proposed donor bike. I'd think you would be pretty disappointed with the results, if it ever got built.

I'd also mention that many board track machines were fixed-throttle. They had a 'kill switch' for interrupting the ignition and 'blipping' the engine, this was a common aero-engine practice on rotary engines. They were virtually ALL 'factory' machines, it was a professionally-promoted sport with very high fixed costs and only 'works' teams or large dealers could afford to take part. Most of the bikes were exotic specials with 8 valve engines, ohc and the like, although H-D did well with a team on ioe engines for reliability, which were sometimes substituted by the 8-valvers when the extra speed was required at a late stage in the race. This is why board-track disappeared virtually overnight following a series of high-profile, multiple-fatality crashes; it was already under financial strain and when the factories pulled out or shut down, no-one else was doing it at all.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...


Posts: 124
Location: Glenmoore, Pa. USA

The Indian Prince SV frame and the OHV frame are two entirely different configurations, not even close side by side, engines are different castings as well. THe OHV used a barrel carb that is close to being unobtainable, now if building a clone, why not start with something more realistic? I mean it takes two people to push start my OHV Prince where as the SV used a kicker. Its more than an OHV head?
Not being smart, just being realistic?
Ironwigwam
1957S/VG


Posts: 8
why don't you guys give a young guy some help here with the Pro's and Con's and help me build this thing . Remember when your old ASS'S are dead I'll be the old guy and would always point someone younger in the right direction that asked for help .

How about this , does anybody have a blueprint of an Indian Prince race frame ?? or a regular frame. So what do you guys think I should do with the little Indian engine ? I should probably just scrap it right ? or maybe just sell it for dirt cheap to one of you guys .

How about help not NO it won't work


Posts: 1654
ok now we are geting somewhere - you have an Indian Prince engine? So, is it sv or ohv, because the frames are different.

most of the so-called 'board trackers' around right now are modern showbikes, which are 100% un-authentic and as good as unrideable. If you are building a road bike, you NEED a rideable bike ( leaving aside the Prince's minimal performance by modern standards ). A single-speed transmission on the road is plain dangerous and the engine simply doesn't have the oomph to cope with it. Real board-trackers were tow-started behind cars and came round to a rolling start, this continued in dirt-track and speedway into the early 1930s.

Indian Princes were made in small numbers in the mid-20s and they are very rare. Like it or not, any usable parts for something like this are going to be in the hands of serious collectors, who will take one look at your proposed project and shake their heads. Whether you like this or not, simply doesn't matter.

Your only real options are to sell the engine and spend the money on something more realistic, or spend a lot of money on a custom frame for a bike with the performance of a moped. If you have a genuine racing Prince engine and can prove it, you should get a good price eventually, but it will take a while because there just aren't that many people who want them.

really, what you do is up to you, but I would rather suggest that you don't start by offending people who will probably help you as far as they can - and with such an unusual project you are a long way off the beaten track - but will be fairly quick to lose interest in someone who just throws his toys out of the pram and demands help. There ARE plenty of old timers on here, that's how they know so much between them; and one thing they do know is that there are some projects which aren't feasible or worthwhile, for whatever reason. It's no use coming along with a question, and spitting out your dummy because the answer proves to be that your preconceived ideas don't work out.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5840
Location: Ohio USA

A rare antique engine, such as you have, IMO, should stay as such. You possess a real piece of history. Restore it or sell it to someone who will. Butcher a common motorcycle for your desires and needs. Even then , you may regret that too. Again, This is just my own opinion. Pa


Posts: 124
Location: Glenmoore, Pa. USA

Blindowl,
Why don't you open your eyes and be realistic about the similarities between a SV Prince and an "A" engine OHV Prince. The SV engine you have would be well worth finding an stock Prince frame and building a bobber since the cost of retoring one with its rare parts will be forever. The "A" engine was based on the Powerplus/Hedstrom crankcases and as you know also use the dual can lobe like the HD. The bronze cam cover is not exisant in todays world and will requiire reverse engineering if you have the correct cases and cam centers to engineer a pattern and then you only need one and no one else is looking for one,
If you are young enough and have the fortitude and desire something different, turn to the salt. I invite you to attend BUB 2008 and visit the Indian streamliner and I will gladly talk OHV Princes first hand, remember the dates are changed to September 1- 7. See you there?
Ironwigwam
1957S/VG


Posts: 1654
it might be relevant here also that the Motoplane was based on the Prince, and had a reputation for throwing chains and generally not being strong enough in the frame, also the transmission

Sucher's book covers this in detail
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...


Posts: 124
Location: Glenmoore, Pa. USA

Blindowl and 45Brit, I'm not sure where you get your info? but the OHV Prince does not have a transmission, only a Hedstrom style clutch? Maybe its a misconception of the masses.
Ironwigwam
1957S/VG


Posts: 1654
since you ask, the only things I know about Princes come from the Jerry Hatfield 'Buyers' Guide' and the Harry Sucher book ( Iron Redskin ). That's why I have pretty much confined myself to general comments about vintage machines, restoration and so on and bikes I DO know about

The Hatfield book does indeed show a single-speed Prince racer, as you describe ( right side only, no clutch details visible ). The Sucher book shows a large ( if poor-quality ) picture of a Prince, painted white and described as a 350cc ohv and looking very like a contemporary AJS or Ariel, with its large bolted-on rocker plate. There is about 2 pages of text about the Princes and a couple of other pictures, one showing what is described as a 350cc sv, and another showing ( from memory ) a 500cc ohv road racer - although this has no front brake.

there is also some text and pictures of the Motoplane, with its separate transmission, which is apparently the same as the Prince unit. I do in fact know someone who owns what is alleged to be the only Motoplane in the UK, if not Europe; it looks like what it is, a bitsa using the Scout engine, lightweight cycle parts and chain primary drive.

there is another so-called Motoplane around but this is an obvious fake, using a WD engine and what I suspect are Ariel cycle parts.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...


Posts: 21
Blindowl, Are you still looking for a 26 Prince Frame? Motor box of trannies, Forks, a couple of clutches? Also a 26 Chief tank that will fit just wider.

Contact me


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