Friday Forum Foraging: A 1930 Indian Four Time Capsule

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan

"It would be an absolute crime to restore this bike."

Have you ever wanted a time machine? Well, this might be the closest we're going to get. Up for grabs is a 1930 Indian Four that comes to us from Bring A Trailer and was kept in storage for seemingly ever. It even carries that all-important patina to show for it – hence the caption at the top, which was taken from one of the comments on the BAT listing. The current owner acquired it in 2020 and had it put back into running order with a working carburetor and magneto. Other than those two items and a fresh set of tires, this Indian Four wears the marks of having been on this earth for 94 years – and counting!

There's no reserve on this relic, and bidding is already up to USD $95,000 with the auction closing tomorrow! As usual, the BAT description is below, including a few pictures and videos. But if you want to see a lot more photos and/or place a bid for the bike, you'll have to go to Bring A Trailer and take care of it there.

This 1930 Indian Four is said to have been kept in storage for a number of years before it was acquired by the seller in 2020 and subsequently recommissioned with work that included replacing the carburetor, magneto, and tires. It is powered by a 75ci OHV inline-four paired with a three-speed hand-shifted transmission and is equipped with a leaf-spring fork, a four-into-one exhaust system, a Corbin speedometer, a sprung solo saddle, an electric horn, and spotlamps. This Model 402 is now offered at no reserve with a 1949 Oklahoma license plate, the removed carburetor and magneto, and a clean Oklahoma title in the seller’s name.

The bike wears faded red paint that shows Indian 4 graphics on both sides of the fuel tank. Equipment includes an in-frame fuel tank and open fenders as well as handlebar-mounted spotlamps, rider footboards, an electric horn, a sprung solo saddle, and a rear stand. The bike does not have a battery, and the seller states that the lights have not been tested.

Wire-spoke 18″ wheels were mounted with Coker tires under current ownership. A leaf-spring fork comprises the bike’s only suspension, and braking is from drums at both ends.

An Indian-branded Corbin 100-mph speedometer is driven off the rear wheel and contains a five-digit odometer showing 13k miles, approximately 300 of which have been ridden by the seller. An ammeter and a lighting switch are located just forward of the fuel tank.

The 75ci inline-four produced 30 horsepower when new and is equipped with an oil pressure gauge, a sidedraft carburetor, a kick starter, and a four-into-one exhaust system. The carburetor and magneto were replaced under current ownership.

Power is sent to the rear wheel through a three-speed transmission that is shifted using a hand lever on the right side of the fuel tank as well as a clutch foot pedal on the left.

The bike is titled by the number EA1129 stamped on the engine case.

Become a insider. Get the latest motorcycle news first by subscribing to our newsletter here.

Troy Siahaan
Troy Siahaan

Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.

More by Troy Siahaan

Join the conversation
  • Steve Steve on Jan 19, 2024

    Started on a honda 90. Later to suzi 650, which led me to the 1500. Traded it for kawi 650. Kept 650 after buying kawi 1600. All bikes fun, reliable, ez enuff care, tho i'm barely a wrench.

    No bikes now at 75. Great memories, tho.

  • Hacksaw Hacksaw on Jan 19, 2024

    Totally agree! Do not restore!

    this is a wonderful running survivor !

    god bless the current owner !