From the October 1918 issue of Motorcyclist magazine.
“The Silent Indian” as conceived by J.T. Hale, Pendleton, (Ore.) electrician. it’s a pract
Pendleton, Ore., Oct. 10. -Several years ago the Hendee Mfg. Co., gave the world an Indian with electric starter, but it remained for J.T. Hale, a local electrician and inventive genius, to rig up what is supposed to be the world’s first 100 per cent electric motorcycle. Singularly enough, its an Indian.
Hale operates an electric battery service station here. He needed some cheap transportation to get around with, carry batteries, etc. Not only did he have an eye to gasoline conservation by dispensing with a motor, but he also rigged up a powerplant that he was familiar with and could operate at minimum cost. And don’t forget there’s no noise attached.
Hale looked in his scrap pile and brought forth an old type automobile starter. He found it would fit into the loop frame very spiffy and it didn’t take long to install it so. Then the double chain drive came in mighty handy for hooking up the starter with the rear wheel. Look close and you’ll see that this is a three-wheel outfit. There’s a low sidecar chassis, which carries a 300 ampere battery. Hale says this outfit will go over the top of any of Pendleton’s hills and shove a speedometer needle around to the 35 sector. Its a mighty novel outfit, and while the natives are more or less accustomed to it now, strangers always stop, look and listen, when they see the queer-looking spectacle of a motorcycle without an engine and running like a ghost, sliding past. When Verne Guthrie, Northwest Harley-Davidson traveler, came to town, the other day, and saw this queer outfit, he pinched him self to see if he was awake.