The New 1937 Indian Motorcycles

From the Novermber 1936 issue of Motorcyclist Magazine

As word passed from mouth to mouth and from coast to coast that the factories were coming out early with 1937 models, the usual number and variety of rumors were coined and passed around. This year more than during the past two or three there has been unusual interest in what is offered for the coming season because of the general increase in motorcycle activities and because more people are being won over to two wheels.

All of the sectional fancies have again come to light. Just as cow punchers vary the crease in their ten-gallon hats and the length and shape of their high-heeled boots in different sections of the west, so do motorcyclists favor special bars, gear shift levers or modes of riding short coupled, according to locale-east, central and west.

It being impossible to custom build every job that is sold, Indian Motorcycle Company has taken into consideration all of the preferences and fancies, usages and styles, and as some master chef might concoct a broth to please many palates, has moulded a series of improvements and models to meet the discriminating taste of our fraternity nationally.

Here, as it has been with the Indian factory, the first consideration is what major features of the existing design are to be preserved? Checking against performance during the past year Indian has decided that the double tube truss type frame has proved itself as being safe and strong. It is to be used again in ‘37.

The triple-stem front fork, with its leaf type spring suspension of the front wheel, is likewise again to be used in next year’s machines. On the same list we find the Indian dry sump oiling system; the enclosed primary drive running in an oil bath within it sealed case; distributor ignition; enclosed magneto supplying peak ignition current independent of the battery; and the outside fill type battery, together with the heavy-duty generator and voltomatic generator control.

So much for what is to be preserved. What is to be new and different? One of the first noticed and a much discussed change is that of the forward position of the gear shift lever. Up out of the way but in a location for easy control, the lever is placed rather far front on the right side. Also it shifts forward for low, thence backward for neutral, second and high. This is to be standard on all five models. This feature will meet with extra approval in those sections where it is the custom to ride short-coupled through the use of small seats attached to the front saddle connection.

The “Y” motors are to be regular equipment on the Standard Scout, the Standard Chief and the Sport Scout. The “Y” motor has large cylinders, aluminum heads and “Y “ manifold.

Interchangeable wheels, of the same simple construction as the rear wheel will be standard on the Standard Scout, the Standard Chief and the Four.

On those same models will be cast brake drums designed to operate cooler, smoother and with less wear.

Appearance has come in for a lot of consideration. The equipment of yesteryear will seem crude as compared with the well chromed and brightly painted machines now coming out. To start with, the gear shift lever is to be chrome plated on all models except the Junior Scout. Exhaust pipes will be chromed on the Sport and Standard Scout, the Chief and the Four. Chrome plated valve covers appear on the Four and Standard Scout and the Chief. All but the Junior Scout shall have a plated ignition cable tube. The two large Scouts, the Chief and the Four have a chromed front saddle connection and the Standard Scout and Chief have a chrome plated seat post.

Admittedly chrome does not make a machine run any better, but it does indicate factory acknowledgment of a movement among riders to take pride in their equipment. And given as the fraternity is to a study of mechanical features it is odd-or natural as you may look at it-how much comment has been forthcoming at previews about the improvement in looks due to the tasty touches of the sparkling new plating.

Coming back to the structural side, a new feature is the hi-lo headlight with pre-focus bulbs-on all models. In connection with this feature there is a hi-lo chrome plated control switch on the handlebar and this is stock on both large Scouts, the Chief and the Four.

A streamlined split-type chain guard has been designed, in two sections, which allows ready access to the chain, wheel or front sprocket. It is regular equipment on both large Scouts and the Chief. This feature bows to the needs of mechanical requirements in pleasure and competition riding, and at the same time does so with grace of streamlining.

Fenders have been reshaped and are more attractive through high crown, streamlining and skirts. The Junior Scout has been given new large tanks and bayonet type filler caps. Also the front fork has been changed to resemble the Sport Scout and there is an accompanying change in headlight and horn position. It will be noted that some of the deluxe touches have not been included on the Junior Scout which preserves the low price level of that unit. Yet it has not been overlooked and those changes have been made which help perfect it as a serviceable, low-priced lightweight.

Many riders who think in terms of fours will be interested to know that the Indian Four has been given a new dual aluminum intake manifold and dual Zenith carburetors.

The above summarizes the changes with the exception of paint and colors. Two new color combinations have been added to the already long list of selections-black and yellow, and maroon and orange. Both make snappy looking jobs.

The Junior Scout is available only in solid Indian red.

Other models are available, in addition to the above two new combinations, in single colors for the entire machine in: Indian red, black, dark blue, silver and white. On these there is a choice of oval tank panel with standard narrow gold stripes or the arrow tank design in any standard color or gold.

Two-color combinations are as follows: Indian red and Chinese red, Indian red and silver, Chinese red and silver, black and Chinese red, black and white, and dark blue and silver.

In addition to the above, special colors are available if procurable in duPont Dulux Enamel, and if the paint number is furnished with the order; reversals in the standard combinations may be had: or combinations with black frame and fork such as used in the 1935 three-color may be ordered.

All the models handle well, show good acceleration and are easy starting. Back of these qualities is one more item of interest to the rider, though it is an improvement behind the scenes rather than as a direct part of the actual equipment. That is, the factory has improved the machinery responsible for the manufacture of the motorcycles. Greater precision is possible and this is reflected in smoother running motorcycles for 1937.

As said last year and the years before, after all to see and to ride is to find out and believe. 1937 models are now on display in practically every corner of the country and every dealer’s store. You have been told; go see for yourself.

Standard Indian “Y” Chief-The new features for 1937 include: new hi-lo headlight with prefocus bulb, “Y” type motor with large cylinders and aluminum heads, shift lever in the new forward position, skirted rear fender, streamlined split type chain guard and interchangeable wheels with cast brake drums.
Standard Indian “Y” Chief-The new features for 1937 include: new hi-lo headlight with prefocus bulb, “Y” type motor with large cylinders and aluminum heads, shift lever in the new forward position, skirted rear fender, streamlined split type chain guard and interchangeable wheels with cast brake drums.
Indian Sport Four-The new features for 1937 include: new hi-lo headlight, aluminum heads, chromium plated exhaust pipes and mufflers, chromium plated shift lever in forward position, interchangeable wheels with cast brake drums, dual aluminum intake manifolds, and dual Zenith carburetors.
Indian Junior Scout- The new features for 1937 include: new hi-lo headlight with prefocus bulb, new large saddle type gasoline and oil tanks, new chromium bayonet-type filler caps for gas and oil, new front fork with headlight and horn positions made to correspond with the Sport Scout and the new forward shift lever finished in black enamel
Performance, beauty, comfort and control have been considered by the manufacturer in designing the models for 1937 Top-left to right-The new ‘37 Indian Chief, Indian “4” and standard scout feature interchangeable wheels as standard equipment. It is possible to change quickly without throwing brake or chain adjustments out of place. The “Y” motor which is to be regular equipment on the Standard Scout, Chief and the Sport Scout. It features extra large cooling fins, head of special heat-treated aluminum alloy to provide higher compression. Cylinder construction lowers operating temperature. preserving oil and giving higher speed over long distances. Distributor ignition, retained after a year’s trial and to be standard on all 1937 models. Bottom-left to right-The double truss type frame, strong and rugged, together with the triple-stem front fork which is to be used in combination again, with the leaf type spring suspension of the front wheel. Showing the new location of the shift lever which has been moved for
Standard Indian Scout 45-The new 1937 features include: “Y” type motor with large cylinders and aluminum heads, chromium plated exhaust pipes, valve covers and ignition tubes, shift lever in the new forward position, skirted rear fender, streamlined split-type chain guard and interchangeable wheels with cast brake drums.v