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Vindian-025In late 1949, at the request of Indian President Ralph Rogers, the Vincent HRD motorcycle company of England installed a 61-cubic inch (1000cc) Vincent engine in a Chief frame. The “Vindian” would be an Indian Chief with a Vincent Rapide engine.

It was believed the market could support the sale of 30 Vindians and 20 Indian-Vincents a week. A blue Chief was then shipped to England so Vincent’s engineer, Phil Irving, could begin the development.

The problem with this ambitious plan was that it would require a huge capital investment, and with both companies unable to support this venture in the current climate, the only prototype that was completed and test ridden had the motor removed and the Indian sent back to America.


Vindian-015So with three black and white photos of the original prototype in hand, a replica Vindian was underway by club member Peter Birthisel who completed the bike in 2007. The bike was built to be an exact copy with original parts to stay true to the prototype.The motor was sourced by a local Bundalong man, Max Vipond who was well known in the Vincent world. Lindsay Urqhart and Jim Parker were involved with the project as were a few other club members, and neighbours. The 48 Chief frame had to go through some major alterations to fit the motor, so many hours were spent of pulling the motor in and out of the frame to make the adjustments to not only the frame but tank and every other part that had to be shifted or remanufactured to suit the Vincent motor. The Vindian has now travelled over 6000 miles including the Scotland/ Ireland tour of 2009, and many local club rides.

After riding the bike, I feel that if the two companies had completed the original project, the bike itself would have been a success, as it is not only comfortable, but a very reliable bike to ride in today's conditions.