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2014 Indian Chief Class Build, Part 3

Lowering the Beast

By Bandit, Rich Worley, and Rob Tuscay, with photos by Rob
3/17/2015


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We lowered the Mudflap Girl FXR too far...
We lowered the Mudflap Girl FXR too far...



We are getting close. All the sheet metal is out with the new painter. I believe some of the matt black powder work is back from the coating master. We’re heading into final assembly.

Plans have changed some and Rich won’t be riding across the country on the 5-Ball Racing Indian, but I might. I’m going to fly out for Smoke Out 16 and lead a group of riders from the Naval Base, because I was in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Although I don’t know my way around South Carolina, I will lead my gang of swabs to the illustrious Smoke Out activities, including the Chopper Prom somewhere in Rockingdale, North Carolina, where the white lightening flows and the girls don’t know any better.
 
This shows how the rear suspension works with a FOX mono-shock and 450-pound spring.
This shows how the rear suspension works with a FOX mono-shock and 450-pound spring.

 

Rich Worley recently contacted me from American Biker, the Indian dealer in Charleston, SC about lowering the beast. “We can lower it about an inch and a half,” Rich said.

I grew up around lowered cars and have always lowered bikes. Plus, I think a lowered look will enhance our mods to the rear fender. “Hell yes,” I said. “Go for it.”

She's the reason I bought my Indian in South Carolina instead of Los Angeles. What do you think?
She's the reason I bought my Indian in South Carolina instead of Los Angeles. What do you think?



“You could drop the suspension out of the rear of this puppy and the wheel would still miss hitting the fender,” said Rob Tuscay, our Indian mechanic, at American Biker. “These fenders are gi-enormous.”

When the new Chiefs started to arrive in Charleston, a customer inquired about lowering one and Rob loaded one on a lift and started to peer into the rear suspension system for options.



The rear suspension is a Single Shock / 3.7 inch (94 mm) mechanical preload. I spoke to one of the Indian Engineers, Gus, who filled me in on the Indian system. The Indian swingarms are made extremely strong to handle the leverage against the shock system. It's interesting, this linking system, instead of just running the shock from the swingarm to a mount on the frame, saves on shock ratio.
 
"This allowed us to maintain a 1.75 to 1 ratio, with the shock hidden in front of the tire," Gus said.  It means for every 1.75 inches of rear wheel travel, the shock will travel 1-inch. This bike is not rubber mounted, except for the handlebars. 


Here's a shot of the mono-shock in place.
Here's a shot of the mono-shock in place.



Here’s how the tech put the action together:



The link cut and prepped for welding.
The link cut and prepped for welding.




This shows a stock length rod compared to the modified rod.
This shows a stock length rod compared to the modified rod.




The lower/shorter link installed.
The lower/shorter link installed.



Next we will bring you a report on the paint, and then we start the magnificent final assembly. I’m pumped
 
 
The shock is running ahead of the wheel. You can imagine the leverage at the axle.
The shock is running ahead of the wheel. You can imagine the leverage at the axle.

 
 

-- Rich Worley
American Biker
843-641-0258


Click for more info: 679 Treeland Drive, Ladson, SC 29456. 843-641-0258
Click for more info: 679 Treeland Drive, Ladson, SC 29456. 843-641-0258



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Reader Comments


Your reasoning is sound.

Sam
San Marcos, TX
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Editor Response Once in a great while, but thanks.
--Bandit

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