Christmas 2004 Warpath Project
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Shaun's DIY Scout
By Shaun Veness

It all started as these things usually do on a cold wet afternoon, as I couldn't do much else I thought I would spend some time surfing on my new computer. I was looking for a rigid rear frame section for my Panther but was happy surfing any motorcycle site. Quite by chance I stumbled onto the VI site and "Choppers" by Tim Pickering in particular, more investigation followed and Moen's Warpath ideas seemed very in tune with my way of thinking, a low budget Indian powered special. Several e-mails were exchanged between both Tim, Moen and myself and I found myself actively looking for Indian parts. A call to Alan Forbes in Scotland scored me the Indian engine parts I needed, I had already gone mad by then and had chosen to build a "stroked" 741 engine using Harley 45 flywheels and rods which at this point I didn't have.

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Shaun on Scout!
A trip to a friends and I had an old Ariel frame and a set of very heavy duty girder forks, from under the bench came my BSA's spare gearbox, along with a set of autojumble (swap meet) wheels I had the start of my "Warpath Indian". About this time I found out that Grizzy of Geronimo fame lived only 20 mins from me, a couple of emails were exchanged and I popped around for a chat and before I know it he has found me a set of Harley 45 flywheels, Moen came up trumps with a set of 45 con rods. Now all I needed was the shafts to adapt the Harley flywheels to the Indian cases. A couple of avenues were followed but my original supplier had a few problems and things never happened. Click to view full-size
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Geronimo articles
So I was looking through the latest copy of the Indian owners GB club mag and I found an advert for Robin Oakley who did engine rebuilds, a couple of phone calls later and my box of bits was delivered to him to have a look at, well he took up the challenge and built me a very nice motor though it wasn't all plain sailing eh Robin!

Now the time elapsed from my getting the Indian parts to getting the engine built was around 2 years but I really felt like I was finally getting somewhere, then Grizzy disappeard and he was going to be my frame man. This led to a search for an engineer to modify my Ariel frame to take the Indian motor and BSA box, a lot harder than you imagine. Then another stroke of luck in the form of a very low mileage 741 gearbox just sitting on a shelf of a friends store room (same guy who supplied the frame, well he is a dealer), but this led to more problems as it meant that the Ariel frame would have to be exstensivly modified to accept the new box. I had by now found someone to modify the frame but we decided that it would be easier to scratch build a frame.

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Robin at the Danish Rally

Photos from the Danish Rally

Now this is where fate throws in its lot again, I had a letter published in my Indian club mag regarding my proposed build and a letter was published on an adjacent page by the legendary Chris Ireland about his own Chopper Scout. I recieved a couple of emails from Chris and we agreed to meet up at the International Indian rally in Horsham this year, well we hit it off straight away and got to talking about our respective specials. I had yet to pick up my frame so I was still full of enthusiasm but that soon changed, the new frame was more Easy Rider than Bobber and it didn't suit the engine at all. I sent a couple of pictures to Chris and he responded by offering to make me a replica Scout frame based on his own machine (though minus the extended front end). Click to view full-size
Chris Ireland's 741 Chopper at the English Rally 2004.
We got a wrecked frame from a mate to use the steering head but the rest is scratch built by Chris in his shed. The girders had their steering stem removed and a Suzuki one fitted so we could use readilly available taper roller bearings in the steering head. So this is where we are at the moment, still plenty to do but along way from where I was a few short months ago. Out of all the parts I had originally collected only the engine has made it into this build. Photos from the English Rally
(slow loading page, but worth the wait)
I have allowed myself to go slighly off the original plan of building a low budget special by having a stroked motor built and buying a set of Indian Chief tanks off eBay, I had planned to use an old British petrol tank converted to take an oil compartment but I couldn't find one that looked completely right so I bit the bullet and went Indian, but all the other parts fall in with the original plan of being what was available at the right price (cheap or free !!!) at the right time and some parts have been borrowed from my other bikes, and I must say sorry to Chris for nicking his new trike's front wheel as my rear.

To be continued...

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eBay tanks. For more on buying Indian parts on eBay check out Tim's 2000 VI article here.
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Engine and axle plates in jig
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Frame starting to take shape
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Slowly coming together
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Suzuki stem
I would like to thank all these guys for their support and help.

Moen, for engine parts, advice and for giving me the idea in the first place.
Tim, for his chopper column and advice.
Robin Oakley, wizard engine builder (just ask all the Indian owners he beat on the drag strip at the Danish international).
Rick "Rocky" Dillinger, clutch and primary parts, help and advice.
Chris "Mr Desperate Dan" Ireland, for his brilliant frame work, friendship and making me laugh again.
Mad Richard for use of his machine shop and for sourcing the metal work.
Mads for his brilliant Indian drawings and for building that NSU.
Grizzy. Parts and advice. Where are you?? I would like to get in contact.

And, finally, does anyone have a spare kickstarter crank and/or distributor? Please let me know as I have trouble finding these parts locally.

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Up on wheels
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So far so good...
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