1930-1931 Wheels

Here are some period photos of two police bikes showing black wheels.

More black wheel bikes can be found here

The bikes look identical at first glance, but look closer (click pics to enlarge)!

  • Both bikes have 1931-style bottom-pulling front brakes.
  • The top bike has an aftermarket? horn.
  • The lower bike has an early (1929-1930) Klaxon (11?) horn.
  • Both bikes appear to have the Splitdorf (1929-30) generator.
  • What about those headlights???
  • Can you find more differences?

And here's a picture of a police KJ fleet being reviewed. Again most if not all bikes have black wheel rims (interestingly the first two bikes have different front tires). Note also the right hand shifters on the bikes! Presumably this force had been using Indians prior to the KJ purchase.

What do these pictures prove?

The PD could have special-ordered black wheels (or perhaps painted them), since cream wheels would get awful dirty in daily driving.

How about the apparantly mis-matched parts? Perhaps early '31 with Splitdorf instead of AutoLite? Or maybe retrofit front brakes on a 1930 model?

Police vehicles may not be the best source for "authenticity". The police needed to keep their vehicles on the road, so a broken part probably wouldn't wait until the dealer ordered the "right" one. If the '31 brake mechanism really did work better, they might have retrofitted older machines for safety. What's your guess?

Several more pieces to the puzzle...