Odd, Crazy, & Sad: 1974 Indian ME-100

Here’s an odd, crazy, and sad tale for you motorcycle buffs. This is a 1974 Indian ME-100 and it has less than a half-mile on it! No, really! It’s listed on eBay with a current bid of just over $700 but the reserve isn’t met. This one may be hard to pass up, I could be in trouble, again. This bike has quite a story behind it, odd, crazy, and sad. It’s in Westfield, Indiana, 20 miles north of Indy. Ok, now it’s up to $1,125 due to some tall, skinny bonehead bidding on it, but the reserve still isn’t met.

I know, I know, we’ve all heard the low-mileage stories before, but this one seems to check out. The original owner bought this ME-100 for his son brand new in 1974; lucky kid. That lucky kid proceeded to take off the turn signals (nobody uses those in 2016 let alone in 1974) and also took off the rear storage bar. The seller has both of those things, by the way. Other than being dusty and having a seat that was probably a Mousetel 6 for a few decades, it looks like it’s restorable without too much trouble. An Indian ME-100 would have been priced at around $750 new in 1974, are there any guesses as to what this one will sell for?

… The saga continues when the soon-to-be-unlucky kid didn’t realize that his fateful decision to remove the rear storage bar also disconnected the right rear shock, which used the same bolt (the odd part). Darwin then took over. The kid took off full bore and crashed (the crazy part) because of the shock being disconnected! He broke his leg in the crash and the old man, who had enough of that nonsense, put the literally brand new 1974 Indian ME-100 away in the back of their barn where it sat for decades until the son passed away (the sad part). Enter the current seller who then bought it with hopes to restore it but now just wants it to see it go to someone else.

This is a 97 CC single-cylinder, two-stroke engine with oil-injection and around 8 hp; more than enough to do a wheelie on and/or break your leg while riding on, especially if some of the bolts aren’t attached where they should be. It also has a 5-speed transmission, but no reverse (kidding, just trying to lighten the mood). These were nice motorcycles in 1974 and they still are.

So, there you go, quite a story, eh? I believe it, it would take a genius (or an evil genius) to make up such a thing and the right rear shock is still disconnected as you can see in the first photo. Other than the seat needing to be re-stuffed and some general polishing on the metal bits and pieces, it looks like a great, fairly straightforward winter project. The engine hasn’t run since former President Nixon boarded Marine One for the last time in 1974, but the seller says it turns over, has spark, and the clutch and brakes work. The gas and oil tanks will have to be looked at from sitting for so many decades but that’s always high on the to-do list anyway when reconditioning a vehicle that has been out of service for so long. I hope that someone else ends up with this one so I don’t have my leg broken by my wife for dragging yet another project home. Not everyone likes these small motorcycles but I grew up with small-displacement motorcycles so it’s what interests me now in my relatively old age. Have any of you owned an Indian motorcycle of any size? How about a small one like this?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Yeah, that’s a nice story, but I don’t buy it. 1st, this thing has more than 1/2 a mile on it. I think the kid may have been a bit sharper, as I see no speedo cable coming down the forks. I believe it would have attached to left side of the front brake. I never knew they made a bigger bike, and thought they only made the mini-bike. Needs about another 400cc’s for me to get interested. Not half a mile, sorry.

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    • leinieduede

      I’m with you on this one Howard, a leg breaking crash and not a scratch on the taillight? Handlebars look straight and the brake and clutch levers look perfect also. I’ve gone down enough to know there is damage somewhere. My CBX got blown over while on her kickstand during a storm. Yes, there was damage.

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      • Howard A Member

        Hi leiniedude, I know. I took many a tumble, and SOMETHING gets either bent or twisted.( on the bike that is, as well ) Foot peg, shifter, brake or clutch lever. And you dasn’t bend them back or SNAP, great, now I have to shift with a vise grips,,,,you did take your vise grips with you dirt biking, I hope.

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      • leinieduede

        Ha-Ha! Always, and I still keep one in my road tool kit. Although now, as most of my junk is pretty old, I have added a small fire extinguisher to my bag. Now that I am thinking about it, that bag has really grown over the years! Take care.

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      • Howard A Member

        Stay warm. -15 by us tonight.( can’t be much warmer by you)

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    • MG'zer

      Not only that, but the father who bought it was tired of hearing it in less than a half mile of running

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  2. Matt

    …..and why would you only put 4 pics in the listing?! Something’s off with this one.

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  3. Mark

    My brother was a motorcycle mechanic for about 10 years; he always said the worst thing you could do to a bike is not use it. Low mileage claims may add value to classic cars, but not so much for two-wheelers.

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    • SSPBill

      A friend had a one of these back when I was 11-12 maybe. I learned to ride on it. This was in the hay day of Evil Knievel so there was a lot of jumping. It seem whenever the thing got 6″ off the ground something fell off on landing (me included). The good thing about the poor build quality is it taught us a lot about wrentching.

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  4. Joe

    Crazy, foolish story but not odd or sad. Just another dumb Flipper trying to steal your money—-more than the bike is worth. Does anyone at BF know or can imagine how easy it is to turn back or replace a bike odometer? No Carfax or online dash camera watching. Best to demand documentation/evidence to back up these fraudulent Flipper stories.

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    • Howard A Member

      Hi Joe, I think BF’s should have a new category on the right. “BF’s BS Stories”. Be a hit!

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  5. Jay Calk

    My brother had an Indian fdealership in the seventies. This bikes were crap straight out of the box. Very poorly made and we couldn’t keep them together. I saw clutches literally lock up and destroy the gear box on brand new machines. Can’t imagine trying to get parts for these things.

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  6. Scotty Scotty Staff

    You guys are making me glad that someone just outbid me!

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    • Scotty Scotty Staff

      In another odd twist, the seller just ended the auction early with no explanation other than there was an error in the listing.

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      • Howard A Member

        Mmm-mm. ( I think we’ve done our job here, NEXT!)

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  7. erikj

    hers another sad ,little bike story.
    When I moved into my new house 22 years ago I ment the neighbor,mr tally and although quite a spitfire for a little guy we got along fine.
    So at the time I really loved Honda 90s and had 4 at the time. I was riding one in my yard one day and mr tally came over. He told me he had a old one in his barn. He took me over to see it and was amazed it had 30 some miles on it. It was a 1966 and he bought new for his younger son.He had a older son that rode a bigger street bike that he was killed on it right after the Honda 90 was bought. Mr tally took the Honda back from the younger son for fear that he would get hurt or worse. he took the battery and drained the gas and parked it in 1967 and did not move till I got him to sell it to me in about 1998. got it running in a hour. it was nice other then the chrome was shot and had to buy tires.we never talked about the bike after that. it even came with the orig. title and all the paper work from new.

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  8. stillrunners

    It’s a Hodaka motor – takes a pre-mix in the tank – more likely story is the speedometer was unhooked…..and they mixed it too rich to run……

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  9. Paul R.

    Indian Motorcycle Company went out of business in 1953.
    A few companies imported these small bikes an added the Indian name, and lawsuits resulted over whom at the time actually owned the Indian trademark.
    This example has a 97 CC “Fuji F500K” engine from Taiwan.

    Indian’s demise was partly due to the GI’s seeking smaller lightweight motorcycles popular after WW2 in Europe, along with poor management and quality control. Indian rushed the lightweight single cylinder Arrow and the Vertical twin Scout into production without much R&D time.

    I own a 1949 Super Scout twin 440 cc (26.6 cubic Inch).
    Its a neat little bike and performs well. It’s dry sump oiled like the bigger bikes were. The Edison magneto was troublesome when new and still is along with the carburetor.The Siamese twin cylinder lacks sufficient cooling fins and it runs really hot, piston rings loose tension and it smokes and gets low on compression after 10K miles.
    Still a fun bike and it gets attention for what it is. Its not an inline 4 or V twin Chief, but fun and American made all the same… When it runs!

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  10. Jay Reynolds

    First the speedometer and headlight probably came off with the turn signals. Second, during my misspent youth I had some spectacular crashes that didn’t involve broken bones but did result in bent bars, dented gas tanks and other assorted parts and pieces destroyed. Not buying it. Third these were a waste of money when new, probably have not improved with age.

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  11. Doug Towsley

    PaulR’s comments above are mostly correct and tell part of the story, These particular Indians were most often associated with Floyd Clymers (Of workshop manual fame) efforts to capitalize on his efforts to bring back the Indian name. As often pointed out,. The Indian name has a convoluted history and questionable legal claims just now resolved with the current company owned by Polaris having the financial and legal clout to wrap it up in one package.
    I know quite a bit about this as I Promote our local museum and play a role in telling the Norton story which is similar and the brand was revived here in Oregon but currently owned and operated back in the UK.
    These particular Indians were of a whole range of bikes in the 1970s imported, some asian, but many assembled in Italy as well and they ranged from little mini-bikes to 250cc. I have some old period advertising for them and shows all the models.
    This bike caught my eye as it looks EXACTLY like my old one and even the disconnected shock. Probably not my bike but it sure caught my eye. I got mine at a Biker swap meet back in 1990 and paid $100, 2 cow skulls and some Pepperoni sticks from my farm, I had intentions of restoring it, and I have a local friend who had several dozen of these over the years and wanted to duplicate what he did. Took an old water heater shell and made an improvised side car out of it and attached, Put his grandkids in it and told them to do 2-3 circuits around the swap meet grounds and return to his booth and droves of running bikers with outstretched hands full of cash following them in a deranged Pied Piper fashion.. He peddled a lot of bikes that way. No haggling, It created bidding wars on the stuff he had for sale.
    I sold mine when needing cash on ebay around 2002 to a guy in California who drove up to pick it up. Have not seen it since. But I know a local guy who has a couple of these for sale. Look up on Eugene Oregon Craigslist, His name is Bruce. Nice guy. Tell him Doug sent you.

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  12. Bud

    Its my bike , i bought it at the estate sale from the wife of the person who crashed it. It was still in the barn.
    The bike tank is scratched and has a dent from a possible knee. The turn signals when taken off did take off the light but if you look close i taped it on. The handle bars and the front forks are a little out of alignment.
    I am not flipper and i dont care if you believe the story or not .
    It just seems childish you guys would post on here and at least not ask for more pics or anything. Typical people who are willing to tear down someone else’s stuff rather than ask……

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    • Doug Towsley

      Well Bud, Sorry you got your feelings hurt but there might be a bit of a lesson in this. I see by your FeeBay profile you are not exactly a eBay noob, and you also currently have a very high dollar Chevelle also on auction. Probably not your first rodeo??
      So, try to look at this objectively. Not exactly overwhelmed with good pictures, Seems little was done to enhance its appearance and conditon, So most people find that bothersome and sure leads many to suspect or assume “Flipper”. The mileage claim is dubious at best and considering many factors you will have to concede most would doubt such a story. Perhaps support your claim of a detail pix or 3 of the tires… Chicken Strips? Nips? Oil condition? Close ups of the wear items like sprockets and chains? Close ups of the grips, foot peg rubbers, inside of tank, carb-fuel lines-petcocks-electrical?? All of which can make a break you on claims of low mileage and originality.
      I always look closely at the fasteners, Bolts, screws, clips and trim pieces and that tells the tale of the DPO. (Dreaded Previous Owner) Did their idea of tools & Maint consist of a Vice-Grips (Mole grips in the UK) A big hammer and broken screw drivers?
      I have consulted, serviced-repaired,Restored,customized, bought and sold a LOT of vintage vehicles and ran a shop for many years. I specialize especially in Vintage British but have worked on most every make and model. While the above comments are at times harsh, I have heard much worse, I often will display a bike at a event under the owners name or assumed names and then stand around and listen to the commentarys. Grow some thicker skin. You got off light here IMHO.
      Finally, Since you waded in and complained, I think you owe us all a explanation of why the auction was killed. Some see that sort of thing as acceptable but I am old school and started on ebay back in 99 and once upon a time ending auctions early was frowned upon.
      I am disabled and a veteran, and in my world, Plain and direct talk is the norm. If you are easily offended, best not venture out much. But many people I know sure think these forms are appropriate for those who are fragile and upset easily.
      If you can get pas tthat, Id be happy to buy you a beer.

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      • Howard A Member

        WOW! This site is getting intense. I’m sure Josh and Jesse are how we got here?

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    • Howard A Member

      Hi Bud, I apologize too, but like Doug says,( although, a little graphic) a half mile is a little odd, those speedos come with a half a mile from the factory. Too many loose ends. Someone is bound to jump on that. Estate sale of the wife of the person,,,,getting pretty far away for a story to stay intact. We’re speculating, just to give people a “2nd opinion”. I hate selling stuff, and found a story does nothing to sell a vehicle, just because there are so many story’s out there. It’s better to just present it, and don’t say anything, here it is, want it or don’t you.

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