1979 Indian Moped

in 2017 I picked up this project, Around 1977 American Moped Associates (AMA) purchased the Indian trademark from bankruptcy court for $10,000. AMA designed the frame, bought the tooling and rights from Honda, and got Merida to produce it. That is how we ended up with the “Indian Moped” also referred to as the Indian AMI-50 Chief Moped.

Here is what I started with….

The first thing I did is to start collecting parts that I needed, and didn’t need 😉 One cool item was a part I didn’t need… some NOS mag wheels that were actually made for this moped back in the day. Some Indians had Sport Mag II cast aluminum wheels, made in Placentia CA USA. These were pretty much the only aluminum “mag” type wheel on any Indian mopeds originally sold is Southern California. For the rest of the country, the Mira Enterprises (Taiwan-made) aluminum wheels, that look like snowflakes, are the most common type of Indian moped “mag” wheel. This is easy to see in a Google image search for “indian moped”. Maybe, this was because American Moped Associates, in Irvine CA, had to unpack the bikes and swap the wheels with the local-made aluminum ones (that need all the brake and axle parts transferred from the old spoke wheels). So they only sold units with Sport Mag II wheels to local deliveries, while for far away deliveries they would sell the units with Mira snowflake wheels. 

Found these NOS Mags on Ebay….
New Mags fitted with some new whitewalls… required custom brake shoes.

After messing around it turned out my original gas tank built into the frame was leaking… So I had to find a donor… and crazy enough I did within a hundred miles on craigslist!

Donor Indian frame without leak… and extra parts/

It took about 3 years to gather parts (and find time) to get this thing running… but finally it has everything it needs to fire up.

Stay Tuned for the final results.

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