• Make:
  • Indian
  • Model:
  • 8-Valve
  • Year:
  • 1913

Indian 8-Valve Board Track Racer

An American made bike which started production in 1911. The Indian 8-Valve has a v-twin with 4 small valves in each cylinder, in a 1000 cc (61 ci) engine.

The 8-Valve was primarily a Board Track racer. Track racing served as the principle venues for motorcycle racing in America. By 1910, rival companies had started to overtake Indian on the wooden speedways. Oscar Hedstrom who designed the Indian motorcycle in 1900, returned to his drawing board. His goal was to design a new motor capable of regaining the lead for Indian.

The result of the engineer's effort was an overhead-valve design; however this could not withstand the extreme temperatures of a high-speed race. Hedstrom's solution was to decrease the size of the valves and add more of them. Instead of the usual two valves in each cylinder, Hedstrom calculated that four smaller valves would be better able to dissipate the heat. His theory turned out to be correct, and the overhead-valve configuration also proved to be more efficient.

When engine tuners learned to take advantage of the increased valve area afforded by multiple valves, they discovered that not only had Hedstrom solved the problem of valve breakage due to excessive heat, but also that the new motor was faster as well.

The Indian 8-valve debuted in 1911 and was immediately successful on the pine- board tracks. From 1911 on, Indian's multi-valve racer garnered valuable publicity for the company by winning numerous championships and setting new track records. In 1920 an Indian 8-Valve set an official world record for the mile, achieving a speed of 114.17 mph, and in 1926 an updated version of Hedstrom's landmark design was clocked at 132 mph, setting another world record, which would remain for the next 11 years. Initially, the Indian 8-valve motor was not offered for sale to the public; it was retained by the company for use on their professional racing equipment. It is not known how many Indian 8-Valves were produced, but approximately six are known to have survived.

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