The mighty 741

Old Bike Australasia - - BLOW YOUR OWN -

Circa early 1947, cousin ‘H’ owned an In­dian 741 but wanted a car, which were as rare as the prover­bial rock­ing horse poop. I found one, not reg­is­tered, at Haber­field, an Austin Baby Seven. We lived at West­mead and we cleared it with the po­lice that since he owned the solo 741 (an exarmy 500cc twin), it would be OK to tow the car. The Baby Austin was at­tached to the In­dian and towed via Par­ra­matta Road to West­mead with­out hin­drance, to be re­paired, reg­is­tered, and driven to its fi­nal home in Can­berra. I sat in it and steered it, and braked as needed. Not a plot that could be rec­om­mended in the present time. Some years later there was a dra­matic rise in Third Party in­sur­ance. Since I wished to run two bikes, the an­swer was that one had to be a 250cc or less. In­dian 741s were as cheap as chips at the time, so up to All­parts I went and bought the best of three stacked out the back for twenty quid, and trail­ered it home to Wol­lon­gong via my 1200 out­fit. Armed with Tun­ing for Speed, I re­moved one con-rod and re­placed it with a spacer, re­bal­anced the fly­wheels and re­built the donk with a blank­ing plate over the crank­case hole, and ground one came off the dis­trib­u­tor. Af­ter a bright yel­low paint job, it was down to the rego of­fice and they ac­cepted it was an ex-army 500cc with only one lung, ergo a 250cc, no prob­lem. Per­for­mance, aided by a re­bore, was quite ac­cept­able for a gen­eral run­about. Ron Shoe­mark Lower Belford, NSW

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