Here's a really cool article from the Kiwi MotoCycle monthly newsletter:
1940 Chief Revival
Weâ€™re always asking readers of this newsletter to reach out to us so we were delighted when Mike Tolj sent Kiwi Mike this note from Perth, Western Australia:
Just wanted to share with you a picture of my finished bike. You supplied the front and rear guards as well as a few other parts.
Bike is from Hollister in CA and was purchased in 1971 from CHP auction before being purchased by me in 2010 through eBay. It arrived in Australia in 2011 and has been under restoration since then. Thought you may like to see the outcome.
Thanks for assistance over the years with the build of this bike and others that I have been involved in.
We were intrigued so we asked Mike Tolj to tell us more. Hereâ€™s his story:
The bike was found through an eBay Auction, listed by a friend of the owner who had a bike shop in Hollister. He had purchased the bike from a California Highway Patrol Auction in 1971: $10.00 for the frame and $10.00 for the engine. It was the 1970â€™s and the new owner turned the bike into a chopper, a far cry from its origins as Highway Patrol Bike. He rode the bike around Hollister for many years before the engine failed. He tore it down to re-build and there it sat until I purchased the bike in 2010.
It was in a rough condition when it finally arrived in Australia with some of the parts unusable. At the time I had just finished my 741 Bobber Scout and was enjoying riding that. This bike was going to be a long restore, that I knew. Looking through â€œThe History of a Classic American Motorcycle by Tod Raffertyâ€ I came upon the picture of the 1940 Indian Chief California Highway Police bike restored by Bob Stark and I knew that was the bike that I wanted to build.
A lot of nights were spent looking for and sourcing the right parts. Some came from Kiwi, some from Greer, some from friends, others from eBay. Slowly the bike was coming together, one parcel at a time. Along the way some real bargains were found: the RM Magneto; the S&M Lamp Company lights were a great find; the Motorola radio head is a prized item. (I need some radio boxes if anyone has any.) The winter screen was a great find and came from Portland, OR all the way to Perth. Found a company in Washington that reproduces the CHP Stars for the tank, too.
The bike has been torn down to bare metal and rebuilt with as many original parts as possible. Additional parts were sourced from auctions and sheds. Due to the age of the bike and its previous history some parts had to be replaced with new parts. Old parts were restored, cleaned, cad plated where possible, new bearings installed as needed. All restoration was done here in Western Australia over a period of 6 years with the help of many. To name a few: Andrew, Chris, Jim, John, Graeme and Wayne. A lot of time and support from family and friends has assisted in the restoration of this bike and I must send out big thanks to all that helped and contributed.
Â·Std 74 cubic in Indian motor
Â·Indian Bonneville cams and lifters
Â·Linkert M6BA - Indian Bonneville carb
Â·Std. 3 Speed Indian Gearbox
Â·Original engine had 1942 cases. (CDB319M) but they needed a lot of work
Â·1947 Indian NOS magneto engine cases were found in Australia
Â·Original NOS Full Winter Screen
Â·RM Edison Splitdorf Magneto with a hot spark
Â·Original Motorola Radio Head
Â·Original friction drive Sterling Siren
Â·Original S&M Lamp Co Los Angeles Police Lights
Â·Original tinned soft soldered fuel tanks
Â·New front and rear guards supplied by Kiwi Indian
Â·Original configuration â€“ Left-hand accelerator and Right-hand advance/retard of magneto timing.