Panther Publishing 

Franklin's Indians

Panther Publishing

Franklin's Indians

Now Out of Print 

Jerry Hatfield reviews FRANKLIN'S INDIANS!

"I highly recommend Franklin's Indians. I wish I had written it" Click here to read the full review.

More reviews of FRANKLIN'S INDIANS


“ … this lavishly illustrated book, whilst concentrating on Franklin, reveals a lot more of the company’s history than other works…thanks to some real detective work and the publication of this important work Franklin’s  true impact on motorcycling in general can be seen by all…a must read for all Indian fans…a quality work well presented…” Ian Kerr (Inter-Bike)


The Indian has been the iconic image for American big V-Twins down the years, due in no small measure to the motorcycles designed by Charles B Franklin - the Indian Scout and the Indian Chief.

Charles Franklin was born and raised in Ireland where he quickly became involved in motorcycle racing during the pioneer years. He rapidly established himself as Ireland’s first big star of racing and was the first to represent Ireland in international motorcycle competition. In the Isle of Man TT he consistently finished in the top eight, and in 1911 claimed second place, a remarkable achievement in itself.

But it was when he moved to Indian in the USA, where he became the Chief Design Engineer, that his genius really flowed. His designs catapulted Indian back into the forefront of motorcycle design in the 1920s and ’30s and his racing engines and motorcycles won much glory for Indian against stiff opposition. Franklin introduced remarkable improvements in side-valve combustion chamber design that pre-dated the work of Ricardo. He championed an holistic approach that popularised new features such as the semi unit-construction ‘powerplant’, helical-gear primary drive, double-loop full-cradle frames and a host of other improvements to the early motorcycles. This book not only chronicles his life but also sheds much new light on the history of Indian motorcycles and the often turbulent times of the Indian Motorcycle Company itself.

A much needed book for all Indian fans and all who love the history of the classic American V-Twins.


Foreword by George Hendee Wells;

Why a book about Charlie Franklin?

The First Great Irish Motorcycling Competitor  

Prologue: In the beginning;  Birth, ancestry, and upbringing; Ireland in Franklin’s day; First motorcycle; In competition at the dawn of motoring; From International Cup to Isle of Man Tourist Trophy; Indian gets noticed in Britain; Brooklands track; 1911 – an Indian Summer; Charles Franklin -Indian’s man in Dublin; Franklin goes to America; Franklin’s competition career summary;

American Motorcycle Designer       

Springfield in 1916; Settling in at Indian; Powerplus and Light Twin; US motorcycle competition up to 1919; Indian Scout – the marvel of motorcycle engineering; Harley vs Indian Wars 1919-22; Side-valve Genius; Chief Engineer; Out on a high note – Indian in British competition 1920 - 1923; Indian Chief – a heavy-duty plugger; Overhead-valve racer experimentation; Indian Prince - the personal motor; Scout Forty-Five and the overhead-valve hill-climb motors; Weird scenes at the Wigwam; The immortal 101 Scout; Modernisation for the ’thirties; Illness and death; Franklin’s motorcycling legacy;

Appendix: The search for Charlie Franklin; Epilogue: Why any of this still matters; Bibliography; Notes; Index.

Franklin's Indians Publication 1 September 2011 (ADVANCE COPIES NOW EXPECTED EARLY JULY), Hardback, (192 x 248mm or 8 x 10in approx)  Recommended Retail Price £34.00 , 353 pages, 140 colour and b&w illustrations, ISBN 978-0-9564975-5-0 SPECIAL OFFER FOR WEBSITE USERS £29.95 including UK Postage! Please add £4.50 p&p for Europe, £12 for the Rest of the World. 

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