An improved and modernized Indian Chief has just been announced from Springfield. The new 74-model 346-is known as “War-time Model 3 Conversion” and will be made and merchandized under War Production release.
From the August 1945 issue of Motorcyclist Magazine
The new War-time Indian, first new American motorcycle to be publicly announced, will be built as standard to replace the former 74 cu. in. model. Manufacturing is under way and it is expected that deliveries will commence within the next few months and be progressively increased during the latter part of 1945.
The new Model 346 is powered by a 42° V-twin engine of L-head design. The standard Indian unit power plant with enclosed primary chain running in a bath of oil is retained. Precision refinements such as mirror finish cylinders, diamond bored holes in piston and connecting rods and precision grinding of bearing surfaces have been incorporated, and each engine is completely block tested before assembly into the frame. Notable features of the new Indian Chief as discussed by the Indian Motocycle Company are as follows: The new Indian dual spring front fork with hydraulic shock absorber has been thoroughly proved in the toughest military service as being unequalled in handling and road holding qualities. Action is soft and easy and the natural fork rebound is shock absorber controlled and coordinated with Indian’s sprung rear wheel for unusual stability and comfort. Construction is of heat treated steel and exceedingly strong. Rubber mounted handlebars which eliminate all road shock and vibration offer a new treat to motorcycle riders. Shock action may be set to any desired tension. The handlebars are fully adjustable to suit individual riding position. A built-in steering damper provides for exact lateral control according to road conditions of the rider’s wishes. Full streamlined design featuring Indian’s skirted fenders make this model as modern as the next minute…and the most attractive of motorcycles. An improved seat post with long travel springs gives smooth action over the biggest of bumps…a spring build-up principle does not permit the saddle to “bottom”. New saddle construction provides added comfort to the rider. The saddle is full cushioned with a layer of sponge rubber beneath the leather top. Protective metal side plates prevent tearing at the usual point of wear. The new wheels are lighter than previous designs. New style hubs and a simpler, stronger, direct-tension wheel spoke arrangement result in increased strength which maintains wheel trueness despite hard use. The water shielded front wheel brake has increased lining area. Brake drum is ribbed for greater strength and the resulting air cooling increases brake lining life. The front brake plate is of polished aluminum. A new brake hand lever and new easy brake adjustment make operation and maintenance easy. Indian’s “Double Action” Spring Frame has been improved to allow greater wheel travel. Riding comfort is increased and the better road holding characteristics result in safer stopping and longer tire life. Instruments continue to be mounted in the motorcycle tank panel. A modern speedometer face makes for easy reading even at speed. Maximum speed hand is standard equipment. Ignition switch is of new construction and of positive rotary contact design.
Indian’s frame is again the rigid double tube cradle type. The spring center stand returns automatically to the “up” position as the motorcycle is rolled forward off the stand. Safety guards are more compact yet fully effective are fitted to the frame