My newest addition 1970 Lil Indian

#1
Many of you may have seen it on eBay and being a Lil Indian addict, I just had to get it, thanks Diggers for another fix to satisfy my addiction. The bike is a 1970 Lil Indian and this one actually has a date stamped on the engine plate and thanks to having the original seat that is also dated, I can say without a doubt that it’s a 1970. I thought I would also share a group photo of my other Lil Indians ( last photo ), going from left to right, mid 67-68, 68, 69, 69, 70, 71 Cobra. The second one in from the left was my first mini ( 68 ) and is a basket case and needs a lot of attention but since it was my first mini, I can’t get rid of it. I do have most of the parts and engines to complete them all, I just need to quit buying and start building.

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Ding Ding

Active Member
#4
Nice score and collection!

As far as quit buying and start building goes, that is difficult! I have many bikes that need completion, but that doesn't keep my from getting more. When I see the right bike, it damn near consumes me to the point where it's all I can think about. The only way to scratch that itch it to bring it to a home.
 
#6
This seat was stamped where it bolts to the strap that goes across the frame. You can see the lighter area in the wood where it went over the strap. I have seen one other that was stamped towards the back behind the strap too.
 
#7
Another thing to note, notice how the seat hangs behind the frame on the 1970 green bike. The reproduction seats you find on eBay like the one on the third bike in from the left (69), the seat is flush with the back of the frame. They aren't supposed to be like that, the seat bolt holes on the reproduction seats should be an inch or so further forward. I didn't actually measure it as I don't mind it not being correct for the other bike, just something to note if doing an accurate restoration.
 
#10
So I was doing a little research to see what models came in green in 1970 and I found this 1970 brochure. I noticed that the only two models that have the non-kickup seat are the 400 and the 450. The 450 says it comes in "Radical Red" and the 400 doesn't specify a color so that's what I'm going with. When I bought the bike I questioned whether or not the grips, throttle and brake lever were original as I haven't seen any original stuff from that year. The brake lever is long with a ball at the end and I've only seen the short ones on older bikes. I noticed in the picture in the brochure that the 400 and 450 had the long lever with the ball on the end so that seems legit. The throttle is the type that doesn't have the tension adjuster, you know, like the ones found on 90% of bikes people restore. The throttle has a black plastic non-adjustable cable ferrule, unlike the adjustable ones found on those "Deluxe" throttles everywhere. I believe it is original because I have found other bikes of the same era that have the same throttle. Another thing I noticed in the brochure was the seats on the bikes have white piping and mine is black, well, I know my seats original because it has the date stamp and the Michrina logo on it so that's where the brochure is wrong. Attached are pictures of the brake lever and throttle that I am talking about. If anyone else has a 1970-71 Lil Indian that has the same setup, share your pictures.

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markus

Well-Known Member
#11
They did use those grips/throttle (on the bike not the ones in the pic above) you you start to really see them in the 1971 brochure. They were what fox was using as as well. You still normally see the standard OGK's on bike at the same time though. They seemed to take over from the "cushionair" grips (which were OGK bolton waffle grips) as they are shown on the higher end model bike in 1971. but the little later yet bikes (right before they transitioned to the 2 piece frames that were basic small frames seem to show up with them when they appear
 
#13
Another thing I noticed different on my bike than that of the brochure is the head badge. My head badge is closer to the spring towards the bottom of the steer tube which makes it centrally located between the fork plates. My 71 has it in the middle of the steer tube like in the brochure.
 
#15
Addicted: Do you (or anybody else) happen to know what year that dark maroon colored Lil Indian, you have in your photo, was made?
It's a 69, it was originally blue and someone painted it with a purple-ish red paint, the blue one to the right is a 69 as well. Markus has helped me narrow these suckers down, If not for him, I'd still be scratching my head!.
 
#17
Here's something interesting, while looking for more 1970 bikes, I found what appears to be a 450 model in "Radical" red as advertised in the brochure but... the serial number is way lower than mine and it was made the same month. Another reason I believe it's a 450 is that it doesn't have a kick-up seat either. The 400 and 450 were the only two models not to have the kick up seat according to the brochure as well. Sure you can say one changed the seat but I believe it's original as it has black piping as well, just like mine that is dated April 29 1970. I also found a purple bike made in 3/70 that the serial number is way higher than mine. All three bikes were made within three months of each other, are of the same series but the serial numbers don't add up. Not to mention, nobody seems to know exactly what year these brochures are from. Michrina's claim the brochure is from 1970 but I found the .PDF version on CHF's website listed as 1969, Here's the kicker, the forks on the bikes in the brochure are definitely 70-71 forks as they have the bend just above the upper fork plate but... If "Lil Indian" was established as a company in 1959 like we all know, then 10 years later would be 1969 correct?. Well, the last page of the brochure states "10 Years experience" making 1969 a believable year for the brochure as well.

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