Indian Dakota 4

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    Never even heard of this until a few days ago. Made in Scotland apparently!


    FRAME: Cradle, triple braced. Seamless tubular steel.
    RAKE: 31degrees.
    REAR SUSPENSION: Koni Dial-A-Ride. Adjustable air optional.
    FRONT FORK: Telescopic.
    FRONT BRAKE: Single 320mm disc. Hydraulic activated. Double disc brakes optional.
    REAR BRAKE: Internal expanding.
    FINAL DRIVE: Cardan shaft.
    TYRES: Avon Roadrunner 90-16. Dunlop Touring Elite optional.
    OVERALL LENGTH: 2510mm
    OVERALL WIDTH: 500mm
    OVERALL HEIGHT: 1195mm
    WHEELBASE: 1740mm
    GROUND CLEARANCE: 113mm. (100mm with Air shock absorbers.)
    WEIGHT: 325 kg (Full tanks)
    FUEL CAPACITY: 18 litres. 2.5 litres reserve.
    RANGE: 243 Km / 150 Miles
    Fuel consumption at 90 Km hr: 7.4 litres per 100Km.
    GEAR RATIOS: 1st : 2.88 2nd: 1.72 3rd: 1.75 4th: 1.00
    FINAL DRIVE RATIO: 2.91:1 (Series ll ) = 50 Km per 1000 rpm
    MOTOR: Inline 4 cylinder, 4-stroke.
    COOLING: Air.
    DISPLACEMENT: 1845cc
    VALVE SYSTEM: O.H.V. 2 per cylinder.
    BORE & STROKE: 85.7mm x 80mm
    MAXIMUM R.P.M: 4400
    FUEL SUPPLY: Single Weber via electric pump. Fuel injection with full engine management optional.
    IGNITION: Distributor (standard models). Electronic ignition optional.
    STARTING: Electric
    POWER: 74 B.H.P. @3800 RPM (Standard Motor)
    TORQUE: 15.9 m-kg (168 N-m) @ 2650 R.P.M. (Standard Motor)

    Indian Dakota 4 Series ll £19,500
    Indian Dakota I-4 Series ll £22,995

    Adjustable air rear suspension £161.90
    Leather rear passenger seat £127.70
    Chrome crashbar front £119.55
    Chrome crashbar rear £135.60
    Chrome Indian spotlights £149.00
    Teardrop front fender light £69.75
    Contactless ignition £298.00
    Windshield £69.80
    Windshield mounting kit £44.50

    Single colour “Classic” £Inclusive
    Single colour “Horizon stripe” £Inclusive
    Two tone “Horizon stripe” £65.00
    Single”Silver Script” £125.00
    Single colour metallic £78.00

    All subject to V.A.T

    MAXIMUM TORQUE: 117.35lb/ft@ 3809rpm
    MAXIMUM B.H.P: 74.05 @ flywheel
    Standard model. Single Weber Carburettor

    For free full colour brochure
    Email : [email protected]

    or write to :
    Indian Motorcycles
    5 West Scotland Street Lane
    EH3 6PT

    Tel : 0131-557-5807
    Fax : 0131-556-4418

    Specification and prices subject to change without notice.
    © 2000 Indian Motorcycle Ltd.

    Some comments from Castrol Bike World:

    Meanwhile, journalist Roland Brown rode the fascinating four-cylinder UK machine:

    The Scottish-made four-cylinder Indian Dakota 4, which can only legally be sold in the UK

    You only have to glance at the machine to see that this is as close to a modern day version of the old Indian Four as you’re likely to get. At the centre sits a huge finned 1845cc engine complete with four shiny downpipes and a high level exhaust running straight as a brave’s arrow down its right side.

    The idea to resurrect the name first came to Forbes in March 1997 when a group of Swedish Indian fans revealed their attempt at a replica at Daytona. Called the Wiking, it had an air-cooled, two-valve-per-cylinder engine, shaft driven with a four-speed gearbox derived from BMW components plus many purpose-built parts.

    The men behind the project, Sture Torngren, Mikael Jonsson and Bjorn Johansson, used whatever they could to finish the motor, so they adapted a camshaft, crank, pistons and conrods from a Volvo car engine and the valves from a VW.

    The chassis was designed from scratch with a long twin-downtube steel frame creating a huge 1740mm wheelbase with Showa forks, 16 inch Avon Roadrunner tyre on a wire-spoked wheel plus a single front disc and caliper taken from a Harley. As soon as Forbes saw it, he wanted to produce it.

    Inevitably there’s something of a Harley feel to the bike as soon as you swing a leg across the low slung saddle. But when you hit the button to bring the big motor to life with its flat, four-cylinder growl rather than the usual V-twin thrap, you now you’re in for a very different ride.

    Lift your boot onto the footboard, pull in the clutch and tread it into gear and the Dakota lurches to one side with a Moto Guzzi-style torque reaction from the longitudinal crankshaft. The engine idles sweetly and the refined feel is only marred by the loudly ticking fuel pump, due to be changed for a quieter one on production models.

    The motor will also be different, producing 74bhp rather than the 60bhp of this prototype, but more important anyway is the fact that peak torque arrives at just 2650rpm, when you get a huge 124lb.ft. This endows the bike with a very lazy, low-revving feel which sends the Dakota surging forwards as you release the light clutch. A fuel injection system is being developed by Forbes to replace the single Weber carburettor as an optional extra, but the Indian is still very easy to ride, pulling from standstill without a glitch (although there was some detonation under hard acceleration, suggesting the ignition needs some fine tuning).
    With its weight of 310kg (682lb) the Dakota is about as heavy as a Harley Fat Boy, and 100mm longer. But much of its weight is carried very low, which aids stability. Indeed, under way the Dakota feels as solid as a Great Plains buffalo. On the open road it cruises effortlessly at 60mph – 70mph (100kph – 120kph) or so, feeling relaxed and smooth, although there’s just enough high frequency vibration to give it a period feel, and a distinctly different character to any V-twin.
    There’s a fat wedge of stomp when you need it, too. I was surprised to see the speedo register 100mph (160kph) after just a short blast – the top speed is probably around 110mph, and will be slightly more for the 74bhp versions, which is a match for any current Harley. Forbes says he proved as much in an impromptu race with a friend in his Edinburgh home town recently: “I got the better of him more times than he did me!” grins Forbes.

    The Dakota 4 does more than merely work – it’s comfortable, smooth and surprisingly fast

    More importantly, the Four felt as if it would happily cruise at 80mph (130kph) for ever, or at least right across both Dakotas if necessary.
    The comfort from the blend of Fournales air shocks (an alternative to the standard Koni springs) and the sprung saddle, which is occasionally rather bouncy, is promising.

    As for the handling, it’s fine as long as you don’t get too carried away. I swept through a series of bends at 70mph (110kph) without any hair-raising moments, but the combination of soft suspension, long wheelbase and low-slung chassis meant I didn’t have to lean over far before solid parts hit the road.

    The forks are tried and tested components that do a good job, and the same can be said of the brakes. That single front disc and old-style Harley caliper with a drum at the back is all very low tech, but the Dakota stopped well given a firm squeeze on the lever and pedal.
    Some riders might find the sideways lurch due to the engine’s torque reaction off-putting as it happens when you blip the throttle while changing down, but you do get used to it. Finding neutral in the otherwise efficient if slow-shifting four-speed gearbox also takes a bit of practice, but you get there eventually.

    Torngren has developed a revised box with a taller top ratio that will be fitted to production Dakotas.

    It’s no surprise that this bike can’t match the refinement of the latest Harleys which benefit from millions of dollars worth of development (see our Harley factory feature). What the Dakota does have is a unique look and layout, reasonable performance, excellent finish and a character that many will find very appealing, although this might be tempered by the £27,600 ($43,000) price tag.

    At the moment Forbes can only sell the bike in the UK with the Indian badge, but he is in talks with the Indian Motorcycle Co (formerly CMC). Let’s hope something can be worked out, because this makes such a pleasant change from the over-familiar V-twins.


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