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Indian International Rally 2015


A great turn out of Indian Friends from all over Europe and beyond. The weather could have been better, but England would not be England without a drop of rain. The Saturday was gloriously sunny so the bikes were out riding the Gloucestershire countryside or taking advantage of riding the Hill climb.

Rally DVD
Our official photographer/video man had an accident just before the International and was unable to make it.  Instead, we gathered all the photos that people took of the event and videos and press-ganged a few to take over the specific roll of rally photographer.  A DVD of these has been compiled to celebrate the rally.  These are now available at £7 each including postage to the UK. Overseas Postage extra, To order contact Payment can be made by PayPal

International DVD


Here are some statistics of the rally:

Bikes Represented
Indians 169
Other Makes 44


Furthest ridden  - Aad Holtkayp from Netherlands on a 1943 Chief rode 834 miles
Peoples choice - Loek Hillebrand from Netherlands on a 1926 Chief

Best special - Cameron McCaig from Scotland on a 1938 Kiwi Chief
Best pre 1945 - Cliff Arthur from England on a 1919 Powerplus
Best post 1945 - Henrik Nordlund from Aland (Finland) 1947 Chief

Countries Represented
UK England

In at the deep end
The Indian international at Prescott Hill Climb was our very first motorcycle rally “ever” and we think it’s going to be hard to beat.
We have never been into motorcycles and have always had classic cars.  However, one fateful night that was all to change as we found a rather unloved 1946 Indian chief in Connecticut, which was an absolute nightmare to get out of America, but that’s another story. We also were tipped off about a second bike, that was too good to be true, which actually turned out to be in excellent good order and a real bargain so we shipped that to the UK as well, that would be Vera’s bike.
So we decided to go to the Indian rally at Prescott and see what motorbike rallies are all about.  Sadly just days before Prescott  my black 1946 bike decided its favourite gear was neutral and no amount of clutch adjustment would change that. So we decided to leave it at home and just go with Vera’s 1947 chief which luckily had a chum-me seat fitted which we had purchased from Ron and Val who are members of the Indian Riders Club, we spent a lovely afternoon with them when we collected the seat from Dartford.
So we nervously turned up at Prescott about midday Thursday with Van (and chief) 4x4 and caravan and also our dog.  It was like an episode of monster moves.  We were greeted by the welcoming committee and told we could park anywhere we liked, so we pitched smack in the middle of the field.  After setting up we decided to go and wander around the field as plenty of people had already arrived.  We met some really friendly people and soon leant not to tell everybody we were new “as there could be consequences involving shaving foam”, we never mentioned that again all weekend. One of the marshals decided that he was going to teach Vera the finer points of Indian models and spent all weekend quizzing her about bike models, years, engine sizes, no matter how much she tried to avoid him they always bumped into each other all over the weekend.  She did rather enjoy getting the answers right later in the weekend. So we wandered around looking at all the different models and conditions of the bikes there and we really were amazed as we had never seen any Indians other than our own, not even passed one on the road. When we returned back to the caravan, by sheer fluke, the only people we knew had pitched there tent next to us. Ron and Val they were as surprised as us. 
Friday morning We had put our name down for the Morgan ride out, but not the tour as we had done this recently.  The weather was very poor but there was still a considerable amount of hardy riders going out.  As per normal “for newbies” Vera’s bike decided not to start at the crucial time and we were left playing catch up with the group.  However, we were really impressed by people waiting at the key points and soon relaxed into the ride.  We were following a modern Harley (who had waited for us when the bike stalled at an island, operator error) and in front of him was a little Morris Minor Traveler, which we had just had a discussion (over the intercoms) that he was also in our group.  At a main road junction, as we entered Malvern the Morris went right and the Harley left, we followed the Harley (obviously) and then as we came around a bend where we were immediately faced with a massive uphill that at the top came to a junction straight onto a main road (with no flat stopping area) Vera says she felt me tense up (and some profanities over the intercom) as we had never tried a hill start of this scale.  However I immediately shed as much speed as I could and dropped the bike into 1st and went as slowly up the hill as I could, praying that we would be close enough to the top when the Harley made a break for it. By sheer luck of the gods we were and the minute his engine revs changed I gunned the engine and we pulled out right up his trumpet, it worked out perfectly.  After that we both stopped and Vera pulled out her sat nav (one big hill a day is enough) and we got to the Morgan Factory, where we enjoyed a cup of tea and cake with a few other members who didn’t go on the tour. Word soon got out that we had sat nav and thus it was decided we would lead a 3 bike convoy back. Which meant that poor Vera had to hold up her sat nav (in the rain) and make sure we were on the right path. We did get back fine but another new experience was going down the motorway in the pouring rain and not knowing what speed to stay at for the others to be happy at. We were exhausted on our return but had made a few new friends and sat out drinking tea and discussing why Vera’s bike wouldn’t tick over even all the time. We went up for the provided cottage pie and very welcomed it was too.. Sadly we were too exhausted to stay for the band (who we had listened to tuning up) and decided to retire for the evening after walking the dog up the hill and back.
Saturday morning was the ride out to Bourton-on-the-water.  The weather was beautiful, there was a massive gathering of bikes ready to leave and this time I didn’t switch off Vera’s bike whilst we waited (lesson learned from the day before).  We aimed to get in the middle of the pack and enjoy the ride, however after heading off the bike lost power and by sheer fluke I saw that the spark plug lead had fallen off.  I soon leant that there is no way to put it back on whilst riding (although I came close) but 3 shocks later I decided to stop and put it back on. Yet again playing catch up which was easy as the group had gone wrong and were now coming back towards us, a nice u turn and we were back with the group, however after 30 mins we realised that nobody in our group actually knew where we were going and none of them could speak English. We had doubled back 3 or 4 times down the same road, the group pulled over and everybody was getting very hot and bothered. Vera to the rescue again. Sat nav held high we were again leading the way.  We were actually further away from Bourton than when we left Prescott… slowly as we lead the way back more and more followed behind.  We had about 10 in total at the end as we neared Bourton.  Vera’s chief decided it didn’t want the breather pipe for the engine oil and as we entered Bourton the smoke coming from the drips onto the engine must have been a sight to see.  A fellow member from Ireland gave us his gearbox breather and the problem was soon cured (thank you).
Finally after Vera had done a reconnaissance walk to find everybody else we joined the huge gathering by the motor museum.  Wow we were amazed and hadn’t realised just how many bikes had come on the trip.  It felt really good to be part of this group of people with so many interesting/different machines. We sat in the middle and ate the supplied pack lunch, the people of Bourton couldn’t get enough of the bikes, it was a really special afternoon. As we sat we decided to make sure when Anita left we left so we could have a stress free ride back(word had got around that she knew the way), So we did, we followed her back all the way in a group of about 15 and it was probably the best ride we have ever had, completely trouble free.
When we got back to camp we were lucky enough to see the last of the bikes going up the hill and were amazed at some people really going for it (we had opted out) great to see bikes fully over with footboards scraping the floor, not a sight we will probably see again…   We had a wander around the spares stalls and purchased some new needles for Vera’s bike and a few other bits and bobs, we also spent a bit of time admiring and sitting on the new Indian scout, which we have now purchased to build up Vera’s road experience before going on her chief and we absolutely love it.  Time for the  evening meal and pudding and we sat with an Australian family who had carefully planned a trip to see friends that tied in with the rally.  We decided to return back to the caravan and catch 40 winks before the band …sadly waking up the next morning … we were knackered.
Early Sunday morning I decided to change the needle on the carb, which was another lesson leant, after which the bike refused to start and after about 30 kicks I resigned myself to failure.  Luckily for me the ride out was cancelled so we didn’t miss out (lesson3) if it runs don’t mess pre ride out.
All positive on the whole weekend. As a brand new member we would have liked to see the hill climb from start to finish, but wanted to go on the ride to Bourton more, sadly we couldn’t do both.
So in summary of the weekend
Was buying 2 vintage Indians worth the import hassle - yes
Did Vera’s Chief do us proud - yes
Did we get lost a lot - yes
Do newbies get shaving foamed - no
Have we made some new friends - yes
Would we go to another international – your damn right, see you in Germany

Andy & Vera Townsend Andy and Vera Townsend

Thanks to the following for their photo contributions: Andy Donald, Bill Herbert, Brian Rose, Delray Rockets, Caths Kool Kat Kustom Photography, Harry Verkuill, Janneane Drew, John Wright, Linda "Papparazzi" Jeffery, Mick Woolley, Peter Dennig, Steve Cain, Su Woodgates, Tim & Claudia Handscombe, Vera Townsend

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Indian Motocycles - you can't wear them out                                  Indian Motocycles - built to last  
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