This 1929 Electric Indian Four is Different

This 1929 Electric Indian Four is Different

1929 Indian Four - Detroit Randy

This one-of-a-kind, 1929, all electric Indian motorcycle keeps the Four, and changes everything you think you know about building electric motorcycles.

That’s “Detroit” Randy up there, and he’s riding around the mean streets of Detroit on a priceless 1929 Indian Four— that’s a rare bike as it is. But this is Electrify News, not Clapped-out Classic News, so you’ve probably already guessed the twist: Detroit’s Indian has been converted to electric power. And— as if that’s not enough— he’s also had the good sense to not remove nearly 100 years of patina from the iconic motorcycle.


It’s All Still There

Image courtesy Indian.

Indian built the Four from 1928 (under the “Ace” name) until civilian production ended in 1942 at the start of WWII, but it’s been hugely influential in the motorcycle world ever since (if you doubt that, check out the Triumph Rocket 3 or upcoming Zaiser Arrow electric motorcycle). So, when “Detroit” Randy got his invitation to be an “Invited Builder” at the 2022 Born Free show in California at about the same time a ’29 Indian showed up on his radar, he knew what he had to do. He had to build something to, “shake the foundation that you stand on.”

Consider us shook, Randy.

Part of what makes this electric Indian build so wild is the fact that Randy kept the original internal-combustion engine in place. The electric drive motor is mounted behind the block, where you’d expect the transmission to sit, while the batteries live in the leather saddlebags. It’s so obvious, so subtle— and, to my eyes, just a perfect way to keep the spirit of the old Indian Four alive while running it on clean, silent power.

We can’t get enough of this build. It might be the first Indian Four you’ve ever seen— and the fact that it’s absolutely silent may not even register, unless you really, really know what you’re looking at. It’s the stuff of biker build-off dreams … maybe. We’ll have to wait to see if anyone at Born Free agrees.

In the meantime, watch this video highlighting Randy’s build, below, then let us know what you think of this unique electric vehicle conversion in the comments section at the bottom of the page.


“Detroit” Randy’s 1929 Electric Indian Four


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