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Thread: 1945 essential civilian cheif

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    27

    Default 1945 essential civilian cheif

    I have a 1945 essential civilian chief that is pretty much original with very little plated parts and the unskirted fenders and chain guard. I have seen on the internet some 1945 chiefs that are said to be essential civilian models that have skirted fenders and chain guards, along with more bright trim than mine. Is there a point in 45 where they started upgrading these bikes to the skirted sheetmetal or were these bikes just upgraded?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Beautiful Northern New Mexico
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    2,287

    Default

    Yours is correct from the factory. No skirts until '46.
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Taberg, New York
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    Default

    And not a lot of chrome accessories until 47-48.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2002
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    North Hills, CA and Pine Grove, CA
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    5,124

    Default

    H-D resumed civilian production in late 1945. I don't know about Indian.
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
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    Default

    I think it was common for dealers to upgrade essential use civilian models, as I had a friend who got a '43FL from the original owner. The bike came through Puckett's H-D in Orlando and was bought by a rural route mailman. He hated it when he saw how plain it was, so Louis Puckett sold him enough doo-dads to make him happy. Herein is the rub; none of this was documented, and the parts were new old stock for previous year motorcycles so they were not correct for that bike. Regardless that those upgrades were done by a genuine H-D dealer does not alter the fact that a 1943FL didn't look like that from the factory. A 1945 Chief came from the factory with open military type fenders. Coincidently, the same man that has the '43FL, has a 1944 Chief that is very pure (but repainted in the '60s). It has a certain charm, but it is a 'plain', no frills motorcycle.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    27

    Default

    I have been told, but am not sure, that the essential civilian chiefs came with a unskirted civilian fenders, which are different than a military fender. And, ya, the bike is plain, that is why I liked it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Sarasota, Florida
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    I believe you are correct about that, fizz. My friend's '44 is a civilian Chief, and I believe the fenders are different than military fenders. I think the military fender has a bead rolled into the edge, and the civilian fender doesn't. Regardless, I really don't see that the non-skirted fender saved that much material considering the added braces, but it was good P.R for Indian. Good call, fizz.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Oak View, CA.
    Posts
    22

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    About the rear fenders...When I bought my'45 Chief EU project, it came in a box, along with 3 rear fenders and a pair of front fenders, one bobbed, with the front 12"-15" cut off. The rear fenders are all a little different. One appears to be an original, the metal is thicker than the other two, and the curved area over the tire is slightly more angular or square like across the top edge. The tail light is mounted with an external bracket (like the one Greer offers), and a cast iron luggage rack will fit perfectly on it. The holes are drilled for the tail light wires to be exposed on the outside of the fender. The other 2 fenders have a more rounded profile and the taillight mounts more like the skirted fenders. Also the bends,folds and holes for mounting the center stand clip. The taillight wires are concealed on the under side of the fender with 4 welded straps to hold the armored wire. and the cast iron rack doesn't fit without some kind of fitted spacer between the fender and the mounting holes on the luggage rack. I believe there are at least 3 styles of the "mud guard" type fenders, and without positive proof I can only speculate. Early '40 model 340B (according to the repair manual, there were only 1000 units produced for the Military in 1940. Then the '41-'42 fender, with the angular lines and the early exterior taillight bracket, exterior mount wiring, and the mounting holes for the center stand clip. And finally the '44-'45 EU models, with the more rounded fender and the taillight mounted more like the skirted models, mounted flush to the fender. I've seen the license plate mounted both above and below the taillight, depending on the bracket. I have wondered in which sequence these fenders were produced, as there isn't very much documentation covering which fender for which model series. Either fender looks just fine, but I'd like some better clarification as to which fender for which year model... any help ? Where would I find the proof ? Military manuals, and civilian manuals that I've seen haven't helped.

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