Remembering Indian Larry

Remembering Indian Larry

(April 28 1949 – August 30 2004)

Indian Larry Full Throttle Magazine NYIt’s been twelve years since Indian Larry has left us. The impact that his talent for building and designing motorcycles has made in the industry is timeless. Indian Larry’s legacy in the Custom Culture world will and has influenced so many, just take a look around you, todays motorcycle building styles have proven that.

Indian Larry considered himself a “lone wolf”, and was not a member of a motorcycle club. Larry loved being on the road on his bike and living the biker lifestyle.

When Indian Larry first met the woman that would become his wife, Andrea “Bambi” Cambridge, in 1996, her first impression of him was that she thought he looked like “a total mass-murderer”. People would go out of their way to avoid him on the subway, but the moment Larry would start talking he’d instantly put them at ease with his sense of humor.

If I had to describe Larry’s bike building style the words I would have to include would be- stripped down, tall handlebar, foot clutched, jockey shifted, no front brake, no front fender, small gas tank, open exhaust, kick start only and raked choppers that prevailed in the 60’s and 70’s. He used vivid primary colors and metallic paint in such a way that when you saw his bikes you would just know it was an Indian Larry creation. But most importantly these bikes were not built for show alone, they were built to ride. His last build was the “Chain of Mystery,” in which the frame was made of welded tow chain. This amazing bike proved itself, as all of Larry’s bikes did, by maintaining speeds well in excess of 100MPH for sustained periods of riding. Larry built so many great bikes all with a purpose or vision in mind, like “Daddy-O” which was a tribute bike to his childhood hero Big Daddy Roth or “Berserker” named after the legendary Viking Warriors. Beserker is a killer rigid Panhead that is Paul Cox’s everyday ride. The bike that really put Larry on the map was “Grease Monkey,” besides being Larry’s personal ride, Grease Monkey was also his first bike featured in Easyriders magazine. The article began, “Behold the Chopper- it is form and function.”

It is no mistake that Larry used the question mark as his personal logo. As Larry himself once said of his question mark, “That’s my life’s logo because life is uncertain, roll with the mystery…just be comfortable with that. Why fight it?”

Trivia Question of the Month:

Question: Indian Larry was a lone wolf (no club,)

But Larry did belong to a club and he had a club tattoo on his right arm. What club did Larry belong to?

Answer to last month’s trivia question:

QUESTION:

What year did all of these things happen:

  • The first time a U.S. president visits the Harley-Davidson plant.
  • HD is approved for listing on the New York stock exchange, issue price is $11 dollars per share.
  • HD initiates the “buy-back” program, you can trade in a 2 year old Sportster for full retail value if you upgrade to an FL or FX.
  • HD exports 1,300 motorcycles to Japan.
  • First year the Heritage Softail is offered with full windshield, passing lamps, leather saddlebags and 2 piece seat to create the first FLSTC.

Answer: All this happened in 1987.

 

Bo’s Monthly Words of Wisdom:

“Universal” motorcycle parts are so named because without modification they won’t fit any bike in the Universe.

UNTIL NEXT MONTH
“Live to Ride or Step Aside”

Written by Bo
“The Hog Shoppe”