Remembering Indian Larry

(April 28 1949 – August 30 2004)larry1

It’s been eleven years since Indian Larry has left us. I won’t claim to have known him, as a matter of fact I have only seen him twice, but nonetheless his impact and legacy has and will live on for a very long time to come in the motorcycle community and with me. Time has proven that.

If I had to describe Larry’s bike building style  the only way I could word it would be that his builds were tall handlebar, foot clutched, jockey shifted, no front brake, no front fender, small gas tank, open piped, kickstart only, stock rake choppers that prevailed in the 60s, before long front ends became popular. He used vivid primary colors and metallic paint in such a way that when you see his bikes you would just know that it was an Indian Larry creation. But most, 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 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:

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 in Next Month’s Issue.

Answer to last month’s trivia question:

Question:  The first Heritage Softail in 1986 was not the first Harley to be named Heritage, what Harley claimed the name Heritage before 1986?

Answer: The year was 1981, H-D did a one year only run of an FLH that they called the HERITAGE Electra Glide. A retro-styled FLH with olive drab paint scheme, windshield and fringe saddlebags.

Bo’s Monthly Words of Wisdom:

“Silence is Golden, but Duct tape is Silver”

“Live to Ride or Step Aside”

Written by Bo
“The Hog Shoppe”