At the turn of the last century, there was a lot of competition in making so-called motorized bicycles, with more than 300 manufacturers coming out with offerings [source: Carleton]. Many of the bikes that were made, however, were unreliable and susceptible to breaking down. "A lot of the bikes had bicycle pedals still on them, so if all else failed people could pedal home," says Dave Carleton, a California-based motorcycle historian who has served as a judge at many vintage motorcycle gatherings.
Thanks to their ability to make bikes that didn't fall apart, Harley-Davidson and Indian emerged from the very crowded pack and became fierce competitors. Indian was founded by two former bicycle racers, who churned out a number of models that became well known for their power and speed [source: Cerilli]. Among the more popular models amongst vintage motorcycle buffs are the Indian Chief (the 1940 version is coveted), the 4-cylinder Indian Four and the Scout.
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