Kiwi Indian: Chief Mike Tomas

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Friday 28th Oct 2011Filed under Bike Features Competitors

Throughout the history of the World Championship of Custom Bike Building there have been many changes, including the location, sponsoring partners and competitive classes. However, one thing that has remained constant over the eight years the event has been taking place is the presence of Mike Tomas - the Big Chief at Kiwi Indian Motorcycle Co.

Over the years, Mike has always entered at least one bike in the Championship, winning the Production Manufacturer class in 2006, and 2011 was no exception as it saw him roll a 1950's Kiwi Chieftain into the show venue.

The bike, co-owned by Billy Joel, may be called a 1950's model but the build uses entirely new parts, including the Aerodraulic front end, which was a new design for Indian in 1950. Other contemporary, for the time, features on the bike include the plunger rear suspension on the Kiwi-made Springer frame, which is based upon a design first used by Indian in 1940.

While the styling of the bike is very much vintage Indian, there are modern features included in the build such as disc brakes, an electric speedo, electric start and a foot shift/hand clutch set-up.

The combination of new and old certainly struck a chord with Mike's fellow competitors as they placed the bike 2nd in the Production Manufacturer class at the Championship. Now that Mike and his wide Carolyn have been joined in the business by their son Ross, it can only be a matter of time before the combination of Kiwis takes another class win at the World Championship.

Click here for more pictures and information about this bike from the 2011 World Championship


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