Shortly after we opened the museum, a gentleman who had just finished touring the museum mentioned that he had a partial basketcase motorcycle that he believed was a Laconia Police Motorcycle back in the day. Doing my best to not show how excited I was; I inquired further. It was what he thought to be a 1926 Indian Scout that he purchased from an estate of a home in which a retired Laconia Officer had resided. That same officer, I was to learn, was a motor officer who had purchased the bike as he retired and moved to this home.
Within a few days, the man appeared at the museum with the frame, fork, front and rear fender, battery and toolbox and a badly deteriorated gas tank. The rear fender had the cut out in place for a tire activated siren. Without wasting any time, the parts were purchased and the story began.
I brought everything down to Connecticut for expert advice and direction from George Yarocki. We put the frame in George’s frame fixture and found that the bike had been down hard probably when it was last ridden. George felt it went down on it’s left side and possibly ran up against a curb shortening the frame by a quarter of an inch. The rear fender was a 1929 Indian rear but all else was correct. Many police bikes had parts from different years as they went through their service life so this was not uncommon. George happened to have the correct engine, transmission and handlebars on hand. I found the correct front and rear wheels on a cranberry farm in Massachusetts. In Germany, I found and secured the correct rear fender. We were now ready to start the project.
Next year is the 125th anniversary of the Laconia Police Department and the motorcycle will be finished by then.
Diving into the motor, George puts finishing touch on front piston.
My winter sheet metal shop with original front fender in repair.
Rear fender and other parts in the oven.
Frame repaired and front end coming together nicely.
This is when the excitement really begins as the motorcycle takes shape!