Herb contacted me after seeing the picture of the Chout for sale at Trinity post and kindly sent me more information about the build and the bike's history, along with some pictures of how he got a Chief motor stroked to 89cu"
The eagle eyed among you will recognise some of the pictures as the ones sent by Moen
" Here is the whole story, without any embellishment, or punches pulled" ---- Herb Kephart
About 1955 I met a fellow named Dick who lived not too far from me, and who had been an Indian dealer in Lincoln Maine, during the vertical twin era.. I had owned a '36 four a year previously, and he still had a liking for Indians, although not necessary the verticals. He had a '16 Powerplus, and I had a '12 single, and we swapped, and thus began a friendship that lasted until his death over ten years ago.
He was a constant visitor at the local scrap yard, and believe it or not back then he would be able to pick up 3-4 Indians a year that had been junked- that's how valuable they were . He had an agreement to buy any Indians that came in for a few cents a pound over scrap price, and they would set them aside for him. One day he came home with a 101, which he rebuilt and dry sumped. We would, on occasion, go for a ride together and would ride each others machines frequently. I was very much impressed with the 101's handling and told him that if he ran across another, to pick it up for me. A few weeks later I got a call, saying that a couple of fellows had stopped at his place looking for some 101 magneto parts- and he had talked them into selling the machine. He and I went to look at it- it was “barn fresh” long before that became a buzz word- flat rear tire, and engine locked solid. I bought it for ( I think) $65 The owners were asking more, but I got them down, pointing out that the engine was seized—their reply was “you goes to da Harley shop and gets some stuff dey call Lunk (they meant Gunk) and dat fix it right up.” I drug it home in my '30 Ford pickup. I had a number of other motorcycles at that time- two Gold Stars, dirt bikes and old Harleys, so aside from pulling the plugs and squirting some oil in the cylinders the 101 just sat. A couple months later, a four car garage that I was renting was going to be torn down, and living in the city, I would only have the single car garage associated with my house to store all the bikes-- so some had to go. Dick offered to take the 101 off my hands for what I had in it, so I sold it to him.
Fast forward 40+ years. A couple times I had mentioned to Dick that I would like to buy “Lunk” (which was what we had both called it since the purchase) and finally he agreed to sell it. He named a price- considerably more than what I had paid the first time, but less than what he could have got selling it to someone else. When we went to retrieve it from the second floor of the school house that Dick lived in I put some air in the rear tire (which in all the years neither of us had tried to do) and it held air – for a couple weeks it turned out! Trying to figure a way to get it down a flight of stairs, and having no faith in whether it had any brakes, I put it in gear, and used the clutch to lock the rear wheel- engine was stuck—remember? Part way down the engine started to slowly turn over!
I was able to acquire another 101, and used the best parts of the two to build a stock machine. What to do with the left-overs? The Chout was the result. I made a great many pieces in stainless as well as the stroker flywheels crankpin, bearing, and cams and a special high volume oil pump. The bores were sleeved back to std., and the stroke was as much as would fit (JUST!) into a stock set of cases -5 3/8”-ended up with 89 CID. Much better brakes, new aluminum rims, new tanks (narrowed a little) and after a couple years, in 1993, it was finished. It was a blast to ride, being built for low speed torque, and not to rev. Come to a hill, and just turn it on in high,sit back and GO!
Time went on, and in the area where we live traffic was increasing exponentially, and that combined with aging reflexes made me decide that 50+ years of motorcycles without killing myself was enough of luck-pushing, so I sold the Indians and parts, and gave the remaining other bikes to my son. I explained in what I thought was great detail what I had done with and to the Chout.
P.S. I am attaching 4 pix- one showing the gusseting that I did after moving the lower tank tube up, the other three show how much had to be removed from the cases and lower part of barrels to accommodate the 5 3/8" stroke. I didn't want to put plates under the barrels, preferring to keep the outside looking as stock as possible. Surprisingly, I never had any trouble from oil leakage. Pistons were CCK Kohler