Like two kids in a toy store, Huck Smith and Tim Wilmoth checked out nearly every detail of a 1940 Indian motorcycle Thursday night at the York Expo Center. "It's mechanical. It's primitive," Wilmoth said.
For the two grown men who have been friends for 35 years, that's how a motorcycle should be. The bare basics. No thrills. Just an engine, handlebars and a set of wheels.
Both men own old school-style bikes just like that.
"It's the principle of the thing," Wilmoth said. "That's how it ought to be."
Wilmoth and Smith made the trek to York for White Rose Thunder, an event geared toward motorcyclists. One of their stops was a display of old machines set up by Bob's Indian in Fairview Township.
The bikes: The particular 1940 Indian the men were looking at was raced by Bob Markey, who opened Bob's Indian, 580 Old York Road, in 1955, in the 1950s and¥'60s.
Markey's son, Robin Markey, now runs the business, but the love of motorcycles, Indians in particular, carries on.
Robin Markey, 58, said he bought his first Indian, a 1936, at age 12 or 14 and rebuilt it. His father quizzed him on his selection, noting there were already a number of Indians around the shop.
"I told him I wanted a¥'36. We didn't have one," Robin Markey said.
More than half a dozen of the bikes normally showcased at the motorcycle shop were on display. Despite being in Harley-Davidson territory, the motorcycles were a huge draw for people, many of whom paused to snap a few pictures with their cellphones.
Comeback: Indian, founded in 1901, was one the best known motorcycles manufactures until it went bankrupt in 1953, but bikes were sold under the Indian name for a number of years after. The brand name was sold a number of times and numerous efforts were made to revitalize the company.
The latest incarnation is owned by Polaris Industries, best known for ATVs, and Robin Markey said he likes what he's seen so far and thinks that with new leadership, the motorcycles may be here to stay.
"They went back through all the history and built that bike off what the old bikes were like," he said.
White Rose Thunder features concerts, stunt shows, motorcycle displays and more from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the York Expo Center, 334 Carlisle Ave., West Manchester Township. Grandstand shows include Mustang Sally on Friday and Grand Funk Railroad on Saturday.
Tickets: $10-$15 per day or $35 for a four-day pass. Children under 12 get in free with a paying adult. For more information, call (717) 848-2596 or, go to whiterosethunder.com.
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.