My first Indian project (1948 chief) was all about getting a bike on the road. There was a bit of reverence for originality but if it fit and functioned it worked for me. This served me well and speed things along. To most this bike fits the bill and for a rider it does. To those in the know the modern cycle electric generator, brass kicker pedal, 50's tank graphics. 39ish solo seat, flat black paint and aftermarket exhaust are an eye sore. When you start a project I suggest you decide what the purpose of the bike is. There are many options and they are all good.
One option would be to roll with your own style and build the bike just as you see fit. Take history and improve on it. Put disc brakes on a board racer, if one engine is good two must be better or maybe ELVIS!, ELVIS!, ELVIS!. These tend to draw the comment "you must have a lot of spare time on your hands" or "I bet you don't have kids". I generally clump all of these responses into the jealous category as these are some of my favorite bikes.
Barn fresh. You can spend a life time driving around the back roads of the midwest for that old barn finds. They are still out there. Some enjoy just building a bike to look old. Ebay has every thing you need to get this type of bike up to snuff. "The Lawrence Welk Champagne
Tower" water transfer stickers, revolver foot rests and a raccoon tail or something or other that looks dead and nasty.
In the Case of my 37 Chief I thought that I would build the bike as close to original (dare I say and AMCA 100 point bike - http://www.antiquemotorcycle.org/index.php?page=mission
) and set that as my goal. To me that meant take the project I had just purchased and get it on the road in two years as original as I could.
Now with an Idea of how I wanted my bike to be I set off looking for parts I didn't have. Or replace the warn out part that came with the bike. Some NOS (new old stock) parts came with my bike and how exciting it is to open up packages sealed 60-70 years ago. It truly makes you appreciate the luxury of riding down to your local dealer and ordering a part or finding original serviceable part on ebay. Next Posting "Magneto"
San Francisco, CA