The Story Of Two Kids And Their Indian Motorcycle

Indian Motorcycle looks keen towards 2017 and is continuing its “Be Legendary” campaign to inspire more people to get a motorcycle and discover new places. On this occasion, the oldest motorcycle maker in America also reminds us of the extraordinary adventures of the Abernathy brothers.
The Abernathy brothers 4 photos
Photo: Indian Motorcycle
Period Indian motorcycleThe Abernathy brothersThe Abernathy brothers
Few people might know about them, but let me tell you something. The Abernathy brothers loved adventure touring from a very young age. This is the story of Bud and Temple, aged 14 and 10 at the time, who bought an early Indian Motorcycle with money earned from horseback adventures across the USA.

If you think that sounds incredible, the brothers had their first horseback adventure when they were aged 9 and 5. Their father, a U.S. marshal and friend of Roosevelt, decided they need to toughen up.

So he let them go from Oklahoma to New Mexico. On July 10, 1909 (eight years after Indian Motorcycle was founded), the two brothers saddled up their horses and set off to Roswell alone, getting there safely.

One year later, the two kids set out from Oklahoma again, this time heading for New York where they would meet Roosevelt who was returning from a hunting trip in Africa. This is when the young adventurers started to receive a lot of media attention.

When they arrived in New York on June 11, they were greeted by a crowd of several thousand people along with their father. Their trip back was done in a Brush Motor Car, which they bought in the city. No need to mention they did it alone, again.

The following year, in 1911, Bud and Temple accepted a challenge to ride horses from New York City to San Francisco in under 60 days. The rules of the contest stated that they couldn’t sleep or eat indoors during the adventure and there was a $10,000 prize for the winner.

Sadly, they arrived in SF two days later. However, the two earned a fair amount of cash for their notoriety, and so, they bought their first motorcycle - an early Indian you can see in the picture.

In 1913, they rode the Indian from Oklahoma to New York, representing their last documented adventure. From there, Bud became a lawyer, while Temple worked in the oil industry.

So, what’s your 10-year-old kid doing outside now? Sitting on a bench with others playing Pokemon on a smartphone? Good...
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