All Indian mopeds have the same model name, “AMI-50 Chief”, or just “AMI-50”. The service manual cover mentions a “AMI-50 2S”. This was the 2-speed that never materialized.
The 1978-81 Indian AMI50 engine is a remake of a 1975-77 Honda PC50K1 or 1975-78 Honda PF50R engine. The main difference is the Indian left case has Bosch-compatible stator plate mounts, while Honda has no stator plate. Other than the magneto-generator, and the Mikuni version head and intake, everything else is interchangeable.
Indian models are like a fast food restaurant menu, many variations from just a few ingredients.The 1978 Indian Parts Manual lists the following frame colors: black, silver, burgundy, blue. The first 1978-79 Indians had a Tillotson “pumper” type carburetor. That had problems. Later 1979 Indians had a Keihin carburetor, with lever choke, same kind as Honda PC50. The only 1978 decals listed are the left and right Indian heads on the tank. The only 1978 wheels are the spoke wheels with 90mm brake drums. The 1979 Indian Parts Manual lists the following frame colors: black, silver, burgundy, blue, green, white. The 1979-later Indians had a wider rear luggage rack. Some 1979, and all 1980-later had a Mikuni 10mm carb, with cable choke. Early Mikuni versions had the same black-painted cylinder head with the same flange angle. Later Mikuni versions a different silver-painted head with a flange angle more side-facing. Those late-Mikuni silver heads came with valve stem seals, unlike the older black heads. The 1979-later Sport Mag II aluminum wheels have the same 90mm brakes as the spoke wheels. The 1979-later Mira Enterprises aluminum wheels have 100mm brakes, different than the others. “Script” version had gold script Indian decals on the tank, and gold script Indian on the engine covers (sides). “Stripe” version had either “warm” or “cool” color stripes, and “FOUR STROKE” in yellow slanted on the sides. The 1980 Indian Parts Manual lists the following frame colors: black, silver, burgundy, blue, green, white. Some 1979, and all 1980-later had the improved two-coil WTEMCO magneto. See Wiring Diagrams for that.
1978-79 Indian AMI-50 Chief (head logo, spoke wheels)
1979-80 Indian AMI-50 Chief (gold script, spoke wheels)
1979-80 Indian AMI-50 Chief (color stripes, spoke wheels)
1979-80 Indian AMI-50 Chief (gold script, Sport Mag II “8 ray” wheels)
Some Indians had Sport Mag II cast aluminum wheels, made in Placentia CA USA, near Myrons Mopeds. These were pretty much the only aluminum “mag” type wheel on any Indian mopeds originally sold is Southern California. For the rest of the country, the Mira Enterprises (Taiwan-made) aluminum wheels, that look like snowflakes, are the most common type of Indian moped “mag” wheel. This is easy to see in a Google image search for “indian moped”. Maybe, this was because American Moped Associates, in Irvine CA, had to unpack the bikes and swap the wheels with the local-made aluminum ones (that need all the brake and axle parts transferred from the old spoke wheels). So they only sold units with Sport Mag II wheels to local deliveries, while for far away deliveries they would sell the units with Mira snowflake wheels. That way the packaging crate was undisturbed from Taiwan, and able to withstand another long distance shipment. What you see on opposite coasts of the USA is sometimes different, like these wheel styles.
Sport Mag also made dual chain Puch and Peugeot 17″ wheels, and others. See Wheels.
1979-80 Indian AMI-50 Chief (color stripes, Sport Mag II “8 ray” wheels)
American Moped Associates was already proud that the Indian was American-designed. With it’s long bench seat, extra large 1.6 gallon gas tank, heavy weight carrying capacity, motorcycle type forks, and plenty of chrome it was an American moped. It was a pretty good frame with a classic moped design, functional and fun to look at. Now, with the USA-made Sport Mag II wheels, the product was almost living up to the company name, American Moped.
1979-81 Indian AMI-50 Chief (color stripes, Mira “snowflake” wheels)
Somehow the maker of the Indian moped changed from Merida Industry Company Ltd, in 1978-79, to Mira Enterprises Ltd, in 1980-81. But nothing physically changed on the bike except the ID plate. More about this will follow…
1980-81 Indian AMI-50 Chief (gold script, Mira “snowflake” wheels)
1981 Indian AMI-50 Chief (head logo, Mira “snowflake” wheels)