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Starklite Cycle Purchases Chief-Overdrive Transmission Company

Starklite Cycle is excited to announce we have purchased “Chief Overdrive Transmission” Company.

After producing the Chief Four Speed Overdrive Transmission for the past 20 years, Frank Byford has decided to retire at age 88. “It’s been fun manufacturing the transmission for the past years. But it’s time to pass it on. I’ve known Gary Stark and Starklite Cycle for years and I recognize he has the ability, and resources to manufacture and produce the quality product I demand”, said Frank Byford – Designer of the Overdrive Transmission.

“We are now in the process of inventorying and moving the Chief Overdrive Transmission inventory to Southern California, and I’m looking forward to getting these back into the marketplace as quickly as possible. “, said Gary Stark – Owner of Starklite Cycle

Starklite Cycle will be receiving all existing inventory, drawings, tooling, intellectual property to assemble and manufacture the Chief Overdrive Transmission. As part of our commitment to getting this project up to speed as quickly as possible we have already ordered 100 new Transmission Case sets from our local foundry. In addition Irongate machine, who previously machined the cases, will machine this first batch of cases for Starklite to speed the production ramp up. Many other parts that were identified as low or out of stock are also on order from various suppliers. So as soon as the cases are ready we will be able to immediately assemble transmissions!

Starting in December 2018 we will start accepting pre-orders with a refundable $500 deposit so you can reserve your Chief Overdrive Four Speed Transmission.  These new units have a projected MSRP of $3995.00 We anticipate to have production ramped up and shipping completed transmissions in December 2019. We will have four models: Rigid Frame Chief – Low Overdrive, Rigid Frame Chief – High Overdrive, Sprung Frame Chief – Low Overdrive, and Spring Frame Chief – High Overdrive. When the existing stock of High ratio overdrive gears is depleted we will only be manufacturing the low ratio overdrive units!

SHIPPING UPDATE: February 2020:

Starklite Cycle has started shipping transmissions to customers who have placed pre-orders for the transmissions. We are starting with #1 on the list and proceeding by date ordered. However, we are still waiting on 3 parts to be finished before we can deliver the majority of pre-orders. Our initial batch of completed transmissions to ship is lower than anticipated due to supplying current customers with replacement parts that had not been available for several years. We realized this in September of 2019 and placed additional orders to get these parts in stock. Currently transmissions ordered today are projected to ship in June of 2020. Thank you for your understanding.

Get ready to Cruise in Overdrive with your new Chief Overdrive Four Speed Constant Mesh Transmission !

The transmissions will also be available from these and other dealers as we expand dealer availability:

Starklite Cycle: Perris Ca

The Shop: Ventura, Ca

Ed Glasgow: Tuly NY

Jerry Greer Engineering: Watertown SD

Kiwi Indian: Riverside, Ca

Parker Indian: Melbourne Australia

Zorro’s Indian Parts: Victoria Australia

More information on the Four Speed Constant Mesh Transmission:

  • The Chief-Overdrive aftermarket 4-speed transmission was designed to enhance the rideability of Indian Chief motorcycles. The transmission is the perfect solution for anyone wanting to take longer cruises at higher speeds or just have a more reliable transmission than the stock or 3-speed rebuild for their classic ride.
  • This transmission has three gears with similar ratios as the OEM trans and a fourth gear that enables the bike to go 72 mph with the engine at 2950 rpm using a large drive sprocket and a standard high profile tire. The 356-T6 gearbox case design is externally the same as the original case with the interior beefed up to accept larger bearings. The top cover has a thicker flange to incorporate the new gear change mechanism. The detent mechanism uses a roller to eliminate friction.
  • The transmission is self contained and sealed. A new clutch basket is included allowing the clutch to be shimmed without opening the trans case.
  • Smooth shifting up or down. No more jamming it into gear and breaking parts.
  • Solid detents for all four gears and neutral.
  • Shift pattern unchanged.
  • Replaced the taper and woodruff key on the clutch input shaft with an involute spline.
  • Replaced the old style sprocket six lobe spline with a larger involute spline.
  • Output sprocket, your choice of 19,21,23,24,25 or 26 teeth provided with trans.
  • The oil fill and vent plug is on the case cover, and a magnetic drain plug in the bottom with an oil level check plug on the lower right front of the case.
  • The Transmission is isolated from clutch assembly so each can use different lubricants, eg: 85-90W synthetic gear oil in the trans and HD clutch oil in the clutch assy.

For more info please call Starklite Cycle at 951-968-3070



  • Jim Seidell ,

    So I’ve been on a list with Ed Glasgow for a year waiting for a transmission for a customer bike , when do you expect to be delivering transmissions

    • MrIndian ,

      We are anticipating shipping complete transmissions in the first quarter of 2019. We are working as fast as possible to get parts machined!

  • Robert Beatty ,

    Exciting news. Thankyou to all parties involved for keeping this alive. Bob

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