Today we are going to talk about one of the most marketed debuts for an alternative to an American made motorcycle. Reported here two years ago, industry giant Polaris acquired the rights and intellectual properties to the Indian name brand. Since that acquisition, we have been hearing stories that the new Indians would be well engineered, attractive and not priced out of the market. Polaris has been very busy, and during Sturgis this year they unveiled the NEW INDIANS. All I have to say, is this was one of the most anticipated debuts in American motorcycle history. The actual coming out party was extremely well attended and the folks who put it on did a marvelous job.
The all new Thunderstoke 111 Cubic Inch engine has the appearance of an early flathead, but trust me, there are modern day internals driving the beast.
Starting with a 3 cam valve train, I think Indian has done their homework and this little jewel produces a whopping 119 ft/lbs of torque.
All in all, it’s my opinion this is a very attractive design.
Initially offered in three models, these are attractive, well put together, and seemingly soundly engineered. The base model, the Chief Classic, is available in a stripped down no saddlebag version that has a no nonsense “ride me” aura to it. The iconic swept Indian fenders accent this look. Swoopy styling, a bunch of chrome, and a myriad of Indian logos and details, the base price of $18,999 seems like a fair value for what is received. The Chief Vintage is available with soft leather bags and a windshield. They named this one right. It truly has Vintage looks (it’s my favorite). The top of the line Chieftain takes things one step further. A hard fairing and bags are added to this machine for a solid touring appearance. My only complaint in any of these bikes is when you look at the fairing, you can see some Victory styling roots. As that is my only quibble, I think this new generation of Indian is an excellent initial offering. Manufactured here in Iowa, Spirit Lake, to be exact, we will have to see if they can produce enough AND get a dealer network in place. I, for one, am pulling for them.