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  • August 4, 2013
  • Dirck Edge
  • Dirck Edge and Tom Riles
  • 157 Comments

Indian Motorcycle Company Reveals All-New 2014 Indian Chief Motorcycles

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2014 Indian Chief Classic

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Classic and Vintage share this tank-mounted instrument layout.

MD is in Sturgis, South Dakota for the annual ralley, and to ride the all-new 2014 Indian Chief bikes revealed by the company last evening.  The three Chief models, including the Classic, the Vintage and the Chieftain, employ the Thunder Stroke 111 engine, which puts out a stout 119 foot/pounds of torque in final specification. These bikes are superbly finished, with spectacular paint quality and detailing. Yours truly took the photos on this page (although my buddy Tom Riles took the top picture), and I have already ridden both the Classic and the Chieftain.

The flawless fit and finish is not surprising given our experience with the other brand owned by Polaris, Victory, and the fact that Polaris views Indian as the premium brand in the United States.

Although we expect Indian will eventually have a very broad range of motorcycles on offer, it makes sense that this new journey funded by Polaris (a $3 Billion company) begins with a heavyweight cruiser honoring the legendary Chief model.

More details are in the press release below, and the specifications for the Classic model can be found here. Stay tuned for a brief riding impression (Part 1 of my first ride), as well as further reports later this coming week.

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The view from behind the Chieftain fairing.

STURGIS, SD— August 3, 2013 — Indian Motorcycle®, America’s first motorcycle company, today announced the highly anticipated details for the all-new 2014 Indian® Chief® family of motorcycles.  Before thousands of motorcycling fans at the site of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame in downtown Sturgis at 9 p.m. Mountain Time on Saturday, August 3, Indian Motorcycle unveiled the three models that comprise the Indian Chief line up. The reveal ceremony and party signaled an inflection point in motorcycling history with the renewal of America’s oldest and most legendary brand.

2014 Indian Chief Classic (starting MSRP: $18,999)

The new Indian Chief Classic is a pure, powerful cruiser forged from key heritage design elements yet wrapped in advanced design, engineering and technology. It features iconic styling like valanced fenders, rich genuine leather saddle, classic tank-mounted instrumentation, tear-drop fuel tank design, and sculpted and lighted front fender war bonnet. The 2014 Indian Chief Classic comes standard with a host of premium features  including endless chrome, keyless ignition, ABS, cruise control, throttle-by-wire, true dual exhaust, high quality chrome laced spoke wheels, brake caliper covers, cast aluminum frame with integrated air intake, and much more.

The Indian Chief Classic, like all 2014 Indian Chief models, is powered by the all-new, clean sheet design Thunder Stroke™ 111 engine. Offering 111 cubic inches of pavement pounding power and 119 ft-lbs of torque, this class-leading power plant draws powerful design cues from heritage Indian Motorcycle engines merged with brilliant engineering and advanced technologies. The Thunder Stroke 111 is a 49-degree, air-cooled V-twin with 6-speed overdrive transmission, and features unmatched premium exterior finishes and touches. It offers owners the peace-of-mind that comes from over two million miles of on-road and test-lab verification and Polaris Industries’ 60 years of engineering prowess.

2014 Indian Chief Vintage

2014 Indian Chief Vintage (starting MSRP: $20,999)

The new Indian Chief Vintage is a soft bagger that takes iconic Indian Motorcycle styling to a whole new level with handcrafted detail and a signature heritage aesthetic. The Indian Chief Vintage offers top-quality quick-release soft-sided leather bags, leather fringe, chrome fender tips, vintage chrome badging on the front fender and a quick-release windshield for easy installation or removal. It includes the same premium standard features as the Indian Chief Classic, and sports the same iconic design elements like valanced fenders, laced wheels, whitewall tires, tank-mounted instrument cluster and extensive chrome finishes throughout. It is also powered by the new Thunder Stroke 111 engine.

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2014 Indian Chieftain

2014 Indian Chieftain (starting MSRP: $22,999)

The first Indian Motorcycle of its kind, the 2014 Indian Chieftain maintains the legendary Indian Chief styling, while taking this progressive machine to new heights with advanced features and premium comfort. Unlike any Indian Motorcycle ever made, the Chieftain features a fairing with integrated driving lights, and its power windshield is an industry-first for a fork-mounted fairing. Standard features include hard saddlebags featuring remote locks and quick-release anchors, a high-output audio system featuring integrated Bluetooth® smartphone connectivity, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

“When we acquired Indian Motorcycle two and a half years ago we set out to capture the heart, soul and legendary heritage of this iconic American brand and then infuse it with unparalleled design, engineering and state-of-the-art technology,” said Scott Wine, CEO of Indian Motorcycle parent company Polaris Industries Inc. “On Saturday night we revealed three stunning new Indian Chief models that represent the results of our journey and the future of this brand. It was a triumphant day for all of us, and I know motorcycling fans around the world proudly join us in celebrating Indian Motorcycle and the realization that choice in American motorcycles is here to stay.”

The First 1901

To pay tribute to Indian Motorcycle’s past, the first 1901 Indian Chiefs to roll off of Indian’s assembly line in Spirit Lake, IA will be identified with a limited-edition badge. Numbered between one and 1901, these rare bikes will reflect the year of Indian’s inception by Oscar Hedstrom and George Hendee in Springfield, MA. “We have been very conscientious about honoring Indian Motorcycle’s storied history while establishing a foundation for what’s yet to come,” said Polaris Vice President of Motorcycles, Steve Menneto. “The lucky few who purchase these limited number bikes will truly own a piece of history, concurrently representing Indian’s rich past and its limitless future.” More information is available at Indian Motorcycle dealers across the country.

Availability

Indian Motorcycle is adding dealerships across the US and globally, and is on plan to have 125-140 North American and 70 international dealers by year end. The full line of 2014 Indian Chief models are available for order now and will arrive in dealerships in September, along with an extensive array of apparel, parts and accessories. Indian Motorcycle demo rides will be available at dealer events across the country starting later in August. Visit www.indianmotorcycle.com to check out the Demo Tour schedule or to locate an Indian Motorcycle dealer near you, and to see the full line of apparel, parts and accessories.

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157 Comments

  1. Agent55 says:

    Not a bad effort and about what’s expected, but two styling elements turn me off: the enormous amount of frame/headstock exposed in a profile view, and the flat slab of plastic directly under the seat. The black versions look best because of it. Not a good sign.

    • Norm G. says:

      yeah, I noticed the headstock as well. but I guess it’s not bad, I think the extra fairing coverage at the rear is what makes it look unbalanced. totally a nitpick, but I think if I were to simply remove one of those 2 trim pieces under the seat, it looks nothing out of the ordinary. that being I said, i’ll take the classic indian red with the vintage brown seating please.

      • Krisd says:

        Actually the headstock frame is stamped with an Indian logo- they’ve done a good job to (kind of) hide it as best they can. There is I noticed an unpleasant frame weld below the headstock though.
        The Chieftain is impressive in the flesh- from the front it harks back to a locomotive style….very cool.

  2. RJ says:

    Nicely done Indian! The Vintage looks great with the rich leather. The full fairing on the Chieftan is different and holds its own as a transitional element from old to new – which is not an easy feat. Color choices (red, blue, black) are spot on and the engine looks at home finally. Looking forward to seeing these in person and going for a test ride.

  3. John says:

    I don’t know what you guys were expecting. Polaris has done a great job of laying the first stone of rebuilding a Brand here. This bike should satisfy Indian purists. The folks at Indian have made it clear that this is a “jumping off” point for the company. So far, they have exceeded every effort that has been made at re-launching the name. It makes perfect sense to pay homage to the past then move forward. I believe we can expect some pretty cool bikes coming as things progress.

    • BlackCayman says:

      don’t worry John…these aren’t the target audience

    • Gronde says:

      “Indian purists”? The only thing this bike has in common with the Indian is that wind grabbing front fender. The bike was made for “Indian posers”.

      • halfbaked says:

        I don’t own a street bike I ride a dirt bike so could somebody explain to me why street riders are so obsessed with so called posers. You people can’t comment on a bike with out somebody saying something about posers. You never here this in the off road world so I am genuinely curious as to why it is a never ending source of fascination for street riders.

        • paul A says:

          Real bikers don’t like posers. How do you know if you’re a poser? You might be a poser if you buy a bike and you keep it for ten years and sell it with only 2000 mi.on it. You might be a poser if you stop riding and hurry home because you felt a drop of rain and you don’t want your bike to get wet. You might be a poser if you spend more time at the bike shop with the other posers than you do actually riding. You might be a poser if you pay someone to change your bike’s oil because you don’t know how and don’t want to know. And you might be a poser if the only reason you bought your bike is because you “like the color”.

          • halfbaked says:

            I already understood that “Real Bikers” don’t like posers that is pretty obvious. My question is why you people are so concerned with them. What does it matter whether someone is a “real Biker” or a poser.

          • paul A says:

            A poser buys a bike to look cool. A biker buys a bike to ride and enjoy it. Some posers don’t even like riding bikes, they just want to look cool. I guess that’s why motorcycle lovers don’t like posers. Bikes are made to be ridden, not just looked at.

      • Gronde says:

        The market for this bike is people (not necessarily riders) that want to make an impression buy buying expensive items so people will think that they’re a rider when they have no intention of using the machine. It’s all for show. The “adventure touring” world is full of posers with $25,000 BMW GS’s that have NEVER been off-road, much less in the rain. POSERS will love this new Indian, though a few serious riders might actually put more than 1000 miles on it annually.

  4. raivkka says:

    Really nice bikes and a great price.

    It would be great if they offered that engine as a purchase for the custom market. It’s the best looking engine “I” have ever seen. Art in medal!

  5. Auphliam says:

    Nice job Polaris. Pretty impressive machines – for those who can see past their obvious prejudice towards anything V-Twin powered. I think alot of people are missing out on some great riding because they seem to just automatically hate everything Polaris has done in recent years.

    You should try throwing a leg over one of these new Indians, when they come available for test rides. Or even a Victory. You might be surprised at what you’ve been missing…or you can just stay on your porch grumbling like a crotchety old man about “those damn cruiser riders”.

    I really like the new Chieftain. Now the real challenge (for me) begins…finding a dealership near enough that I might actually get to see one in person.

  6. 2turbos says:

    I’ve seen all the pictures. I’m withholding judgement until I hear one on the street and see it in real time. It is an iconic look. I’m not sure it’s me on the saddle. If there’s a culture with it I donno. I guess I’m not into the cruiser culture, black leather, levis, tattoos and beards.

  7. paul246 says:

    The Indian is back.

  8. motowarrior says:

    I’m definitely not a cruiser guy, but this is a very impressive first effort. If the V-twin performs as good as it looks, they have a winner. My take is that Polaris realizes they will never make it with Victory, so they will slowly evolve Indian in and Victory out. I definitely think that Indian is the only brand to be able to take Harley on heads up.

    • Wes says:

      No, that’s absurd. Victory is doing very well. The idea with Indian is to offer MORE choice. Not just a single alternative to Hardley. Polaris will keep both and both will do well.

      • motowarrior says:

        Absurd? Harley has 20 times the market share of Victory, despite all the Polaris money thrown at it. If Indian doesn’t pass Victory in market share in 3-5 years, Polaris will have a real problem. In a 3-way race, Victory will be the loser. So, which Victory model do you own?

    • BlackCayman says:

      Uh, no – you are wrong on that. Victory continues to grow market share and is currently profitable. There are thousands of riders who don’t care to be treated like cattle at their local HD dealership.

      Yours is a curious, conflicted post – because you think Victory is a failure yet the same company (Polaris) could “take Harley on heads up” buy buying the “Indian” brand.

      • motowarrior says:

        I know two dealers who have carried Victory. One has given up the franchise and the other says he is sorry he has it. People buy Harleys because of the heritage. Victory has none, and Indian has tons of it. You are confusing “company” with “brand.” Two entirely different things.

  9. takehikes says:

    I loath baggers but of the three the one that strikes me as having the best proportions in the Chieftain. Overall well done and I think HD just lost 5-10% of their business. Not a big deal but I think Polaris can build on it. They took Victory from nothing to something and continue to slowly bang away at the market. I think if they slimmed down the model offerings at Victory and carefully massage Indian they are going to hurt HD and all the other cruiser makers. As regards the engine….seems to me the styling of the valve covers is brilliant as they can now change that part of the styling for different models. Maybe a more modern look for a more modern looking Indian? Or something like that…..

  10. GuyLR says:

    These new Indians seem to me to be the first since 1953 to be able to honestly carry the brand name. They are beautifully presented. I really love the engine and the muffler. The styling is probably what they had to do for the re-launch to tie them to the real deal Indians. For long term success though I think they’ll need to take that engine into the future wrapped in more modern styling and purpose. If they wait two years without a new look they will have missed the boat. Bring on the Scout and a Four.

  11. Starmag says:

    I don’t ride or want a cruiser,(ZRX1200, KLR650,CB900F),but these are nicely styled with modern features and a lot of dealers and are priced right, so I’m sure they’ll take some Harley business. Won’t they cannibalize Victory sales also? If these are offered side-by-side on the same dealer floor, I’d probably take a new Indian over any Victory model if I wanted a cruiser. With Polaris driving and a huge market to exploit, Indian won’t be going out of business again. To those who love to slam cruiser riders with things like ” low mileage trailer queen butt jewelry dentist posers, etc”, I personally know Harley riders who put really big mileage on their bikes, more than most of my Euro/Jap riding friends. Who’s the poser now? While I do agree the pirates thing is laughably insecure, this type of rider is very loyal and willing to do endless product-supported free advertising which I’m sure will make Indian happy.

    That said, a few small complaints would be:

    Too bad they couldn’t make the front fender smooth without raised areas for the discs.

    The area behind the back cylinder could be more attractive somehow.

    The instrument cluster on the tank is better looking than any of the previous “new” Indians but not as good as a ’47.

    The hard bags aren’t very attractive.

  12. allworld says:

    I’m not a cruiser guy, but for those that are, this in no doubt a bike that would peak their interest. Polaris, has the cash and engineering to make a successful run of the the legendary Indian Brand, and it doesn’t hurt to have another alternative for would be buyers. I do think the styling is dated, but …… I am much more in tune with the thinking of EBR and Motus, and currently ride Triumphs.

  13. Hot Dog says:

    Wow, this is what market research indicated that people in the U.S. wanted? Really? It’s probably a good machine but the styling is, ah, too old school for me. Just like the other American bike, you’ll be able to purchase it, and put your snooty little nose in the air. Another instant personification, Paperboy by day, bad ass biker by night. What is it about wearing a clown suit and pretending to be someone we’re not? This bike’s styling is disappointing, to say the least, but it didn’t come as a surprise.

    • Tim says:

      Look around, Hot Dog, it’s pretty clear the old school cruiser look is what most American’s seem to want. I took rode 500 miles round trip this weekend and at least 8 of every 10 bikes I saw were Harley’s or Harley clones. It isn’t what I personally want, but it’s pretty clear Harley has won the styling wars, at least for now.

  14. Mike says:

    Polaris is smart to keep the price down instead of trying to use the name to rip people off. Time will tell if the quality holds up. Disenchanted HD and even Victory riders now have another choice if they can’t bring themselves to ride Japanese motorcycle or Euro bikes. Styling is rather dated but understandable for their re-re-introduction. Hopefully the improving economy helps them survive. I doubt if they fold the brand AGAIN the public will ever take them serious.

  15. Tim says:

    I can’t see myself spending this kind of money on a relatively low tech cruiser (I’m not anti cruiser, I own one, along with several other bikes) but I would plunk down money on this rather than a Harley, just so I wouldn’t have the same bike as 20 other people at every bike night I attend.

    Harley quality has improved significantly. I recently saw a rating of bike reliability by brand, and Harley was fourth, behind Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda and one slot ahead of BMW. That being said, I just can’t see spending $20k on a bike that so many other people have. If I’m going to drop that kind of money I’d like something at least somewhat unique. From that standpoint, I could see the Indian option as an appealing one for many people.

    I’d like to see Indian come up with additional, more modern style bikes to compliment these, perhaps even using the same attractive motor. We know Harley won’t do that, having divested itself of Buell.

    • Wes says:

      “Low tech”?!?! You guys that see “pushrod” and assume low tech crack me up. New Indians and Corvettes are anything but low tech.

    • Ken says:

      “…I just can’t see spending $20k on a bike that so many other people have.”

      Have any of you who feel this way considered that when you want something because few others have one, you are still doing something BECAUSE of what others are doing? Analyzing and acting upon what’s best for YOU, as an individual, should have nothing to do with what others are doing, don’t you think? Oh well…

      • Tim says:

        I will say that if everyone else had a Ferrari, that wouldn’t make my desire for one be any less. But when it comes to expensive Harley’s, yes, I guess I do want to be a bit of a contrarian. Guys buy Harleys as much for the look as anything. I’d just rather not have a bike that looks like everyone elses. If Harleys were as rare as these Indians are likely to be, I’d personally find them more appealing.

        My buddy was looking at a $35k Harley Screamin’ Eagle a few weeks ago, and was ready to write the check, but decided to think about it. A few day’s later he’s at a bike night and sees the exact same bike in the exact same color scheme… not one of them, but three of them. And that’s the “exclusive” model at a small bike night. Truth be told, I could have more fun on a $8,000 Versys.

        If I was in the market for a new cruiser, I’d be looking at one of these Indians or a Moto Guzzi California. That’s just my personal preference (as look alike Harleys are many other people’s personal preference.)

    • mickey says:

      I can’t see myself spending this kind of money on a relatively low tech cruiser (I’m not anti cruiser, I own one, along with several other bikes) but I would plunk down money on this rather than a Harley, just so I wouldn’t have the same bike as 20 other people at every bike night I attend.

      We call them RBH’s….as in Rare Black Harleys…

      Only 20 ? Your bie nights must be poorly attended. Go to one here and you will see 300 RBH ‘s

  16. Ed Chambers says:

    Wow I can’t believe all the negativity, these bikes look allot better than I thought they would.Remember not everybody, not even 50% of everybody wants a state of the art sport tourer like the Motus. No actually about 50% of the motorcycle buying public want big comfy torquey retro style American cruisers.If they put a top box on that chieftain I would consider trading in my Electrglide for one if they’re still around in a few years.

  17. Bigfoot says:

    I LOVE IT! I guess I am the target demo. In my 40’s looking to replace my worn out Road King. The Road King was great but after 96,000 miles I am ready for another bike. I am sure they will expand the line to include more modern looking bikes, but they would have been stupid not to have started out with these.

    I ride because I need a stress relief and love the throwback to simpler times. Keeps me from going postal. I will get a new Vintage model. It is as close to me riding a 50’s Chief everyday as i will ever get. LOVE IT!

    That motor alone is a thing of beauty! People should be happy there is an American company making American motorcycles.

  18. riderBill says:

    Polaris reserected the Indian brand. Not MotoGuzi. All the negatives sound like HD riders that are getting nervous about their brand. There is room for Two American (if you want to call HD parts composition American made)in this country. Kudos for Polaris. I am sure they will refine as they go forward. Now, give us a Scout.

  19. PN says:

    I doubt I’d ever buy or ride a cruiser, but three cheers for Indian. And if it can crush the conformism that Harley and its fans have imposed on motorcycling, we’ll all be better off.

  20. mickey says:

    When I looked at the red one the first thing that came to mind for me was Edward Turner designed 58 Triumph Twenty One with a V twin instead of parallel twin engine. The bike looks to long and the area behind the rear cylinder head looks awkward.

  21. Wendy says:

    Wow! Museum quality bikes and thinking. “Premium American Motorcycle Manufacturer” uh, forgets Motus, Buell, Confederate and I can’t count how many others.

    Born trailer queens, and the initial owners won’t put miles on their “collector items”.

    Yeah, another “meh” from cynical me.

    • Wes says:

      If I decide to trade in my 2011 Crossroads on a new Chief Vintage, I assure you that I’ll be putting 8-10k miles on it per year. Screw being a trailer queen, I want to RIDE!!

  22. mpolans says:

    They should’ve followed Triumph’s example of how to successfully resurrect a dead motorcycle company. After all, I think Triumph is the only company that has really pulled it off. Instead, they’ve gone down the tried and true path of everyone else who has attempted to bring back Indian and failed.
    I don’t have much hope this time around will be any different, particularly when most of the folks who actually know of the original Indians are aging out of riding, not to mention the down economy.

    • Ken says:

      The “down economy” is not affecting the many with large amounts of disposable income. Have you noticed the stock market over the last 4 years? This bike is aimed at a strong demographic.

      • kjazz says:

        Yes, but that demographic is the very tip of a large pyramid. And just how many Indians will each of those top shelf households buy?…….one. So, I think the point still remains. Indian (Polaris) will be swimming upstream on this one. With a style that EVERYONE totally expected (granted the motor is a nice one)….it’s still just a slightly different alternative to an HD….just like the last Indians produced. I give it a 50/50 chance of survival.

      • kjazz says:

        Yes, but that demographic is the very tip of a large pyramid. And just how many Indians will each of those top shelf households buy?…….one. So, I think the point still remains. Indian (Polaris) will be swimming upstream on this one. With a style that EVERYONE totally expected (granted the motor is a nice one)….it’s still just a slightly different alternative to an HD….just like the last Indians produced. I give it a 50/50 chance of survival.

    • clasqm says:

      “I think Triumph is the only company that has really pulled it off”

      I agree with your general point but I seem to recall that Moto Guzzi was really on the ropes when Piaggio picked them up for a song. Doing much better now, thank you for asking. On a smaller scale than Triumph, admittedly, MV Agusta and Benelli have been raised from the dead too. Must be an Italian thing.

      But yes, when Triumph was re-established they didn’t start out by cannibalizing their glorious heritage. The started out by shamelessly copying the Kawasaki GPz900. They were in business for a decade and taken seriously as a manufacturer of serious machines before they started to work the nostalgia angle seriously. And somehow every single attempt to revive Indian misses this lesson. Every one.

  23. Rod says:

    The Red bike, I like, a lot. I’m not a cruiser guy, but having owned a dozen different bikes (currently a BMW) I would buy a Indian Chief just because I appreciate the way it looks. The technology incorporated into this bike is a big selling point for me. I know everyone has their own concept of beauty, and I am pretty conservative regarding “flashy looks, etc”, but I like the job Polaris has done with Indian (and certain Victory models). My 2¢

  24. kjazz says:

    ….pretty much looks as expected. No surprises. darn.

  25. VLJ says:

    Mixed feelings on these new Injuns. On the one hand, with some of them (the red one in particular) I half expect to see circus midgets popping out of the saddle bags. As an American, I’m once again embarrassed by our overblown sense of aesthetics. Why must so many things iconically Amur’can be so gaudy, tacky and low-class Redneck? We have long been the most important motorsports market on the planet and all we can come up with is NASCAR, “Screaming Eagle” H-D goofiness, “Dukes of Hazzard” muscle cars painted fluorescent orange or green, and now these parade float H-D knockoffs?

    Yes, I know Indian predates H-D. Fine. They’re Polaris-built Indian knockoffs.

    On the other hand, the Power Stroke motor is quite handsome, and I’m sure the detailing throughout the entire bike is outstanding. Still, my overriding thought when I look at those bikes is, ‘Other than some flag-waving 75-year-old VFW guy rolling down Main Street on the Fourth of July in support of missing POWs, who would be caught dead riding one of those things? Who would take such a monstrosity on a serious ride, much less pay $20K+ for the privilege?’

    This is what we really want? What the hell is wrong with us?

    • Montana says:

      Maybe you can fix “what’s wrong with us” by legislating “what we really want” ’cause “Amur’can’s” are obviously too stupid to decide for themselves.

    • Wes says:

      Your an idiot. Just because what we want/like isn’t want Europe wants doesn’t make us wrong and them right. Why don’t you move back to that God-forsaken place and leave us Americans alone to enjoy life.

      BTW, I ride my big-ass Crossroads like it were a sport bike. It handles better than you would think. I would do the same with one of these beautiful works of art…

    • Scott says:

      For the last decade ‘mericans have built a super car for well under $100k and and have gotten no respect. The world better come up with some respect for the 2014 Corvette – still under $100k.

  26. Colors says:

    That is one of the most aesthetically pleasing engines I have ever seen. I am also surprised at the price point, I figured low 30k’s. I’ll never own one, cause I’m not into cruisers, but it looks like an Indian, and in my opinion it looks like it should. I hope Polaris makes it work.

  27. MAELSTROM says:

    The “Indian” brand evokes the image of a classic cruiser…Polaris has played it safe for the most part with aesthetics and have paid homage to the great Indian bikes of the past. Let’s face it, these bikes look very sharp. They may not be in everyone’s taste, (I personally don’t care for the leather fringe on the Vintage model) but to each his own. I really don’t know what some people were expecting out of this release, even the viral media campaign with the motorcycle silhouette all but revealed the basic look of the new Indian. Even the casual motorcycle enthusiast should be able to tell that these are not hogs, but something both classic and unique. If you don’t like them, that’s OK, you have plenty of choices in bike manufacturers, and Indian broadens the field.

  28. Dave says:

    Nah, I love the engine put it in a motorcycle not a road couch blinged out by Ness like crap and I’ll give it a good look.

  29. ApriliaRST says:

    I think these bikes hit their intended markets right on the money. I would take a serious look at them if I was intending to buy something from Harley’s lineup. Good job.

  30. Indianfan says:

    I am a fan of Indian Motorcycles and Victory motorcycles. But I have to say I am very disappointed by the styling. Side panels cover too much instead of perhaps show off some neat details(if there to be seen or made to be seen). I personally think even if the motor is good, it’s a big miss with their styling.

  31. Kent says:

    Booooooring.

    I’m sure they are well made, and will be a sales success. I can only hope they take the profits and make something less cliche.

  32. FAST2WIN says:

    Obviously they were looking to go head to head with H.D. In that respect these bikes look to have more chrome out of the box. Fit and finish in pics looks good too. The leather seat in brown looks awesome, above what H.D. offers. That being said I was hoping for a play out of the Guzzi book. Their California 1400 is 100lbs. lighter with great styling. But it seems that is not a direction they want to head. The Harley crowd will love these bikes, and I guess that’s what there gunning for. Certainly not different just another choice that they see as a higher quality bike. That remains to be seen.

  33. todd says:

    119 ft-lbs of torque. You can double that by bolting a couple pedals to it. What I want to know is, how powerful is it?

    • pistoldave says:

      anywhere from 57hp to 91hp dpending on where it makes that 119lb/ft at in the rev range 2500,3000,3500,4000 etc. My guess would be around 80 or so. Unless peak torque also occurs near 5500rpm redline, but I kinda doubt it for this motor and its intended mission profile.

  34. Montana Rider says:

    ……and how has ‘choice’ been delivered by these thingys? I’m completely missing this. Maybe it is being able to buy a bike that looks like the love child of an H-D Road King and a Honda Dream.

  35. Haussie says:

    If everyone wants something different stick with your metric bikes and I am sure that in 10 or 15 years you will not be able to find parts for a 3 – 5 yr production run. Personally I like the bikes. Maybe not the fringe so much but that is Indians heritage.

  36. Tom K. says:

    While I’m not in the target demographic for an 800 lb., 63″ wheelbase boat with floorboards and a 26″ seat height, if cruisers became the only style of bike I could ride, I’d plunk my money down on a Vintage faster than you could say Sioux. I think they are very pretty, technologically superior, and represent a much better value compared with what the Other Guys are offering. I expect Mr. Edge’s report(s) to verify this, lest I be very surprised.

    Who wants to get in the pool? Providing they can meet demand, I say they sell at least the 10,000 units they said they would need for break-even (I think I read that in a previous MD article, didn’t I?) in the first full 12 months of production. And, if I may go further out onto a limb, will say that at least half of these will come out of Harley’s profit margin, while the other half will be from the Japanese suppliers whose customers purchase them, in large part, from the fact that they simply don’t want to own a Harley – Japan’s big four have a lot more to be worried about from Indian’s newest resurgance than HD does. And, I bet their numbers go up from there (by a whole bunch), assuming an improving economy, an adequate dealer network emerging, and low warranty issues.

    Finally, if they use the same care in producing something sportier (maybe with 1901cc and lighter, with upright ergos and cornering clearance intended for something other than Intersate 80 west of Salt Lake, they run the very real risk of putting me in debt. One suggestion – please disclose if you hold any financial (not emotional) interest in HD itself or its dealer network prior to flaming Indian. This is the Internet, after all, and we need to maintain our credibility….

  37. Michael H says:

    Text from a friend (21+ year HD rider) at Sturgis who took a demo ride: “Hard to describe how perfect the fit and finish are. Exhaust/intake/mechanical sounds are beautiful. Engine absolutely smooth as glass at highway speeds. Plenty of poke. Price has some HD riders saying whaaaat?”

  38. Rich says:

    I do not understand the fascination with excessive chrome, fringe (fringe?) and valenced fenders. I know some folks seem to love this stuff – HD sells everything they can build. But for me, this is living in the past.

    I want to see the future, and this isn’t it.

    • BoxerFanatic says:

      Amen.

      A little retro is nice not to forget where you’ve come from…

      But this is another entire BRAND competing to live like it was 50-70 years ago.

      Forward thinking and innovation is the opposite direction as this.

      A nice piece of nostalgia, it is still looking backwards.

      • Wes says:

        Only the style is looking backwards. And some of us really like retro. If you don’t, please go back to your pretty boy, rice burner forums.

        Please note the technology and the innovation are not at all backwards looking…

  39. paul A says:

    American motorcycling takes another giant leap backwards. I guess Polaris can’t come up with an original idea. Makes you really appreciate what the boys at Motus are doing.

    • BoxerFanatic says:

      Motus is expensive, using modern, but not futuristic componentry, and a 50 year old automotive engine cut in half.

      Is it really that modern, compared to a K1600GT? Does it have the most compact and powerful production motorcycle I6, (an inherently balanced engine design) ever fitted, parallelogram-suspension shaft drive that doesn’t spray lubricating grease on everything in the world EXCEPT a chain, a lean-steering projection headlight, electronic suspension management to adapt to different riding conditions, and different load weight on the bike, and an SLA front motorcycle suspension with the same benefits of an SLA suspension on a performance car, if not more so.

      American motorcycles aren’t at the forefront. I am not even sure they are trying to be. It is sad, really, because it is possible, if someone had the vision to move forward, instead of looking back, like this Indian Chief is evidently doing.

    • Auphliam says:

      Yes, 30K for a sawed in half pushrod V-8 without ABS…appreciate away.

      I like Motus too, but let’s at least try to be objective. Polaris just designed and built a completely new engine, designed and built a completely new combination box aluminum/steel tube frame chassis with adjustable monoshock suspension. ABS and cruise standard on every model. 200 mile+ range per tank of gas (mid 40 mpg) out of a 111″ motor with 119ft lbs of torque.

      Yeah, no innovation to see here.

      • BoxerFanatic says:

        BMW could build that before lunch, comparatively.

        You act like Polaris or Motus, or both, is the first company to build a new motorcycle, especially one that isn’t all that advanced, compared to other 21st century engineering and design.

        Tube trellis frames with cast aluminum swingarm pivot boxes are hardly new, nor is ABS, and a sport touring bike should laugh at a 200 mile range.

        Adjustable suspension? Try electronic adjustable-on-the-fly suspension, and drive-by-wire with electronic cruise control.

        That is on top of having actually PROPER ENGINEERING with a parallelogram rear suspension, and a front double control arm suspension.

        BMW K1600GT beats the pants off of Motus, for $8-18K less money, and the BMW isn’t exactly cheap, at $21K.

        Every other manufacturer builds new motorcycles from time to time, and some do FAR more for the same or less money.

        If BMW were to actually trim the fairings down to a sporty half-fairing, and offer it a K1600R-Sport, somewhat similar to the Concept 6, it would be a truly amazing bike.

  40. Butchy says:

    I was just at a vintage bike show yesterday and saw several old Indians. After seeing this photo, I’m convinced that the only bikes that can pull off the valanced fenders are the originals. To make new bikes that look like the original Chiefs just seems desperate and shallow to me. “Oh, look. I can buy a new vintage motorcycle now for about 20 grand”.

    Something more modern/different with a nod to the Chief would have been better. To stamp out modern day copies has been done by every Indian revival already. I would expect more from Polaris, given the innovative designs coming out of the Victory line.

    That said, I’m sure they’ll sell a ton of them. I’d bet the spent serious money on market research to find out people want to buy a new bike that looks like a ’53 Chief that will not require any hassles to ride and own. There it is!

    • Joe Bogusheimer says:

      I tend to agree with you. This is not really an “Indian” any more than those overpriced S&S powered heaps were, or really any more than the Kawasaki Drifter was (although perhaps executed somewhat better). It’s a Victory with a new engine and some retro Indian styling, and they can stick the Indian name and logo on it since they bought the rights to it – I know it, you know it, and everyone who knows squat about bikes will know it, too.

      Having said that, they’re pretty good looking bikes, the Indian name has a little more resonance than “Victory” (even if it has essentially been dead as a brand for over half a century), and they’re something a little (emphasis on “little”) different than the other cruisers from Victory or H-D. Good features, a nice engine, well built, decently priced – they might just sell quite a few of them.

  41. Kman says:

    WOW! valenced fenders, red, lots of chrome, saddlebags with leather, buckles, conchos, and fringe. Holy cow, whoda thunk it? I mean, that’s something not in the market now.

  42. yellowhammer says:

    i dont like the fake fins on the valve covers. i dont like conchos and i dont like fringe. i dont like the big chrome flat plate over the headlight on the batwing fairing, and i dont like the big chrome arc-shaped rear fender braces on the classic. i dont like he neanderthal occipital ridge above the headlight nacel on the non-faired bikes. i loathe the valanced fenders and the indian ornament on the fender. other than that i like ‘em. i would never buy one, but i like ‘em.

  43. gator balough says:

    to each their own. for this price – i would rather have 2 of my MotoGuzzi V-7 Cafe Sports.

  44. Montana Rider says:

    I have hoped for a real resurrection of this brand for a very long time. This could have been so nice with Polaris resources, but for me it is a huge miss. These bikes are an hour old and Mike and Frank could already start “picking” them. Except, as sort of reproductions they aren’t even good for that. Come on, the 1941 841’s were more arguably more advanced.

    Now we truly have UAM’s to go with the UJM’s of thirty years ago. This introduction doesn’t, or actually owning one of these wouldn’t, do anything to increase my pride in being an American. I can’t think of any activity where modern engineering expressed in things such as handling dynamics is more useful than in riding motorcycles. But apparently being patriotic means you need to ignore a century of progress.

  45. Provologna says:

    The red bike in the top image looks like a ripoff of my neighbor’s $5k Kymco. Wonder how the two bikes compare performance wise. I’m sure the Kymco is lighter, which might make it handle better.

    (tongue slightly in cheek)

  46. Mike Simmons says:

    I’m very disappointed, but it is about what I expected. IMHO, it’s ugly. It appears (to me anyway) that the MOCO has nothing to worry about. The engine by itself was gorgeous, but the whole bike… not so much..

    Mike

    • Mike Simmons says:

      I finally figured out what the styling reminds me of! In the sixties a friend had an Allstate scooter (made by Puch). The covered area under the seat of the Indian is reminiscent of the Allstate styling.

    • Wes says:

      That’s a funny statement. The MOCO has MUCH to be worried about.

      Polaris is now fighting Hardley on two fronts.

      Victory: better priced, better reliability, better tech with better modern styling
      Indian: better priced, better reliability, better tech with better retro styling

      Would surprise me to see the MOCO HURTING by the end of this decade. Maybe gone by the next…

      • Wes says:

        Would NOT surprise me to see the MOCO HURTING by the end of this decade. Maybe gone by the next…

  47. bikerrandy says:

    BEAUTIFULL bikes !! And I’m not a cruiser rider. Polaris has hit these out of the ball park! Can’t wait to read a ride report.

    • Tom R says:

      “…keyless ignition, ABS, cruise control, throttle-by-wire…”

      If only Motus would see fit to include all of these features. The updated Indian models look like a very good re-start of the brand. Well done so far.

  48. mechanicuss says:

    I… uhhh…. I dunno… I was just hoping for something different… (sigh)…

    • thmisawa says:

      yup. I just expected a bit more that the same OLD look. The red chief has the styling of a Kawaski Drifter. The only thing fresh on any of the models is the execution of the “batwing” fairing on the chieftain. All told, I guess the Indian mystique has passed into legend at this point and no current production model will be able to live up to that.

      • Wes says:

        I think these live up to the legend very well. In fact the batwing is what I like least out of everything about all three models. That and the hard bags on the Chieftain.

        Sign me up for a blue Vintage with tan leather. I’d prefer no tassles, but I can live with them…

        I could also rock a black Chief with black leather. As long as I can keep my Vic Crossroads bagger for overnight trips. :):)

  49. Montana Rider says:

    Might be best to take these to Sturgis safely moored in a trailer instead of by riding. That side wind on the Chamberlain bridge could put you right in the river.

  50. Montana Rider says:

    Yawn,

    Too bad they didn’t break any new ground.

    • Wes says:

      If you don’t think they broke new ground with this engine and the tech on this bike, then you haven’t been paying attention.

      If you thought the styling was going to be anything other than retro Indian, then you haven’t been paying attention.

      But thank you for your ignoramus comment. Have nice day.

      • 502flier says:

        hahahahahahahahahahaha. Nice. Hey Wes, mine’s on order. Gonna see if it’ll mate with the Indian I already have and see what comes out!

        Anyway – liked your attitude.