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A 134 Horsepower Cruiser? Indian Releases Stage 2 Cams for Challenger (with video)

This is the bike that won King of the Baggers beneath Tyler O’Hara.

Do you remember when giant, air-cooled cruiser v-twins made 60 horsepower? Indian’s Challenger blew that paradigm out of the water with its stock, claimed 122 horsepower (we have seen roughly 100 horsepower at the rear wheel on a dyno) a couple of years back, and it was this engine (modified with the cams you are about to read about) that won the King of the Baggers race at Laguna Seca recently.

Indian has announced that cams developed for that race are now available for purchase at $699.99. Together with an intake and slip-on exhaust, Indian says you can obtain a 10% bump in horsepower (roughly 134 hp at the crank) for your Challenger.

Here is the press release from Indian:

MINNEAPOLIS (January 12, 2021) – In 2019 Indian Motorcycle reimagined what an American bagger could be with the introduction of the Indian Challenger. In 2020 the Challenger’s superior performance capabilities were dramatically validated with its victory at MotoAmerica’s inaugural King of the Baggers race at the historic Laguna Seca Raceway. Now the ultimate American bagger gets an extra dose of muscle with the introduction of Indian Motorcycle’s all-new Stage 2 PowerPlus Performance Cams – the same cams that helped power S&S’ Indian Challenger to victory at Laguna Seca.

Stage 2 PowerPlus Performance Cams profiles

Featuring best-in-class stock performance, the Indian Challenger gains 10% more horsepower with the Stage 2 upgrade kit – providing a new level of unmatched passing power and American bagger performance. Representing Indian Motorcycle’s most powerful engine ever, the stock 108 cubic-inch, liquid-cooled, V-twin PowerPlus engine delivers a class-leading 122 horsepower and 128 ft-lbs. of torque. By pairing the Stage 2 Performance Cams with Indian Motorcycle’s PowerPlus Stage 1 Air Intake and Stage 1 Slip-On Exhaust, riders will experience the unquestionable sensation of increased power the moment they twist the throttle.

“The Challenger has already established itself as the outright leader in performance for American baggers, but these PowerPlus Performance Cams raise that bar even higher,” said Reid Wilson, Vice President of Indian Motorcycle. “The world got its first taste of what these cams can do when our S&S Challenger dominated at King of the Baggers. But now everyone can experience it – whether you’re coming off the line at Laguna Seca or just giving it a little bit more to pass a semi out on the highway.”  

Tyler likes it.

Race proven, the S&S Challenger, piloted by renowned motorcycle racer Tyler O’Hara, was race tuned to take on the legendry Laguna Seca Raceway and a field dominated by heavily modified Harley-Davidsons. While the winning Challenger received structural modifications to ergonomics, suspension, overall weight and more, only minimal tweaks were made to the Challenger’s stock PowerPlus engine. Among those were the use of the unreleased Stage 2 Performance Cams. Available now at Indian Motorcycle dealers for $699.99, riders can learn more at


  1. ben says:

    Ugiest bike ever. I would toss it in the scrap metal shredder

  2. FREDDIE says:

    I wasn’t that interested until I read all the comments. I think I will go to Barber and check it out

  3. motomike says:

    Well, I’m glad Polaris has done well with their motorcycle venture. The first effort was sketchy at best. The MC shop where I worked at picked them up right after that did well and I was impressed with the improvement they made. The last dealership at which I was employed stunned me at the super premium prices they asked for Indian add-ons! People actually ponied up Big Bucks for tiny gains in horsepressure! Along with dealer exclusive ICU reflashes, they have the market cornered if you want to keep your warranty intact! Kermit and Mickey need to get a room.

  4. tbone34 says:

    I dig the KZ-700-esque paint but I’m not one for muscle cruisers. Now if they put this paint scheme on a $6k, 350cc bike they might avoid being the next Harley Davidson.

    • Gary says:

      “I dig the KZ-700-esque paint …” Y’know, you’re right. I knew those colors looked familiar. Funny. An 80s era KZ would probably run rings around this behemoth.

  5. Ricardo says:

    Harley already had built one, the V-Rod, unfortunately they just discontinued it but the Revolution engine can be bumped up in horsepower from its 115 HP to maybe 150HP. Also HArley never cared to put this fine engine into a bagger 🙁

    • Harleynot says:

      Harley Davidson has “already built” what ?
      You mean Porsche developed the now defunct V-rod.
      #Since1901 Smokin Harleys since 1903. Operation Haywire 🤷🏼‍♂️

  6. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    Just what I need, a grossly over weight (>500lbs) severely torquey and powerful bike to experience the thrill of a he-mans tank slapper off the crest of a paved road whoopy do, or the pain of a compound broken leg when it tips over on a slippery street at a stop.
    Absent the nose wart,- Good Lookin though.

    • randy talburt says:

      Even though I can deal with a VERY tall seat I’m not a fan of >500 lb Adventure bikes. Even though I love sport bikes and little bikes I wouldn’t mind having one of these while I can still pick it up. I realize that bike pictured will never make production, one can only hope. They got the footpegs where I kinda want them, no stereo, electronic dodads, premium suspension and brakes and enough power to get out of it’s own way. I’d probably take one of these over a Concourse 14 or ginormous Yam Sport Tourer.In the meanwhile, I’ll try and wear out my Ulysses.

      • TimC says:

        If you can’t pick up any motorcycle you’re doing it wrong. Look for YouTube videos showing how to do it correctly with the 5′ tall little gal that demos technique with large (I forget what, Gold Wings or big baggers or what) bikes.

  7. aketay says:

    Had a HD Heritage soft tail once. Great bike to do burnouts on as it wouldn’t wheelie……or do a stoppie!

  8. Marcus says:

    I’m the furthest you can get from a Harley or cruiser guy. I’ve settled on Japanese naked bikes and I ain’t looking back.
    Now having said that … I enjoyed thoroughly watching that bagger race. I was pulling for Josh Herrin for the win but (probably to be expected) his bike crapped out. LOL.
    There’s nothing wrong with enjoying that bagger race. It was, after all, a race. Sure, it’s not MotoGP, it was more like NASCAR in the sixties/seventies before all the high tech. But hey.. its not like somebody was forcing you to drink a Bud Light.

    “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Aristotle

  9. My2cents says:

    I like almost all motorcycles it’s usually the riders I abhor. The Indian Challenger is a great motorcycle and I should know I spent a fair bit of time riding one. As far as the remarks concerning why a cruiser needs that much power is no different than why a sport bike needs anything above 100 hp. Pick up trucks have plenty of hp, mine has almost 400 and I like it. I actually bought the Chieftain simply because I like big air cooled bikes and don’t need the extra ponies, because I have other motorcycles in the garage to feed my desires.

    For those who haven’t ridden the Challenger your opinion is worthless, you a basing it on something you know zero about. You want to comment then test ride one.

  10. GT08 says:

    Just wait a couple of day. Kawasaki is coming with a compressed Vulcan.
    200HP will blow everything on the custom categorie. Even if it a bad idea on this kind of bike. Yamaha as see it coming and already remove the V-MAX to not lose face.

  11. Big VIC says:

    Sounds like alot of these guys are harley owner’s. Dont be haters! Indian & Victory smashed Harley. Just admit

    • austin zzr 1200 says:

      No sir

      No one cares about bagger/cruiser performance. Those who care about motorsports see this as silly. At least NASCAR has its roots in moonshine running. This is rooted in a dumb marketing campaign.

      • fred says:

        You not being interested in something does not mean that nobody else cares. The cruiser/bagger market is huge compared to the ZZR 1200 market. The cruiser/bagger performance aftermarket is huge compared to the ZZR 1200 performance aftermarket. You may not like the facts, but your opinions are not representative of the majority of motorcycle owners.

        FWIW, I own a couple of Kawasaki’s and no cruisers. My tastes in bikes are probably closer to yours than the average cruiser rider, but it is both arrogant and naive to think that our tastes are the only ones extant.

    • joe b says:

      I dont think there is a harley owner in the bunch here, anyone?

      • Kermit T Frog says:

        I own a Harley Sportster 1200. It’s a great bike, one that I’ve ridden around town and across state lines. I’m actively looking for one more motorcycle or large displacement (300cc and up) scooter now. This Indian is very nice but if I want a touring rig it will have a trunk because what’s an elephant without a trunk?

        Useless. At least to me! 😉

        Harley owners are not Ad Copy, believe me. Sure some are arrogant but that’s true of a great many riders of sport bikes and Faux Hogs (talk about stupid silly folks!) to name just a couple of “groups”. No one group of riders has a monopoly on being stupid.

        Except a guy that rides 160 past HD owners stranded on the side of his raceway. FTN, brother…FTN.

        • joe b says:

          Over the years, I found I have a lot of people I know, have Harleys. For a while the HD shop was across the street from where i worked, and i became friends with the guys in the back. I agree with what your sayin. Stupid is spread around evenly. Are you looking for cams, more HP on your 1200? or?

          • Kermit T Frog says:

            My bike has more than enough power for me as I really do obey speed limits. I’ve had a GL1800 too but never wanted for more or less power on either of those two bikes. I suppose enough is really enough for me!

            Both bikes are heavy, especially so the Goldwing but even at this age I am stronger than a great many people I know or meet due to having been a devotee of weight training now for several decades but I decided since I was not touring nearly as often as I once did to sell off the ‘Wing and two other bikes and am now down to one, the Sporty. 🙂

      • mickey says:

        I’ve had 6 Harleys in the last 55 years, the last one was in 1994. I kept thinking the next one would be better than the last one, but they never were. Maybe the new ones are great, I dunno, haven’t ridden one in the last 20 years, but I am over them now and have no desire to own another.

        I’ve come to prefer Japanese liter class I-4’s.

        • Kermit T Frog says:

          Nothing wrong with that!

        • austin zzr 1200 says:

          I live 2 miles away from my local HD dealer. Every year I take my bikes there for inspections (they are vy fast and professional) and every year I test ride their latest big twin with the same shared hopes as yours. Every year I ride back on my metric adv/sport/standard with a renewed appreciation for what I have and for the genius that goes into the engineering of modern bikes.

          • Trent says:

            I am surprised your Harley dealer will look at any bike other than Harleys. The one near me won’t.

      • randy talburt says:

        I’ve got an older Road Glide I’d like to do like this Challenger Racer. I try a HD every few years to see if I can learn to like ’em. If I’m headed from Wichita to Las Vegas it’s about the best. For Wichita to Deals Gap, I’ve got sport tourers. Different shoes for different jobs. I’ve got 3 Buells and more Ducatis, a vintage BMW.

      • huls says:

        I am. My 1999 FXDX produces 150HP and 150 ft-lbs. It will eat this karbunkel for breakfast. Really Indian what were you thinking when you decided to use a crumpled up xerox copy of a Road Glide for your next model. It’s ugly as sin and totally out of proportions. Ever heard of the golden ratio?
        BTW I also ride a Road Glide CVO 110ci. It’s got some tweaks and does 136 HP on the dyno. Together with the chassis upgrades it’ll run rings around this Indian abomination. You really have to ask why do these people bother when this is all they can come up with?

        • mickey says:

          Wow that’s quite an increase over the 67 hp the 99 FXDX came with.

          • Provologna says:

            I am a sales representative for Mr. Huls above. In addition to his 150hp ’99 FXDX Mr. Huls also owns a big red bridge connecting San Francisco to the next northern county. I have the bridge listed for sale for Mr. Huls. Bids start @ $1.5T.

            PS: I was going to post an image of his dyno test but my dog ate it. BTW, Mr. Huls also coached Tom Brady and made him the QB he is today.

            /sarc off

          • huls says:

            If you know what you are doing then it isn’t that hard. See also this video
            Don’t mind the shennenigans of Kaplan just look at the dyno numbers

            See nothing special actually. Makes you wonder why mr. Provologna doesn’t understand this.

      • Grover says:

        I’ve put over 100,000 miles on Harleys with no complaints. I had 1 side-of-the -road experience over 20 years ago when a BAS (Bank Angle Sensor) failed on my commute to work. Not bad, I’d say. I have also owned many Japanese bikes, mostly SUZUKIS. You have to view each motorcycle as what mission it was designed for – touring, sport, dual-sport, multi-use etc. To hate a breed because it’s not as fast or light as some other machines is very narrow minded. You’d have to hate a lot of bikes!
        BTW – this site promotes ALL motorcycles and is why I visit it everyday to see what’s new and exciting in the moto world. I’m glad it offers a view of all motorcycles, even the ones I wouldn’t consider rolling into my garage.

        • Provologna says:

          There’s a long and unwelcome history Re. H-D the factory, their dealers, and their fans correlating to the brands current bad juju among non-H-D owning motorcyclists. One that comes to mind off the top of my head is jumping in bed with Congress in the late 70s/early 80s to force a special and punitive tariff on all imported bikes of 700c or more displacement. If anyone thinks this did anything except make most motorcyclists hate H-D I have a big red bridge for sale.

          The factory employs a strange formula to determine the # of bikes each dealer gets to sell; one of the factors is the quantity and value in sales of non-motorcycle “lifestyle” H-D products per square foot of available floor space, with infinitely higher profit margin that the bikes.

          I owned at least 75 motorcycles. The engine with the most vibration, by more than a country mile, is the Sportster 1200 type motor in my Buell Ulysses which I sold after about 3 weeks. I can only imagine every body fastener on that bike being vibrated loose within weeks, lacking permanent thread lock. I doubt I’m the first person with similar history owning Japanese bikes who thought the bike and/or engine might be broken when it most certainly was just normal low-mid-RPM engine unbalance.

          Yes, it’s moderately smooth in the top half of the rev range, but there’s a hell of a lot of red lights and stop signs in most cities of moderate size and larger!

          • huls says:

            I’ve done over 150k miles on Harleys. No complaint, extemely reliable certainly compared to British and European.
            Provologna is doing it wrong or doesn’t know how to ride, probably both.
            Sad. Where’s the downvote button for Provologna posts?

  12. joe b says:

    Many of the followers here, dont ride this bike. the Guzzi bike a few days ago, got lots of replies on how good a bike it was, none suggested its 65 HP was lacking, other than me. then many seemed to point out how I should not use that as a marker for something being a good bike. Here, it seems, this machine has lots of HP already. and you can buy more! But the race bike, with the cut cases, modern forks, small front wheel, and a dozen other mods to enable it to go around a corner, looks horrible with the fairing and bags. dump those, put some clip ons on it, if its a racer replica? ( i know the class called for them, but that race is over ). Is there anyone here, that would buy this model bike, and buy this aftermarket item? I wonder…

    • Dave says:

      The FTR 1200 model is a pretty close starting point to what you’re describing.

      The bike featured here seems like a high performance pickup truck or suv. It proves with enough power you can throw any amount of steel down the road, without ever addressing the question of why you’d want to.

  13. DeltaZulu says:

    “I like motorcycles. I reserve “love” for my family and friends and I don’t frivolously spend money on them either”.

    I have been saying this a LONG time. A motorcycle, car, bulldozer, corn planter or a can opener are nothing more than machines. If you “love” them, there is something wrong in your life.

    • Trent says:

      To each his own. Some ‘friends’ and family are toxic. Some people love their dogs, some love their motorcycles, some love both, and some people think motorcycles are just ‘donor’ cycles. Saying there’s something wrong with you if you don’t feel the way someone else does is asinine but very common.

      • Kermit T Frog says:

        So I suppose when someone says, “I LOVE pizza!” or something equally moronic, you think they just “feel” that way and that they reeeeally truly do have an emotional attachment and feel deeply for pizza. They take it to the beach. To the movies. For long rides or drives up the coast and they sit with their pizza for hours just staring into its salami eyes…Pfffffft! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!

        I think people that “love” STUFF are the plague of Idiocracy come to life. An inanimate object is not a dog. It is not an Aunt or Uncle. It is not your husband or wife nor is it your children. It’s not your cat. It’s not alive.

        Is it real? Yes.
        Can a sentient being really “love” something that is not alive, something that they ride or mow their grass with or worse. There are, as I am certain most here are aware, “love dolls” available for the morally and socially bankrupt. Can you truly “love” one or accept that some idiot says they do?

        Think about the film, “Lars and The Real Girl”.

        Not me. FTN, gentlemen, FTN. Words have meaning and there is a BIG difference in looking into the eyes of your spousal unit, your child, your dog or cat than in gazing wistfully into the headlight of your motorcycle. Who knows, it may well be that some motorcyclists are just too skeered to date and cannot yet come to grips with purchasing an anatomically correct and cold and as not alive as just caught Alaskan Cod love doll so they substitute a bike. That is assinine and yes, I spelled it that way because it is meant to be in this case. Think about it.

        A bike can take you places but it can’t do anything more than that. It can take a loved one along but it can’t take their place at dinner time when you might want to discuss the day’s ride…

        But you just “love” it. And when you just love pizza do you still eat the pizza? Cannibal.

        Idiocracy indeed. Motorcycles are our “E” ticket. Our passport to adventure. They are a tool and nothing more. But if you love a tool perhaps you are a tool, eh? 😉

        Again. Idiocracy. 🙂

        • mickey says:

          Yep..and yours is the only opinion that matters.

          • Kermit T Frog says:

            Don’t play at being retarded, mickey. It doesn’t read as “clever” but rather…Well, retarded.

            An opinion need not be one that matters to another in order to be valid. How sophomoric you can be.

            Now go inflate your “one true love” and spend the evening snuggled up in front of a faux fire place listening to cRap “music” and “her” talk via the “sounds of love” cassette included in the purchase price.

            I’d say more but then that would require you actually being able to comprehend it without the now signature response of, “Yep..and yours is the only opinion that matters.”

          • mickey says:

            Sorry KTF, wasn’t trying to be clever. You were espousing how idiotic is is for people to love something inanimate as if you had the final word on the subject when we all know love is just an expression of emotion. Some people love food, some love a good book, some love a cozy blanket, or a particular song, or a movie, and some love riding or a particular motorcycle.

            Just the way it is, whether you think its idiotic or not.

          • todd says:

            Give it up, Kermit. It’s obvious nobody else agrees with you.

    • gsbeliever says:

      I have not only loved various modes of transportation, I have also talked to them on a regular basis. And sometimes they talk back! That’s why I had to give up sport bikes many years ago, the siren song that they whispered in my ear, encouraging me to go just a little bit faster.
      Is there anything better than that perfect ride, ridden in a perfect place, at the perfect pace, on the perfect bike? Guilty of love, as charged.

  14. Mick says:

    Is it just me? Or is $700 jewelry store class pricing for cams?

    Maybe it’s a cruiser thing. Not my universe.

    • austin zzr 1200 says:

      Its a cruiser thing. About as boastfully low-tech as it gets. Any improvement to an understressed motor will have and outsized effect compared to a modern motor..

      • Mick says:

        I think that the cams should cost less than at least one of the other two mods they are pimping to support the cams.

        Indian already makes cams. These are just a different profile than a stock one. You know they don’t have a lot of money tied up in those things.

  15. Crazyirv says:

    Isn’t this just the same Freedom
    engine that was in all the old Victory models with different cladding? The more I see these the more I think that especially when now they are coming out with similar stage kits like the not-so-old Victorys of recent memory.Its the tall jugs that give it away. Ive never seen a mention of this in the press but it makes sense to keep it on the down low to preserve the myth of the Indian heritage even though its just a rebadged Victory. The motorcycle press aids and abets and asks zero questions it seems or just doesn’t care, as another healthy American cycle company is good for the industry. No big deal in the end I guess but I think its funny especially with the jacked up pricing on the Indian/Victorys.

  16. John jamieson says:

    I’m an older dude from Canada and owned a 1958 Electra Glide with a suicide shift in my 10th grade. A truly horrific machine, leaked oil constantly and absolutely unreliable.
    The Japanese bikes were starting to arrive on the scene and I thought that Harley was done back then.
    I kinda like the look of the Indian power cruiser and really enjoyed the Laguna baggers race. Maybe Harley should talk to Porsche and see if 150 horses in a new V-Rod engine might liven things up at Laguna. (Win on Sunday sell on Monday.)
    Lighter engine, aluminum frame?
    Have a bunch of them at Laguna for demo rides before the bagger race.
    Thanks for listening but gotta go, I still have a little bit of a joint to work on.

    • Jeremy says:

      “Win on Sunday sell on Monday.”

      Always seemed like a flawed strategy considering most motorcycle dealerships are closed on Monday. 🤔

      • mickey says:


        When I worked in shops from 1972 to 1989 we were open every day but Sunday, and some shops were even open on Sunday.

        • Jeremy says:

          I wasn’t old enough to get myself to a motorcycle dealership during that time. I can’t remember a dealership that was open on Mondays. I used to assume that some weird blue law was at the root of it – perhaps not being able to open more than 6 days in a row, so they closed Monday instead of on a high traffic weekend day. But I’ve lived in every part of the country except the West Coast, now, and it was always the same. Can’t imagine they have the same blue law everywhere, but who knows.

          • mickey says:

            I still find myself showing up at my local dealer on a Monday only to find them closed, but now it’s because I have been retired 7 years and now I have no idea what day it is most of the time.

            Seriously there was one point when my kids were little (they are 46 and 42 now) when I was working at a Suzuki shop 9-9 M-F, 9-5 on Sat and 12-4 on Sunday. And then we’d get laid off in the winter from Nov to March. It was horrible. No benefits, no insurance, under $15k a year. Married with 2 kids. And young people now think they are the only ones who had it rough.

            It’s why I got out of the industry

        • Jason says:

          Most places I’ve lived dealerships are closed Sunday and Monday. Several places it was illegal to sell a vehicle on Sunday . (Blue laws (religious laws) as mentioned above)

  17. Kermit T Frog says:

    The stock bike is more than up to the task it was intended for: Touring. Regardless of the marque or bike, this is nothing but throwing money at your ego. My neighbor bought a Harley Deuce and threw another $20,000+ at it. In the end he would up with a thirsty, noisy and fairly useless bike. He could not even sell it and wound up taking a used Jeep wrangler in trade for the HD.

    And no, he did not learn a damn thing and began spending money on it with the result being he wound up trading that for something else. There is nothing wrong in doing this because it is your own money but if you think about it rather than let your feeeeeeeeeeeelings rule your mind, there really is nothing right about it too. This happens to idiots that say they “love” their motorcycle, car, etc.

    I like motorcycles. I reserve “love” for my family and friends and I don’t frivolously spend money on them either. Back in the 80s Cycle World, Cycle Guide, Motorcyclist and Cycle would often do upgrades on bikes like the Suzuki GS1100 series. They would throw a ton of money at a bike and gain a paltry amount of useable horsepower and handling improvements and publish these “results” like they had something to be proud of. Within the year Suzuki (or Honda, Kawasaki, etc.) would release the next year models and it’s performance would easily surpass the magazines’ efforts with a new model STOCK bike.

    All too often the aftermarket adage “make it YOURS” means make your money THEIRS. This isn’t to say that improvements cannot be made but rather at what cost ratio. I would rather just enjoy my bike for what it is, not what I hope to make of it. Might as well “invest” in velvet paintings of Elvis and Michael Jackson riding a Unicorn together for your entryway or a mural of the same thing on the tank of your Hayabusa. As Cartman would sing…”In the ghettoooooo”…

    • DeltaZulu says:

      “I like motorcycles. I reserve “love” for my family and friends and I don’t frivolously spend money on them either”.

      I have been saying this a LONG time. A motorcycle, car, bulldozer, corn planter or a can opener are nothing more than machines. If you “love” them, there is something wrong in your life.

    • Jeremy says:

      While I don’t doubt that some people spend money for the sake of ego, I think that is a pretty short sighted blanket statement. For some people, modifying to get every last ounce of performance or personalizing are the passions, as much as or more than the bike (or car or Jeep or whatever) itself. And to make anything “yours” – whether you are just buying a stock motorcycle or shelling out to create a highly personalized one -means you are making your money “theirs.” We exchange money for the things we need or want. Nothing wrong with that, IMO, even if what one wants to buy are ego points.

      And I don’t understand the soapbox a select few have about how wrong it is when someone “loves” a machine. The English verb “to love” has a well established, ages old, binary definition, and at no point has the word ever been reserved for people only.

    • Uncle Stashu says:

      Jeez Kermit, please don’t hurt yourself when you have to climb down off of that high horse….i’m guessing it’s waaay up there. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

  18. austin zzr 1200 says:

    Is anyone else incredibly bored (no pun intended) by these things?

    • Gentleman Rook says:

      You aren’t alone.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      What’s boring about this? Despite never having ridden one, I’m pretty sure it is raher too non-boring in the crotch heating department. Aside from that, it looks anything but boring. King of the Baggers was a cool race. Definitely worth celebrating.

  19. carl says:

    Wonder what it cost for all that R&D?

  20. Gary says:

    I like cruisers. Even owned a few. But the idea of a muscle cruiser like this just leaves me cold. I mean … why? You’ve got, what, 700-800 pounds of noisy trundling menace … similar to a supercharged garbage truck on Friday morning, headed for the landfill. Do a burnout. Leave a foul odor.

    • fred says:

      I like motorcycles. No particular interest in cruisers, but I test-rode a Challenger a few months back. It is a really nice bike. It was neither noisy, nor trundling, nor a menace. You were right about the weight, though. 🙂

      It was just a short test ride, but the bike handled well, had decent power and brakes, and was a very pleasant ride. It was easy to understand why riders/owners like and enjoy the bike. To be honest, I was a bit surprised just how much I was impressed by the Challenger.

      There’s no need to try one out, since your mind is already made up.

    • Jeremy says:

      I find these touring cruisers to be immensely dull bikes. I’m sure they’ve improved in past 10 years since I last rode one, and I’ve never ridden this Indian. But poor brakes, poor handling, extreme weight, and meagre power are what I remember. That’s just nit a formula for excitement. I say let ’em throw as much power as they can at these things.

      • RBS says:

        Modern Indian motorcycles weren’t even available until 2013. Ten years is an eternity in the motorcycle business. Not even Harley Davidson has any models with poor brakes, poor handling, and meager power anymore.

        I hate to throw shade at a baby boomer, because I am one too, but if you are too old to be in the market for a new motorcycle, and too old to even know what modern motorcycles are like, maybe you shouldn’t be criticizing them in a public forum based on ancient experience.

        • mickey says:

          LOl Jeremy isn’t a baby boomer..he’s a pup

        • Jeremy says:

          Well, like Mickey said, I’m not a boomer… Not even close.

          As far as being too old to be in the market for a new bike, honestly, I buy a new bike every 18 months on average. The last one I bought was in March 2020, May 2019 before that. And I put a deposit on another one just a couple of months ago.

          I realize that my experience may be outdated with regard to these behemoths which is why I qualified it as such. Though, come to think of it, the Indian Scout was available when I picked up that Harley touring bike in Houston, TX and rode it to the buyer’s house (an old friend) in Illinois. So, it was less than 10 years ago for sure. And I disagree with you. 10 years is not an eternity with respect to cruisers, though I do recognize that this particular Indian and even Harley’s newest bikes have advancements from the typical platform.

          I come on here because I like to discuss motorcycles with other people who like to discuss motorcycles, and I actually sincerely appreciate your comment. Sometimes I criticize, sometimes I praise, sometimes I scratch my head and wonder. Frankly, I don’t even need to ride this bike to know that 100 HP in something this heavy isn’t going to get me excited. So I am still comfortable calling these bikes dull. The greatest sin of all though is having to look at it. Jeez, what an eyesore.

      • Rexford L says:

        You need to test out the K1600B, incredible brakes, 160 hp/129 ft lbs torque with 741 lbs wet weight (90% full of fuel etc).. IMHO kicks the crap out of any of the other baggers on the road!

        • Jeremy says:

          I know that technically the big K is a competitor to this bike, but in reality there is no contest. The BMW is in a different class.

        • Gary says:

          I’ll stick with my R1200RT. Plenty enough power and it can dance. Plus it hauls all my $hit, along with the missus, wherever I want to go.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      It’s the mechanicalness of it. The weight actually helps, since it’s what allows you to whack it more often, without going straight to jail.

      It’s similar to the sheer awesomeness that is the Durango SRT. Makes no objective sense, but it’s still one of, if not the, coolest car currently made in America. Very different from boringly idling around in an objectively “better” SF90, or even a 911 Turbo.

      • Nick says:

        Why would you call that brick of an SUV awesomely-cool? Oh wait, it just does your ego good knowing how much power you can’t use, even if 99% of other road users dismiss it as boring!

        • Stuki Moi says:

          Hook up a few tonnes to the back, and gun it up a San Francisco hill. You’ll understand 🙂

          Compared to most other roaring V8s, the point is specifically that you CAN use it more of the time. Since the darned vehicle is so heavy (especially with a trailer in tow). Yet it still doesn’t drive like a truck. It’s a bit like a hotted up bagger in that regard 🙂

          • Dave says:

            “Compared to most other roaring V8s, the point is specifically that you CAN use it more of the time.”

            So what you’re saying is, because the vehicle is so heavy, you can make more noise with the engine, without going to jail as easily as you would in a vehicle light enough to translate that noise into speed.

          • Stuki Moi says:

            Pretty much.

            High performance engines are designed to be used where they deliver performance. Outside of that band, they’re just a dull specsheet number. It’s not just noise. It’s also breathing, responsiveness to throttle etc.

            Idling around an engine tuned to perform up high, runs an insanely distant tenth (at best) to actually using it for what it is tuned for. Cue 600s, SV650s et al, vs 1100 CC Ducatis…… Or, as in this case, 134HP in a heavyass bagger…

        • fred says:

          Because, to him, and to many others, it is awesomely cool. You don’t like it, you don’t buy it.

          Is it really that hard for people to realize that the world does not revolve around them individually, and the other people have ideas, tastes, and views different from their own? I suppose that is just a rhetorical question, as it seems like a fair percentage of posters on this website are gobsmacked that people could like (or dislike) something different from their own first choice.

          • Nick says:

            I suppose that, as an older citizen (of a different country from most here) I should have asked for a definition of cool. I’d assumed that meant, among other things, elegance of design. Trying to enter into the spirit of the discussion of SUVs, perhaps the Durango might even be called sick? People who like such vehicles are welcome to them. Just don’t try to suggest that they would impress most others as much as, say, a classic Porsche.

  21. Neal says:

    I don’t think Harley will be a going concern much longer. They’ve been investing heavily into developing non-traditional HD products, and it looks like those products are mostly disappearing into the void. Meanwhile, Indian has a limited portfolio of compelling products and releases like this for customers to get excited about.

  22. todd says:

    S&S better be careful about suggesting these modifications can be applied on the street. They have already been fined vast sums of money for producing non-EPA approved engines and components marketed for street applications. Either Indian applied for an executive order for the cams, intake and exhaust or this is still strictly “for off highway use only”. These are damning words: “whether you’re coming off the line at Laguna Seca or just giving it a little bit more to pass a semi out on the highway.”

    • fred says:

      S&S isn’t selling the cams. Indian is. You might be surprised to discover that the company, their engineers, and their attorneys are aware of the regulatory environment. They even published the relevant information on their website.

      $60 per hp gained didn’t sound that bad, but you also need the Stage 1 Intake (~$399), and the Stage 1 Exhaust (couldn’t find it on the website, but it runs about $699-1299 for other models. That works out to about $150-200 per hp gain. No doubt some will consider that a good price/value proposition.

      • RyYYZ says:

        As I’m sure the stock bike is already tuned right to the limits of the EPA emissions and noise restrictions, it’s hard to imagine how replacing the cam, intake and exhaust wouldn’t result in a bike that doesn’t meet those standards.

        But maybe I’m wrong an Indian has under-tuned these bikes from the factory, leaving them room for Harley-style “CVO” option with increased power from the factory.

        • fred says:

          Good thing you’re not an engineer.

          • RyYYZ says:

            And what are your qualifications?
            Am I wrong? Are most bikes not already tuned at the factory these days to the limits of what they can get past the EPA? Certainly in terms of noise? Is the bike going to get quieter with slip-ons and a de-restricted intake?

          • fred says:

            Yes, RyYYZ, you are wrong, in spite of claiming that you are too wise. In the 70’s, there might have been some justification for an attitude such as yours. Draconic emission regulations reduced performance and efficiency for years until the engineers overcame the challenges. For the last 40 years, vehicles have continued to improve in efficiency and performance, while reducing noise and emissions.
            There is no reason to believe that we have reached the absolute peak of efficiency or performance, even if the gains are currently more incremental rather than dramatic.
            If you were an engineer, you would already know that.

          • todd says:

            It makes no difference if the bike produces more or less noise or pollution. It is a federal offense to modify or tamper with any emissions related equipment (like an air intake) or internal engine components (like cams) that have not yet already been submitted and passed as a wholly tested vehicle configuration by the EPA.

      • todd says:

        Ok, that was easy enough to look up. Straight from their legal department:
        “These products are designed for use on closed course competition motorcycles only and do not conform to U.S. EPA noise emission standards. Use on motorcycles subject to EPA noise regulations constitutes tampering and is a violation of Federal law unless it can be shown that such use does not cause the motorcycle to exceed applicable Federal standards.”

        Yet they are encouraging you to put these parts on your street bike to “pass a semi out on the highway”. If the EPA reads this press release, Indian is in big trouble. BTW, semis are traveling at 55mph, you need to add a competition cam, intake and exhaust to go over 55?!?

        • RyYYZ says:

          Thanks for that.

          Yep, while the EPA may not go after every manufacturer of exhaust systems and such sold for “off-road use only” (wink wink), when the manufacturers themselves do it, they have started to crack down. As H-D discovered, I believe.

          • todd says:

            The EPA fined S&S for knowingly putting modified engines in street bikes and not using the “for off-road use only” warnings. I seem to remember the fine being $175k or maybe even more. It’s been a number of years and I didn’t put in too much effort looking up the details again. S&S are the ones manufacturing these parts so there is some liability for them there. They can claim that they didn’t know Indian was advertising these for street use. Maybe Indian or S&S submitted some bikes for EPA testing and received an executive order to allow the sale on street bikes but their legal warnings suggest otherwise.

          • Jeremy says:

            Harley Davidson was fined $12 million after settling. If I recall correctly, it was for selling tuners that actually were marked “for off-road use only”, but the government alleged that it was still illegal to modify any EPA certified vehicle whether it was used “off-road only” or not.

        • fred says:

          Apparently it wasn’t that easy, as you didn’t quite get it correct. Here are the links:

          The cams in question are a “1” – “This kit meets EPA and CARB emission limits. Non-competition street use may violate federal noise limits.”
          Hope that helps.

          • Jason says:

            Yet their descriptions says the opposite. Read the last sentence.

            “These cams unleash an extra 10% horsepower and 3% more torque than a stock PowerPlus engine, and they will not void the bike’s warranty. The Stage 2 Cams increase the engine’s performance when used in conjunction with the PowerPlus Stage 1 Air Intake and the Stage 1 Oval Slip-On Muffler Kit or Stage 1 Slip-On Muffler Kit (each required and sold separately). The cams deliver enhanced, more-aggressive throttle response and significantly greater power across the powerband in every ride mode. Dealer installation is required as the cams come with the required Calibration Code that upgrades the Engine Control Module (ECM) software to Stage 2. No additional software purchase is necessary. Closed course use only.”

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