Brand ancestry cuts both ways. It can enhance chump loyalty, bounden longtime admirers to new offerings based on accomplished experiences. It can additionally asphyxiate development, as the appetence of loyal admirers charge be fed. Indian Motorcycle begin a way to alternate this band with the redesigned 2019 Indian Chieftain lineup.
In case you charge a refresher – Indian Motorcycle was originally founded in 1901, predating battling Harley-Davidson by two years. Indian thrived through the aboriginal allotment of the Twentieth Century, again stumbled in the post-World War II years, ultimately caving to defalcation in 1953. Multiple attempts were fabricated to accumulate the casting animate over the aing seven decades, with the Indian logo actualization on a array of motorcycles during that period. From 1999 to 2003, a Gilroy, California-based Indian Motorcycle Aggregation of America (IMCOA) produced a calendar of Harley-Davidson clones dressed as Indian bikes, while advancing to barrage an all-new Indian. But it was not to be, as the banking tides affected a abrupt cease in 2003. In 2006, clandestine disinterestedness close Stellican acquired the rights to the Indian name and backed a new ability in Kings Mountain, North Carolina to body a assiduity of the IMCOA bikes. By 2009, the association in Kings Mountain had developed a proprietary engine, the Powerplus V-Twin that IMCOA had sketched out in Gilroy, and bound assembly commenced. In 2011, Minnesota-based Polaris, ancestor aggregation to the Victory Motorcycle brand, purchased Indian from Stellican and the Kings Mountain investors, and confused assembly to Spirit Lake, Iowa. Polaris bound accumulated a aggregation of engineers and designers, and developed an all-new Indian Chief and Indian Chieftain, which debuted as 2014 models. In 2017, Polaris appear that assembly of Victory motorcycles would cease, and that the ancestor aggregation would instead focus its energies on the approaching of Indian Motorcycle. The Indian calendar has broadcast to accommodate the Roadmaster, Scout, Scout Sixty, Springfield, and several variants. The aggregation afresh appear the all-new FTR 1200, abacus a new race-inspired archetypal to its lineup.
Chieftain is a bagger with a fairing, two-up basement and locking adamantine saddlebags. There will be four versions of Chieftain for 2019: Chieftain (starting at $21,999); Chieftain Dark Horse (starting at $25,999); Chieftain Bound (starting at $25,999) and Chieftain Archetypal (starting at $24,999).
Chieftain Archetypal is appealing abundant a aftereffect model, featuring the Art Deco administration of the aboriginal bike. It shares the automated $.25 (engine, transmission, electronics) with the new Chieftains, but retains the archetypal tin and 16-inch casting auto advanced and rear. The advanced fender is acutely valanced, and crowned with a chromed aflame Indian head-dress brand light.
The added three Chieftain models get a anew automated and restyled fairing, bench and adamantine saddlebags. A 19-inch 10-spoke casting caster in advanced wears an attainable fender with an aflame Indian head-dress accessory that is 20% abate than the Classic’s. The fork-mounted allowance has been absolutely redesigned. It is abate than before, with bluff curve and beneath trim. The active lights accept been alone in favor of a audible LED headlamp that is frenched in. Twin about-face signals are army low on the abandon of the fairing, alike with the basal rim of the headlamp. A accumbent aperture aperture appears beneath the windshield. A power-adjustable windshield raises and lowers via grip-mounted controls. Side-view mirrors blow out from abaft the fairing, beginning on stalks anchored to the handlebars. The restyled saddlebags are best and lower than afore (but with hardly greater volume, 18.2 gallons vs 17.2 gallons), with aciculate curve and edges that bout the new fairing. Color-matched closeouts ample the gaps amid the accoutrements and the rear fender. The new saddlebags are no best adapted with a quick-release – you now accept to use a bend to alleviate them. Indian says that their analysis showed that few owners anytime removed their Chieftain saddlebags, so the affection was accounted unnecessary.
A new seat, which Indian calls “Rogue gunfighter,” is a sleek, trim assemblage with an animated pillion allocation and beneath overhang than the Archetypal model. The 5.5-gallon ammunition tanks are branded with characteristic activated Indian head-dress badging (as adjoin to the corrective adumbration on Classic).
The absolute aftereffect of the makeover is dramatic. The new Chieftain aback looks thoroughly avant-garde and sleek. While the address of the Art Deco Chieftain Archetypal is still undeniable, it aback looks a bit banausic sitting aing to its trim sibling. Afterwards abandoning its roots, Indian has begin a way to accompany the Chieftain up to date beautifully.
The makeover comes with accessory technology upgrades, too. The abject Chieftain gets the aforementioned seven-inch touchscreen with a 100-watt audio arrangement with AM/FM radio, Bluetooth and a USB input, while Ride Command, Indian’s infotainment system, comes as accepted accessories on Chieftain Dark Horse, Bound and Classic. Ride Command’s GPS aeronautics arrangement and customizable split-screens assignment afterwards a hitch, and now accommodate the adequacy of autumn up to 100 aeronautics waypoints in a Custom Route Builder function.
The 1,811-cc (111-cubic-inch) Thunder Stroke 111 agent is a 49-degree V-twin that is air/oil-cooled, and is acquainted to aftermath 119 lb-ft of torque (Indian doesn’t adduce application figures). The agent now appearance automated rear-cylinder deactivation, advised to abate agent calefaction at idle. That will be acceptable during low-speed operation in summer months, back canoeing through cartage can be absolutely uncomfortable. The six-speed chiral manual snicks through the apparatus smoothly, and clamp accomplishment is ablaze and manageable. Final drive is by belt, which requires basal maintenance. Three ride modes (Tour, Accepted and Sport) are attainable on the fly via the infotainment screen. Thanks to ride-by-wire burke control, the arrangement maps audible burke behaviors to bout the rider’s preferences and benumbed style. Ride approach settings are retained back the agitation is restarted, so you don’t accept to re-select your adopted approach anniversary time you ride.
Front abeyance is handled by a 46-mm scope angle with 4.7 inches of travel, while the rear audible shock is air-adjustable and has 4.5 inches of travel.
Of course, there are upgrades accessible for the Chieftain lineup. If you’re attractive for added power, you can bandy in a Stage 1 Exhaust, a Thunder Stroke Stage 1 Performance Air Filter, and/or Thunder Stroke Stage 2 Performance Cams. Alike added balance is accessible with the Thunder Stroke 116-ci Stage 3 Big Bore Kit, which adds 20 percent added application and 20 percent added torque to the package. Administration upgrades and custom fit options, including four styles of bankrupt tips, mid-rise handlebar and an continued ability seat, are additionally available. A able new audio upgrade, Powerband Audio, adds addition to anniversary apostle and saddlebag-mounted apostle options. The arrangement delivers an absorbing access in aggregate with abundant clarity.
During a two-day ride in Washington State, I got a adventitious to ride anniversary adaptation of the 2019 Chieftain, forth with a assignment on an accessorized bike adapted with the 116-ci Big Bore Kit. The glassy new architecture and 19-inch advanced caster makes the bike feel lighter and added maneuverable (actual weight of the Chieftain vs Chieftain Archetypal is 790 lbs vs 808 lbs). The banal bike has affluence of ability and a abundant sound, and handles beautifully, tracking absolutely through curves and calmly forth straightaways. The abeyance is annealed but not harsh, which makes it accessible to ride assertively. Over the advance of a brace of 200-mile days, the Rogue bench was comfortable, admitting at six-feet two-inches tall, I would accept accustomed the continued ability adaptation for a little added legroom. Benumbed the benumbed Big Bore-kitted bike, I admired the added horsepower, but I would apparently leave that advantage for later, afterwards putting some abundant afar on the bike in banal form. I accepted the accessibility features, like keyless agitation that let me accumulate the fob in my pocket, and power-locking saddlebags.
Indian will consistently be abstinent adjoin its battling Harley-Davidson. If Chieftain has a absolute adversary in the H-D lineup, it is the Street Glide (starting at $21,289). Chieftain, with its adult anatomy and 4.5 inches of rear biking (vs Street Glide’s 2.1 inches), outhandles Street Glide, and comes with accepted ABS (a $795 advantage on Street Glide), and the Thunder Stroke 111 bests the Milwaukee-Eight 107 by 8 lb-ft of torque. Administration is consistently a amount of taste, and I’d alarm it a draw. Harley-Davidson has the ancestry edge, by advantage of connected assembly back 1903 vs Indian’s disconnected and acquired lineage, and that affairs to a lot of people.
If you adjudicator a bike on its accepted merits, the 2019 Indian Chieftain is a winner, and a bike I’d be appreciative to host in my garage. I’d accept the Chieftain Dark Horse, the best arresting administration exercise in the class.
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