We’ve come a long way, baby.” That might be the most fitting tagline for Indian Motorcycle. As the oldest American motorcycle company, it’s the brand that broadly defined the country’s two-wheeler history. A lot has changed since its founding more than 100 years ago. Now, it’s bringing a century of design, development, and technological expertise to bear on one of the most advanced two-wheel baggers on the road.
On the spectrum of motorcycle types, baggers are typically streamlined, light-duty touring bikes with a handful of creature comforts. The all-new 2020 Indian Challenger is billed as “the ultimate American bagger,” boldly pushing the traditional limits of the category with a long list of amenities. The PowerPlus engine — a liquid-cooled large-displacement motor — is a first for Indian. The 108-cubic-inch, 60-degree V-twin features overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder to deliver a class-leading 122 horsepower with 128 ft-lbs of torque. The powertrain also boasts a six-speed transmission with true overdrive, plus an assist clutch to minimize clutch effort for a buttery smooth ride
Three distinct ride modes — Standard, Sport, and Rain — enhance ride dynamics based on the terrain and desired performance. Each mode delivers unique ride characteristics through tractional control and mode-specific throttle mapping. Race-spec Brembo brakes and performance touring tires are standard, working in tandem to provide on-a-dime stopping power. To blur the lines further between “bagger” and “tourer,” Indian added a chassis-mounted fairing with a power-adjustable windscreen that features almost three inches of travel.
Additional high-tech amenities are standard on the upgraded Challenger Dark Horse and Challenger Limited models. Both are equipped with innovative Smart Lean Technology to provide riders with added confidence when cornering through ABS, torque control, and dynamic traction control. Indian’s Ride Command infotainment system is also standard. The seven-inch screen is the largest available on any two-wheeler, delivering essential vehicle information, traffic & weather overlays, and USB and Bluetooth mobile pairing.
Indian Motorcycle is best-known for the iconic Indian Scout — a bobber that remains a symbol of two-wheel purity. The company celebrated its 100-year history this year with the release of the Scout 100th Anniversary Model.
two-wheeler touring setup, check out our roundup of the best motorcycle tents for camping the open road.
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