Since its reintroduction, Indian Motorcycles has appeared to have a singular mantra: Goodbye, Harley-Davidson. And in that mantra, it has left the Milwaukee motorcycle company firmly in its rearview mirrors by delivering a lineup of motorcycles that are brilliantly engineered, reasonably priced, and forward-thinking while still paying homage to its history. Indian has become the American motorcycle manufacturer and it has no plans on stopping any time soon with the introduction of the all-new Chieftain lineup.
Building on the Chieftain’s nearly century-old legacy — but really building on its more recent history — Indian has redesigned much of what made the Chieftain a hit at is 2013 reveal. The Chieftain lineup includes the standard Chieftain, the Chieftain Dark Horse, the Chieftain Classic, and the Chieftain Limited, all of which sport a heavily streamlined style that reflects a more “aggressive” design the company is pushing toward.
Chieftain riders will immediately notice that the new lineup of motorcycles features “restyled fairing and saddlebags with sharper lines and harder edges that give the bike a commanding presence and more streamlined look.” Then there’s the “trimmed and slimmed fairing,” the Chieftain’s new full LED lighting package, and new fork guards which help with the Chieftain’s new tightened up front-end.
Also new are the Chieftain’s slammed saddlebags that can be color-matched to the fender closeouts and the optional Rogue gunfighter seat giving the motorcycle the more aggressive stance mentioned earlier. What hasn’t changed are the Chieftain’s dynamics and comfort, both of which allow for greater handling and comfort. There’s also a host of new paint options, including White Smoke, Bronze Smoke, and Thunder Black Smoke. However, the most interesting set of updates comes in the form of the Chieftain’s new electronics.
First, there are three new ride modes; Tour, Standard, and Sport. Each mode has an individual throttle map and “was designed with a specific application in mind, resulting in one bike with three distinct personalities.” Additionally, the new lineup of Chieftains come equipped with Rear Cylinder Deactivation to reduce knock and vibration when stationary.
For audiophiles, however, Indian has completely revised the Chieftain’s sound system. According to Indian, the Chieftain’s “tweeters have been separated from the mid-range speakers to optimize sound output and clarity.” Then, the company has added a dynamic equalizer allowing customers to fully adjust the stereo to specific frequencies. There’s also a speed-dependent setting that increases the stereo’s volume as speed increases so as to “compensate for road, wind and engine noise.” Total system output is a whopping 100 watts.
The new Chieftains should soon be arriving at dealerships nationwide and will vary on spec and options checked off. However, the base price for the lineup is reasonable compared to its cruiser brethren, with pricing starting at $21,999 for the standard Chieftain, $25,999 for the Chieftain Dark Horse, $25,999 for the Chieftain Limited, and finally $24,999 for the Chieftain Classic. With all these updates, the quality of the motorcycles, and the pricing, Indian Motorcycles is set to become the one true American motorcycle manufacturer. And by the looks of it, the only manufacturer very soon.
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