Skip to main content

Throttle Jockey: Tour in high style on the new Indian Springfield

I’m still spotlighting certain bikes across certain categories, and this round it’s full-on touring, or at least “vintage style touring.” A new bike makes the list this week: The new Indian Springfield.

A while back, Indian generously let me take one of their two-tone Chief Vintage baggers on a long ride from L.A. to S.F., and the big bike acquitted itself as capable, reliable, comfortable, powerful and best of all, flat fun to ride.

I gave the Vintage high marks but a few things – mainly cosmetic – nagged at me a bit. I wasn’t crazy about the ice cream color scheme – although, I have to admit, it garnered unsolicited praise everywhere I stopped. So maybe it was just me (likely).

The other thing that I wasn’t crazy about was the prolific leather fringe hanging off the soft/hard bags and saddle, but that’s definitely my peccadillo, I’m just not a fringe kind of guy. Otherwise: a great open-road bike. And frankly, the greatness was unexpected since Indian was still pretty much fresh out of the gate from new parent Polaris. That speaks well of Polaris curation of the hallowed brand, which had been kicked around between outright shysters and well-intentioned but under-funded owners since the doors closed on the original Springfield, Illinois factory in 1953.

But now, Indian/Polaris has apparently taken all my advice (or just totally read my mind, which is sort of scary) and released the $21,000 Indian Springfield, a reskinned Vintage with lovely fringe-free hard bags, gorgeous (and as-it-should-be) solid red (+$450) or black paint schemes and numerous tweaks to up the touring capabilities of the bike.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The heart of the bike remains the same: a 111-cubic inch fuel-injected Thunderstroke V-Twin powerplant with 119 foot-pounds of torque,  six-speed gearbox with belt drive, and Polaris’ typical high levels of engineering prowess, fit and finish.

But where the Vintage was essentially a base Chief with some stuff tacked on for touring, the Springfield has had some substantial upgrades and additions to help riders roll up the miles in comfort.

The rear section of the bike has been beefed up to accept an optional 17-gallon trunk, bringing it more in line with what serious tourers will need as they load it down with their tour mate, plus all the stuff that will get stuffed in the large – and removable – hard bags. The rear monoshock is air-adjustable for offsetting those heavy loads.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Up front, the Springfield maintains the tank-mounted instruments that show speed in big analog digits while transmitting other data on a small in-gauge LCD panel. The bagger-style front windscreen is specially designed for the Springfield, but it also is removable for when the rider wants a more simplified experience. Indian has also added some shiny case-saving roll bars front and back. Passengers get vibe-defying floorboards rather than simple pegs.

And while the bike indeed looks very vintage, it’s actually packed with a long list of tech tools including cruise control, tire pressure monitoring, a keyless ignition system, and optional upgrades including heated grips and heated seats for both riders. There’s even optional fringe available.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Before it’s filled with just short of 6 gallons of gas and the needed 5 quarts of oil, the Springfield tips the Toledos at 818 pounds. Clearly not a lightweight bike, but if my time aboard the similar Vintage is any indication, the Springfield will likely be another easy-to-ride and enjoyable big bike from Indian, equipped with the standout style Indian is famous for and all the comforts needed to roll up big miles in comfort.

And no fringe in sight anywhere!

Bill Roberson
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Please reach out to The Manual editorial staff with any questions or comments about Bill’s work.
The 10 best Johnny Depp movies, ranked
Willy Wonka in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Johnny Depp put his career in a tailspin in the late 2010s and early 2020s. From domestic abuse issues to drug abuse, the talented performer lost roles in the Fantastic Beasts series and hasn't appeared in many big films during the last decade. Current struggles don't erase past successes, though. Depp is one of the best actors of the 1990s and 2000s. His skills range from comedy, drama, fantasy, horror, and everything in between.

Depp often transforms into characters who look nothing like one another, from pirate captains to chocolatiers in top hats. His willingness to get out of his comfort zone and pursue audacious characters defined his prime and helped him become a Hollywood legend. These are the best Johnny Depp movies of all time!

Read more
Treat Dad with Famous Smoke Shop’s instant cigar savings — up to $50 off
Man smoking cigar casually outside his home, best medium bodied cigars.

Need some last-minute Father's Day gift ideas? Cigars make an excellent gift for the Dad who smokes. But what's even better? Saving big with great deals, especially on cigars that don't usually go on sale. That's what Famous Smoke Shop is offering with its instant cigar savings offer. Depending on how much you spend, you can save $10, $20, or $50 off your order instantly. Spend over $50 and use code 10DAD to get $10 off. Spend over $100 and use code 20DAD to get $20 off. Or, spend over $200 and use code 50DAD to get $50 off. It's that simple. There are hundreds of SKUs to shop as part of the offer, including cigars from brands like Romeo y Julieta, Drew Estate, Rocky Patel, El Gueguense, AVO, AJ Fernandez, Camacho, and more.

What's available in the Famous Father's Day Instant Cigar Savings sale?
There are a lot of options to sift through so stay with me here. For that reason, I highly recommend browsing the sale to see what's available. Starting with in a Famous exclusive Toro Box Press size, you're already saving with the current price -- at $100 instead of $160. Not to mention, those incredibly delicious cigars have been phased out for a new blend. Once they're gone, they're gone for good. A new version of the cigar has hit the market, and once the legacy blend is emptied off the shelves, no more will be stocked anywhere.

Read more
23 of the best gifts for Dad this Father’s Day
Here are some last-minute gift ideas for your Dad
Family watching TV together

Some dads go fishing to blow off steam, while others collect vinyl records. This Father's Day season, don't just get your dad a gift certificate to Outback Steakhouse; Put some thought behind it. Hopefully, within this list of the 23 best Father's Day gifts, you'll see something that your dad will love.

Read more