Throttle Jockey: Indian’s blacked-out Dark Horse cruiser is a bargain

Late last year, I rode the new Indian Chief Vintage from Los Angeles to the Bay Area and found the big bike to be polished, powerful and a joy to ride. Not so joyful: a price tag a ducat short of $21,000. Still, for what you get, that’s actually a fairly reasonable number, but still a big chunk of change.

Now, Indian has introduced the Chief Dark Horse, a stripped-down, murdered-out version of their basic bike, the Indian Chief Classic. But if you think this $16,999 “budget bike” is going to leave you wanting, think again.

Basically a blank black canvas upon which you can draw your own version of the perfect cruiser (or tourer), the Dark Horse comes in any color you like as long as you like matte black, or Thunder Black Smoke as they call it – which is actually a fairly accurate description of the finish, truth be told.

While all the other Indian models fairly swim in chrome and polish, the Dark Horse blacks out the engine, bars and other bits for a too-cool-for-school back-street custom look. A shiny dual-exit exhaust system is about the only reflective element on the machine.

From there, Indian kept it pretty basic: no driving lights, cast instead of spoke wheels, single seat, a tiny smattering of brightwork bits and that’s about it. But keep in mind, it still comes with a very long list of features and if you want to kit it out, Indian offers a long list of options from heated grips to fishtails to numerous trim bits and seat options.

So what does the Dark Horse include? First of all, the motive power comes from their excellent fuel-injected 111-cubic inch Thunder Stroke V-twin, the same lump that powers all their big bikes, and I do mean powers. This is an engine that makes power and torque everywhere, is buttery smooth and is coupled to a slick-shifting 6 speed box.

The fully valanced fenders are retained as is the light-up War Bonnet on the front fender. The instrument pod features a LCD panel that includes numerous info bits including range, mpg, time and more. And thankfully, Indian has left their excellent cruise control in the mix – every open road cruiser should have one. This one does as stock. Triple disc brakes with ABS are also standard. That price is looking pretty good now, no?

You can read my full review of the Indian Chief Vintage here, but suffice to say the Dark Horse is one nice bike, no matter what color it is.

Photos courtesy of Indian Motorcycles

Fashion & Style

What’s in Our Weekender: Everything to Pack for a Weekend Away this Fall

Pro tip: Think about pieces that offer flexibility from dawn to dusk.
Culture

11 Best Halloween Costume Ideas Inspired by Badass Mofos of Film

Including the likes of John Wick, James Bond, The Dude, Mad Max, and more.
Food & Drink

Always Be Clinking: The Glenrothes Scotch Whisky Soleo Collection Is for Closers

The Soleo Collection is the newest set of releases from The Glenrothes and will cost you less than a grand for all five bottles.
Auto

Indian (Finally) Debuts FTR 1200 Racer Built for the Street

It's steeped in Americana, bathed in technology, and delivered to those who’d rather hit a dirt oval with the force of a neutron bomb.
Travel

The Woodman’s Treehouse Has Everything You Want, Including a Pizza Oven

The ultimate escape for a weekend of reliving your childhood, there’s also hammocks, a slide, and a rooftop hot tub.
Living

Be a Rebel Without a Cause and Buy James Dean’s Old Hollywood Hills Digs

This restored and reimagined 1920s Spanish-style home is up for sale for just shy of $4 million.
Living

A Passive House That’s Big on Style While Saving the Planet

Passive Houses, are not just saving the planet and reducing energy costs, they’re stylish as hell.
Living

How to Winterize Your House and Yard Before the Cold Weather Comes

With just a few weekends of work, you'll be sitting pretty (and warm) in your newly winterized home.
Outdoors

The Best First Aid Kits for the Home, Car, Hiking, and More

Accident, injuries, burns, bug bites, and worse can strike at any time. Be prepared.
Living

The Complete Guide to Kitchen Knives and Their Uses

You could be missing out on the perfect utensil for making sushi, slicing ribs, or creating radish roses and not even know it.
Living

Razor Bluff: A Luxurious Hillside Hideaway Fit for a Supervillain with Swagger

Razor Bluff House is 10,000 square feet of opulence and it can be yours … for a cool $30,000,000.
Living

This Barn-Inspired Home Blends Historic Architecture with Contemporary Style

Vaulted ceilings, walls of windows, and a massive fireplace keep Silvernails Mountain Home feeling open yet cozy.