Indian Motorcycle announced this morning that it is not only introducing three new ride modes to the Chieftain line, but also updating the shape of the fairing and saddlebags. The new saddlebags have a boxier, harder line and move away from the more bubbly, rounded appearance previously associated with Indian’s heavyweights. The Chieftain’s new fairing still has a distinctly Indian look but gets some harder lines and loses a bit of surface area. It appears there is no change to the chassis, which is fine with us because Chieftains have always handled very well.
Audio systems across the whole Chieftain line have been updated with tweeters, mids, and a new dynamic equalizer, resulting a new 100-watt system that Indian claims will be “crystal-clear at all speeds,” a bold claim that we look forward to testing soon. Rear cylinder deactivation has been added for temperature control at idle, as well as full LED lighting and new turn signals. Reading the press release, it also seems that Indian is re-releasing the 116ci big-bore kit that was pulled off the shelves earlier this year, but we’ll have more on that shortly. Pricing for the new Chieftains starts at $21,999 in the US.
The ride modes are big news for us, as it’s not new technology but something we’ve been waiting to see from an American V-twin manufacturer for a while now. After a model-year-’19 launch from Harley-Davidson that only really had one new model, the FXDR 114, it’s nice to see something from Indian other than “bold new graphics.” I just wish the Chieftain’s fairing was a step away from what H-D is doing, not a shape that seems derivative of Harley’s most successful bagger fairing. We will be heading out to Washington next week to ride these new bikes, so stay tuned for our report back.
Check last week’s heavyweights post for more information.