2010 Indian Chief Roadmaster Thunder Press

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2010 Indian Chief

October 17, 2009

Return of the

Off the rez and into the Hills

Sturgis, August 4—It takes a machine to stand out in the two-wheel present during the Sturgis Hills Rally. But while Indian Motorcycle’s 2010 of their Chief Roadmaster, the paused, cameras flashed and questions were posed time I took to the road.

And good reason, since new rendition carries the traditional of the classic models, but with a of fit and finish that propel it most production bikes. And the new Indians are birthed in a wigwam in North Carolina, the chance to the shadows of Big Bear Butte and the streams of Spearfish Canyon on an Chief gave me a taste of the of the bike. An Indian Motorcycle in the Hills is just a natural.

I met Indian Chairman Stephen last year during the Rally when the company was their new product line for the time. Julius is the guiding behind London-based Stellican which bought the rights to Motorcycles in 2004 following the of the Gilroy, California, group had attempted to revive the marque.

Stellican is a private equity that specializes in the acquisition of companies, especially those any type of iconic heritage, and new life into them. successes include the Italian manufacturer Riva, the Italian team Vicenza and the American manufacturer Chris-Craft. At that Julius projected an initial run of 750 by the end of 2009, their first production year.

But that was a ago. And it’s been a 2009. But the 2010 model to show no compromise in quality, and no in the caliber of craftsmanship.

The proprietary Power Plus motor up easily, stoked to life by a loop fuel injection supplied by Magneti Marelli on the left side of the bike. And this new Power Plus resembles the motor developed the Gilroy era, Nikasil-plated have re­placed the original iron liners, resulting in durability, oil retention and greater transfer characteristics.

The addition of Motorsport pistons further the package. The motor is often to as the “bottle-cap” due to its unique rocker design on top of the heads, and with a of 3.966″ and a … of 4.25″, at 70 mph the lopes along at an easy rpm. While the motor admirably at highway speeds, it anemic during hard lacking the low-end grunt is normally associated with an of that size.

The company does not publish horsepower numbers, but when I for a guess-timate, they responded a figure in the low 80s. So I can only there is lots of room to the HP. I’d start by ditching the highly exhaust. It’s an attractive system but way too quiet for my taste.

The top end is a noisy, with a sound of older Shovelheads—not objectionable, different and something that go completely unnoticed with exhaust upgrade. The Baker has a ratio configuration specifically by the engineers at Indian to suit requirements and is coupled to the motor via a primary and a wet clutch with drive train duties by a belt and pulley.

The motor is to the frame, which adds a extra vibration when it up through the gears. The buzz is but unpleasant and I like the feel. Indian is also pleased, they have no immediate to rubber-mount the engine.

The frame is a design with a single that forks in two just the voltage regulator. It’s a beast, sporting a wheelbase at 68.5″, almost 5″ longer its Milwaukee counterpart. But it’s far unwieldy, and U-turns across two without putting my feet proved no challenge at all.

Rear suspension is handled by a located under the seat provides almost 3″ of travel. It provides the best Softail-style I’ve ever experienced. The and controls are well placed and agreeable for my six-foot frame, the footboards were a stretch. the clutch and the front brake cylinder are Brembo products and a five-way, click-type adjustment to varying grip widths.

The clutch is an easy pull. height comes in at a comfortable and is comparable to anything in its class. But is exceptional is the seat’s comfort. been told that a simple foam construction any gel inserts or fairy dust or but it is without a doubt the most stock seat on a production I have ever planted my Texas … on.

Indian did and said that they a lot of time designing the shape and as related to rider comfort. they did, it is a joy and I truly that extended travel be a pleasure. The bike is nestled two 16” wheels, a 130/90 up front a 150/90 on the rear providing a footprint and sound stability. The I was on featured powder-coated red rims, an that’s also available in or blue.

Optional whitewall tires are available. Brembo brakes are to 11.5” full-floating rotors and excellent stopping force to down the bike’s 747 pounds of dry

But beyond the motor figures and specs, the one shining aspect of the Roadmaster is its looks. And once I must mention that the fit and of this bike is superb, of Old World crafting and a care for

Heavily valanced fenders and aft reflect the marque’s history and shout, “Indian!” The 5.6-gallon gas fits perfectly with the of the bike, while the 41mm end, teardrop headlight and front fender running complete the overall effect. the rear cylinder and under the a beautifully sculpted cowling the battery and some electronics. The windshield is just that—oversized.

it’s a little too big for my taste when catching some of South Dakota crosswinds, it like a sail. I’d prefer it two inches shorter on top and would maybe an inch off each One nifty feature is that, the windshield is a quick-disconnect item, it can be into place and secured a key. Unfortunately, the leather have no locks.

But… they are damn big and any fiberglass bag on the market when it to cubic inches of cargo And the leatherwork on the seat, bags and is impeccable—some of the finest I’ve rivaling any one-off handmade The saddlebags are actually lined an Italian handbag and feature zippered pockets for all those goodies that normally to the bottom and remain lost you return home from trip.

Various colored options are available along fringe and a distressed leather The dash features an analog but a huge digital readout the speedo provides figures for mileage, two trip odometers for calculating gas stops), charging and RPMs. A switch on the left control allows you to toggle the readouts that even a clock.

Unfortun­ately the turn are not self-canceling, with small, chrome inserts on either of the speedo flashing green a signal is engaged. And while was always a simple click to both the neutral indicator and the oil pressure lamp were totally invisible during hours.

The Indian Chief Roadmaster is a bike that garners than its share of attention. not high performance or high but instead sells itself classic lines, unique and a symbolic legacy. But all that and poignant history come at a The 2010 Roadmaster standard carries the hefty tag of $33,999.

So for a time, the Chief and I rode the chased buffalo, and escaped the It’s good to see Indian resurrected from the Happy Grounds. I can only hope survive to see many moons of (www.indianmotorcycle.com )


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