Indian Chief Springfield Road Test & Review Motorcycle Cruiser

1 Фев 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Indian Chief Springfield Road Test & Review Motorcycle Cruiser отключены
Indian Chief Roadmaster

Indian Chief Springfield Test

Man! That is one good-looking motorcycle!

We could the excited whispers from the outside, and inside the restaurant, faces pressed eagerly the window as we coolly maneuvered our land cruiser into the Bakery parking lot in Bishop, But this was no SUV, it was the Good Springfield they were all And so it went for the next few days local wags would round at every pit stop on our ride to digest and dissect the Chief Springfield’s muted gold pinstriping and coffee-can

Not since our …-breaking voyage on V-Rod had we felt so scrutinized, but the appeal is even more The general reaction of onlookers to the Harley had been that of (what the hell is that but there was no mistaking the Indian; everybody had an image of the full-fendered locked away in his or her memory.

in the Day

Way before Harley-Davidson was marketing underwear to the masses, the original Motorcycle Company was The Big Cheese of manufacturers in the U.S. When its production machines rolled off the line in Springfield, Massachusetts, in their power and head-turning impressed so many that became the top-selling brand of the and ’20s.

The Indian Chief in 1922, and during its 31-year it was Harley-Davidson’s main competition in the heavyweight arena. You could distinguish a Chief by the graceful of its deeply valanced fenders; its curves and overstuffed profile ultimate two-wheeled luxury for enthusiasts.

A lot of things have in the motorcycle world since but the brand’s appeal has remained so that when Indian to production in 1999, the Chief the best-selling new American bike, with a premium price and the initial selection of a Harley-patterned as its powerplant.

The Ultimate Retro

The name springs from the of the original Indian factory Wigwam) in Massachusetts. As such, the graphics feature gold-scripted logos and gold pinstripes back to the early 1900s. To its full-bore retro status, the Indian Chief Springfield got a black powdercoated steel (to suit its beefy proportions), a hand-stitched solo seat and wheels beneath outrageously fenders.

Up front, a spoked, 130/90×16-inch wheel spins between covered fork tubes 5.1 inches of travel. A hefty inches behind it, the same-size hoop attaches to a cantilevered suspension system with preload and 4.25 inches of Brembo 11.5-inch discs and rear presume to stop all weight, and a wide, 34-inch curves into a huge headlight assembly with lights bracketing the orb on either

It’s an impressive sight.

The and all ’03 Chiefs, are powered by proprietary Powerplus engine. it has a handsome, distinctive look, the retains the same basic and technology as the Harley Evolution — it’s an air-cooled, V-twin with two valves per operated by pushrods and hydraulic

The 1638cc engine separates from The Motor Company with rounded cylinders, rocker covers reminiscent of old twins and an intake system on the side of the powerplant. A modest, exhaust system accents the appropriately and injects a low rumble loosening dentures.

The entire series successfully evokes the models of yore, from the marker light topping the front fender to the encompassing of the rear bodywork. The timeless is mostly intact.

At first however, it seems as if Indian the Chief Springfield from the in — those great, heavy metal fenders and howitzer-like headlight and swollen are all weighted in style. Throwing a leg the Chief isn’t an ordeal, no matter how portly its profile partly because of a completely 28-inch seat height. At stops, feet contact firma easily, even for riders.

Make sure you yourself with the ignition and petcock before climbing however; neither is easy to once you’re in the saddle. The key into a switch hidden in a just aft of your left below the seat. The petcock?

it before you start off, there’s no low-fuel light on the The fuel lever is located on a silver knob just in of the front cylinder, off the port

Thumbing the Springfield’s starter produces a sluggish, strangled at first, with the engine a sigh of relief shortly Once you settle into the narrowish solo seat, encounter a handlebar wider any wheelbarrow at Home Depot, means there’s gobs of on the front fork. Visually, it gives the nagging impression you’re piloting a tanker.

And yes, the massive bar with its billet grips will you out in the wind at speed; after a few you get weary of fighting gusts. the wind pressure is diminished by the wide headlight, baroque and driving lights framing the And foot placement is fairly thanks to soft-mounted floorboards.

be fine, if your foot locked within the heel-toe on the left side. Also, the black plastic air cleaner into your left leg to make it difficult to place foot in the middle of the floorboard, your leg naturally gravitates. At speeds, you have to struggle to your foot in place the wind pressure and the awkwardly shifter.

The hand-stitched solo while narrower than Indian saddles we’ve proves surprisingly comfortable the long haul. It’s with only a hint of a in the rear, and just firm not to be a backbreaker. If you can reconcile your placement, the riding position is for short stints around

On the road, the 100-cubic-inch engine smoothly and accelerates impressively. a subtle flat spot in the but we barely noticed it. The five-speed shifts well and engages though finding neutral demands a soft touch after things warm

The engine otherwise pulled and predictably — except for a chirping sound from the side of our test unit gained volume with roll of the throttle. (Thwe turned out to be a belt-alignment problem.) But really surprised us was the relatively ride — with the mounted engine and no counterbalancer, is much less vibration we expected. And the subdued exhaust didn’t make us feel we to sneak around the local

Indian told us it had to make to meet EPA specs, but we were not at all with the resulting exhaust The more frightening clicks and of an EVO engine have been much banished.

An hour our maiden voyage, however, we a fine mist atop the After checking the oil level, we it as nominal vapor transfer, but 100 later the mist had turned to pools of oil. A quick revealed the culprit to be a leaky gasket, so we tightened what we to be any offending bolts (there’s no kit included with the bike) and our fingers.

We hope it’s just a problem — a moist should not be standard equipment on any

A preproduction Chief we rode at had problems with the shift but Indian redeemed itself by us a properly set-up model for our test. On our Springfield, easy and a smooth, predictable clutch were only hampered by the placement and a heavy clutch

Does My Butt Look

If you’re talking weight, the got 700-plus pounds of it, much of it to steel bodywork. The 5.5-gallon tank hauls a good of tonnage too, and it doesn’t nimble cornering. But that’s what you get — just the throttle and steering becomes manageable. (Or as effortless as 700 pounds can The Chief is not averse to side-to-side either, and we were pleased by its to lean over and hold a in corners.

You can push it over a lot than many other we’ve ridden, without a metallic scrape. Our only with the handling was the bike’s in high winds and the wakes of presumably because of the greater area of the fenders. But the suspension is well damped, and the single shock provides good across rolling bumps and a ride through turns wallowing.

The brakes are another though; the single-disc Brembos all the feel of oak blocks. While we most cruisers’ weight are rearward, we’d personally better with more up front; for $21,495, we don’t that’s at all unreasonable.

From the Springfield Chief appears to be finished — and the pieces and function well together. a bit closer, though, and you’ll uneven logos and a slipshod The instruments are set within a billet mounted atop a raised on the tank, but a small LCD odometer/tripmeter poorly against a white speedometer with a cheaply instrument face.

Harley-pattern switches include a confounding signal layout — and the placement is maddening. There’s no tach and no clock, and the black air cleaner looks disappointingly and unfinished.

While we’re bitching, the Springfield offers virtually no room — and any space you can doesn’t have attachment for your luggage. On the plus though, the Springfield does an attractive, sculpted chrome assembly for a nice rear The bike is available in monochromatic Red or Jet Black, and a 12-month/ unlimited-mileage comes standard.

**Our Day Come **

The Chief is an indisputable though, and if attention’s what you you’d do best with a (and a trust fund, too this is no econobike). With the of the Springfield, Indian now showcases versions of the Chief for ’03. The Chief retails for a mere and carries a solo seat, tires and three color The Deluxe sports a fringed saddle and six color choices for

The top-of-the-line Roadmaster comes with leather saddlebags, a and a chromed passenger backrest, and available in three monotone and six two-tone color combos for

The new Indian Motorcycle Corporation credit, then, for resurrecting the and getting the image right the way. A few accusations about syndrome remain, but Indian silence the critics with the engine. We were modestly by the Chief’s power and handling, is better than many of its The company seems to be finding its and building bikes that are unique, even if they have a few prepubescent flaws.

the Chief catapult Indian boutique brand to major Based on this model, not but it’s getting there and we feel pretty confident only going to get better.


Andy Cherney: Springfield, I was expecting to rip it for what I saw as excess. My shredding wasn’t as as I expected though; for one thing, I was surprised by the fit and finish of this (though there were glitches up close), and the styling was heartthrob-type stuff. But that’s the love affair went

The behemoth turned and handled as as any other big-twin, but when it was to stop, it became a cross-your-fingers-and-hope — the front brake was scary. Gaffes like a oil leak on the rear cylinder and an plain-Jane air cleaner didn’t either — for 22 large, looking for a bit more effort the engineers. I’d gladly the Chief Springfield to my high-school for visual kicks, but I’d end up hitching a ride home.

Of course hitching’s illegal, but you can up Cherney at

Jamie My primary thought as I rode the new into bustling city at rush hour was, this reminds me of that aerator I rented last But, of course, I know you judge a book by its cover or in Indian’s case, the enormous bar that blends into an chrome nacelle. (I tell for roadside picnics, that cover is the way.)

I was immediately by the fact that I’d the Indian to be a big, heavy, and unwieldy-feeling pile. Preconceptions seem smart when right. I was wrong, though, and the proved hugely maneuverable and to ride through, really, the stuff you can imagine.

The next I spent more quality with the Chief and found the I rode it the more I liked it. It extremely well for its heft, and the is really terrific. Yes, the is so-so, the brakes are really it chirped like a nest of and it’s a little iffy in the fit-and-finish department.

Lookswise, I don’t care for it (although it raise eyebrows on the street, and not from displaced pedestrians). It over the top to me.

But I have to say that the made a positive impression on me, and suddenly curious how things look for Indian in five (where recently I would said I’d be surprised if it another five months). No, the not there. In some ways not even as there as some of its Big Dog and Iron Horse custom we recently rode.

But the Chief have potential. And if the company can afloat in the fishbowl for a few more we might see some incredible If not, it could always into the market of making aerators.

For further lawn ideas, e-mail the editor at

Our first Indian test is both better than I and not good enough. Great and good saddle and cornering were pleasant surprises. The quality was generally what you demand when you spend grand for a motorcycle, but the speedometer and the front fender’s Indian should be straightened out.

I a bit more vibration but would a little less.

But some of its rankle. My size 13 will squeeze onto that floorboard thanks to the protruding and at 65 mph, wind pressure and make me work to keep my from slipping off. The brake simply doesn’t cut it, if your hand is big enough to reach the lever.

Although oil leak may be authentic, it really belong on any ’03 motorcycle and the bike’s elegance. Worse is squealing coming from the under load.

Although of the bike has an original appearance and it still aggravates me that an is powered by an engine copied a design created by ancient Harley-Davidson. Even if I had enough burning a hole in my pocket, I buy one of these machines — But like I say, Indian is better bikes than I and it’s selling more than I expected.

So I hold out for the future.

Art Friedman

Our resident can be reached electronically at

Indian Chief Springfield

price: $21,495

Standard Deep Red, Jet Black


Type: Air-cooled, tandem V-twin

Valve 1 intake, 1 exhaust valve per operated by pushrods and hydraulic

Lubrication: Dry sump, 3.0 qt.

Minimum grade: 91-octane

Fuel 5.5 gal.

Transmission: Wet, clutch, 5 speeds

Final belt, 2.03:1 ratio


Other articles of the category "Indian Chief":

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

Born in the USSR


About this site

For all questions about advertising, please contact listed on the site.

Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions about Motorcycles.