— First Ride: 2014 Indian Chief Classic

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Indian Chief Classic


First Ride: Indian Chief Classic

Category: Bikes Published on 10 October 2013 14:16 by Brandon

The new 2014 Indian are making their way around the presently for demo rides. demo bikes are stopping at locations to facilitate demo for the public. Recently, our friends at Sloan’s Motorcycle and ATV Superstore in one of the new Indian dealers, played to a couple of demo ride and we of course signed up for our chance to the bikes.

The following is my look and of the 2014 Indian Chief which is the starting point in the lineup. Kevin was also that day and took the Indian for a spin so keep an eye out for his review in the days. (Follow us on Twitter Facebook for the latest updates).

start off by pointing out that I am not a rider nor do I typically have any to ride them. At the same though, I was very excited to one of the new Indian machines. Partly I like the story of the marque a (hopefully) strong return but because the new Chief’s are very looking machines.

The first that struck me when next to the new Indian bikes for the time is their size. at photos online gives the of a very large and heavy Seeing them in person I was struck by how they really appear so massive. After through the specs I believe I why. Many similarly cruisers have 19 inch or larger front wheels.

The current Indian lineup uses 16 inch tires and rear which gives the a stout look.

I said I’m not a fan of cruisers, but I do feel I know something looks good if I’m not partial to the aesthetic. So with said I think the new Chief is a lovely machine. The Indian engineers and designers seem to struck a good balance recalling the heritage of the brand going overboard.

There is of chrome, as befits an American but not so much as to reach the level of The Classic in particular is a great of clean and simple. The engine is proudly and looks particularly from the right side of the

The left side is unfortunately partially by the huge “111” cover which in photos doesn’t look too bad.

I some photos from a typical angle one would it (standing next to the bike down) and as you can see the airbox dominates the side of the engine. I feel really spoils an otherwise view of the sculpted fins and covers.

Kevin is pretty that the airbox size is due to EPA and I get that, but as I understand it, the frame of the is also part of the airbox. If I’m surprised that the airbox be a bit less prominent, but this is a thing.

The large flowing fenders, and the bonnet” light on the front, are the most iconic aspects to the new and they do a very good job of the heritage here. The fenders are from steel and up front cover the brake calipers helps keep the front end Going to those calipers are steel brake lines are standard.

Oh, and speaking of brakes, ABS is on all models of the Indian Chief.

On top of the is a large chrome bezel the instruments (the Chieftan has mounted instruments) as well as the button. You may notice in the photos there are two tank filler however, there is only one The cap on the left is a “falsie”.

A lot of information is on the large analog speedometer/ digital display (MFD) on the tank. The speedo face is tan dark numbers with a red sweeping the arc. There are backlit cutout graphics the needle base that as … lights for check ABS, neutral, etc.

are easy to see when lit even in sunlight but the black and tan face of the can be a little hard to read due to the contrasty nature of the tan dial There is a digital LCD multifunction below the needle that can be set to quite a lot of information including a tach, fuel range, air temp, and more.

Above the speedo/MFD is a fuel which shares the same tan and red needle as the speedometer. To the right of the gauge is the power button. All the Indian models use a wireless to start the bike. One just has to be to the bike with the keyfob and the power button to turn on the

Once it is powered on, pressing the thumb starting button is all it to begin the fun.

Thumbing the instantly brings the big twin to and it quickly settles into a lope. The sound is rather but has a nice deep tone to it. At the new Indians are very quiet and that the neighbors might when you leave on that morning weekend ride.

underway the noise turns up a bit but so much. Put the bike into a gear and roll back on the though and you do get a nice fat “blatt from the pipes. Nothing to too though, just a nice sound that lets you you’re on a big American twin.

The new machines are, as expected, cruisers with the Chief I was riding tipping the scales at 800 lbs with all the fluids topped up lbs. dry). The Chief sits low, as a cruiser and as such it makes it a bit easier to that weight at a standstill in the lot.

Now I realize it is a cliché to say this but you’re rolling, the weight disappears. Yes this can be said, and is, about most any large but there is a difference here. For so massive, the Chief Classic nimble.

Indian Chief Classic

The profile of the tires of has some bearing on this as do the handlebars with all the leverage impart to the steering head. you want to explain it, though, I was impressed with how easily long and heavy machine was to change direction.

When directions, the Chief Classic was stable and sure footed. The feels very solid and for such a heavy bike due to the aluminum frame, a first I for a big American cruiser. Despite the and weight of the Indian, and the fact I ride a much lighter bike, I found the Chief quite easy and fun to ride.

The 111 engine is effortless in its power The amount of torque on tap (119 at 3000rpm) all but renders shifting redundant. Roll on the throttle at any point in the rev range and you’re with swift and smooth motion.

The engine is very with what feels just the “right” amount of being passed to the bars and Just enough to let you feel it but not so much that it will your extremities during a ride.

Fueling appears on for the most part but the ride by throttle system is a bit soft. twisting the grip off idle in less revs than one expect. Since this is a by wire unit it should be that can be easily corrected

It could also be that behavior is “baked in” so as to keep the power from catching a rider off guard.

Like the throttle response, the front on the Chief Classic have a initial bite to them. one gets past the initial though, they are very and easily haul down the lbs. of bike and rider two fingers on the lever. The rear is has a more grabby feel to it and it was very strong as well, I impressed with the feel.

One that took me a while to get to is the very forward positioning of the controls. I missed a shift on than one occasion simply I failed to stick my foot out far to reach the shifter. For the cruiser I doubt this would be an but if you’re coming from a bike or other more motorcycle, be prepared to stretch.

having my feet so far forward the Classic is very comfortable. from a history of standard, and sport touring bikes, I really appreciated how comfortable a cruiser seat can be. Granted I had about 20-25 minutes in the but it was a luxurious experience while it

Riding the Indian Chief , I understand the draw of the big cruiser. bikes are comfortable and take to no effort to prod them motion. Overall the Indian Classic has a truly solid and feel to it.

The engine’s massive easily moves the 800+ pounds around and combined the nimble handling it makes large cruisers great fun to

I want to point out that our time with the new Indians, we did some nits to pick and there. However, it turns out these demo bikes are all units and were assembled by in many cases. As such not going talk about of the small issues we noticed on demo bikes.

This also be responsible for the brake and issues mentioned earlier so research (more riding!!) is due. We do plan on visiting again once final machines are in the shop so expect an coming down the road.

Indian Chief Classic


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