Depending on your motorcycle fascinations, the latest chapter of Indian Motorcycles was furthered with a much anticipated debut of the 2014 line-up.
For such an iconic brand it was fitting to have the models unveiled at the legendary Surgis motorcycle rally. With much fanfare, the three models would be Indian riders will have to choose from were welcomed by the enthusiastic crowd.
The first notable difference between the latest models and those available in the last incarnation of Indian Motorcycles is the affordable price of the different rides. This isn’t a unique step and seems to follow an industry trend to have a showroom floor of motorcycles that can be bought by the average rider without too much financial discomfort.
Polaris appears to have reached further back into the colorful history of the famous brand to give the new models a retro and, some would say, a more ‘Indian-looking motorcycle’ than other recent attempts. Clearly making that statement, the iconic valenced fenders standard since 1940, bring style elegance and functionality.
All the models feature Indian’s new Thunder Stroke 111 engine which promises to delivers an incredible 119 ft-lbs of torque and features styling that pays tribute to legendary Indian Motorcycle engines of the past.
Not surprisingly the iconic War Bonnet which has lit the way for Indian Motorcycles since 1947 is mounted proudly atop the front fender in a chrome frame across all the models.
Also standard across the lines, a sea of chrome, ABS brakes and keyless starting using a key fob that allows for push-button starting. For those worried about losing the fob, there is an individual security code that you pre-programmed into the ignition.
The Indian Motorcycles instrumentation combines modern technology and traditional style. The tank-mounted console has a large, easy-to-read analog speedometer as well as a digital display screen that provides a wealth of valuable ride and fuel data.
The entire line offers three colors to choose from; Thunder Black, Indian Motorcycle Red and Springfield Blue.
Speaking of giving a nod to history, to pay tribute to Indian Motorcycle’s past, the first 1901 Indian Chiefs to roll off of Indian’s assembly line in Spirit Lake, IA will be identified with a limited-edition badge.
Numbered between one and 1901, these rare bikes will reflect the year of Indian’s inception by Oscar Hedstrom and George Hendee in Springfield, MA.
“We have been very conscientious about honoring Indian Motorcycle’s storied history while establishing a foundation for what’s yet to come,” said Polaris Vice President of Motorcycles, Steve Menneto. “The lucky few who purchase these limited number bikes will truly own a piece of history, concurrently representing Indian’s rich past and its limitless future.”
Looking at each model in more detail, each appears to bring something for every type of rider.
The 2014 Indian Chief Classic, starting at $18,999 is promoted as ‘a sculpted, powerful cruiser, built with the purest necessities of Indian style, wrapped around the innovation of tomorrow’.
Another design feature to invoke the Indian-style is bright, high quality laced wheels. Sixty chrome-finished spokes make up the wheels, which evoke iconic, timeless Indian Motorcycle style.
Running down the technical specs, 29 degree rake, 5.5 gallon fuel tank and a seat height of 26 inches the Chief weighs in at 778 lbs dry.
Under the subtitle of 'swagger meets style', the 2014 Indian Chief Vintage ‘brings iconic Indian styling to a whole new level’ and a starting price of $20,999
Aimed at the touring crowd, saddlebags feature natural tan leather which is promised as high-quality leather is strong and durable, and promises to compliments the traditional Indian Motorcycle style. A protective windshield is included with the Chief Vintage and features quick release technology, allowing it to be installed or removed quickly and easily in just minutes.
Looking at the technical specs, 29 degree rake, 5.5 gallon fuel tank and a seat height of 29 inches the Chief Vintage weighs in at 801 lbs dry.
Last but certainly not least, the Indian Chieftain bears the most modern looks of the iconic line and will help riders down those longer road trips and starts at $22,999.
This is the first Indian Motorcycle ever with a hard fairing and hard saddlebags.
The aerodynamic fairing houses a power-adjustable windshield, audio system and LED driving lights that provide both style and protection. Dual high-output speakers deliver clean, quality sound. The power-adjustable windshield can be raised and lowered with the push of a button. The hard saddlebags are mounted on quick-release anchors and feature remote electronic locks controlled with a console mounted button - or a key fob.
An integrated Bluetooth smart phone connection makes it easy to run music stored in the phone through the Indian Chieftain audio system. Playlist info is displayed on the multi-function display screen, and switches near the handgrip make it easy to control the audio.
Knowing riders the way Polaris obviously does, accessories to customize all three Indian models are already available ranging from exhaust pipe add-ons, decorative trim as well as different flavors of leather to trim handlebars, mudflaps and floorboards.
Indian Motorcycle say they are adding dealerships across the US and globally, and is on plan to have 125-140 North American and 70 international dealers by year end. The full line of 2014 Indian Chief models are available for order now and will arrive in dealerships in September, along with an extensive array of apparel, parts and accessories. Indian Motorcycle demo rides will be available at dealer events across the country starting later in August.
“When we acquired Indian Motorcycle two and a half years ago we set out to capture the heart, soul and legendary heritage of this iconic American brand and then infuse it with unparalleled design, engineering and state-of-the-art technology,” said Scott Wine, CEO of Indian Motorcycle parent company Polaris Industries Inc. “On Saturday night we revealed three stunning new Indian Chief models that represent the results of our journey and the future of this brand. It was a triumphant day for all of us, and I know motorcycling fans around the world proudly join us in celebrating Indian Motorcycle and the realization that choice in American motorcycles is here to stay.”