A Closer Look at Indian's Springfield - A Pure Touring Machine

As has been the case in the last few years, Indian Motorcycles used Daytona Bike Week to highlight the release of new motorcycles. This year it was the Indian Springfield enjoying the spotlight at the legendary motorcycle event.

Because Clutch and Chrome was busy riding to the 75th Annual Daytona Bike Week, we missed the timely opportunity to report on this new motorcycle the day the Springfield was released. However, the delay did give us an opportunity to hear firsthand what bikers thought of the latest addition to the Indian line-up.

First, a look at the motorcycle. The motorcycle itself has been under development for some time and certainly enjoyed loving glances for its first appearance at Daytona Bike Week.

Named after the birthplace of Indian Motorcycle and designed for a pure riding experience, the Indian Springfield is positioned as a ‘soulful and versatile’ new addition to the 2016 lineup. The new model is described as a touring motorcycle that brings performance and power. What it isn’t meant to be is a replacement of anything else in the current line-up, which seemed to be the first question from riders looking at the Springfield.

Is it replacing Indian’s Roadmaster, Chief Vintage or Chieftain? The answer is ‘none of the above’.

“The new Indian Springfield wasn’t designed to fill a space in our lineup; it was built to fill a space in the hearts of riders who value the rich heritage and fine craftsmanship of Indian Motorcycle, and who want both a pure touring bike and a sleek urban cruiser,” said Steve Menneto, President of Motorcycles for Polaris Industries.

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Indian’s Springfield looks like the offspring of a Chieftain and Chief Vintage, marrying the two worlds of hard saddlebags with the removable windshield. Aside for the visual cues, this blending of current models is seen in how Indian Motorcycles promotes the Springfield.

‘While maintaining the style and luxury for which Indian Motorcycle is renowned, the Indian Springfield makes its own distinctive mark in the bagger and touring category’, Indian notes.

To that end, the Indian Springfield can be quickly converted into a cruiser with the quick-release windshield and saddlebags removed, or transformed into a high-capacity touring model with Genuine Indian Motorcycle accessories. Further to this point, the multifaceted Indian Springfield hard bagger was developed with a unique new trunk-compatible chassis for higher loading capacity and a premium touring experience without sacrificing handling prowess.

“The Springfield’s unmatched versatility will win the hearts of motorcycling purists around the world,” Menneto says optimistically.

Designed for an unobstructed view of the road ahead, the Indian Springfield sports a bespoke quick-release windshield that creates a large air pocket for rider and passenger comfort.

Other comfort features such as remote locking hard bags and adjustable passenger floorboards come standard along with real leather seating, high-resolution Anti-Lock Brakes, tire pressure monitoring, electronic cruise control, and a powerful headlight and dual driving lights.

Standard front and rear highway bars allow mounting of accessories and offer valuable protection from tip-overs. Brightly chromed forks, headlight housing, fender trim, engine covers, exhaust and handlebars with internal wiring bring the shine along for the ride.

Powered by the highly regarded Thunder Stroke 111 engine, the Indian Springfield delivers 119 ft./lbs. of torque with Its unique new chassis designed to handle a wide load range, featuring cartridge forks and an air adjustable rear shock with 4.5 inches of travel for safely transporting up to 533 lbs.

The motorcycle sits at 818 lbs for its dry weight.

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Touring comfort can be further enhanced with a full line of accessories including a tall and low windshield, heated driver and passenger seats, soft lowers, a 17-gallon accessory trunk and heated grips to keep riders comfortable in cool temperatures.

The split seat, featuring a unique stitch and stud pattern, can likewise be trimmed down to create a tight and low solo look, again, giving the Indian Springfield a truly customizable personality.

Clutch and Chrome had various conversations with different rally-goers as they checked out the latest offering from Indian Motorcycles. Everyone agreed the Springfield is beautiful to look at and some commented on its performance, noting the 25 degree rake seemed to give the motorcycle a nice performance feel.

While this is shorter than Chief Vintage it’s the same as the Chieftain with the apparent difference coming down to the removal of the fairing found on the latter.

The 2016 Indian Springfield starts at $20,999 in Thunder Black and $21,549 for Indian Motorcycle Red.

It comes with a two-year unlimited mileage factory warranty and, as with all new Indian Motorcycles, includes free membership in the Indian Motorcycle Riders Group for one year.

With all the movement in the motorcycle world from new models attracting a variety of riders to the different segments of riding, it will be interesting to see how well the Springfield fairs riding between its two worlds.

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