America likes to beat to the rhythm of customs. Huge, rebellious or ostentatious, these metal and nostalgic fat-bikes are part of the identity of the biker in a suit during the day and / or in studded leather at night. A branch stands out for each manufacturer: the stripped-down, dark versions, at a chipped price and with reduced equipment. At Indian, this role is assigned to the Dark Horse.
A discounted version of the Chief? Not at all. Above all, an ideal basis for personalization. Closely derived from the Chief Classic, its depth is striking. The first thing that grabs us is the exuberance of black. Tank, skirts, headlight cowling, engine, rims, fork, mirrors, handlebars … they are everywhere. Only the exhausts, the edges of the twin fins and a few chrome parts have escaped from this coat. Let’s stay on the visual a little to see shiny black tips on parts of the engine, exhausts and saddlebags.
A lick of paint and that’s it?!? No, Indian left his engineers working a little at night to develop the contours and ambitions of the Dark Horse. If we gained weight … by turning the additional headlights, passenger equipment and a few trinkets, this Indian is reduced by 13 kilos. Spoked rims are replaced by spoke models.
With 2,000 euros less than his sister Chief, the owner can dig into the accessories catalog and choose from around forty temptations. Unless you let yourself be charmed by a beautiful personal painting or a totally nocturnal look.
Between the steps, the twin ThunderStroke 111 foam is here less visible but still large. What an organ! Metal sculpted in a melting pot of history and ego. The power is reasonable, the torque monstrous. An Indian neither drives nor pilots. It is appreciated between strokes of the piston with the velvety of a Dakota tribe.
Except that in 2019, the technical situation changes. Anxious to release less heat when ‘pausing’ the cruiser, the twin can deactivate its rear cylinder. So much for comfort; let’s move on to dynamism. The provision of a choice of three maps allows you to do a la carte cruising. In ‘Tour’, ‘Standard’ or ‘Sport’ mode, the Chief can now change face. The detail of the maps at the bottom of the sheet.
After the personal style exercise, cruising is essential, without the need or the desire to provoke the chassis of the Chief Dark Horse. An aluminum structure, fitted with a 46 mm fork, 300 mm brake discs and 4 piston calipers at the front. Same diameter at the rear with 2 pistons for the caliper. Stripped but not stingy, this Indian offers cruise control, keyless start, ABS, and a brand name in motorcycle history..
– The “Tour” mode offers gradual acceleration for optimum smoothness.
– The “Standard” mode is characterized by a still responsive throttle control and a power delivered in a balanced and progressive manner..
– Finally, the “Sport” mode offers instantaneous throttle response and aggressive power distribution for even more pronounced acceleration..
What you must remember
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1811 CHIEF DARK HORSE 2018
Model marketed in
about 150 km / h
The technical aspect
Indian 1811 CHIEF DARK HORSE 2019
- Tank: 20.8 liters
- Width: 1,012 mm
- Height: 1,176 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,730 mm
- Dry weight: 341 kg
- Weight in running order: 357 kg
- Train before
- Secondary belt drive
- Rear axle
(101 x 113 mm)
at 2,100 rpm