Once taken over by Polaris, Indian has quietly rebuilt an identity and a range. First a huge engine, then a Chief and a Chieftain to mark the terrain in 2014. The Roadmasters and another mill were quickly added for the 1133 Scout. And it all spread.
The developments followed one after the other, even accelerated. But the design has remained almost unchanged in half a decade. Today comes the time for the Chieftain to redo her face.
And not that. Like some productions, the change began to discreetly push outside of local classicism. A big wheel, paired with a more ‘custom’ than ‘Indian’ front fender, began to prune the spirits. 2019 lets go. It is not a new Chieftain but almost a new identity with its silhouette frankly revised.
The head of the fork tastes most of it. Abandoning its Streamliner side, it refines, sharpens, becomes lighter, remains mastoc in its approach then purifies its technical face. Say goodbye to additional headlights, large turn signals and chrome bulwark. The spirit of the machine would almost change. Too bad this new design clearly brings it closer to a …. Harley Street Glide.
The seat is now designed with a Rogue saddle, while the stern loses its beautiful round hips for suitcases with a more conformist style. With all this, the Chieftain changes person but absolutely no personality. Its mission is also reinforced with an engine capable of surprising regulars.
In a Rican custom, the berlingot must have two cylinders, a lot of cubing, little speed and very fat and very characterful torque. The Thunderstroke can do it all; its two favorite rivals (the Harley M8 and the S&S) too. The firm has therefore raised the level of a notch. Maybe an engineer walked around a gathering of European and Japanese motorcycles and wondered about the on-board technology and then spoke:
"- What is that ?
– This? It’s a shifter. You can shift gears faster without touching the clutch.
– Oh yeah (don’t care). And that ?
– Ben, a slider. To avoid massacring the kneecap and the leather when you put the angle.
– Oh well (don’t understand)? And that ?
– Where are you coming from, cezig …?!? This is to change the driving mode, and allow your engine to change the way it manages power."
Bingo !!! It clicked. A pot of neurons later, the 1811cc twin receives additional content which is fine. And the Indians are now equipped with three injection maps.
– Tour, to offer progressive acceleration and optimum driving smoothness.
– Standard, defining still responsive throttle control and power delivered in a balanced and progressive manner.
– Sport, invigorated by instant throttle response and more muscular power distribution for even more pronounced acceleration.
Shall we stop there? No, it’s about really marking the occasion. A function is used to cut the rear cylinder when the motorcycle is stationary (red light for example). Some cars have this system to save fuel when the propellant is under stress. For the Indian, it is a question of limiting the thermal releases towards the driver, just to offer a little more comfort. Although enriched with technology, the block remains as appealing as ever, as it mocks elegance and presence. This block seduces before you even start it.
The Chieftain is a front of a locomotive, two baggage compartments and equipment to plan long hours on the road. On board are the ‘Ride Command’ infotainment console, ABS, cruise control, power windshield, keyless start, remote lockable cases, 12V outlet, tire pressure display, 100W of sound, dynamic equalizer that automatically adjusts to road, wind and engine noise, 2 cargo boxes and full horizon connecting rods.
What you must remember
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1811 CHIEFTAIN 2018
Model marketed in
about 160 km / h
The technical aspect
Indian 1811 CHIEFTAIN 2019
- Tank: 20.8 liters
- Width: 1,022 mm
- Height: 1,529 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,668 mm
- Dry weight: 358 kg
- Train before
- Secondary belt drive
- Rear axle
(101 x 113 mm)
at 2,100 rpm