Indian Motorcycle Expands Lineup To An Even Dozen With New Chieftain Variants
Meet The Chieftain Limited and Chieftain Eliteby TJ Hinton, on
Indian Motorcycle adds two new models to its Chieftain family for a total of four siblings that brings its overall number of bikes up to an even dozen. First, we have the Chieftain Limited that pares down the fat Chieftain front end a bit with a 19-inch hoop and less-than-full fender that does away with the typical skirt and headdress ornament for a clean, custom look. This gives us an unimpeded view of the front wheel which, unfortunately, is of the cast/mag variety. I say “unfortunately” because this bike would look bad-ass with some twisted or diamond-cut spokes to lace the rim to the hub. It ain’t just the front end that lost some mass, the seat comes with a bit of a taper so it doesn’t bite the thighs once your training wheels are deployed. At the top of the food chain we have the Chieftain Elite with all of the above plus a 100-Watt stereo, billet boards and a convertible windshield. Naturally, this is on top of all the stuff that already comes on the stacked Chieftain, so these machines are really carrying almost everything but the kitchen sink, by American cruiser standards anyway. The Limited rolls in any color you want as long as you want Thunder Black (thank you Mr. Ford) for $24,499, while the Elite commands a lofty $31,499 in a dead-sexy, Fireglow Red Candy color that sports marble accents for even more custom seasoning. Sounds like a lot you say? Compare to some of Harley-Davidson’s top baggers and get back to me.
Continue reading for my take on the new models.
This really isn’t a surprise, to be honest. The Indian lineup is still filling out, but with the demise of Victory Motorcycles, Polaris suddenly has resources to pour into fleshing out its one remaining American-style motorcycle brand. Not only is it crucial for Indian to get more choices on its dealer’s floors, but it also needs to be able to stand toe-to-toe with the MoCo in this top-end cruiser/touring market. Seems to me that Indian is doing just that, and if it keeps cranking out new products like these that will help broaden its customer base, I expect it will start cutting into Harley’s share of the market, and that right soon.