• 2018 Indian Chieftain Elite

    High-flake Black Hills Silver color Takes a painstaking 25 hours
  • Delivers 119 ft-lbs of torque
  • The black crystals are actually glass flakes
  • Remote-Locking Hard Saddlebags
  • Push-Button Power Windshield
  • 19" Front Wheel
  • Thunder Stroke 111
  • Ride Command with upgraded 200-watt system
  • Genuine leather seats
  • Lit up War Bonnet
  • Pathfinder LED Lights
  • Rear speakers for the pillion
  • Downward firing Six-Shooter makes the Chieftain Elite roar like the God of Thunder
  • The Elite gets a leather plush pillion seat
  • Front 300mm brake discs Dual four-pot calipers
  • Single rear pneumatic shock
  • 46 mm telescopic forks front end
  • 855 lbs of meat this one
  • Price: $ 31,499

Shine on you crazy diamond

For the year 2018, Americas oldest brand will give the world a brand new lineage of motorcycles that are sophisticated and technologically packed while keeping the core values of its predecessors intact of being the vintage charmers. For its third installment (the first being the Roadmaster Elite and the second is the Springfield Dark Horse), the Polaris owned manufacturer has launched the 2018 Indian Chieftain Elite.

An ultra-premium bagger boasts worldly comfort, convenience, power, style, infotainment, craftsmanship and most important of all - confidence. It is everything the Chieftain stood for, and this time, the Elite rises higher with the high-flake Black Hills Silver color hand paintjob, industry-leading Ride Command system with a 200-watt premium audio system and much more premiumness.

  • 2018 Indian Chieftain Elite
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V2
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    73
  • Torque @ RPM:
    119
  • Displacement:
    1811 L
  • Price:
    31499
  • Price:
  • Overall:
    8.7/10
An ultra-premium bagger boasts worldly comfort, convenience, power, style, infotainment, craftsmanship and most important of all - confidence.

STYLING

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Indian Chieftain Indian Chieftain Elite
2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771373
High-flake Black Hills Silver color
Takes a painstaking 25 hours

The Elite gets underpinned by the standard Chieftain but gets a lot of oomph, thanks to its stunning paint scheme. It is a high-flake Black Hills Silver color inspired by the silver mines in the Black Hills of South Dakota. A location close to the brand’s custom paint facility near Spearfish. The new 19" Front Wheel showcases a 10-spoke, contrast-cut wheel that completes the custom look.

Coming to what that “Elite” really means, is exclusivity. Painting each Chieftain took a painstaking 25 hours where a team of experts masks the bodywork, lay the graphics and hand-spray each Chieftain Elite. This means, no two Elites’ will be similar due to the level of human touch involved. Indian provides color-matched accessories as well to make each bike even more distinctive. The black crystals are actually glass flakes that play around with lights falling on them making the whole bike sparkle, especially outdoors.

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite
- image 771558
The black crystals are actually glass flakes

It is huge. No getting around that. Huge handlebar mounted fairings which look like the 50’s steamliner locomotives adds to the gigantic stature of this motorcycle. It holds true to its pedigree with its design and makes it its purpose to let you ride in style. They include hard lower fairings and a valanced front fender.

Features like the electronically adjustable tinted windshield that rises 9 to 12 inches to cover mot riders from the buffeting wind. New Pathfinder LED Lights shines brighter than the halogen units and when switched on, adds a jewel to the bike. You can even lock and unlock the bags with a remote which also acts as a keyless ignition. An automatic trunk release for you and a start-stop button. Fancy stuff.

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
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19" Front Wheel
2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771383
Remote-Locking Hard Saddlebags
2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771378
Pathfinder LED Lights
2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771377
Rear speakers for the pillion

The industry-leading Ride Command system includes an explosive AM/FM, Bluetooth, USB, Smartphone Compatible, and is a 200-watt stereo boom box that will put to shame any other motorcycle carrying a stereo system. With six speakers for surround sound, the speakers are flanked beside a neatly tucked in multi-functional displays having a 7 inch split touchscreen for GPS and classical analog trip meters including a fuel gauge. In the Elite, you also get speakers for the rear passenger on top of the saddle cases.

Known for cruising comforts, the Chieftain gets a well-supported saddle for both rider and pillion which is now genuine leather. Billet aluminum rider and passenger floorboards will provide you with enough room to rest your feet the way you like to. Then there are these new pinnacle mirrors and updated, smaller hand controls for improved ergonomics. Finally, there is nothing better than having a lit up War Bonnet leading the way for you. It has been taking breaths away since 1947.

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771385
Push-Button Power Windshield
2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771380
Genuine leather seats
2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771379
Lit up War Bonnet
2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771381
Ride Command with upgraded 200-watt system
Coming to what that “Elite” really means, is exclusivity. Painting each Chieftain took a painstaking 25 hours where a team of experts masks the bodywork, lay the graphics and hand-spray each Chieftain Elite.

Overall Dimension

Make Model 2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Harley Davidson Road Glide Specia
Length 98.7 in 95.4 in
Width 39.4 in 40.2 in
Height 57 in 52.3 in
Wheelbase 65.7 in 64 in
Seat height 26 in 25.9 in
Wet weight 855 lb 853 lb
Fuel capacity 5.5 gal 6 gal

POWERTRAIN

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771382
Thunder Stroke 111

Indian has kept the old-school charm for this engine layout with its valvetrain geometry, head construction, and valve-cover design. But don’t get fooled because the inside story is a whole new world for the entire range of Chieftains.

Designed from the ground up, the Thunder Stroke 111 engine used in the Chieftain makes way here too with its 1811cc 490 V-Twin capable of belting out 73bhp of power and 119 lb.ft of torque. Enough torque to tear apart the tarmac and accelerate without breaking a sweat in every situation. It is both oil and air cooled and operates pretty smooth compared to the heavy throbbers around.

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771369
Delivers 119 ft-lbs of torque

The engine breathes through a 54 mm throttle body and transmits power to a 6-speed gearbox through cable-actuated clutch having a relatively light pull. Power, like in all Indians, is always on tap and is delivered to the rear wheel via a belt-driven system. The forward foot controls are available on floorboard operations like all Chieftains.

The transmission is set on the right-hand side with right cam cover and multi-directional finned valve covers. You can even notice the downward firing exhaust outlets of the Six-Shooter that makes the Chieftain Elite roar like the God of Thunder.

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771367
Downward firing Six-Shooter
makes the Chieftain Elite roar like the God of Thunder
Designed from the ground up, the Thunder Stroke 111 engine used in the Chieftain makes way here too with its 1811cc 490 V-Twin capable of belting out 73bhp of power and 119 lb.ft of torque.

Engine Specification

Make Model 2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Harley Davidson Road Glide Specia
Capacity cc 1811 1745
Bore/ Stroke mm 101/113 100/111.1
Output 73 bhp 154 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque 119 lb.ft @ 3000 rpm 104.7 ft-lb @ 3250 rpm
Type Thunder Stroke 111 Milwaukee-Eight 107 Engine, 45° V-twin, Air and oil cooled
Clutch type Wet- Multiplate Wet- Multiplate with slipper and assist
Transmission 6-speed 6-speed Cruise Drive

RIDE AND HANDLING

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771365
The Elite gets a leather plush pillion seat

One chooses an Indian luxury tourer for unparalleled riding position and comfort. Be it the seats, suspension, wind turbulence and everything else. This Elite has it all and has the capacity to offer you the best of every world.

First thing’s first, the seats. One that could either make or break your day or your back. The Elite has got it covered with a well-supported genuine leather plush two-up saddle. It is low and is trimmed at the thigh area to give the rider comfortable long-haul journeys without breaking a sweat or a bone. As aforementioned, the Elite also no an carry a pillion too.

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771364
Front 300mm brake discs
Dual four-pot calipers

The Chieftain Elite just falls into easy turns, but hairpins and u-turns can be quite tricky for those not used to the bike’s size or weight. 855 lbs of meat this one. The steering geometry is engineered in such a way to deliver responsive handling in any situation. The cast aluminum frame is lightweight yet exceptionally strong and provides the rider excellent low-speed handling and confidence inspiring stability on the highways.

When running across countries, one thing all riders face is the wind buffeting. This is being taken care by the 50s’ loco inspired fairings fairing that has seen a lot of wind tunnel testing days resulting in smoother air flow and drastically reducing wind buffeting. It can be powered with just a push of a button to electronically lower or raise by 19 inches.

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771355
46 mm telescopic forks front end

Suspension leverages are not carried out by the forks previously available on the Chieftains’. This Elite version gets a new cartridge type 46 mm telescopic forks front end having 119 mm of travel, and the single rear pneumatic shock can be adjusted for load or preference with 114 mm of travel. To halt this 855 lbs monster, you need heavy performers, and hence dual four-pot calipers bind the front 300mm brake discs, and a twin-pot caliper binds the rear 300mm disc. ABS will come as standard, knowing which you can brake under control in any situation.

Brand new 19-inch cast wheels running on 180/60R16 80H at the rear and 130/90B16 73H at the front will give you precise feedback or rather no feedback. You will glide on these. Cruise control comes as a standard feature too which can be operated with the Ride Command system.

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771354
Single rear pneumatic shock
The Elite gets brand new 19” wheels on which you will glide on. And the electronically adjustable windshield is a boon on long hauls.

Chassis Specifications

Make Model 2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Harley Davidson Road Glide Specia
Frame Cast Aluminum Frame Double-downtube, Double-cradle steel
Suspension / Front Telescopic Fork / 4.7″ (119 mm) – Cartridge Type Suspension 49 mm Showa dual bending valve fork technology
Suspension / Rear Single Shock w/Air adjust / 4.5 in (114 mm) Emulsion shocks with hand adjustable pre-load
Brakes / Front Dual / 300mm Floating Rotor / 4 Piston Caliper Reflex Linked Brembo Dual 320 mm disc. Calliper: 32 mm, 4-piston fixed
Brakes / Rear Single / 300mm Floating Rotor / 2 Piston Caliper / 1 Piston Calliper Reflex Linked Brembo Single 220 mm disc. Calliper: 32 mm, 4-piston fixed
Tyres / Front Dunlop Elite 3 130/90B16 73H 130/60B19 61H
Tyres / Rear Dunlop Elite 3 Multi-Compound 180/60R16 80H 180/65B16 81H

PRICE

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771359
Price: $ 31,499

This 2018 Indian Chieftain Elite comes with a price tag of $ 31,499. That is a whopping $10,000 more from the standard Chieftain. Nonetheless, there isn’t any Black Hills Silver in that one right?

Of course, Indian will give you a plethora of accessories to make it your own deal, and the list includes 300 different fitments to your Chieftain Elite.

Make Model 2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Harley Davidson Road Glide Specia
MSRP $ 31,499 $23,999 - $26,999

COMPETITION

Where else do we go for this other than the other American’s stable – Harley-Davidson. Heading the bagger there is the Road Glide Special.

Harley Davidson Road Glide Special

2017 Harley Davidson Road Glide Special Exterior High Resolution
- image 720560

From the year 2017, this American legend gave the world a brand new lineage of motorcycles that are sophisticated and technologically packed while keeping the core values of its predecessors intact. Running under the hood of each of them will be the all-new Milwaukee-Eight, the ninth generation of Harley-Davidson V-Twin engines that delivers power and reliability unlike no other before. The venerable Road Glide Special is one of them.

Harley has always been the bigs, but this Road Glide’s proportions will give it a whole new meaning; courtesy the gargantuan ‘Shark Nose’ fairing carrying the Dual Daymaker Reflector LED Headlamps slapped right up front. Harley-Davidson has managed to keep the old charm look with an analog instrument panel featuring the main speedo and rev counter and smaller fuel and battery gauges flanked on either side of the 6.5”full-color touch infotainment display called the Boom!

It’s difficult not to be enamored with the Twin-Cooled, 450 V-twin mill harvesting 1745cc which rumbles with a signature fell but with a gentler manner. The engine boasts of 154 bhp @ 5000 rpm of peak power and 104.7 ft-lb @ 3250 rpm of torque enough to get you to a 60 mph faster than ever before. The 107 gets re-tuned ride-by-wire system and more sensitive knock sensors for gaining all the torque on offer. A 6-Speed Cruise Drive Transmission and a slip and assist clutch provides the rider smooth shifting of gears that help in maintaining fatigue-free long rides.

With the launch of the new Milwaukee Eight, a totally new re-engineered dual bending valve with beefy 49mm Showa Dual Bending Valve front forks front and rear suspension with easily-adjustable emulsion shocks also donned the 2017 line-up. Harley-Davidson has given the Glide 32 mm, 4-piston fixed front and rear Reflex Linked Brembo Brakes with ABS that catch on to twin 320mm discs.

The Road Glide Special will empty your bank account to the tune of $23,999 to $26,999 depending on what paint option you chose. Still, this places the Glide cheaper to buy than the Indian.

VERDICT

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771374

Indian Motorcycles is lifting itself to the pinnacle for 2018. When Polaris took over the operations of Indian Motorcycles, they literally revived the brand from the dark shallows of the abyss and created a niche for the brand worldwide. Since then, Indian motorcycles seems to have found its stronghold and has been swiftly introducing more products to its existing lineup.

For its new installment for 2018, the most premium of all Chieftains will be this Elite. It’s huge, and there is no running away from it. Measuring 98.7 in and weighing 855 lbs, it is quite intimidating given the fact that it is a motorcycle. At the end of the day, it is a luxury tourer designed to give you a pompous ride in all that glitter and Silver paintjob.

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Exterior
- image 771358

Is it worth paying the extra $10,000 for the Elite edition? If you ask me, I would say “that is a lifetime supply of gasoline for me”. But a person who could easily buy a Chieftain wouldn’t mind going the extra distance for that limited-edition black crystal flakes and shiny silver. And that 300-watt boom-box.

  • Leave it
    • * 1385 lb to manoeuvre
    • * Pricing
    • * Urban commuting
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