It’s Nostalgia. It’s sumptuous. It’s self-indulgence.

It is basically all possible "adjectives" that describes exactly those things. This right here is the cream of the crop of Indian motorcycles and is heading to raise the bar for comfort, convenience, power, style, infotainment, craftsmanship and most important of all - confidence. It is everything the Roadmasterstood for, and this time, this Elite rises higher with the industry-leading Ride Command system, a 300-watt premium audio system, chrome front and rear bumpers, passenger armrests and stylish pinnacle mirrors.

For the year 2018, this American 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. One of them will be this Indian Roadmaster Elite which is the most ultra-premium of all Indians and the only one to get real 23K gold leaf badging on the tank. Real Gold.

  • 2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V2
  • Displacement:
    1811 cc
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    36999
  • Price:
  • Overall:
    8.5/10
This right here is the cream of the crop of Indian motorcycles and is heading to raise the bar for comfort, convenience, power, style, infotainment, craftsmanship and most important of all - confidence.

STYLING

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Indian Roadmaster Indian Roadmaster Elite
2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite Exterior
- image 724905

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. Bright, brash and power are what is oozing out when you have a look at this Roadmaster. Being the best money can buy is not easy but this pulled it off with all bells and whistles. There is no higher level of luxury available on two wheels and being an Elite makes it ultra-limited, almost like a land yacht.

It holds true to its pedigree with its design and makes it its purpose to let you ride in style. It offers a wealth of features to roll as one of the most badass V-twin on the market. Features like the electronically adjustable tinted windshield that rises 9 to 12 inches to cover most riders from the buffeting wind. Talking of comfort, 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 Roadmaster Elite Exterior
- image 724913

The industry-leading Ride Command system includes an explosive AM/FM, Bluetooth, USB, Smartphone Compatible 300 watt stereo boom box will put to shame any other motorcycle carrying a stereo system with 6 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 analogue trip meters including a fuel gauge. You also get speakers for the rear passenger on flanking the saddle and on top of the saddle cases.

The dash also includes dual trip meters with distance and time, instantaneous and average fuel economy, fuel range, real-time clock, ambient air temperature, gear position display, front and rear tire pressure, engine hours of operation, engine oil life percentage, average speed, battery voltage, radio information display, vehicle trouble code readout, heated grip level, 15 LED telltale indicators, cruise control set, neutral, high beam, turn signal, ABS, check engine, low tire pressure, battery, low fuel, security system, low engine oil pressure and MPH or km/h unit designation. Phew.

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite Exterior
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Continuing towards the tank, you get additional switches to operate the top-loading saddlebags and to set yourself a heated handgrip. It also has twin analogue console for fuel level and voltage. The saddlebags themselves will carry 10 kg each and can be unmounted with a quick-release lever. This being a Roadmaster, you obviously get 37 gallons of weatherproof storage trunk, fairings and lower storage units.

Coming to what that “Elite” really means, is exclusivity. There is no other motorcycle manufacturer on the planet that gives you a custom inspired two-tone paintjob that includes embellishments with real 23K gold leaf badging. The paintjob itself is 20 layers of hand painted silver pearl, silver glitter, clear coats and Cobalt Candy. The black crystals are actually glass flakes that plays around with lights falling on them making the whole bike sparkle, especially outdoors. This luxury continues onto the gold-spun engine covers as well.

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite Exterior
- image 724909

And of course, there is chrome. Lots of it. Chrome mirrors, hand controls, front and rear bumpers added to this Elite gives it a higher presence and character along with billet aluminium footboards that gives both the rider and the passenger a feel of luxury. Leather passenger armrest also adorns this Elite edition to promise the passenger with the highest levels of comfort on two wheels.

Finally, there is nothing better than having a lit up War Bonnet leading the way for you. It can sure take your breath away. Representing phenomena since 1947.

Bright, brash and power are what is oozing out when you have a look at this Roadmaster. Being the best money can buy is not easy but this pulled it off with all bells and whistles.

Overall Dimension

Make Model 2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite Harley Davidson CVO Limited
Length 105.4 in 102.4 in
Width 39.4 in 39.1 in
Height 58.7 in 59.6 in
Wheelbase 65.7 in 64 in
Seat height 26.5 in 27.5 in
Wet weight 1385 lb 950 lb
Fuel capacity 5.5 gal 6 gal

POWERTRAIN

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite Exterior
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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.

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 Roadmaster Elite Exterior
- image 724916

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 Roadmasters.

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 Roadmaster Elite roar like the God of Thunder.

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.

Engine Specification

Make Model 2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite Harley Davidson CVO Limited
Capacity cc 1811 1202
Bore/ Stroke mm 101/113 101.6/114.3
Output 73 bhp 78 bhp
Torque 119 lb.ft @ 3000 rpm 115 lb.ft @ 3250 rpm
Type Thunder Stroke 111 Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 114
Clutch type Wet- Multiplate Wet- Multiplate
Transmission 6-speed 6-speed Cruise DriveniS

RIDE AND HANDLING

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite Exterior
- image 724915

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. This is enough convincing to make one understand the ultimate luxury and comfort concept. 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. Plush and cosy, it also has in-seat heating feature individually controllable by the rider and the passenger and heated grips. Take that!

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite Exterior
- image 724912

The Roadmaster 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. 1385 lbs of meat this one. The steering geometry is engineered in such a way to deliver responsive handling in any situation. The cast aluminium 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 Roadmaster Elite Exterior
- image 724910

Suspension leverages are not carried out by the forks previously available on the Roadmasters’. 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 1385 lbs monster, you need heavy performers and hence dual four-pot callipers bind the front 300mm brake discs, and a twin-pot calliper binds the rear 300mm disc. ABS will come as standard, knowing which you can brake under control in any situation.

16-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.

Plush and cosy, it also has in-seat heating feature individually controllable by the rider and the passenger and heated grips. Take that!

Chassis Specifications

Make Model 2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite Harley Davidson CVO Limited
Suspension / Front Telescopic Fork / 4.7″ (119 mm) – Cartridge Type Suspension 49 mm 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 300 mm Dual Disc, 32 mm 4-piston fixed front and rear callipers
Brakes / Rear Single / 300mm Floating Rotor / 2 Piston Caliper / 1 Piston Calliper 32 mm, 4-piston fixed front and rear
Tyres / Front Dunlop Elite 3 130/90B16 73H 130/90B16
Tyres / Rear Dunlop Elite 3 Multi-Compound 180/60R16 80H 180/60R16

PRICE

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite
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This 2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite comes with a price tag of $ 36,999. That is a whopping $8000 more from the standard Roadmaster. Nonetheless, there isn’t any gold in that one right?

You can only get the Cobalt Candy over Black Crystal w/23K Gold Trim. The folks at Indian say " Blue is considered only for kings and queens." 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 Roadmaster Elite.

Make Model 2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite Harley Davidson CVO Limited
MSRP $ 36,999 $40,999

COMPETITION

Where else do we go for this other than the other American’s stable - Harley Davidson. We are specifically talking about the CVO Limited. It is H-D’s full cruiser created as part of their Project Rushmore.

Harley Davidson CVO Limited

2016 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited
- image 653683

The Harley-Davidson’s Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) Limited is the best luxury chariot on two wheels money can buy. The first thing your eyes are shined to is that huge Milwaukee engine even from 25 feet. Almost like making an ironclad statement about moving a jewel on the tarmac. The shiny bright paint schemes look very Harley Davidson unique and are fancy to be the least. The presence of an integrated top box (aka trunk) would not tickle everybody’s liking and so is the overall look. It is a more of a lazy rotund older chap rather than the sort that a boy grows up wanting to emulate. Not an issue at all if luxury travel is your thing. It has all the toys one would ask for in a two wheeler. You want more, more is what you get.

The sound of every Harley-Davidson’s V-twin engine rings throughout the history of the brand and it is this reverberation that carries the trademark every Harley moxie makes. All 2017 CVOs use a version of the Milwaukee-Eight with slightly more bore and stroke to displace 1868cc, up 18 cubes from the mainline bikes. It is a twin-cooled, 4-valve per head, the asphalt-eating beast that kicks out 156 Nm of torque at 3250 rpm. Estimated power could be 78 bhp.

As for every owner of Harley-Davidson, performance is a big deal and the CVO Limited doesn’t disappoint. But according to some enthusiasts, the newfound sophistication may mask the rawness that comes through the previous Twin Cam 110. That could be because of the mechanical quiet that allows Harley to uncock the intake and exhaust a bit. The Screamin’ Eagle air cleaner will emit a modest exhaust burble that could conquest new customers but not the faithful Harley-Davidson purists.

The CVO has got everything covered and when I say covered, I mean ‘custom suspended dual control heated seat with passenger and rider backrest’ covered. This is enough convincing to make one understand the ultimate luxury and comfort concept. When it comes to ergonomics, we feel Harley could have done a tad bit better. In general, all Harleys have the riders closer to the handlebar and if you are not used to this, you will feel cramped. The floorboard isn’t particularly spacious and the brake pedals are of the size you find in cars.

Harley has abandoned air shocks in favour of emulsion shocks with hand adjustable pre-load. With improved damping performance and travel, one can be sure of a smoother ride and confident braking and handling.

For this top of the line Project Rushmore CVO, you will have to shell out a staggering $40,999. Rest assured you cannot get anything else better money could buy with all the creature comforts, gizmos and gadgets. Will be available in colour pallets of Palladium Silver and Phantom Blue, Black Garnet and Electrical Red, Carbon Dust and Stardust Silver and Spiked Olive and Serpentine Green.

VERDICT

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite
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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 instalment for 2018, the most premium of all Indians will be this Roadmaster Elite. It’s huge, and there is no running away from it. Measuring 105.4 in and weighing 1385 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 carry you and your loved one with having to reap every creature comfort offered to you. A complaint is not even in the dictionary for this bike.

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite Exterior
- image 724911

Is it worth paying the extra $8000 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 Roadmaster wouldn’t mind going the extra distance for that gold embellishments.

It is an epitome of luxury with everything on the face of the planet packed between two wheels. The decidedly retro looks will seamlessly fit into the lookout of a niche clientele wanting to splurge on something of a personified saga.

2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite Exterior
- image 724909
2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite Exterior
- image 724907
2018 Indian Roadmaster Elite
- image 724918
  • Leave it
    • 1385 lb to manoeuvre
    • Pricing
    • Urban commuting

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: indianmotorcycle.com

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