Deep historical roots meets modern technology in Indian’s 2021 Vintage

Indian Motorcycle, under the Polaris umbrella, has been on an unprecedented technological upswing for the brand since its relatively recent resurrection, but the Indian Vintage rocks an antique veneer that serves as a reminder of its deep roots. Old-school styling, tan leather, and ample chrome channels yesteryear with a custom bent to finish the package. If you’re into classically designed machines with a genuine pedigree, the 2021 Indian Vintage should definitely be on your short list.

  • 2021 Indian Vintage
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    1811 cc
  • Top Speed:
    115 mph
  • Price:
    20499
  • Price:

2021 Indian Vintage Design

  • Premium genuine leather saddle and saddlebags
  • Classic IMC styling
  • Quick-Release Lexan windshield
  • Halogen and LED lighting
2021 Indian Vintage
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2021 Indian Vintage
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2021 Indian Vintage
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Indian brought some really old features to life with the newly renamed Vintage – formerly the Chief Vintage – and they take us right back to the 1940’s when hydraulic forks were in their infancy and bikes were as likely to be rigid as they were to be sprung swingarms out back. The antique chops start in earnest right up front with a full-valence front fender, laced wheels, and gangster whitewalls. Of course, the iconic war bonnet rides in chrome up top with a chrome brow at the leading edge of the sheetmetal.

Fat front forks are made to look fatter still by the chrome beercan fork skirts that butt up to a chrome headlight nacelle for even more visual weight up front. Halogen pimp lights join the cyclops halogen headlight to really split the night, and LED turn signals make sure your intentions are known to the surrounding traffic.

Before we had front fenders, [touring bikes-<mot2669] relied on large windshields for rider protection, and so it is with the Vintage. Behind the quick-release Lexan screen, a chrome tank console houses the single round speedometer and its accompanying LCD screen with idiot lights to manage all of the instrumentation in one spot.

A 5.5-gallon teardrop fuel tank defines the upper line as it peters out against the low-slung saddle that rides your rear at 26 inches off the deck, and that gives you lots of leverage and confidence at stops, in spite of the healthy 836-pound wet heft. The tan leather continues over the pillion pad and onto the soft-side saddlebags, and finishes out with a nice, old-school fringe. The full rear fender sports a chrome brow at the trailing edge to go with the bling at the taillight and rear turn-signal housings.

2021 Indian Vintage Chassis

  • Eager in the corners
  • Tracking stability
  • ABS
  • Plush ride
2021 Indian Vintage
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2021 Indian Vintage
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2021 Indian Vintage
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Part of the overall classic look of the Vintage comes from the frame geometry that mimics the old rigid frames and even the early swingarm bikes. The tubular double-downtube / double-cradle frame fully supports the engine rather than using it as a stressed member to complete the structure.

Gotta’ say I’m loving the laced wheels and I’m glad to see that they put the whitewalls to the outside as well. Both wheels are 16-inchers, and to further the old-school tourbike look, the tires are rather fat at 130/90 up front opposite a 180/65.

As for suspension, the front forks are rather beefy at 46 mm plus the chrome skirts up top, but the forks are non-adjustable. In fact, the only adjustment in the suspension is the air-preload in the rear shocks that delivers a cushy ride overall, just not a very tweakable one. Suspension travel is 4.7 inches up front with 4.5 inches of travel in the shocks which is definitely near the top of the range for American-style touring bikes.

Also at the top of the foodchain are the all-around, 300 mm brake discs that have dual, four-piston anchors to bite them up front and a twin-pot caliper out back, all under the protection of a stock ABS feature.

Front Suspension/ Travel: 46 mm Telescopic Fork/4.7 in (119 mm)
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Single Shock w/ Air adjust, 4.5 in (114 mm)
Rake/Trail: 25° / 5.2 in (133 mm)
Lean Angle: 31°
Front Brakes: Dual 300 mm Floating Rotor, 4-Piston Caliper
Rear Brakes: Single 300 mm Floating Rotor, 2-Piston Caliper
Front Tires: Dunlop® American Elite 130/90B16 67H
Rear Tires: Dunlop® American Elite 180/65B16 81H
Front Wheel: 16 in x 3.5 in
Rear Wheel: 16 x 5.0 in

2021 Indian Vintage Drivetrain

  • Thunderstroke ®111 V-Twin engine
  • 119 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
  • Three Selectable Ride Modes
  • Cruise control and keyless ignition
2021 Indian Vintage
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2021 Indian Vintage
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2021 Indian Vintage
- image 939866

Power for the Vintage comes from the proven Thunder Stroke 111 V-Twin that adds its own dated air to the overall bouquet. The factory went to great lengths to channel the look of the old flathead mills with faux cooling fins on the rocker-box covers, the exhaust-header routing, and the parallel pushrod tubes, all of which are similar to the sidevalve engines.

Closed-loop fuel injection and a single throttle body controls the fuel-air ratio for both cylinders under the control of the ECM that comes with cruise control and a trio of Ride Modes built in. The Rear-Cylinder Deactivation feature also comes stock. RCD kills the rear cylinder at a stop to reduce the waste heat that washes over you when you are idling.

Power flows to the six-speed transmission via a gear-type primary drive, and once the final drive ratio is factored in you can expect a top speed around the 115 mph mark. At 3,000 rpm the Thunder Stroke 111 churns out 119 pound-feet of torque with 92 ponies at the top end, so in spite of its weight, this thing will come out of the hole like a scalded dog.

Engine: Thunderstroke ®111
Displacement: 111 cu in (1,811 cc)
Bore x Stroke: 3.976 in x 4.449 in (101 mm x 113 mm)
Horsepower: 92 hp
Peak Torque: 119 lb-ft (161.6 Nm) @ 3,000 rpm
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Drive/Driven Clutch: Wet, Multi-Plate, Assist
Electronic Fuel Injection System: Closed loop fuel injection / 54 mm bore
Exhaust: Split Dual Exhaust w/ Cross-over
Gear Ratio: 1st: 9.403, 2nd: 6.411, 3rd: 4.763, 4th: 3.796, 5th: 3.243, 6th: 2.789
Transmission/Final Drive: 2.2 : 1
Transmission/Primary Drive: Gear Drive Wet Clutch

2021 Indian Vintage Price

2021 Indian Vintage
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Price on the Vintage varies according to color. The Crimson Metallic package rolls for $20,499, but if you would prefer an old-school two-tone finish, the Deep Water (blue) and Dirt Track Tan could be your Huckleberry for $21,499.

Standard Equipment: Quick Release Lexan Windshield; Genuine Leather Seats; Genuine Leather Saddlebags; Highway Bars; Light Bar; ABS; Selectable Ride Modes; Cruise Control; Keyless Ignition; Indian® Script Tank Badge; Indian® Headdress Fender Ornament
Warranty: 2 Years, Unlimited Miles
Color: Crimson Metallic, Deep Water/Dirt Track Tan
Price: $20,499, Tone-Tone: $21,499

2021 Indian Vintage Competitors

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Road King / Road King Special
- image 831982
2021 Indian Vintage
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No doubt about it, the Indian Vintage is meant to be a contender mainly in the U.S. market, so it was a no-brainer to go straight to [Harley-Davidson’s Road King for my head-to-head.

Harley-Davidson Road King

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Road King / Road King Special
- image 733278

At a glance, the Road King hits many of the same design high points as its Indian counterpart from the fat front end, to the large windshield, and stock baggage. The chrome tank console and associated instrumentation are also a constant across the board. Harley departs from slavish adherence to the designs of yesteryear just a bit with mag wheels instead of laced, but that’s a minor point.

It should also be pointed out that the H-D Milwaukee-Eight 107 Big Twin follows the traditional geometry, but makes no effort to even casually suggest a much older mill. Harley pulls ahead in the electronics with its optional Reflex Defensive Rider System that bundles ABS, traction control, drag-torque control, and vehicle hold control, though it’s not stock like the Vintage’s gadgets and is instead a $995 option. However, since the Road King starts at $19,499, you could add that grand to the package and still break even with the Vintage to give the Road King a definite edge.

He Said

Gotta’ love the attention to detail on the Vintage, and I must say it’s especially cool to those with historical knowledge of the brand since so many characteristics carry right on over from old to new. Polaris is really posing a serious threat to the status quo where H-D is the undisputed king, but competition is a good thing since it drives innovation and, sometimes, lower prices as well. As for my personal taste, I think I’d pick the Vintage over the Road King in this case.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “Oh, I do miss the Willow Green and Ivory Cream colorway. I think that’s my favorite two-tone of all time. Paint aside, this is a beautiful bike. Power delivery from the Thunder Stroke engine is smooth, the seat is comfortable, and there is plenty of stump-pulling torque down low in the rev range.”

2021 Indian Vintage Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain
Engine: Thunderstroke ®111
Displacement: 111 cu in (1,811 cc)
Bore x Stroke: 3.976 in x 4.449 in (101 mm x 113 mm)
Horsepower: 92 hp
Peak Torque: 119 lb-ft (161.6 Nm) @ 3,000 rpm
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Drive/Driven Clutch: Wet, Multi-Plate, Assist
Electronic Fuel Injection System: Closed loop fuel injection / 54 mm bore
Exhaust: Split Dual Exhaust w/ Cross-over
Gear Ratio: 1st: 9.403, 2nd: 6.411, 3rd: 4.763, 4th: 3.796, 5th: 3.243, 6th: 2.789
Transmission/Final Drive: 2.2 : 1
Transmission/Primary Drive: Gear Drive Wet Clutch
Chassis:
Front Suspension/ Travel: 46 mm Telescopic Fork/4.7 in (119 mm)
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Single Shock w/ Air adjust, 4.5 in (114 mm)
Rake/Trail: 25° / 5.2 in (133 mm)
Lean Angle: 31°
Front Brakes: Dual 300 mm Floating Rotor, 4-Piston Caliper
Rear Brakes: Single 300 mm Floating Rotor, 2-Piston Caliper
Front Tires: Dunlop® American Elite 130/90B16 67H
Rear Tires: Dunlop® American Elite 180/65B16 81H
Front Wheel: 16 in x 3.5 in
Rear Wheel: 16 x 5.0 in
Dimensions & Capacities:
Fuel Capacity: 5.5 gal (20.8 L)
Ground Clearance: 5.6 in (142 mm)
GVWR: 1,260 lb (572 kg)
Overall Height: 56.8 in (1,442 mm)
Overall Length: 101.7 in (2,583 mm)
Overall Width: 39.4 in (1,000 mm)
Seat Height: 26.0 in (660 mm)
Weight (Empty Tank / Full of Fuel): 804 lbs / 836 lbs (365 kg / 379 kg)
Wheelbase: 67.0 in (1,701 mm)
Electrics:
Gauges: Tank-mounted electronic speedometer with odometer; dual tripmeters; digital tachometer; ambient air temperature; fuel range; average fuel economy; battery voltage; gear position display; real-time clock; vehicle trouble code readout; heated grip level (if heated grips installed); low engine oil pressure; and 9 LED telltale indicators: cruise control enabled, cruise control set, neutral, high beam, turn signal, ABS, check engine, and MPH or km/h unit designation; tank-mounted electronic fuel gauge with low fuel LED indicator
Infotainment: N/A
Lights: Halogen Headlamp/Driving, LED Tail/Brake/Turn Signal
Standard Equipment: Quick Release Lexan Windshield; Genuine Leather Seats; Genuine Leather Saddlebags; Highway Bars; Light Bar; ABS; Selectable Ride Modes; Cruise Control; Keyless Ignition; Indian® Script Tank Badge; Indian® Headdress Fender Ornament
Details:
Warranty: 2 Years, Unlimited Miles
Color: Crimson Metallic, Deep Water/Dirt Track Tan
Price: $20,499, Tone-Tone: $21,499

Further Reading

Indian Motorcycle

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TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
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All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: indianmotorcycle.com, harley-davidson.com

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