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2022 Indian Chief

Indian’s celebration of 100 years of Chief

LISTEN 09:06

Indian Motorcycle’s famous “Chief” branding first saw light of day way back in 1921, so the factory put together an all-new, 100-year-anniversary model Chief to mark the occasion. A post-war panache joins classic-custom chops and contemporary technology to complete the antique-looking package and ensure modern performance parameters. Indian powers this platform with its powerful Thunder Stroke 111 engine.

  • 2022 Indian Chief
  • Year:
    2022
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    1811 cc
  • Top Speed:
    115 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    14499

2022 Indian Chief Design

  • Full LED lighting
  • Keyless ignition
  • Reimagined 100-year-celebration design
  • Minimalist styling
2022 Indian Chief
- image 991928
2022 Indian Chief
- image 991931
As a rolling tribute piece, I like the understated look and minimalist attitude.

As a rolling tribute piece, the Chief has to fit a fairly narrow design plan, and it seems like the factory has indeed done it. The ground-up blackout treatment begins right away with monochromatic rims, fork sliders, and shocks. It bleeds over into the drivetrain and exhaust to cover almost the whole engine with the exception of the polished cooling-fin edges, pushrod tubes, and a handful assorted bits and bobs as the only bling to be found. That’s OK though, ’cause at the end of the day, chrome doesn’t get you home, and I kinda’ like the understated looks of this newest Chief platform.

Both the front and rear fenders are heavily bobbed to reinforce the homegrown-classic chops, though the lack of laced wheels is something of a letdown, to be honest. The headlight serves as a microcosm of the overall design. It rides in a round, old-school, single headlight housing but sports multiple LED projectors to split the night and ensure two-way visibility during the day. All-around LED lighting comes stock to make your intentions known to the surrounding traffic.

Behind the blackout headlight can, handlebar, and mirrors, the four-gallon fuel tank carries a classic teardrop profile ahead of the solo saddle that slings your butt at 26 inches off the deck. That’s fairly low in the overall scheme of things, and is sure to boost confidence at stops and when padding around the parking lot, even for shorter riders.

If you’re into sharing the fun with a friend you’ll have to spring for a pillion-pad of some sort, but the factory offers a line of accessory equipment that covers that particular base along with oodles of custom goodies that let you make your new Chief all your own.

2022 Indian Chief Chassis

  • Steel welded tube frame
  • Mid-mount foot controls
  • Compact wheel base
  • Available ABS
2022 Indian Chief
- image 991933
2022 Indian Chief
- image 991929
2022 Indian Chief
- image 991938
Easy cruising with stability in a crosswind and solid tracking at speed.

Tubular-steel frame members on the new Chief make up the double-downtube/double-cradle structure sporting an open-type steering head that reduces the visual weight up front and even adds a bit of a chopper vibe to the mix. Out back, the layout of the aluminum subframe suggests the geometry of the old rigid bikes. Although Indian doesn’t go as far as Harley-Davidson and Triumph with a proper faux-rigid swing cage structure, the rear shocks carry the angle of the backbone similar to how a hardtail would do.

Rake and trail measure at 29-degrees from the vertical and 5.2-inches long respectively to make the Chief stable in crosswinds with solid tracking at speed. Cast aluminum wheels round out the rolling chassis in a 19-inch diameter ahead of a 16 out back, and they come shod with super-sticky Pirelli Night Dragon hoops with a 130/60 and 180/65 in an “H” rating that will tolerate speeds up to 130 mph.

Rwu forks float the front end on 5.2 inches of travel but with nothing in the way of adjustments. Out back, the coil-over shocks sport the obligatory spring-preload tweak and turn in 3 inches of travel to meet the bare requirements. All-around 300 mm discs work with a four-bore front caliper and single-pot rear to haul the Chief down, and here you have a choice to go with ABS protection or pick one of the two models that roll without electronic brake management.

Front Suspension/ Travel: 46 mm Telescopic Fork/ 5.2 in (132 mm)
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Dual Shocks w/adjustable preload/ 3.0 in (75 mm)
Rake/Trail: 29° / 5.2 in (131.5 mm)
Lean Angle: 28.5°
Front Brakes: 300 mm Floating Rotor / 4 Piston Caliper
Rear Brakes: 300 mm Floating Rotor / 2 Piston Caliper
Front Wheel: Cast Black 19 in x 3.5 in
Rear Wheel: Cast Black 16 in x 5 in
Front Tire: Pirelli® Night Dragon 130/60B19 61H
Rear Tire: Pirelli® Night Dragon 180/65 B16 81H

2022 Indian Chief Drivetrain

  • 1,811 cc Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin
  • 108 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm
  • Ride Modes and cruise control
  • Rear Cylinder Deactivation
2022 Indian Chief
- image 991942
2022 Indian Chief
- image 991927
2022 Indian Chief
- image 991930
The Thunder Stroke 111 powerplant proves its worth in both aesthetics and performance.

Faux cooling fins on the rocker-box-covers of the new Chief steer the look toward the flathead engines of old, and like many of those old sidevalves, the pushrod tubes run externally in parallel pairs to sell the look. It’s an air-cooled engine, so the cooling fins on the jugs are not just for looks and there’s no clunky radiator to busy up the front of the machine, just a clean classy panache.

The mill has 101 mm bores with a 113 mm stroke to give it its 111 cubic-inch (1,811 cc) displacement and mild, 9.5-to-1 compression ratio that will extend the life of the bottom end and make shopping for fuel easy. Induction control falls to a single 54 mm throttle body, and the only ride-quality control on the Chief is the trio of ride modes that lets you dial in the power delivery to suit.

A low-maintenance and quiet carbon-reinforced belt-and-pulley system acts as the final drive behind a six-speed transmission and standard wet clutch for a top speed around the 115 mph mark. As for power output, the TS-111 generates an impressive 108 pound-feet of torque at a low 3,200 rpm to make a considerable portion of that grunt available just over idle for a deep torque well indeed.

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)
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Drive/Driven Clutch: Wet, Multi-Plate
Electronic Fuel Injection System: Closed loop fuel injection / 54 mm bore
Exhaust: Dual Exhaust w/ Crossover
Gear Ratio: 1st: 9.403, 2nd: 6.411, 3rd: 4.763, 4th: 3.796, 5th: 3.243, 6th: 2.789
Peak Torque: 108 ft-lbs (146 Nm) @ 3,200 rpm
Transmission/Final Drive: 2.2
Transmission/Primary Drive: Gear Drive Wet Clutch

2022 Indian Chief Price

2022 Indian Chief
- image 991937
2022 Indian Chief
- image 991926
2022 Indian Chief
- image 991939
MSRP starts at $14.3k for non-ABS and tops out at $15.8k for ABS and color.

Color, price, and ABS all have an impact on the final price. At the bottom of the foodchain is the non-ABS Black Metallic for $14,499 and non-ABS White Smoke for another five Benjamins. If you’d prefer ABS protection, the black and white packages roll for $15,299 and $15,799 respectively, and the factory adds a Ruby Smoke finish with ABS for $15,799 if monochromatic sheet metal ain’t your thing.

Warranty: Two-Year Unlimited Miles
Gauges: 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; low engine oil pressure; and 9 LED telltale indicators: cruise control enabled, cruise control set, neutral, high beam, turn signal, ABS (if equipped), check engine, and MPH or km/h unit designation; electronic fuel gauge with low fuel indicator
Infotainment: N/A
Lights: LED Headlight, LED Tail/Brake/Turn Signals
Standard Equipment: Ride Modes, Keyless Ignition, 12V Charge Port, Rear Cylinder Deactivation
Color: Black Metallic, Ruby Smoke, White Smoke
Price: non ABS: $14,499 - $14,999, ABS: $15,299 - $15,799

2022 Indian Chief Competitors

2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim
- image 763929
2022 Indian Chief
- image 991932

There’s just no way around it, being an American-made machine destined to compete in the domestic market, the Chief is going to come up against Harley-Davidson and its Softail Slim.

Harley-Davidson Softail Slim

2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim
- image 970776
The Softail Slim manages to capture the look of yesteryear, even without a camouflaged powerplant.

The “Slim” moniker doesn’t exactly bear out in actual looks as it rocks fat hoops and skirted front forks that add quite a bit of visual heft up front. Credit to the MoCo, it managed to capture the look of yesteryear to an even greater degree than the Chief, even without a camouflaged powerplant. I reckon some of that is due to the laced rims and chubby tires, but this second-generation Softail maintains the special swingarm that has long set the Softails apart from its stablemates with appropriate frame geometry to take the mind back to the mid-Forties.

The H-D runs a Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine that, in spite of surrendering a handful of cubes to the Indian, still comes out on top with 110 pounds o’ grunt on tap at 3,000 rpm, which is also lower in the rev range than the TS-111. Suspension is a wash and ABS is optional on the H-D with a $795 pricetag. That’s on top of the $15,999 Vivid Black base model, $16,399 color package, and $16,749 two-tone color scheme.

Read our full review of the Harley-Davidson Softail Slim.

He Said

“It’s an interesting machine to be sure, and I think it’s worthy of the “Chief” name. That engine, those fenders, and the overall geometry certainly brings to mind the Chiefs of old, just with a decidedly modern finish. This is probably the most direct competitor for H-D’s Softail line after Triumph’s own Bobber and Speedmaster, and the only homegrown competition at that, so it will be interesting who will wind up on top of the soft-hardtail design category.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “If long, curvy roads are in your sights, the new Indian Chief should be on your list of possibles. It’s a step up from the Scout, so if you want more than the Scout offers as far as ride comfort, but you don’t want to go full-on big bagger, the new Chief sits right in that sweet spot. Standard ride mode is very linear in power delivery, and Sport mode, while it offers a measure of fun, is a little jerky. The Chief is a very comfortable ride and stable at speed while handling the curves with aplomb.”

2022 Indian Chief 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)
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Drive/Driven Clutch: Wet, Multi-Plate
Electronic Fuel Injection System: Closed loop fuel injection / 54 mm bore
Exhaust: Dual Exhaust w/ Crossover
Gear Ratio: 1st: 9.403, 2nd: 6.411, 3rd: 4.763, 4th: 3.796, 5th: 3.243, 6th: 2.789
Peak Torque: 108 lb-ft (146 Nm) @ 3,200 rpm
Transmission/Final Drive: 2.2
Transmission/Primary Drive: Gear Drive Wet Clutch
Chassis:
Front Suspension/ Travel: 46 mm Telescopic Fork/ 5.2 in (132 mm)
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Dual Shocks w/adjustable preload/ 3.0 in (75 mm)
Rake/Trail: 29° / 5.2 in (131.5 mm)
Lean Angle: 28.5°
Front Brakes: 300 mm Floating Rotor / 4 Piston Caliper
Rear Brakes: 300 mm Floating Rotor / 2 Piston Caliper
Front Wheel: Cast Black 19 in x 3.5 in
Rear Wheel: Cast Black 16 in x 5 in
Front Tire: Pirelli® Night Dragon 130/60B19 61H
Rear Tire: Pirelli® Night Dragon 180/65 B16 81H
Dimensions & Capacities:
Overall Height: 49.3 in (1,253 cm)
Overall Length: 90 in (2,286 mm)
Overall Width: 36.3 in (922 mm)
Seat Height: 26.0 in (662 mm)
Dry Weight: 647 lbs / (294 kg)
Curb Weight: 670 lbs (304 kg)
Wheelbase: 64.0 in (1,626 mm)
Fuel Capacity: 4.0 gal (15.1 L)
Ground Clearance: 4.9 in (125 mm)
GVWR: 1,160 lb (522 kg)
Details:
Warranty: Two-Year Unlimited Miles
Gauges: 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; low engine oil pressure; and nine LED telltale indicators: cruise control enabled, cruise control set, neutral, high beam, turn signal, ABS (if equipped), check engine, and MPH or km/h unit designation; electronic fuel gauge with low fuel indicator
Infotainment: N/A
Lights: LED Headlight, LED Tail/Brake/Turn Signals
Standard Equipment: Ride Modes, Keyless Ignition, 12V Charge Port, Rear Cylinder Deactivation
Color: Black Metallic, Ruby Smoke, White Smoke
Price: non ABS: $14,499 - $14,999, ABS: $15,299 - $15,799

Further Reading

Indian Motorcycle

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
- image 794320

Read more Indian Motorcycle news.

Source: Introducing The New 2022 Indian Chief - Indian Motorcycle

TJ Hinton
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 full bio
About the author

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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