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2022 Indian Super Chief Limited

Effortless cruising and, even though it’s built for straight-line stability, the ride is surprisingly nimble

Indian rolls out its MY22 Super Chief Limited in the 2021 season to add a nostalgic note to the new Super Chief platform. Powered by a Thunderstroke 116 plant, the “SCL” bundles modern performance and electronics with old school custom looks that hail all the way back to the years immediately after the end of WWII. Chrome and blackout combine to complete the homegrown panache that the SCL wears so well.

  • 2022 Indian Super Chief Limited
  • Year:
    2022
  • Make:
  • Model:
    Super Chief
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    1890 cc
  • Top Speed:
    115 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    20999
  • Price:

2022 Indian Super Chief Limited Design

  • Relaxed riding posture
  • New 4-inch TFT display and Ride Command infotainment
  • Premium chrome details
  • LED lighting
2022 Indian Super Chief Limited
- image 1012153
2022 Indian Super Chief Limited
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This is no fake-it-till-you-make-it machine, it's the genuine article with bona fide historical roots from a century ago.

Indian enjoys bona fide historical roots back to the era in question, and this lends the Super Chief Limited an authenticity that is impossible to imitate, so this is no fake-it-till-you-make-it machine, it’s the genuine article. The old school appeal just oozes from every pore, starting with the polished wire spokes that lace together the blackout hubs and rims.

A general gloss-black overtone touches just about everywhere but the sheet metal with a chromed-out drivetrain across the color selection. The Black Metallic model is the obvious exception to that rule as its fenders and fuel tank all come shot in the same monochromatic finish that leaves the engine as the only bit of bling to be found.

A cut-down front fender reinforces the homemade look, while the fat front forks that are made fatter yet by beercan-style fork skirts. The round cyclops headlight fits with the target era in the middle of the previous century, even though all of the lighting relies on modern LED technology to help you see and be seen as you negotiate your urban jungle.

Like the original pre-fairing tourbikes, the SCL sports a large windshield for a bit of pilot protection, and it comes with the lower third or so shot in blackout to mimic the look of the leather covers used back in the day to protect the glass from stone strikes. Behind the glass (plastic, whatever), a four-inch round instrument housing meets the requisite look to match the overall dated panache. It looks old, but it’s actually a high-tech color touchscreen that handles all of the usual instrumentation, and it supports Indian’s proprietary Ride Command infotainment system to deliver communication, navigation, and musical-entertainment control.

The fuel tank has a classic teardrop profile, and the drop in the flyline plays into the historical overtones as it mimics the look of the old machines that had a rigid rear end and juiced front forks, and even into some of the early swingarm units that Indian produced. A bucket seat cradles the pilots butt at 26.2 inches off the deck, a height that should be confidence-inspiring for all riders, but especially among the riders with shorter inseam lengths. A pillion pad and fold-up footpegs are the only passenger’s amenities on the stock bike, and a set of stock bags completes the ensemble with enough storage for light touring and grocery-getter missions. LED lights finish the gear in the rear.

2022 Indian Super Chief Limited Chassis

  • Rock-solid tracking
  • ABS
  • Single-disc front brake
  • Dual gas-charged rear shocks
2022 Indian Super Chief Limited
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2022 Indian Super Chief Limited
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In a confirmation of its designed purpose as a long-distance machine, the SCL tracks like it's on rails, even in a blustery crosswind.

The frame on the Super Chief Limited is a composite made up of dissimilar elements with tubular-steel frame members as the main structure, and a cast-aluminum subframe out back to finish out the bones. In a confirmation of its designed purpose as a long-distance machine, the steering head sets a rake angle of 29 degrees with 5.2 inches of trail that’ll make the SCL track like it’s on rails, even in a blustery crosswind. This brings a reduction in rider fatigue further boosted by a wide handlebar that delivers plenty of leverage when it’s time to carve a curve, but as usual, that stability comes at the expense of cornering behavior, but it is what it is with a 28.5-degree max lean angle that should be enough for civilized rides.

Beefy 46 mm forks float the front end on fixed values and 5.2 inches of travel to soak up the abuse up front. Out back, dual gas-charged shocks support the rear with the obligatory spring-preload feature and a three-inch suspension stroke that looks a tad short generally speaking, but is around average for cruiser/tourbike models. The brakes are a mixed bag with 300 mm discs front and rear, but only a single anchor up front. A four-bore caliper bites the front disc while a twin-piston caliper binds the rear, and this bike comes stock with a standard — as in non-leaning — ABS feature that lets you safely get the most out of the brakes.

Frame: Steel tube weldment with cast aluminum rear sub-frame
Front Suspension/ Travel: Telescopic fork, 46 mm diameter/ 5.2 in (132 mm)
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Dual shocks with adjustable preload/ 3.0 in (75mm)
Rake/Trail: 29° / 5.2 in (131.5 mm)
Lean Angle: 28.5°
Front Brakes: 300 mm Semi-Floating Rotor, Single 4-piston caliper
Rear Brakes: 300 mm Floating Rotor, Single 2-piston caliper
Front Tire: Pirelli® Night Dragon 130/90B16 67H
Rear Tire: Pirelli® Night Dragon 180/65 B16 81H
Front Wheel: Wire Spoke 16" x 3"
Rear Wheel: Wire Spoke 16" x 5"

2022 Indian Super Chief Limited Drivetrain

  • Air-cooled 1,890 cc Thunder Stroke 116 engine
  • 120 lb-ft @ 2,900 rpm
  • Three ride modes & cruise control
  • Rear cylinder deactivation
2022 Indian Super Chief Limited
- image 1012131
2022 Indian Super Chief Limited
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With the generous torque production of 120 lb-ft at a low 2,900 rpm, you can count on grunty throttle response almost everywhere in the rev range.

The Thunder Stroke 116 engine in the Super Chief Limited is the real star of the show in more ways than one. Like a gem in a setting, it brings the bling with chrome and polished elements that extend to the rear via the dual exhaust arrangement. This is just the kind of bike that benefits most from the faux-flathead looks of the lump. The vestigial cooling fins on the rocker-box covers and paired parallel pushrod tubes hail back to roughly the same era as the rigid-esque frame layout. It’s an air-cooled unit, so the polished-edge cooling fins are functional, and it comes with the Rear Cylinder Deactivation feature that limits heat production when idling at a stop and in stop-and-go traffic.

A trio of Ride Modes lets you dial in power delivery to suit the prevailing conditions, even in inclement weather, and a stock cruise control gives your right wrist a break on long hauls. A 103.2 mm bore and 113 mm stroke gives it a total displacement of 1,890 cc (116 cubic-inch) with a spicy 11-to-1 compression ratio that will demand premium pump swill to prevent knock/ping/run-on.

Jug geometry is close to historical norms at 49 degrees, which plays into the looks, but also helps boost torque output. This gambit pays off, as evidenced by the generous torque production that measures in with 120 pound-feet at a low 2,900 rpm, so you can count on a grunty throttle response almost everywhere in the rev range.

A gear-type primary drive couples engine power to the six-speed transmission, and the SCL rocks a carbon-reinforced belt for the final drive for quiet, low-maintenance service. Top speed is reported to be around 115 mph, which is, of course, plenty enough to get yourself in a whole heap of trouble.

Engine: Thunder Stroke 116, Air-Cooled 49° V-twin with Rear Cylinder Deactivation
Displacement: 116 cu in / 1,890 cc
Bore x Stroke: 4.063 in x 4.449 in (103.2 mm x 113 mm)
Compression Ratio: 11 : 1
Peak Torque: 120 lb-ft (162 Nm) @ 2,900 rpm
Fuel System: Closed loop/54 mm bore single throttle body
Exhaust: Dual exhaust with crossover
Primary Drive: Gear drive wet clutch
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Transmission: 6-speed/constant mesh
Gear Ratio: 1st: 9.403, 2nd: 6.411, 3rd: 4.763, 4th: 3.796, 5th: 3.243, 6th: 2.789

2022 Indian Super Chief Limited Price

2022 Indian Super Chief Limited
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2022 Indian Super Chief Limited
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MSRP starts at $21k and comes in Black Metallic, Blue Slate Metallic, and Maroon Metallic for its inaugural year.

Price and paint go hand in hand here. The 2022 Super Chief Limited base model rolls in a glossy Black Metallic finish for $20,999. If you don’t fancy the black-over-black look, you can get a splash of color at the tank and fenders with a choice between Blue Slate Metallic or Maroon Metallic for $21,499.

Gauges: Speedometer, Tachometer, Odometer, fuel gauge, compass, ambient temperature, Gear indicator
Infotainment: 4" Round Ride Command® Display with connected services such as real time traffic weather and traffic overlay included for a complementary 1-year trial for connected features from the vehicle sales date (after which, fees apply). Touchscreen display includes real-time clock; ambient air temperature; heading; audio information display; map/navigation with real-time traffic and weather; Bluetooth status for phone and headset; vehicle status (voltage, engine hours, oil change); vehicle info (speed, fuel range, RPM, gear position); current ride data (distance, moving time, stop time, altitude, altitude change); trip meters; ride mode selection; screen brightness; and vehicle trouble code readout.
Standard Features: ABS, Ride Modes, Keyless Ignition, USB charge port, 12V Charge Port, Rear Cylinder Deactivation
Lights: LED Headlight, LED Tail/Brake/Turn Signals
Warranty: 2 years, unlimited mileage
Colors: Black Metallic, Blue Slate Metallic, Maroon Metallic
Price: $20,999, Color: $21,499

2022 Indian Super Chief Limited Competitors

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2022 Indian Super Chief Limited
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No doubt about it, the Super Chief Limited is destined to compete for a slice of the U.S. Market. That’s going to bring it head-to-head with its longtime foe from Milwaukee, so I went straight to Harley-Davidson for its Heritage Classic that has always been a tribute piece.

Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
- image 859959

Built on the new Softail platform, the Heritage Classic brings much of the same old-school look to the table, complete with a special swingarm that mimics the look of the rigid frame. The rest of the frame geometry also keeps to the classic lines, and the fat hydraulic front end sort of dates the look to the years immediately after WWII.

Like Indian, H-D has its own historical experience to lean on, and it shows in the genuine finish it brings to the table. H-D gives a nod to the custom bikebuilders of years past with rampant blackout treatment and a high-rise handlebar. The windshields are similarly situated across the board with large areas of coverage and darkened lower sections. Stock saddlebags finish out the touring goodies to make the Heritage Classic a modern equivalent to what used to be the tourbike setup in pre-fairing year-models.

Harley doesn’t go as far as Indian to make the engine look old. The overall architecture is the same as the old bikes with a 45-degree offset in the jugs and functional cooling fins. Buyers have a choice in the engine department with a standard 107 cubic-inch engine, and a 114 cubic-inch engine ready to plug right in for extra performance. The price difference on the bigger engine is only $1,500, so it’s worth a look.

The color packages range from the Vivid Black at $20,449 and the two-tone packages at the top of the spectrum fetch $21,199 to gain a razor-thin advantage over the Indian at the checkout.

Read our full review of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic.

He Said

“Gotta’ love tribute pieces, especially ones with such a proud pedigree. I think this is a great use for the new Super Chief platform, and so far, is my favorite of that particular bunch. One thing is for sure, bikes like this show that Indian has most definitely ’arrived,’ in spite of the interruptions of operations through the years. Polaris has propped up a winner, it seems. I bet the folks over at H-D headquarters are starting to sweat just a little more.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The look is my favorite with the big cyclops headlight, touring windshield, bags, and no fairing. It’s right on par with the Road King and the Moto Guzzi California Touring 1400. Cruising is effortless and even though it’s built for straight-line stability, the ride is surprisingly nimble. Along with its stable mate, the Super Chief, it really is an elegant ride.”

2022 Indian Super Chief Limited Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Thunder Stroke 116, Air-Cooled 49° V-twin with Rear Cylinder Deactivation
Displacement: 116 cu in / 1,890 cc
Bore x Stroke: 4.063 in x 4.449 in (103.2 mm x 113 mm)
Compression Ratio: 11 : 1
Peak Torque: 120 lb-ft (162 Nm) @ 2,900 rpm
Fuel System: Closed loop/54 mm bore single throttle body
Exhaust: Dual exhaust with crossover
Primary Drive: Gear drive wet clutch
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Transmission: 6-speed/constant mesh
Gear Ratio: 1st: 9.403, 2nd: 6.411, 3rd: 4.763, 4th: 3.796, 5th: 3.243, 6th: 2.789
Chassis:
Frame: Steel tube weldment with cast aluminum rear sub-frame
Front Suspension/ Travel: Telescopic fork, 46 mm diameter/ 5.2 in (132 mm)
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Dual shocks with adjustable preload/ 3.0 in (75mm)
Rake/Trail: 29° / 5.2 in (131.5 mm)
Lean Angle: 28.5°
Front Brakes: 300 mm Semi-Floating Rotor, Single 4-piston caliper
Rear Brakes: 300 mm Floating Rotor, Single 2-piston caliper
Front Tire: Pirelli® Night Dragon 130/90B16 67H
Rear Tire: Pirelli® Night Dragon 180/65 B16 81H
Front Wheel: Wire Spoke 16" x 3"
Rear Wheel: Wire Spoke 16" x 5"
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 90 in (2,286 mm)
Height: 47.4 in (1,203 mm)
Width: 42.5 in (1.080 mm)
Wheelbase: 64 in (1,626 mm)
Seat Height: 26.2 in (665 mm)
Dry Weight: 714 lbs (324 kg)
Curb Weight: 739 lbs (335 kg)
Ground Clearance: 4.9 in (125 mm)
GVWR: 1,160 lbs (522 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 4 gal (15.1 ltr)
Details:
Gauges: Speedometer, Tachometer, Odometer, fuel gauge, compass, ambient temperature, Gear indicator
Infotainment: 4" Round Ride Command® Display with connected services such as real time traffic weather and traffic overlay included for a complementary 1-year trial for connected features from the vehicle sales date (after which, fees apply). Touchscreen display includes real-time clock; ambient air temperature; heading; audio information display; map/navigation with real-time traffic and weather; Bluetooth status for phone and headset; vehicle status (voltage, engine hours, oil change); vehicle info (speed, fuel range, RPM, gear position); current ride data (distance, moving time, stop time, altitude, altitude change); trip meters; ride mode selection; screen brightness; and vehicle trouble code readout.
Standard Features: ABS, Ride Modes, Keyless Ignition, USB charge port, 12V Charge Port, Rear Cylinder Deactivation
Lights: LED Headlight, LED Tail/Brake/Turn Signals
Warranty: 2 years, unlimited mileage
Colors: Black Metallic, Blue Slate Metallic, Maroon Metallic
Price: $20,999, Color: $21,499

Further Reading

Indian Motorcycle

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Source: The New 2022 Super 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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