Bikers in search of a better bagger need look no further than the new 2017 Indian Chieftain Limited and Chieftain Elite. Announced on April 4, the model variants further demonstrate the Minnesota-based manufacturer’s commitment to craftsmanship and innovation in order to enhance the ride experience. One can only wonder how otherworldly these aluminum-frame machines would appear to Indian’s original founders, George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom, compared to their first 1.7 hp creation in 1901.
Both Chieftains roll with a cast aluminum frame that houses the brand’s Thunderstroke 111 engine (generating 119.2 ft lbs of torque) with electronic fuel injection. Differentiating themselves from the standard Chieftain, the latest in the line have a more aggressive and aerodynamic aesthetic, a lower profile, a revised front fender, and new 19-inch wheel with 10 spokes (paired with a 16-inch rear wheel). The power to stop stems from dual 300 mm floating brake rotors in front (with four piston calipers) and a single rotor of the same size at the back (with 2 piston calipers)—all complemented by an anti-lock braking system.
What really refines the ride, however, are all of the onboard amenities. These include a power-adjustable windscreen, key-less ignition, remote-locking saddlebags, and a 7-inch touch screen infotainment system that is Bluetooth compatible and displays navigation information, ride metrics, and status on key operational elements. Also helping the miles melt away is a 100-watt sound system.
Aptly named, the Chieftain Elite distances itself from its sibling with a paint job (in Indian’s Fireglow Red Candy color scheme) that is done by hand, a process that takes more than 25 hours. In addition, the Elite is dressed up with a host of extras, such as a Pathfinder LED headlight and a 200-watt stereo.
While the Chieftain Limited will be in regular production, the Chieftain Elite will be kept to only 350 units. The bikes are priced starting at $24,499 and $31,499, respectively. (indianmotorcycle.com)