After nearly five years of development and some serious delays, the 2009 Indian Chief is finally arriving on showroom floors. The Chief comes in four flavors: Standard, Deluxe, Roadmaster and Vintage, starting at $30,999 for the standard and running to $35,499. As is the way with these things, there’ll also be loads of expensive bolt-ons to ensure your credit card takes an even larger hit than that.
Man, we’ve been writing about a lot of cruisers lately. You’ve probably
figured this out by now, but they’re not really our thing. I mean, they
would be if they were interesting, innovative or, well, anything, but
they just aren’t. Still, we’re trying to offer diverse news coverage
so, at the very least, they make the scooters, adventure tourers and
supermotos look really, really good. Having said that, we really like
the classic graphics, colors and textures on this new Chief. The Indian
head is wonderfully politically incorrect.
All four Chiefs share the same 1720cc air-cooled twin that produces
100lb/ft of torque, with differentiation coming from things like
screens, pain colors and tassles. We actually like those tassels, but
fear that Chief buyers won’t appreciate them for the same ironic
campness we do.
When the Chief project was originally given the go ahead in 2006 the
economy was awash with cheap credit, punters leveraging their inflated
home values to spend more than they could afford and a corrupt
financial industry paying its woefully underqualifed executives
criminally large bonuses. In that environment another super expensive
luxury product with minimal utility made a lot of sense, consumers were
practically screaming for ways to spend tons of money on pointless
crap. Now, things are different and we fear that the reborn Indian will
be short lived.