2009 Indian Chief finally reaches dealers

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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.
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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.

Indian via MotoFlash

  • http://stradaautostore.squarespace.com/dialogue2008/ Strada

    This level of cruisers are similar to hot rods. Does a 32 Deuce High Boy change? Does it need innovations? The same for a shoebox Chevy (1955-56).Its what it is, for what it is. The mechanical aspect, chrome, nostalgia is what an Indian or an hot rod is all about.

    Agreed that during challenging economic times a 30K bike might come across as somewhat over the top for most folks.

    An Indian is the hot rod, an MV Agusta Brutale is the sports cars, an 1198 is the track car and so on.

  • http://www.br4dsh4w.com kc!

    Looks bloated and boring… so it will probably sell quite well. :(

  • DoctorNine

    I dunno. I’m still confused by the logo, considering that the bikes are made near enough to Cherokee country to probably be offensive to somebody. Maybe they should change that logo to an image of Bodhidharma. 30k? I guess so. I really like the design. Sure. That’s still a better price than some full-out HD dressers. And the first year is limited production, so you are sure to retain value. But that’s still is a lot of scratch for two wheels…

  • http://www.moonlakevintage.com james

    Indian motorcycle. $30,000.00. Maybe I can get a little government
    bailout money to buy one.

  • BillyName99

    Ya know what the owners of the current iteration of Indian Motocycles shoule do? I’ll tell ya:

    First off, Ditch the $30K, Underpowered, Overly-Fendered, Wannabe-Retro road-sofas.

    It would be absolutely AWESOME if they would go back to the drawing board and make a Smaller, Reliable, Affordable, and PRACTICAL Bike.

    How about a 1000cc, 500lb (or less), $10K,(or less) 40+ mpg bike that you could use as a commuter and basic runabout?

    Something with less fancy paint and bodywork that you could throw a leg over and take for a 500 mile ride on the weekend and then ride it to work on Monday.

    They could stick with the “Indian” theme and call it “The Scout” or “Brave” or “Warrior”.

    Let’s see them make a V-Twin Enduro, or a Naked Sportbike.

    This company is gonna die like the other attempted resurrections unless they start making decent bikes instead of retro-styled toys for people with more money than sense.

    There is no damned reason a production bike should cost Thirty Grand.

    They’d have a much better chance at long term success if they built a bike that was a solid answer to H-D’s Sportster. (a Model that has been in Continuous production since 1957, btw)

    My $0.02
    (which is what I’d give you for an ’09 “Chief”)

  • http://artistruth.livejournal.com will

    It’s absolutely antiamerican, this repititious ancient iron.

  • drjohndee

    Well, as a Briton I’m just glad the new Triumph Thunderbird is no longer the most bland, outmoded, redundant motorcycle on the planet.

    I kind of agree with BillyName99. The reason Triumph’s latest resurrection has succeeded isn’t because they rehashed their past with the Bonnevilles; it’s because they came up with brilliant bikes like the Speed Triple, Sprint, Tiger and Daytona that were new but still had something of the original Triumph spirit.

    And I also agree that there should be some smaller-capacity US bikes. H-D made everything from 50cc up in their glory days; it would be nice to see them do it now.

  • BillyName99

    I wasn’t even going to mention Triumph, but the Good Doctor does bring up a valid point.

    The Owners of Indian need to GET OVER THE PAST!

    Triumph is a very good example of how to do it, Keep the Spirit of the classics but take it in a modern, contemporary direction.

    Well put sir, well put.

  • jt nesbitt

    I contacted these nimrods four years ago, asked them if they needed any design help with the re-re-launch. They declined. — JT

  • Old's Kool

    Man, Indian just can’t catch a break! I remember just a few years ago they tried a comeback and crashed and burned. Now they finally get up off the ground, but in a monster economic recession!

    Personally, I’d like to see them succeed,but they’re not going to do it with price tags like these. Baby steps! Sometimes less is more. I wish’em luck though.

  • CC

    I agree with all of the posts and I especially agree with billyname99 that Indian should build a Sportster like street bike. I’m convinced that there is a BIG market out there for a Sportster and a Dyna size street bike and what is needed to seperate it from Harley is much more power. If Indian produced these 2 style of bikes, made them good looking and especially put a serious engine in each of them, say 115HP and 90+ torque, the market would eat them up. I have to believe that this is doable but NO ONE does it. And Harley doesn’t have to as they sell out all of their bikes anyway.

    With what Indian is now offering at $30K, all I can say to them is: Edsel

  • HarDave

    Heh-Heh! yeah,the Edsel! should’a called it the Won’tsell! Billy’s absolutely right,though,how could they market a $30,000. bike in this economy but I suppose they didn’t see this coming anymore then anyone else did.Come to think of it,they can probably sell them to these bank Presidents who just got all this bail-out money from Congress! They’ve all still got their 6 figure salaries!!!!