First Ride: 2014 Indian Chieftain

What's Good

• Gorgeous design
• Lusty engine
• Smart, modern technology
• Heritage, heritage, heritage
• An alternative to Harley-Davidson that's is not an H-D clone
• Great list of standard equipment

What's Bad

• Transmission can be clunky until warm
• Daytime reflections and glare on instrument panel
• No top box available yet
• Power locks rob storage space in saddle bags
• Unattractive switches and buttons
• Too much heat under your right thigh, could make for uncomfortable riding in traffic during hot weather

2014 Indian Chieftain
2014 Indian Chieftain

Specifications

Engine
Type: Thunder Stroke 111 - Air cooled 49-degree V-twin with electronic fuel injection
Displacement: 111 cu.-in.
Bore x Stroke: 3.976" x 4.449"
Valve Train: 2 valves per cylinder/hydraulic lifters
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Horsepower: N/A
Torque: 119.2 lb.-ft. @ 3,000 rpm
Final Drive: Belt/152-tooth
Recommended Fuel: 91 octane/15% Ethanol or MBTE OK
Recommended Oil: 20W40

Indian

Transmission
Gears: 6-speed manual
Clutch: Hydraulic/Wet Multi-Plate

Dimensions
Length: 101.2"
Width: 40.2"
Height: 60.2"
Seat Height: 26.0"
Wheelbase: 65.7"
Rake: 25 degrees
Trail: 5.9"
Fuel Capacity: 5.5 gal
GVWR: 1,385 lbs
Weight (empty tank/full of fuel): 815 lbs/848 lbs
Carrying Capacity (calculated, less fuel): 537 lbs

Suspension
Front: Telescopic Fork/4.7 in travel - 46mm cartridge forks with dual rate springs
Rear: Single Shock/4.49 in travel/pneumatic adjustment

Brakes
Front: Dual Floating Rotor/4 Piston Caliper Dual Front/300mm/Non-Linked ABS
Rear: Single Floating Rotor/2 Piston Caliper/300mm/Non-Linked ABS

Wheels
Front: Cast 16" x 3.5"
Rear: Cast 16" x 5"

Tires
Front: Dunlop Elite 3 130/90B16 73H
Rear: Dunlop® Elite 3 180/60R16 80H

Chieftain Dashboard
Chieftain Dashboard

The Price

Thunder Black: $22,999 (49 States)/$23,249 (CA)
Indian Red: $23,499 (49 States)/$23,749 (CA)
Springfield Blue: $23,499 (49 States)/$23,749 (CA)

The Verdict

Indian may actually be in the right hands after six decades of uncertainty. The 2014 Chieftain is a fantastic motorcycle, a worthy competitor to the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide. Anyone who is considering a V-twin touring bike purchase must sample the Chieftain before making a decision. It may come down to a matter of taste - you might be a Harley fan, or you might be an Indian enthusiast. Finally, you've actually got a choice, and it won't be an easy one.

RideApart Rating: 9/10

Are you a Harley person, or an Indian person? Does the new Chieftain meet your expectations - or are you still waiting for the brand to prove itself?

Related Links:
Indian: The New Indian Motorcycles
Chief: What The New Chief Means For Indian
Indian: Time To Be Optimistic About American Motorcycles?

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