Indian Motorcycle Reveals New Roadmaster Classic
Because, Hey, Who Doesn't Want More Leather?
Indian Motorcycle has pulled the (leather) cover off its new Roadmaster Classic, a model variant that RideApart first picked up on about a month ago.
The Roadmaster Classic is, according to Indian, "a bike that reimagines what a heritage-inspired American touring motorcycle can be by blending iconic styling with the ultimate in modern touring amenities." In less flowery terms, the Classic is basically the accomplished mile-eating Roadmaster with more leather clothing.
A lot more leather. There's a leather seat, of course, but also leather saddlebags and a leather top case. Not enough animal skin on your motorcycle? Dipping into the accessories catalog will deliver leather grips, leather-covered brake and clutch levers, leather handlebar tassels, leather highway bar wraps, leather floorboard wraps, a leather tank pouch, and leather mud flaps.
"The Indian Roadmaster Classic will turn heads whether you’re riding down Main Street or on Route 66," says Indian.
I'll admit I have a deep, abiding dislike of leather fringe. It comes from being raised in Texas, I suppose, where leather fringe (and sequins and charm bracelets and denim on denim) are too often the haute couture of grandmas who describe themselves as "sassy." Fortunately, it's my understanding that the fringe on the Classic can be removed. As a matter of fact, the whole of the luggage can be removed, at which point you are left with a sort of streamlined Chieftain.
No bad thing. Like all of Indian's big twins the Roadmaster Classic is powered by the mountainous 1811cc Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin, which pumps out roughly 90 hp and – more importantly – 119 ft-lb of torque. Juxtaposing the Classic's old-timey leather-clad aesthetic is a cornucopia of modern amenities including keyless ignition, throttle-by-wire cruise control, heated grips and seats, Pathfinder LED headlamps, power adjustable windscreen, adjustable passenger floorboards, tire pressure monitoring system, anti-lock brakes, a 100-watt audio system (that I can personally attest is crystal clear even at 80 mph while wearing earplugs), and Indian Motorcycle’s much-lauded 7-inch Ride Command infotainment system.
“The Indian Roadmaster has been synonymous with comfort for touring riders since its introduction in the 1950s,” said Indian Motorcycle Marketing Director Reid Wilson. “The addition of the new leather wrapped Roadmaster Classic gives touring riders another great option that delivers a powerful and iconic experience. The Roadmaster Classic is an undeniably beautiful motorcycle that our riders have been asking for.”
It's unclear if the Classic's leather saddlebags are the same used on the Indian Chief Vintage. They appear to be, in which case they are not lockable. Looking closely at images of the top box, it doesn't appear to be lockable either. This, along with the absence of the standard Roadmaster's handy leg shields (aka "lower fairing"), suggests the bike is aimed at folks who prefer to limit their touring to short, fair-weather jaunts. Though, I suspect the leather might look pretty cool after a few years of hard use.
Equally good-looking is the Classic's two-tone paint scheme, available in Willow Green over Ivory Cream, or Indian Motorcycle Red over Ivory Cream. The Classic is also available in Thunder Black. Chrome details and those iconic valanced fenders will ensure that every gas station stop includes a five-minute conversation with an excited onlooker.
The Classic shares the same telescopic fork front and air-adjustable single shock rear suspension as the standard version. Braking comes from dual 300mm semi-floating rotors with four-piston calipers up front and a single 300mm semi-floating rotor with two-piston caliper in the rear.
The bikes will be available immediately; dealerships around the world will be holding special unveiling events this weekend. Prices in the United States start at $26,999 for Thunder Black, which is a full $2,000 less than the starting price for the standard Roadmaster. If you can live without lockable luggage and lower fairing the Classic might be the country-crossing machine for you.