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2010 Indian Chief Roadmaster First Ride

Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The handlebars on the 2010 Chief Roadmaster are slightly higher than its competitors while the riding position is easy-going and upright.
With deeply-valanced front fenders, wide leather seats, and head dress tank logo, the new generation of Indian Motorcycles captures the essence established by the iconic American marque's predecessors.  
The bloodline is there. The front fender sweeps forward like a cresting wave, its lines established long ago in classics like the 1948 Indian Chief. The chief’s head is there, perched in its place on top of the heavily valanced front fender, eyes pointed toward the road ahead. The twin cylinders sit cradled in a steel A-frame beneath a tapered tank, the Indian logo still scripted across the tank’s side. The leather seat is wide, comfy and inviting, ready for the long haul, but luckily it isn’t the sprung seat of old. Suspension duties have been graciously removed from the saddle and delegated to a single rear shock. After all, Indian Motorcycles set out to capture the iconic image in the new bikes, not the antiquated ride. The deep-skirted rear fender rolls behind like the next wave in a set, maintains the bikes smooth, flowing balance. Distressed brown leather saddlebags contribute to the bike’s vintage appeal. Yes indeed, the Indian Motorcycle’s bloodline is obvious.
I admire the classic styling of the 2010 Indian Chief Roadmaster while parked at the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota. Taking photos is becoming a challenge. I’m parked at the bottom of a set of stairs that leads to the museum and almost everybody that passes by stops to admire the bike. Many ask me what year it is, and are surprised when they find out it’s a 2010 model. The fact that they can’t tell the difference between the newest rendition and the classics means that Indian Motorcycles’ styling department hit the nail on the head when designing the new bikes.
We couldnt think of a more fitting motorcycle to visit the Crazy Horse Memorial on than one of the new Indians.
Taking photos in front of the Crazy Horse Memorial proved challenging because everybody who walked by wanted to talk about the eye-catching styling of the 2010 Indian Chief Roadmaster.
The group responsible for the latest resurrection of Indian Motorcycles is a private equity firm called Stellican Ltd. The company has been successful in reviving other iconic brands, like Chris-Craft boats, Riva yachts, and even the Italian soccer team, Vicenza. But bringing the motorcycle company back to the prestige it once enjoyed is an entirely different challenge. Indian started out with a bang over 108 years ago, but the success the original company enjoyed hasn’t manifested in its successors, and in 1977 the company declared bankruptcy. That dark episode of Indian Motorcycle’s history was followed up by the Gilroy years, another period of mismanagement and questionable production. But six years after the last Gilroy Indian was produced, the first new Indian Chiefs rolled off the Kings Mountain, NC, assembly line, breathing life again into the once proud marque. The question is, would the new Indians live up to standards set by company’s founders, George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom? We took a ride on the 2010 Indian Chief Roadmaster during our recent trip to Sturgis in our quest to find the answers.
Sitting on the Roadmaster for the very first time, the bike feels tall with its 27.9-inch seat height. The handlebar height is up in comparison to its competitors, with a rider’s arms straight out just below shoulder height. Throw in a good stretch to the forward-mounted footboards and you’ve got ergos with a slightly-forward tilt in the upper back and a slight curve of the lower back that’s supported by the thickly padded leather seat. A fuel tank that’s relatively slim despite its 5.6-gallon size lets you snug up tight to the bike and take advantage of the wind-deflecting properties of the tall, quick-release windshield.

A 45-degree pushrod engine with a 3.966 X 4.25 bore stroke gets the wheels on the 10 Roadmaster rolling.
Providing the pulse to the new Indian Chiefs is a proprietary 45-degree air-cooled V-Twin with closed-loop fuel injection.
Both clutch and brake levers are four-way adjustable, so I click both in a single measurement for my grip size. The clutch lever pull is firm but not overly stiff. The convenience of a thumb-operated electric starter is not lost when firing up a big bike like this, and with a push of a button the electronically-fed cylinders spark to life reliably. Indian’s proprietary engine sits tall in the frame, big chrome-capped heads on a pushrod V-Twin. The room is needed for the tall heads and the 4.25-inch stroke of the pistons working within the 3.96-inch bore. A few twists of the throttle let’s you know that it is rigid-mounted to the frame by the vibrations in your knees.

My first ride started with twisting roads through the Black Hills along a back route to the Crazy Horse Memorial. Slick roads and fog aren’t ideal testing conditions, but the weather broke and I was finally able to open the Roadmaster up beyond second gear. Giving the throttle an aggressive twist, there is a noticeable rattle from the top bracket of the headlight housing when accelerating caused by the vibrations. The engine’s powerband overall is fairly broad, topping out in the 5200rpm range, but the engine could be tuned to give a little more grunt down low. The engine performs favorably in the top end, but lacks the surge down low of the Harley-Davidson TC 96 or Victory’s Freedom 106. At South Dakota's 75-mph highway speeds in top gear, the rigid-mounted engine again gets a little vibey around the tank.
The Roadmasters front end features a tear drop-shaped Halogen headlamp and auxiliary lighting. The windscreen is detachable  and the stock mirrors deserve props for offering a great field of view.
The 2010 Chief Roadmaster's front end features a tear drop-shaped halogen headlamp and auxiliary lighting. The windscreen is detachable, and the stock mirrors deserve props for offering a great field of view.
Getting up to speed on Intersate 90 gives me a chance to run through the Roadmaster’s gears where I get a pleasant surprise. The transmission is impressively smooth. Each gear engages easily with a quick flick on the heel/toe shifter without the usual clunkiness of a V-Twin tranny. Neutral was easy to find on the constant mesh six-speed transmission, and power transfer to the belt-driven rear end was even. First gear will get you into the low 40s and 6th gear, with its 1:1 ratio, keeps rpm and vibrations low up until around 70 mph. The Indian’s six-speed transmission has no problems doling out the power of the 1720cc PowerPlus engine.

The South Dakota countryside rolls through green hills and craggy spires as the road winds through pine-laden countryside. The curves are mostly long and flowing, with the occasional tight 20-mph bend thrown in to keep you honest. The bike handles well for a motorcycle with a claimed weight of 747 lbs squeezed in between a long 68.4-inch wheelbase. The chassis is dialed in and feels planted at speed in turns and the floorboards are up high enough that I get a pretty generous lean angle before scraping. The 41mm front fork and 130mm-wide tire keep the front end firmly planted while a single-shock and swingarm on the back side team with a narrow 150mm rear tire to give the bike its friendly handling traits. The ’10 Chief Roadmaster is well-balanced and manageable at slow speeds as well.

The soft  distressed brown leather saddlebags and seat tie in to the vintage styling of the 2010 Indian Chief Roadmaster. The seat is ultra-plush and comfy.
The soft, distressed brown leather saddlebags and seat tie in to the vintage styling of the 2010 Indian Chief Roadmaster. The seat is as plush and comfy as it looks.
And while the bike gets better-than-average marks in the handling department, its braking arrangement was less than stellar - a surprise, considering the front features Brembo brakes with chromed dual calipers. The 11.5-inch dual floating rotors and 4-piston caliper arrangement lack initial bite. The single caliper floating rotor arrangement on the rear isn’t much better and locks up instead of keeping the pressure constant. Used in tandem, they get the job done, but independently they lack the power to bring the big bike to a stop fast. Whether Indian is pursuing ABS as an option is unknown, but bikes of this bulk can benefit from such a system.

Chugging down the scenic South Dakota highways, the front windscreen is tall enough that it’s out of my field-of-view. If you don’t like it, it pops off easily enough to give more of a cruiser look. Checking my speed is easy thanks to an analog speedo that sits high in the center of a tank-mounted console. Below the round dial of the speedo are a handful of digital display lights, like a neutral indicator and low fuel light. Instrumentation is fairly basic. The back of the headlight housing does have a cool 12 Volt plug-in on the rider’s right-hand side, and a switch for the auxiliary lights on the left, but the square housing is a little bulky from the
The die-cast console on the tank includes a speedo and multi-function displays like a low fuel light and neutral indicator.
The die-cast console on the tank includes a speedo and multi-function displays like a low fuel light and neutral indicator.
rider’s viewpoint. The view from the front, on the other hand, is super clean, with a big chromed tear drop halogen headlamp in the middle flanked by two driving lamps. The chrome control housing and mirrors keep the bars tidy and the look sharp, and the mirrors provide an impressive field-of-view. The turn signals aren’t self-cancelling, and I left them on numerous times. Flashing fingers of passing riders were quick to bring it to my attention. It’s nothing that wouldn’t be remedied by habit.

The 2010 Indian Chief Roadmaster is a combination of classic lines and contemporary performance. Its studded seat with distressed brown leather and Roadmaster saddlebags give it an antiquated look. The bags are made of supple leather and are wide enough to stuff a leather jacket in. The deeply-valanced front fenders and spoked wheels are reminiscent of an era long past. But the big engine with EFI and shiny two-into-one stainless steel exhaust with a three-way catalytic converter are state-of-the-art. Old school meets new. An Indian for the 21st century.
The new owners of Indian Motorcycles have done a commendable job capturing the essence of the iconic American motorcycle brand. The 2010 Chief Roadmaster is visually striking. The fit and finish is high-quality, even down to the clean welds on the frame. Indian is going about things the right way by using a proprietary engine and keeping traditional styling cues. The bike handles and shifts well. The next step would be to quell the vibes of the engine a tad and to give it better stopping power. With a MSRP of $33,999, motorcyclists are going to expect
South Dakotas Crazy Horse Memorial was a perfect backdrop for the impressive styling of the 2010 Indian Chief Roadmaster.
South Dakota's Crazy Horse Memorial was a perfect backdrop for the impressive styling of the 2010 Indian Chief Roadmaster.
the bike to handle better than its less-expensive competitors. Harley-Davidson’s 2010 Softail Classic lists for $16,999, or $17,864 with custom color. Victory’s new hard-bagged cruiser, the 2010 Cross Country, is priced at $17,999. Exclusivity alone is a hard sell in tight times like these. And though the resurrection of Indian Motorcycles is headed in the right direction, a lower selling point has to be a topic of discussion in the Indian board room. Word is that the Scout is in the works, which traditionally is not only more sport-oriented, but lists cheaper as well. Expanding into more than one niche will only make the prospect of owning a high-end bike like the Roadmaster more attractive. The bloodline is there, and Indians will always hold a special place in American motorcycling lore. Judging by the new Indians, the company is seeking to have a place in the next chapters of motorcycle history as well.
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2010 Indian Chief Roadmaster Specs
With deeply-valanced front fenders  wide leather seats  soft-sided saddlebags  and a head dress tank logo the new Indians capture the essence established by the iconic American marques predecessors.
Type – PowerPlus 105 Air-Cooled
Displacement – 105 ci
Bore/Stroke – 3.966 X 4.25
Compression Ratio - 9:1
Fuel System – Closed loop sequential port fuel injection
Primary Drive – Chain
Final Drive - Belt
Gearbox – Six Speed
Frame – High tensile steel, monoshock
– Diameter 41mm/Travel 4.25 in.
Rear – Single shock/Travel 2.87 in.
Brakes/Front – Dual Caliper with floating rotors 11.5 in. diameter
Brakes/Rear – Single Caliper floating rotor 11.5 in. diameter
Tires – Front 130/90-16 Black or White Wall
Rear – 150/90-16 Black or White Wall
Exhaust System – Two-into-one Stainless Steel with Chromed Shields
Length – 100.5 in.
Width – 40.5 in.
Height – 50.5 in.
Seat Height – 27.89 in.
Wheelbase – 68.4 in.
Weight (dry claimed) – 747 lbs
Rake/Trail – 34-degree/ 5.92 in.
Fuel Capacity – 5.6 gal.
Standard Colors – Thunder Black with Silver Script
Thunder Black with Silver Head Dress
MSRP - $33,999
Two-year warranty
2010 Indian Chief Highs & Lows
  • Chassis
  • Tranny
  • Styling
  • Vibes
  • Needs more torque down low
  • Brakes

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rawhide   August 15, 2012 09:36 PM
I have a 2010 Chief Dark Horse and a Harley and I'm sorry to say the Indian rules. Vibration at 70 mph? My bike runs it's best at 70mph wow how cool the motor sounds like the older bikes noisy which is cool to me, that dark Horse rocks. The only complaint is the stock exhaust is quiet and kind of chokes the bike. I put the stage one pipe on mine and it runs and sounds crazy good. and it looks sooo good. Bottom line is I love both bikes.. Cowboys and Indians can get along..
OldIndian   July 10, 2012 04:12 AM
We've just made a film on Indian Motorcycles, thought you might be interested take a look at the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Watermill2010
Steve K -Goal  November 26, 2010 03:17 PM
Most people enjoy having riders and non riders stopping by to look at their bikes. There isn't a better looking ride out there over Indian. I could live with a little vibration at some speeds if that is a concern for some. I could find a smoother, faster, cheaper bike too. But since most of my rides will be within 200 miles of home, on secondary roads and since I like people stopping by to see a work of art and to talk bikes....I'd choose an Indian any day.
Rough House -Whoa.... controversey  September 25, 2010 12:18 AM
I rode Harleys for about 20-25 years... I rode them when they weren't popular and when, frankly, guys who rode motorcycles where basically blue collar guys and we were kind of look at as the dregs of society. Today, everywhere I look, it is Harley central.. Everyone is on one.. So I said, screw it. I haven't ridden one in a decade, (currently riding a metric, 125CI (2053CC) Kawasakie Vulcan..) So, I went down and climbed aboard an ultra glide and a Road King. I've own previous iterations of both of these bikes.. I felt as if I were on a motor scooter. Poor breaking, tiny frame and under powered engine. Being an American Motorcycle company to me is about innovation. When Harley and Indian first opened, they were competing with each other. They were innovating, advancing these machines. Then again, the bikes were more than just a fashion accessory. They were work horses for the military and police etc.. I ride about 10K miles a year and have for 30 years now. I come from a Harley Family. My cousin used to build custom Harleys in the early 1980s. I say, screw Harley. Screw Indian. Screw the past. "owning an American bike is about.. " Owning a motorcycle is different for every person. Buy what you want, ride what you want. I love to ride. I enjoy being entertained by the fashion assholes who are dressed head to toe in Harley crap like they are off to a fashion show and nary a bug on the headlight of their motorcycles.. They aren't riders.. If the guys at Indian can bring back an iconic brand and with it, the innovative spirit that made both Harley and Indian great in the first place. God bless them. America needs more manufacturing jobs. We need more grease monkeys and blue collar workers who just want to ride to ride. Hopefully they will find a way to deliver the power, torque, handling and fun that most riders are looking for at a price that working stiffs like me can afford. Hopefully it will be a great, not good, but great product.. If not, I'll keep riding metric. And when they start sucking, I'll look for the next brand. Because that is what made these brands great in the first place. Free market competition. The emotional, brand loyalty crap is just evidence that the marketing people are doing their jobs well..
christopher -where i purchase a switch 2610 and router  September 20, 2010 11:43 AM
i bought it from biggerdealershop@gmail.com it Ok transacting bussiness with them
Keith Long -I love this bike  August 26, 2010 01:33 PM
I just purchased a brand new 2009 Roadmaster leftover on August 25th 2010 and I have to say this bike is wonderful. I have been riding motorcycles for 23 years and I have always favored Japanese bikes for their speed, reliability and overall performance. I have toyed with buying a Harley several times but have never purchased one years ago because of quality issues and recently [lets say the last 10 years] because everyone has one. But then I saw the new Indians. I know the price tag is high, but this bike oozes quality and attention to detail. When you factor in all the extras that are included with this bike [hand stitched leather bags and seats, a prewired battery charger feed, steel braded wiring, two power outlets, tons of chrome, logo stamped hand chrome chrome grips, fog lights … the list goes on. When you factor in all these extras that come standard on the Indian, the bike is not much more expensive than a Harley. And it’s a real attention getter – last night I went to two bike nights and I was swarmed buy guys wanting to see the bike and talk about it. You just don’t get that type of attention on any other bike [in my experience]. The bike runs well if not a little subdued compared to a Jap bike but I just loved the feel of it. I highly recommend this bike for anyone that wants to ride something a little different
dano -poor on every level  July 29, 2010 01:45 AM
Little tip on marketing all motorcycles. 1. It's a three tiered process. 2. Offer a very high end bike, a low end bike and one in between. 3. 90% of the people will buy the medium priced bike. 4. It's a psychological thing.
Cleverer than most -Harley is a Harley?  July 25, 2010 08:24 AM
Lonnie August 19, 2009 , AMF Harley's in the 1980 (wide glide) , AMF , a ten pin bowling firm . Electricals , front forks , rear shocks , and more , all made in Japan! 1977 xlch sportster same ! That American patriotic drivel does not wash with me as a previous owner of the above that will never own American crap again . Designated as pure utter garbage from this day forward.
PeteP -Bad news for motorcycling in general  July 19, 2010 05:01 AM
What depresses me about this effort is that the general, non-riding public only sees this type of motorcycle as viable for investment and development. Why not take the same level of effort and devote it to Highland, ATK, Fischer, or even the resurrection of Buell (except that HD would fight that tooth and nail)?

John Bloor saved Triumph, not by exhuming the past, but by focusing on the future. Now Triumph is one of the few marques to register an increase in sales for 2009.

I fear this latest Indian revival will result in another sharp tang of failure on the tongue of American investment capitalists. Perhaps the last one.
Mcguire -sewer rat  July 6, 2010 12:57 AM
Im trying to use my imagination but all I see is a expensive Harley Clone that dosen't perform up to a Harley's level (and thats just plain sad given Indian's history). Thirty three thousand dollars buys 2 Vrods, A Trimuph Rocket plus throw in a speed triple for change, A Honda VTX cruiser with a CBR 1000 for change, An Aprilia RSV with most any medium sized Japanese cruiser for change.....You could buy a Kawasaki Drifter and paint a indian on the tank and call it a Kawatonto and you would get to put 15 grand back in your pocket and it would be just as much of an Indian as this bike. Having enough money to justify buying one is no excuse for getting so little return for your money.

Mike Rodgers -Gilroy (Garlic) Indians  June 23, 2010 06:40 PM
The '02-'03 Indians were a good attempt with the PP motor,but investors pulled the plug before they really got going(just like the Excelsior-Henderson's).Both were good bike's basically starting from scratch.A couple of more years would have let them work the "bug's" out.Same with the '09-10's,give 'em time to "adjust" to issues and prices.Buy what you want or can afford.I've owned alot of bike's in 45 years and I liked the '03 Indian Chief and BOUGHT one(and the only one I have to please is ME),and I ALSO own a 2000 Excelsior-Henderson Deadwood Special and love them both.The "problem's" on each are well documented and quite fixable.Nice to own two "classic's" that draw a crowd more-so than my Harley Dyna(and both together cost less than the Hog).Not knocking the Harley,love it too.To each his own.
Rick B -Test Ride this weekend  May 19, 2010 10:47 PM
I have read many posts on different forums about the new Indians both pro and con. But until I ride one for myself I can't honestly have an opinion on their performance, I will say they look drop dead beautiful. So this weekend the new Fresno, California dealership is holding a grand opening and offering free demo rides. I will be there and ride one for myself. Yes they are expensive, but prices are coming down.
Mike W -2010Chief Owner  May 19, 2010 01:30 PM
Have a new Chief Vintage. Not only do you need to take a look men, but you owe to yourself to take the ride!! it's worth every penny if you can afford it!
Bman -Ride it  April 29, 2010 12:31 AM
Like Cvo Indian is hand built.But, at least you get a leather seat for the price. We all know the price is too high for what the bike is or even the memory of what can be or will be Indian.Gilroy tried to answer the call via the powerplus.Bad planning and short investing stenched that idea.You guys riding tha jappies, theres nothin wrong with that.The name of the game is fun.Sometimes we pay to play.Remember Harley needed Honda parts in the 80s lest you forget. But, know Harleys are reliable.The Indian ??only time will tell. I got both an 03 chief and an 08 rking classic. Both are fun. the road king rides nicer,smoother acceleration.But,The Indian is more fun. Like driving a civic or an AAr Cuda. One is gonna make you smile. Also i see my road king al over. The Indian,nope ,just me..
Kurt H. -Executives trying to swindle again..  March 30, 2010 07:28 PM
For 30,000 keep that piece of junk, I have owned harleys in the past , victory, they all dont get it, make a motorcycle for the working man, i have owned the honda vtx line, both the 1300 and 1800 have put tons of miles on them, they out handle, perform, are more comfortable and reliable, look better than this legendary bike, their trying to sell the name. I buy smart . I wont pay 30,000 to be working on a bike and putting up with vibration noise, if i want vibrations, i will go out and buy a vibrator for my wife, i will pay 9000 and while im riding, you indian owners will be working on your bike and wishing you bought something with real performance.....
Mac -I wish you luck  March 11, 2010 04:08 PM
Tough timing. Would a CVO division stand on its own? I wish them luck, but the deep pockets will be sorely needed, I'm afraid.
(phd.)edward miller -Sir, Miller  January 21, 2010 12:05 PM
please shoot mee a e-mail please

MayhemV2 -Lots of money  January 20, 2010 08:35 PM
It looks like a beautiful bike and I'm sure people will buy it, but I think if this company is going to survive, they need to drop the price or make less expensive models to sell to the larger market.

I love the idea of Indian making a comeback, but selling to the few isn't usually how you succeed
Disappointed -Oh Well  January 13, 2010 02:51 AM
Indian is a glorious marque because it was founded and pushed forward by visionary racers and engineers. They were passionate about creating motorcycles on the leading edges of speed and technology. Then the company was taken over by "business men" (i.e., hucksters), and so began the company's long decline. Indian is once again being exhumed by "businessmen." They are not racers, they are not engineers, and they are certainly not visionaries. They are hucksters, out to make a buck off of the nostalgia for an iconic brand. So, instead of a high-performance tecnological wonder, they produce this overpriced, overweight, oversized, cartoonish monstrosity. How sad. George Hendee, Oscar Hedstrom, Jake DeRosier, Charles Franklin, et al., are probably rolling in their graves. These bikes are nothing like the motorcycles that the real Indian company would make if it was still around today. In fact, they are not motorcycles at all. They are $30,000 pieces of ass jewelry.
Lobo -$$$  January 6, 2010 05:34 PM
Indian Al, follow the link. The bikes start at 25,999 and the is before incentives are taken into consideration http://indianmotorcycle.com/TheMotorcycles1/ChiefClassic/ChiefClassicSpecifications/tabid/484/Default.aspx
Indian Al -New Chief  January 2, 2010 09:48 PM
I have an 03 vintage had many problems with it but i think it has more style than the new ones , I rode the 09 and was not impressed vibrations from the motor ,i was in K M at the factory they use S&S crank in there motors . When i had mine rebuilt they used S&S crank, not much of a change . The bike was not smooth in any gear,and there fuel injected , can`t make out if your turn siginals are on and they don`t self cansel, the gilroy models self cansel .I thought 25,000 was over priced , they want 35,000+ good or bad times way over priced. I don`t think it handles any better than the gilroy bikes ,I have an 07 ultra love it , when i`m out on the 03 chief it gets more looks ,people come up to you and just want to talk about it .
franky -American bikes  December 31, 2009 01:12 PM
I own a 2000 Indian Cheif and I love my bike. I just wanted to respond to all of those haters and jealous idiots who either can't afford an american bike or don't understand them and their owners. Let me try to explain this.

Ya your jap bikes are prob faster, cheaper, more efficient with less vibrations and so on and so on. So is jacking off versus dining and wining a woman to get real sex. I prefer the real deal with all of the smells vibrations and pains that comes with. American Bike owners don't buy their bikes because they are better than jap bikes, they buy them because they want and are willing to pay for the real deal.

So to the rest of you; sorry you guys just don't get it.
Jerry Palladino AKA Motorman -Indian  December 28, 2009 04:27 PM
I road test a lot of motorcycles for several magazine's. The past few years, I've found it difficult to find any fault with motorcycles from Harleys to Honda's to the European makes.
The Gilroy Indian was a pile of junk, but it sure looked pretty. This new Indian, rode just like the Gilroy pile of junk. Way too much vibration, not enough power, lousy brakes, terrible handling especially at low speeds, high effort clutch, and an outrageously high price. Only Divine intervention will keep this new company in business. My local dealer has about 20 of these things collecting dust in the showroom. Even with huge discounts he can't get rid of them. But hey, they sure look pretty.
Herb K. -Nice Indian's  November 25, 2009 09:33 PM
Really like the look of the new Indians, if they would of been out couple of years ago I would of bought one instead of my Harley Road King Classic, to many Harleys around, would like to see price come down! Need more advertising, would not believe how many people don't know INDIAN is Back from the grave! How about paper brochures so people can see what they look like.
fred brosnihan -Gilroy Chief  November 9, 2009 07:50 PM
I had a '53 Chief back in the sixties I inherited from a couple of kids who slept in my barn. They were going west but the suicide shift freaked them so they left it behind. I loved the bike and said if they ever built another Chief I would get one. I passed on the S&S Gilroy Chief but when they came out with the 100 cube bad boy I scooped it up because with such a bold move I feared they would go belly and this would be the last chance indian. I made all the mods :wrist pins, new oil pump, and a high output starter. I built a sidecar pretty much from scratch and this bike is a real head turner. People think its from the forties. The hack rides like a dream on Harley Springs. Sad the new company does not recognize the Gilroy bikes.
Shibumi419 -Shak'in all over  November 2, 2009 10:42 AM
I applaud the effort to restore a legendary name brand. If it's American-made and creates American jobs, then I wish them success. The key word here is "Legendary". These investers have big shoes to fill. In order to be viable, they must evolve, be stylish, use copious amounts of the latest in modern technology, remain competitive and yet stay true to everyone's idea of what defines an Indian. Still, if all goals were met, there will still be whiners. Of the few reviews that I've read, there seems to be a persistant complaint about the vibration at around 70mph. This is for the 2009 and 2010 models. Let the automakers make the same mistake for two consecutive years and you know what happens to that model. It's dangerous for Indian, with basically one model, to not meet this challenge head-on and make the appropriate correction in mid year if they have to and maybe they'll have a chance. I expect the Scout to be $10-15,000 cheaper and more in keeping with us regulars Joes.
Griff -A real Chief  October 13, 2009 01:31 PM
Wow, I just dropped 37,000 big ones.Got a mint restored 48 Chief Roadmaster as well as a 97 heratage springer( the look of a 47 harley)Just couldnt spend my well earned money on somthing unproven. I may reconsider in 3 years. I hope they make it
John Dooley -Price  October 5, 2009 08:36 AM
I looked over at the Indian website, the Chief Classic/Standard MSRP starts at $25,999. The factory has some incentives out there that gets the bike down to about $22,999. My bet is you can negotiate some more at the dealerships.
babu - raod master 200cc  October 2, 2009 01:36 AM
1983 model total ganiuan bike
Scottie -Not a great review  September 30, 2009 02:25 PM
Not a great review for an expensive bike. Beautiful, but you you could get an H-D CVO Glide for that and have a really good bike. Personally, I wasn't ready to tie up a bunch of cash in a bike and bought a brand new left over Stratoliner for $10k and I'm perfectly happy.
Ron from Delaware -The Big Bad Indian Chief  September 28, 2009 11:53 AM
$34,000, WOW............ I don't have it in my left pocket, let me try my right pocket, NOoooooo. I could finance it, BUT, NOoooooo....
When is too much - too much? How many people would have hated Bryan if he gave the Indian Cheif Roadmaster a bad review? I know they will sell a good number of these bikes because, somepeople have more money than brains........ 07 Low-Rider.... GO U.S.A
lone wolf -new indian  September 16, 2009 09:26 PM
great bike not the same as a gilroy i have a 03 cheif and fixed it thanks to pm2 .the new bike is better it looks like the 03 with a lot of changes frane,forks ,brakes,boards are higher more power than stock ,efi .get the point i rode the new bike nice job guys!
Ron Crow -Do not judge on icons, they both stand  September 12, 2009 11:07 AM
You said it a Harley is still a Harley from 1903 till now. Since more then 100 yrs Harley tries to build a motorcycle. Japan did better. Harley needed Porsche to fix the oil leaks and more. Don't get me wrong I own 2 Harleys and love my FLHTCUI but to see an Indian now is something else, take a good look and compare. Just like in the past Indian has a lot of technical advantages over the Harley, just as 100 yrs ago. I hope the brand this time gets a better management that succeeds to keep Indian on the roads. Both Harley and Indian are icons in the motorcycle world and deserve to rule the future like the ruled in the past
dom -indian  September 9, 2009 10:11 AM
I have Indian chief 2002 trying to sell it. $11000. its a good deal. Email me helkik2@gmail.com
John Dooley -Not bad  September 8, 2009 03:33 PM
Not a bad start from this group.
I hope they release other models soon. Be nice to see something other than a Chief.

I was able to give one a test ride at Sturgis. A very good chance that I will buy one next spring.
AmV -Good grief!  August 31, 2009 07:09 PM
You've sometimes got to wonder about the value of the internet and the right to reply to features that people obviously haven't read or understood, when so much BS is spouted by the ill-informed or the naive. Ross: it's not compulsory that you swap your Kawasaki for one: if that's what you want, keep it. Hope it's better than the VN1500 classic I ran a few years ago: great machine but a dull motorcycle with poor finish and a biblical thirst for fuel coupled with poor torque. To all those who are carping on about it being an S&S, no it isn't: if it had been, Gilroy might still have been trading but they wanted their own engine and had to rush it to market because they didn't have the capital behind them, and it cost them the business. And of course, Lonnie, the new Indian company has no obligation to support the old Gilroy machines: they are not the same company, and the extra years of development are the the same years that Gilroy needed to put in, if they could have afforded the time and costs. It'd be like asking the modern Triumph company to fix all the Bonnevilles from the Meriden days. BTW the difference between the two American giants is that Harley never went bust: if they had and AMF had bought the wreckage, do you really believe they would have fixed and supported earlier bikes? Okay, so the new Chief will never be an original side-valve Indian, not least because they wouldn't be allowed to make one like that any more, but also because the number of people who want a kicker and a flathead are fewer than those who will pay $30k for a slice of new Americana. The trick is to find people who see unbalanced, solid-mount vibration as a feature of mechanical feedback rather than an inconvenience. But it's not trying to be a side-valve PowerPlus any more than a 96-inch TwinCam will be a UL - or an 1100 Zephyr will be a Z1A. Celebrate the fact that there is a company who has taken up the Indian name with a long-term view and let those who want one buy one. If that's not you, shut up and buy what you want: I'm sure Indian will let you. If you don't know what you're talking about, don't guess: shut up rather than display your ignorance. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to ride one, to form my own ideas as to what it is, and to see how it compares to my Shovelhead (especially in the vibration stakes), as well as the other modern Harleys I roadtest.
CW -Bryan's article  August 31, 2009 06:40 PM
Bryan, I think you need to take a good look at a 2002 or 2003 Chief. This 2009's styling isn't Stelican's. This is just what 5 years of evolution would do to to a model made by ANY manufacturer. The bike has engineering improvements, but the basic look and dimensions are Gilroy. Bill from Cairns obviously either didn't read the article, or doesn't know what "proprietary engine" means. Bill, it's NOT and S&S engine. Oh, and if it's sold as an "Indian" the Title says "Indian", and the federally required frame information says "Indian", well, you got yourself an Indian there buddy. Weather YOU like it or not.
Bill from Cairns -Indian  August 30, 2009 08:52 PM
Why would you bother spending that amount of money on a bike which isn't even a real Indian.It looks like a harley and has S and S engine.Build one yourself for half the price.You would have to be a suck to buy one.Trouble with you guys now is, you wouldn't know what to do if you broke down somewhere.Learn about your bike and don't call someone to take it home for you like a big mummy's boy.
animesh -indian chief roadmaster  August 29, 2009 07:07 AM
you all are stupid fellow for this type of review as like "nathan".
Don -they are beautiful  August 27, 2009 10:01 PM
They are a beautiful piece of machinery and if all you can do is bag on it then don't buy it....If, and I do mean if they are still making these in 3 years I will buy one. The garlic version was beautiful and would have been worth every penny if it ran....love the fit and feel of these paperweights.
sololobo -OPT  August 26, 2009 12:17 PM
pee u. Another (dead) OVER PRICED TURKEY.
Ross Maitland -Not to sure about the "repro Indians  August 26, 2009 09:48 AM
I own a 1999 Kawisaki Drifter,805. Striped the tags off it new,jetted the carbs and added a hypercharger and changed up the pipe to a Storm with a fishtail,installed a solo seat and fringed it up and from a distance it looks more like '53 than any of the "new" Indians,or the 1500 Drifters for that matter. It's liquid cooled and I can run circles around any of the new Indian and big Harleys up to about 85 mph. A little light in the big hole next to the big boys but have done nothing but routine maintanance in 36000 klms. Also I've heard the last generation of "New Indians" had major problems with the transmissions. I think they all had S&S engines as well. Nothing original about that all the new customs do. How do we just justify the price? I payed something like $7000 Can new for the bike before the work and I can still get about $5500 for it if I decided to sell it. Why do I need to spend 30,000 Us on a "Repro Indian"?
javajoe -new indian versus old  August 26, 2009 06:14 AM
i love the styling of the new indian however, for the price and for the sake of originality, i would rather buy a refurbished original indian from kiwi cycle...you can get the real deal which is what i always wanted anyway...you can't compare the virtues of throw away metric bikes to these old indians...these things will still be worth something as the junkyards of metric bikes keep getting bigger..long live the original indian, knucklehead, flathead, panhead, and shovelhead!!!
RDB -impressions  August 25, 2009 02:19 PM
I was looking for a way to express how I felt about the article on this Indian, and while ruminating I scrolled down to see what others were saying. Obviously I expected to find the v-twin groupies yodeling about classicness and I-gotta-get-one, but then I saw the comment by Jealous Man.... - Oh boy. Huh, look at that! He said everything I wanted to say. Good job.
BAT -New Indian  August 25, 2009 12:18 PM
If Stellican Ltd. has very deep pockets, If they can bring the price down to $25k for the fully dressed Indian, If they can build a dealership distribution netowrk of 200+ dealers, and then last at least 3 years, Then, Maybe they can make it.
Woody -Hard Bags  August 24, 2009 03:51 AM
Would anyone really consider this bike at this price without locking hardbags?
Scooter Bum -Motorcycles  August 23, 2009 06:16 AM
Hmmm, it's 2009 now. Never seen a new bike that wasn't over priced or building a rep on a past name,or one that didn't need personal attention to address it's character flaws right off the show room floor. Be it performance , a rattle or the way it fits it's rider. Still cheaper than ex wives. I applaud the effort to bring the Indian back. Let's see where they take it and address the issue before we condemn them. I'd like to have one these, when they are easier to get.
KC Cheef -Gilroy Indian  August 22, 2009 04:29 PM
Hey Lonnie Olson. Come on over to the Crazy Horse Motorcycles site. We support the Gilroy Indians.
Nathan -Cant afford one?  August 22, 2009 10:17 AM
Actually, I could go buy one today, doesn't change the fact that it's WAY overpriced and clearly of inferior build quality.
Jealous Man.... -Oh boy...  August 21, 2009 01:32 PM
Wow, how excited am I...Another overpriced, overweight, underpowered, finned V-TWIN monstrosity that calls itself a motorcycle. This one must be much better than a VTX, Star, or HD because it's priced much higher. Oh gosh, I forgot, it' has a front fender that's different and a cute little Indian on the tank. Good thing..without those I would feel shortchanged... I still think my 2006 Honda 599 looks better...no, not the bike by itself, but rather the bike with a bag of $35,000 sitting on the seat. Pretty, ain't it? Oh, I know, it's all about being exclusive. Not so much, folks. At the end of the day, the reason a Ferrari is revered is because nothing else looks like it and the thing goes like stink and handles like a Grand Prix racer. When I see this Indian, or the Steven Tyler special, or a Honda Fury, or a Harley Fat Bob, I get the feeling that they are the motorcycle equivalent of a Cabbage Patch Doll. They don't have anything that really makes them desired beyond some grease-slathered up, inked-up r-tard in his Harley Davidson fashion police outfit (T-shirt, jacket and boots, all sourced from China of course) telling me that I gots to have me one or I ain'ts a real biker. Really does my accountant really think anyone is buying the idea that he's a friggin biker? Hell, when he takes his gloves off he's got a friggin manicure!!! Ok, I'll stop. Enough with the whining...
Nathan -Way overpriced hunk of junk  August 20, 2009 04:36 PM
Good call on the saddle bags, what a POS. 30K+ for that? 18months is being generous, I wouldn't give them a year.
Vintage#144 -Indian  August 20, 2009 04:33 PM
Hey Lonnie , "IT IS A GILROY INDIAN" All parts are interchangeable ,its the exact bike! Except not as good! At least in Gilroy the owners were bikers who had a vision , not visionaries who wanted to be bikers , if you you dont have a feel for your product you'll never be able to sell it!
Crazy Horse -Bags  August 20, 2009 03:57 PM
Well my friends, a picture is worth a thousand words. Take a look at the photo just below the specs page............yep, the $1700 saddlebags are already missing the turn buckle. Other photos show the seat leather popping up from the wind............the leather is so thin it the seat flaps act like wings on a bird. Nice photo shoot for those not paying attention.

KC Cheef -09 Indian  August 20, 2009 08:18 AM
Hey Bryan Harley!
I keep trying to get a call from you.
I have 8700 miles on an 09 Indian.
You know what's funny as hell?
Looks to me like part of the problems I complained about were encountered by you on your short ride on the bike.
As always--give me a call if you like and we'll talk Indian.

LMAO--this is funny.
GB -bad timing  August 20, 2009 02:26 AM
$33k for an Indian!!! wow, with the economy sucking like it is i'll give them 18 months before they close the doors....even harley ain't that stupid. whoa, i forgot about the CVO's.
Lonnie Olson -No family for Indian riders  August 19, 2009 08:53 PM
It is truly sad that this new Indian company does not embrace the Gilroy Indians as Indian motorcycles. They want our business but will not take our bikes in trade.
If Harley Davidson did the same they would have died. But from 1903 to date a Harley is a Harley. It does not matter if it is per 65 or post 65, or 84 to 2010. It has never mattered what year or who owned the company it was still a Harley Davidson.
Indian could pull this all together if they would put their ego away. Like they say, "why can't we just get along". After all this new company is riding on the Gilroy"s shirt tail,like it or not.