Indian salute the birthplace of the Indian Motocycle Company with a new 2016 Chief model.
So, you really like the torque of Indian’s Thunderstroke motor, but you’re torn.
You like the capacity and security of the Chieftain’s hard bags but not its express train fairing – no matter how clever it is – and you find the whole fringed leather thing far too ‘Brokeback Mountain’. What do you do?
You could get all nocturnal and get the blacked out Dark Horse, or the new Lone Ranger-style Classic, but you really want a tourer … or a street bike. Okay, both.
The Springfield is it.
It’s a Chieftain with a police screen, or a Vintage with hard bags – and both are QD so you’ve got a Classic if you decide to remove them both, and it looks no worse for it.
Its obvious target is Harley’s standard Road King, recently reintroduced on these shores, and it’s going to punish Harley Davidson for making the Road King only partly convertible – in the old parlance – because you wouldn’t want to ride the original custom bagger sans bags, or indeed Victory’s baggers. But then with another £2k on the Road King’s £17,445 price tag, the Springfield isn’t taking the improved, Rushmore FLHR head-on.
For that £2k you get the peak torque of 139Nm at 2600rpm of the 111-inch Thunderstroke, central locking for the panniers from a switch on the console as well as from the keyless ignition fob, and I daresay that having used the wiring for the Chieftain’s panniers, there will be an unswitched 12v power outlet in the timing-side box. It also retains the Chieftain’s tyre pressure monitoring system, as well as the across-the-range electronic cruise control, but so does the Road King. What you don’t get is Harley’s Reflex Braking, but it inevitably has ABS.
Unusually, it also retains the Chieftain’s 25-degree rake, which will make it livelier than the Chief Vintage with its 29-degrees, but manages to reduce the trail down from 150mm to 133mm. Indian reckon it’s the quickest handling bike in its class, but while the Chieftain’s fairing disguises its tight steering geometry, the Springfield looks short at the front end.
It is the pragmatic choice for the occasional touring rider, and in the words of Steve Menneto – Polaris Industries’ President of Motorcycles – it “wasn’t designed to fill a space in our lineup; it was built to fill a space in the hearts of riders who value the rich heritage and fine craftsmanship of Indian Motorcycle, and who want both a pure touring bike and a sleek urban cruiser”.
Prices start at £19,599
|Engine type||Air-cooled Indian Thunder Stroke 111|
|Displacement||1811cc / 111ci|
|Bore x stroke||101 mm x 113 mm (3.976” x 4.449”)|
|Peak torque||138.9Nm @ 2600rpm|
|Transmission||6-speed/constant mesh/foot shift|
|Primary drive||Gear drive wet multi-plate clutch|
|Final drive||Belt drive, 152 tooth. 2.2:1|
|Charging system||42 amp max output with 12v / 18Ah 310 CCA battery|
|Fuel capacity||5.5 US gallons / 20.8 litres|
|Fuel system||Electronic fuel injection, closed loop, 54mm bore|
|Oil capacity||5.2 litres / 5.5 US qts|
|Exhaust system||Split dual exhaust with crossover|
|Front||Telescopic fork, 46mm diameter, 4.7 in / 119mm travel|
|Rear||Single shock with air adjust, 4.5 in / 114mm travel|
|Rake/Trail||25° / 133mm (5.2in)|
|Seat height||660mm (26in)|
|Ground Clearance||142mm (5.6in)|
|Dry weight||372kg (818lb)|
|Brake system type||Independent front and rear with ABS|
|Front braking system||Dual 300 mm floating rotor with 4-piston caliper|
|Rear braking system||Single 300 mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper|
|WHEELS & TYRES|
|Front tyre||Dunlop Elite 3 130/90B16 73H|
|Front wheel||Cast 16” x 3.5” with tyre pressure monitoring|
|Rear tyre||Dunlop Elite 3 180/60R16 80H|
|Rear wheel||Cast 16” x 5” with tyre pressure monitoring|