If you were afraid of the dark as a kid, you’re really going to struggle as Indian go head to head with Harley-Davidson over use of the word. Of course, in Indian’s case it relates to a sinister ‘Horse’ rather than a malevolent ‘Custom’, but you try telling that to potential customers wondering whether to spend their hard-earned on a denim black Street Glide or the new Chieftain Dark Horse.
Indian are taking the fight to Harley-Davidson or else are broadening their entry level range, as Victory did with their 8-Ball, but either way it offers an alternative to punters looking for a bagger that doesn’t come with a membership form for Saga.
The Chieftain Dark Horse has a solo seat and a distinct lack of chrome, but the exchange is a whole heap of attitude … and it retains home comforts that even Lee Marvin would welcome these days: a very completel dashboard, keyless ignition plus remote central locking for the massive panniers, type pressure sensors, ABS, cruise control and an on-bike entertainment system that might not be quite as pretty as a Rushmore Boom!Box but has the advantage of being able to connect a Bluetooth headset to your centrally-paired phone.
On the added benefits side, its short tinted screen is electrically adjusted for height and the Chief’s excellent 111-inch Thunder Stroke engine coupled with an absence of colour that would make a Goth look cheery makes this a serious contender for the ‘2016 Bagger With Attitude’ award, especially if the sound system is cranking-out Rammstein hits. And then, of course, there’s the taut sectional chassis comprised of sand cast-aluminium sections and the odd length of steel for good measure.
“The Indian Chieftain Dark Horse’s blacked-out styling and powerful Thunder Stroke 111 engine will elevate our riders to the top of the pack,” says Indian Motorcycle Marketing Director Reid Wilson. “Starting with the award-winning Chieftain platform, the Dark Horse series signature matte black paint and raw attitude is an open canvas for customisation that makes it the perfect bike for riders who are ready to ‘Be Legendary’.”
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