Drip-feeding 2020 model year news family-by-family – to make sure that nobody can miss any nuances – Indian announced their Thunderstroke heavyweights for next year yesterday, and it’s both conservative and exciting at the same time.
The headline news is that we can’t call them Thunderstroke 111s any more, because Indian has followed Harley-Davidson’s lead and boosted the capacity of their high status models. In the case of the Thunderstroke, they’ve taken them up to 116 cubic inches (1901cc) – the big bore kit that wasn’t available on this side of the Atlantic – but they have left a few 111s in the mix for now.
The 116-inch motors won’t just be a big bore version of the 111, but have new high flow cylinder heads too which have contributed to increased torque, now running at 126ftlb / 168Nm!
This move continues to clarify their thinking in terms of the positioning of models, with two distinct body styles – the original streamliner with full fenders, and what they are calling a modern and aggressive attitude, as introduced on selected Chieftains last year – and the Dark Horse family now having a foot in each model family, with the introduction of the Roadmaster Dark Horse.
The other significant change is a second generation of the Ride Command, a completely redesigned infotainment system which is said to be more interactive with predictive ‘Connected Services” allowing weather and traffic overlays on an improved map, as well as faster thanks to a new quad core processor. It still uses a seven inch screen and retains the customisability that it’s rightly famous for, but combines it with richer graphics: the big question is whether it will still rely on its glove-touch technology for many functions. Watch this space.
The only disappointment is an unimaginative range of colours that leans too heavily towards the monochromatic, but that’s the fashion.
Colour options for each 2020 heavyweight model is as follows:
Engine: Thunder Stroke 116 (1901cc)
• Chieftain: Titanium Smoke
• Chieftain Dark Horse: Thunder Black Smoke; Ruby Smoke; Titanium Smoke
• Chieftain Limited: Thunder Black Pearl; Radar Blue; Thunder Black Pearl with graphics package
• Chieftain Elite: Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Wildfire Red Candy
• Springfield Dark Horse: Thunder Black Smoke; Sagebrush Smoke; White Smoke
• Roadmaster: Thunder Black; Burgundy Metallic; Pearl White over Titanium Metallic with black pinstripe; Titanium Smoke over Thunder Black Smoke with silver pinstripe
• Roadmaster Dark Horse: Thunder Black Smoke; White Smoke; Ruby Smoke
Engine: Thunder Stroke 111 (1819cc)
• Chief Dark Horse: Thunder Black Smoke
• Chief Vintage: Thunder Black; Willow Green over Ivory Cream
• Chieftain Classic: Thunder Black
• Springfield: Thunder Black; Burgundy Metallic over Titanium Metallic
No prices as yet, or final confirmation of which models we will see on those shores.