Within the few brief years since its Twenty first-century reincarnation, legendary American motorbike maker Indian has as soon as once more change into a model to be reckoned with. Now owned by Polaris—famend maker of snowmobiles, Sea-Doo, and Slingshot—Indian Motorbike has delivered a line of incredible American-made bikes that flat-out succeed on each degree. Enter the brand new 2022 Indian Chief muscle cruiser—which incorporates a basic, stripped-down silhouette, a sporty 64-inch wheelbase, and a strong V-twin powerplant that absolutely rivals the engine in my Prius.

It appears to be like good, sounds nice, and is a kick-in-the-ass to trip. A full century because the authentic Indian Chief was unveiled in 1922, the 2022 Indian Chief has clearly carried out its lengthy lineage proud.


2022 Indian Chief Darkish Horse. A Twenty first-century makeover of a legendary cruiser.
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Brutal Magnificence

A muscle bike for the brand new millennium, the 2022 Indian Chief has horny strains and uncooked, unbridled energy. That mixture of fashion and efficiency provides it an aesthetic enchantment that hinges on its purpose-driven design, just like the muscle vehicles of yore.

Nothing right here is superfluous. Nothing on this bike doesn’t have a severe job to do. That mentioned, it’s way over a practical machine. There’s no Sons of Anarchy-style mini-fairing, no neo-retro fender skirts, no corny fringe draping from its handlebars. The strains are pure, clean, and interesting. Indians are famend for his or her nostalgic design, and Polaris leaned exhausting into that retro aesthetic when it first revived the Indian model in 2014. However the 2022 Chief eschews these stylistic trappings for a motorbike that’s made to trip—exhausting and quick.

Like all Polaris machines, the brand new Chief takes unapologetic benefit of contemporary expertise regardless of its purpose-built aesthetic. It sports activities a number of up to date perks like keyless ignition, LED lighting, selectable trip modes, normal cruise management, elective ABS, and a bullet-style “speedo” that homes what is likely to be essentially the most user-friendly infotainment system I’ve ever used.

That’s proper—with all its brutal magnificence and uncooked energy, the characteristic that actually sticks with me after a pair days of flogging the Chief down the again roads of northern Arizona is the exceptional touchscreen infotainment system that adorns its handlebar. About the identical dimension as a typical speedometer, it homes a miniaturized model of Polaris’ unbeatable Journey Command system. This consists of turn-by-turn navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and all of the gauging and trip info you would probably need. All of that is on a 4-inch touchscreen that’s straightforward to make use of with gloves on or within the rain.

Closeup of speedometer on 2022 Indian Super Chief Motorcycle
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Nuts ‘n Bolts—and Not A lot Extra Wanted

Digging into this brand-new muscle cruiser from America’s first motorbike firm, the 2022 Chief has a number of distinct variations and a plethora of elective equipment.

Due to its purpose-driven simplicity, the 2022 Indian Chief is without doubt one of the most inexpensive massive twin American cruisers available on the market. The bottom-model Indian Motorbike Chief begins at $14,499. A formidable value level for a full-sized cruiser made within the USA, it’s aggressive with Harley-Davidson’s base mannequin Softails. The Chief is powered by a 111-inch (1,811 cc) Thunderstroke v-twin that makes a scrumptious 108 lb-ft of torque at a resonant however relaxed 3,200 rpm. It has a easy solo seat, mid-foot controls, and is available in black. Colours, equipment, and options like ABS elevate the value from there.

For $15,599, you may go along with the Chief Bobber a purely beauty, street-ready bundle with fatter tires, a mini-ape handlebar, and ahead controls. It’s a cooler profile than the bottom mannequin Chief and a extra trendy using place. Consolation? Effectively, that’s one other concern. If you happen to’re not trying to commute or journey, however reasonably look cool as hell, the Bobber is likely to be the Chief for you.

Equipment for each of those Chiefs embrace all the things from spoked rims to alternate seats and handlebars. You too can choose up touring-ready facilities resembling baggage racks and saddlebags, two-up seats and floorboards, and three sizes of windscreens.

Side profile of 2022 Indian Super Chief motorcycle with mountain backdrop

2022 Indian Tremendous Chief
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Non-compulsory Stage 1 consumption and exhaust packages enhance efficiency even additional, however in case you’re simply on the lookout for an entry-level, big-twin cruiser with no bunch of bells and whistles, both Chief would make a incredible selection at an honest value.

Each the usual Chief and Bobber are stripped-down, American-made cruisers with a profile that’s greater than a little bit harking back to H-D’s pricey, departed Dyna line. Be aware the twin rear shocks. It’s a bare-bones platform that permits house owners to simply customise their motorbike proper from the catalog.

Customization is what made Harleys and Indians so widespread again within the Nineteen Forties and 50s, and finally resulted in Simple Rider-esque choppers of the 70s, in addition to the American Chopper-inspired customized cruisers of the early 2000s. Because of the recognition of that actuality TV present, too many cruisers as of late arrive in dealerships as overly styled, with a price ticket to match. Not solely does this strategy take personalization—and admittedly, a lot of the enjoyment—out of the fingers of the bike proprietor, it makes the price of proudly owning an American cruiser unattainable for a lot of. True motorbike lovers will admire this new Chief as a platform that permits them to construct out the bike they need at an entry-level value they’ll afford.

Closeup profile of 2022 Indian Chief Bobber motorcycle's gas tank, engine and front fork
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If you need a extra sensible Chief for touring or commuting, go for the highway-ready Super Chief ($18,499). It comes normal with many of the long-haul equipment talked about above, plus tender leather-based, 10-gallon saddlebags that supply loads of cupboard space. The ergonomics of the Tremendous Chief are by far the very best within the product line, with floorboards that give the rider room to maneuver round. A big headlight bucket provides some girth and aptitude to the entrance finish, whereas the chill-cutting windshield had most of the riders on our frigid press trip bartering for a while in its saddle.

Regardless of the saddlebags, windshield, and floorboards, the Tremendous Chief gives dealing with and maneuverability that many massive touring bikes simply can’t match, due to its surprisingly brief 64-inch wheelbase. That maneuverability makes what appears to be like like a wieldy freeway pig from the curb really feel like a nimble energy cruiser from the cockpit—all for a full $1,000 lower than the Harley-Davidson Road King.

Long shot of a rider on an Indian Chief motorcycle riding along a curved mountain road
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For these on the lookout for a bit extra Chief, up-spec variations of all three of those bikes—Chief, Chief Bobber, and Tremendous Chief—are a $2,500 bump throughout the board. These packages embrace the superb touchscreen Journey Command infotainment unit, and way more. You additionally get ABS, plus a bigger, much more dynamic and highly effective 1,890 cc engine. If you happen to’re on the lookout for a monster American cruiser with muscle automotive fashion and efficiency, these up-spec Indian Chiefs readily rival imported energy cruisers just like the Ducati Diavel, Triumph Rocket III, or Yamaha V-Max.

They usually’re all made proper right here in Spring Lake, Iowa. That’s one thing even Harley-Davidson zealots can admire.

On the Street

With its stripped-down minimalism and angle, the brand new Chief assaults the pavement. Diving into corners and throttling away from visitors knots, the Chief is punchy and throaty from the road, clean and responsive at freeway speeds, and rocks top-end acceleration that pushes the speedo needle previous three digits. As a “muscle cruiser,” it succeeds on each degree, prowling the boulevards and roaring down freeways with menace.

Rider turning into a mountain road curve on a 2022 Indian Chief motorcycle
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Dealing with is phenomenal. The Chief is an enormous bike, however that comparatively brief wheelbase and low heart of gravity gives loads of stability; it’s planted on the pavement irrespective of how intense these twisties get. Braking is certain and exact, and suspension is forgiving. On an all-day trip that went from desert sweepers to tight mountain passes in a matter of minutes, the Chief attacked each flip with fearlessness and aplomb. Pity those that use it strictly for stylin’ and profilin’, this bike calls for to be pushed—exhausting and with no quarter.

If consolation is on the high of your want record, get floorboards in your Chief. Your hips and again will thanks for offering your decrease half some room to maneuver whereas within the saddle. If efficiency is your factor, obtain each by choosing one of many up-spec fashions. Right here’s why you’ll be glad you probably did.

Journey Command

The massive prize on your extra cash is that killer Ride Command module. That is fingers down the very best infotainment unit I’ve come throughout on a motorbike. It’s the identical expertise that’s mounted within the fairings of Indian’s high-end baggers and touring bikes, in addition to within the dashboards of a lot of Polaris’ RZR and Common UTVs—besides in a tiny, easy-to-use, 4-inch model.

Closeup of dual tail pipes on a 2022 Indian Chief motorcycle
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The unit maintains the Indian’s basic design aesthetic by disguising itself as a typical speedometer gauge. In fact, it does operate as each a speedo and tachometer, whereas additionally offering a full coloration map with turn-by-turn navigation (with stay climate and visitors). It provides full instrumentation and trip info, with all the things from trip time and out of doors temperature to grease stress and voltage, proper all the way down to your present tire stress. Lastly, in case you have an in-helmet communications system such because the Cardo PackTalk Bold, you may even Bluetooth it to your telephone to handle your music or deal with telephone calls whereas using. With gloves on. Within the rain.

Seldom does a characteristic come alongside that fully adjustments the sport in motorcycling. This speedo-sized, 4-inch infotainment system does precisely that. Motorbike infotainment items haven’t been round for quite a lot of years, they usually’re normally reserved for large freeway bikes with fairings as a result of they have to be mounted in a dashboard as a result of dimension. No extra. Shrinking and squeezing all that priceless data right into a unit that’s no bigger than your typical speedometer is a revelation.

In a stunning little bit of salesmanship from Indian, if you’d like this how-did-I-ever-ride-without-it Journey Command unit, you’ll need to pony up the added $2,500 for one of many up-spec fashions. It’s at the moment not obtainable as an adjunct possibility.

Side profile of Indian Chief Motorcycle gas tank with black lettered
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That mentioned, Indian is famend for consulting with its house owners’ teams for suggestions. As soon as phrase will get out about this marvelous unit, we’re guessing different Indian house owners can be clamoring for it on their bikes. I’m hoping it gained’t be lengthy earlier than Indian places the speedo-sized Journey Command module on the components shelf as an elective accent. Your transfer, Indian.

Polaris’ Ride Command has all the time been among the best infotainment programs available on the market. However we’ve by no means encountered any infotainment unit so small, not to mention one which labored this intuitively. Heck, all bikes ought to have one—and we’re guessing it gained’t be lengthy till they do.

Closeup of Indian Motorcycles logo on side of motorcycle
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What’s the Verdict?

Put merely, the brand new Indian Motorbike has carried out it once more. The Chief is way over simply an homage to its 100-year-old forebear. It’s a superbly fashionable, impressively appointed, brutally stunning muscle cruiser. In any of its numerous renditions, this bike will enchantment not simply to Indian followers who needed fewer old-school stylistic therapies, but additionally to open-minded Harley-Davidson followers who pine for the pricey, departed dual-shock Dyna.

The Chief is a exceptional machine, to make certain. Right here’s hoping Indian Motorbike realizes the actual gem it has on its fingers—the brand new, 4-inch Journey Command Infotainment module.

[From $14,499; indianmotorcycle.com]

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