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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow tribesmen and -women. Been here since abt 3 years with my Scout Sixty (which I LOVE!) but am now considering to add a used, red, Chief Vintage to my stable. As I understand, the "true" Indian Red was only available in 2014, a different red in 2015 and red and black in 2016. Anyway, if I get a deal on another color, I can always get her repainted, but what major differences are in these years and what is worth buying a newer one, and why? I know the rake changed in 2019 or so, but I understand handling is not that bad with the older ones. Any advice on preferable years is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, -JoyRider
 

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I have a '15 Vintage ... willow green'n cream. Although I REALLY do like the Indian red I wouldn't change the color on my bike.

2014s have the real (full grain?) leather bags. '15 and up leather is I believe, bonded leather with some kind of clear over it. I'd much rather have the good leather but my bags look ok. I'm sure there are other differences from 14-16 but I don't know what those differences or changes are. It will be interesting to see what the more knowledgeable members have to say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks @WillyH - yes, looking forward to all comments
 

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I have a '15 Vintage ... willow green'n cream. Although I REALLY do like the Indian red I wouldn't change the color on my bike.

2014s have the real (full grain?) leather bags. '15 and up leather is I believe, bonded leather with some kind of clear over it. I'd much rather have the good leather but my bags look ok. I'm sure there are other differences from 14-16 but I don't know what those differences or changes are. It will be interesting to see what the more knowledgeable members have to say.
The 14s have a better leather but horrible fading issues. The factory redie kits did not help much although it seems that some had good luck doing custom dying. The 15s on up used the bonded leather but had little issues with fading. Dean
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Dean 🙏
 

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I have a 2016 Vintage in Indian red. Is it “true” Indian red? I dunno, but it was a color available on the Vintage in 2016. It’s the best handling bike I’ve owned, and I’ve owned many, all HD. Don’t be concerned about the rake, it’ll cruise at 90 mph all day and take the curves with no problem. U-turns are a little more difficult, but no big deal. You won’t be disappointed, plus the Vintage is what an Indian should look like.
 

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I have a '15 Vintage. Scored a set of '14 leather from a forum member, badly faded.
Cleaned, stripped and redyed the leather, applied a UV protectorant over that. Very little fading in past 14 months.

Get a 15 or 16, most will have owner mods including Stage 2 cams. Then be on lookout for '14 Distressed Leather set and buy them (expect t pay anywhere between &1000 - $2000 for full set.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You won’t be disappointed, plus the Vintage is what an Indian should look like.
I’m not concerned about the rake at all and totally agree with you about how an Indian is supposed to look - my personal opinion 😇
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have a '15 Vintage. Scored a set of '14 leather from a forum member, badly faded.
Cleaned, stripped and redyed the leather, applied a UV protectorant over that. Very little fading in past 14 months.

Get a 15 or 16, most will have owner mods including Stage 2 cams. Then be on lookout for '14 Distressed Leather set and buy them (expect t pay anywhere between &1000 - $2000 for full set.
Awesome advise @EskimoQuinn, thank you! 🙏
 

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I have a '15 vintage. I test rode a Springfield before I bought it to see how I felt about the rake. It's true, that Springfield did dip better, but not enough for me to fall out of love with the Vintage look.
Pick the paint you love because she's all yours.
'14 - dandy leather, but it takes work
'15 - last year for the factory installed oil cooler (I think it helps it run a bit cooler and I hope it helps it last a few hundred thousand miles)
'16 - I truly don't know the advantage of this year. I'm not sure what was changed other than dropping the oil cooler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks @Lost Hillbilly, didn’t know about the oil cooler. So was it a „safety feature“ for the first 2 years? 2014 & 2015 only? Anybody know about more details?
 

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The 14s have a better leather but horrible fading issues. The factory redie kits did not help much although it seems that some had good luck doing custom dying. The 15s on up used the bonded leather but had little issues with fading. Dean
True, the full grain leather can fade, dry out, crack, and will if it's not cared for. It likes occasional maintenance just like leather jackets, chaps, saddles, etc. With proper maintenance nothing beats the real deal leather... JMHO
 
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I’m not concerned about the rake at all and totally agree with you about how an Indian is supposed to look - my personal opinion 😇
Funny story... well, kind of. I drove Harleys for 45 years. All baggers, last three were Road Kings and one Heritage Springer thrown in for good measure. While test riding my Vintage before purchase it began to rain so I thought it best to do a quick U-turn and head back. Pulled over on the right side shoulder of the road to let cars go by, then proceeded to do the U-turn, and I came very very close to dumping the Vintage. That's how I found out that lock to lock steering was/is not as tight as that of my '12 FLHP. Thankfully I was able to hold it up and continue on. The rake and lock to lock... not a big deal to me now, just took a little getting used to is all. After a while I was able to get ok with U-turns. That said, it might be good to test ride the years you're interested in just to be sure all is good, which I expect good it will be (o:

The Vintage is the best looker of the Indians regardless of color. Nice ass end suspension too. When you get to be my age (70) good suspension is a definite plus :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Funny story... well, kind of. I drove Harleys for 45 years. All baggers, last three were Road Kings and one Heritage Springer thrown in for good measure. While test riding my Vintage before purchase it began to rain so I thought it best to do a quick U-turn and head back. Pulled over on the right side shoulder of the road to let cars go by, then proceeded to do the U-turn, and I came very very close to dumping the Vintage. That's how I found out that lock to lock steering was/is not as tight as that of my '12 FLHP. Thankfully I was able to hold it up and continue on. The rake and lock to lock... not a big deal to me now, just took a little getting used to is all. After a while I was able to get ok with U-turns. That said, it might be good to test ride the years you're interested in just to be sure all is good, which I expect good it will be (o:

The Vintage is the best looker of the Indians regardless of color. Nice ass end suspension too. When you get to be my age (70) good suspension is a definite plus :p
Only 65 here, but I like a good suspension already 🤣 not spoiled by my Scout though - so looking forward 👍
 

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Hello fellow tribesmen and -women. Been here since abt 3 years with my Scout Sixty (which I LOVE!) but am now considering to add a used, red, Chief Vintage to my stable. As I understand, the "true" Indian Red was only available in 2014, a different red in 2015 and red and black in 2016. Anyway, if I get a deal on another color, I can always get her repainted, but what major differences are in these years and what is worth buying a newer one, and why? I know the rake changed in 2019 or so, but I understand handling is not that bad with the older ones. Any advice on preferable years is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, -JoyRider
I plan on some time in the future to add a Vintage to go with my Roadmaster. It would be a back and forth to work bike for me and keep some of the mileage off of my RM. My preference would be a 2018 or slightly newer simply because of the improved piston design that came out that year. Don't need another piston rattling bike. I would then "old school" the hell out of it! Leather tassels everywhere, long shark fin Freedom exhaust and mini ape hangers. Already got a set of stage 3 cams ready to go when I pull that trigger. I would also probably go with aluminum wheels at that point. Already got an extra rear wheel. Just simpler maintenance and not having to deal with tubes but the chrome spokes do look better. Dean
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good info @Dean E 👍 thanks, good luck to your project 🍀
 

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I have the early 2015 model with both the oil cooler and the real leather, better than any of the 26 Harleys I previously rode. It was originally red but I repainted it . I'm in the UK but I sourced some original 40's decals for the tank from the US, and put 12 coats of clearcoat on top to protect it. I don't treat the leather as I like the natural fading look. Never been happier with a bike and I also think this is how an Indian should look so I have no intention of ever upgrading to a newer or different model. Never had a problem with her.
 
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