INDIAN CHIEF CLASSIC
AN AUTHENTIC AMERICAN ALTERNATIVE, AT LAST
Not to take anything away from Victory, which builds a full line of great-looking, technically sophisticated, functionally capable motorcycles, but for the vast majority of buyers, the search for a heavyweight cruiser begins and ends in Milwaukee. No matter how competent, classy, or affordable Victory bikes are, they still can’t match the aura or allure of Harley-Davidson’s century-plus heritage. Victory remains the pragmatic choice, not the romantic one.
Now that Victory’s parent company Polaris has revived Indian—America’s first and oldest motorcycle name, pre-dating Harley-Davidson by two years—there is finally another American-made motorcycle that has the technical chops and the historic pedigree to stand toe to toe with the monster from Milwaukee.
The Chief Classic is a stunning first effort from this newly revived nameplate. The Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin dwarfs its competition in both displacement and power output with a rich character to match, and the chassis turns and stops better than any 800-pound, 68-inch wheelbase bike has a right to. But what really makes us love this machine is the authentic and inimitable Indian style captured by those graceful, deep-skirted fenders. Everyone notices this bike, and, more importantly, a surprising number—both young and old alike—know exactly what it is. The game is definitely on.