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Yes, as posted earlier, I picked up my Chieftan in Phoenix last Saturday and rode it home to Flagstaff.  It was cold outside, but the ride was so HOT that I didn't feel a thing.  Seriously!  While there are a few issues I'll mention later, the overall ride experience was the best I've ever had.  I believe that this is the best production released bike in history. 
During breakin, you're not supposed to exceed 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 throttle during the given miles, whatever that means.  I have no idea where full throttle is to judge what that means.  So, I used RPM, which is the more common benchmark for engine breakin.  Everyone, including me, has called the Chieftan a 'Beast,' because the power can rip your arms out of their sockets (exaggeration, but not by much).  But, after riding her for several hours, she seems more like a Cheetah.  Lean, powerful, and lightening fast, ready to feast on the endless miles ahead.  I never went over 2900 rpm, at 80 mph, and the Chieftan kept begging for MORE (and that IS NOT an exaggeration).   But I resisted the temptation, for now, because I want to break her in easy.  My Cross Country turns 3600 rpm at 80.  At 80 mph, it seemed like I was crawling down the road.  By contrast, 80 mph feels like 80 on my Cross Country, and I love my Cross Country, but the Chieftan made it feel like a walk in the park.  The Chieftan is extremely stable at all speeds without ANY wobble around the tightest and roughest turns.  The throttle is extremely responsive to the slightest touch and cruise control interface is absolutely seamless.  The 111 Ci monster roars down the road on the factory exhaust, which is a bit quiet at lower speeds, but at cruise, fills the surrounding air with a rich, deep, robust bass that reminds you that you're riding the new King of the Road (my opinion).  When inserting yourself into traffic from a start, the Chieftan really is like a Cheetah...absolutely no throttle lag or flat power curve.  From stop to speed, you're there instantly.  Unlike most other bikes I've ridden, the power curve doesn't flatten at cruise.  Passing cars or accelerating into traffic is as simple as a twist of the wrist, and you don't even have to downshit to 5th gear when passing fast moving traffic on steep hills.  I practiced routine and emergency braking, and the Chieftan responded quickly with complete control.  I didn't have to use it, but she also has interlocked front to rear ABS.
I've read some posts that have 'ragged' on the fairing, but I couldn't disagree more.  Indian must have done extensive wind tunnel testing, as claimed, because the Chieftan's fairing manages the wind even better than my Cross Country, which has a huge fairing AND lowers.  When driving in gusty winds or when passing a 'Semi,' the wind tends to cause a lot of buffeting on my Cross Country fairing, but I didn't feel ANY of the same kind of wind turbulence on my Chieftan.  And, leading you down the road is the well lit, and sexy, glass Chief's head on the front fender.  It's just that icing on the cake that tells everyone, 'Indian is Back!!'
The instrumentation is well placed and easy to read, except as mentioned below.  You can also adjust your ride with a mechanical spring adjustment under the seat and/or with the air assist usnig the provided manual air pump.  The automatic adjustable windshiled is also great and easy to adjust on the fly.  I arrived home after dark and the lights provided much better illumination than does my Cross Country.  The turn signals are self-cancelling and finding neutral, while not automatic like the Cross Country, is a breeze.  The only thing I'll miss is the trunk, an absolute must for long rides with my girl.  But, I understand Indian is already working on a solution.
Now for the downside...and when I say downside, it was not enough to distraction from the overall ride experience.  First, the radio controls are not intuitive.  You'd better read the book before you head down the road.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, the 'info management' display is red and CANNOT be seen in INDIRECT sunlight, at least not with polarized sunglesses on, although it can be seen reasonably well in direct sun lignt.  This is an issue that Indian is going to have to address.  Not only is it a nuisance, but it can be a safety issue as you're struggling to see the display while driving in traffic. Visibility at night is great.  However, the speed and tack numerals are white.  So, when riding in 'twilight' conditions, the numerals literally blend in with the white dial background and cannot be seen at all.  The only other negative worth mentioning is the rock hard seat.  I sure hope it breaks in over time.  An all day ride would leave your gluttes pretty sore.
I was really frustrated by the slow release of the Indians, but now that I'm in the saddle, all the negatives are a distant memory, soon to be forgotten as I journey into the sunset on my new Chieftan.  : )
 
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Good review, I agree with everything you wrote except your comment about the seat. I.M.O. the seat is very comfortable, more than what my cross country was. Wife also says the passenger seat is better than the XC was.

Another minor 'con' with the ergonomics of the bike/seating position. The air cleaner sticks out pretty far on the left side and your knee tends to rest against it. This also makes it a little bit of a stretch to reach the shifter compared to the XC. None of this is a deal breaker, and you get used to it pretty quickly.

I am a little nervous about all the electronics on the bike, but I feel better about it with the 5 yr warranty.

Otherwise, the bike looks, rides and performs beautifully. Lots of comments in the short time I was able to ride it before the weather turned cold and sour (snowing out right now!)
 
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699 said:
Good review, I agree with everything you wrote except your comment about the seat.  I.M.O. the seat is very comfortable, more than what my cross country was.  Wife also says the passenger seat is better than the XC was.

Another minor 'con' with the ergonomics of the bike/seating position.  The air cleaner sticks out pretty far on the left side and your knee tends to rest against it.  This also makes it a little bit of a stretch to reach the shifter compared to the XC.  None of this is a deal breaker, and you get used to it pretty quickly.

I am a little nervous about all the electronics on the bike, but I feel better about it with the 5 yr warranty.  

Otherwise, the bike looks, rides and performs beautifully.  Lots of comments in the short time I was able to ride it before the weather turned cold and sour (snowing out right now!)
 
Agree...hated my XC seat. Bought an Ultimate seat from Florida and is is awesome. Just read a post from a guy that bought a Corbin seat. He said the seat is awesome and, if the pics are any indication, it must be a comfortable ride.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
5 year warranty is power tran only. I am upgrading it to a full warranty. Nice reveiw. I odered my chieftan a couple weeks ago. They said I should see it in December. I also talked to mustang and they said they will be coming out with a seat for it in 2014. Corbin has one out but im not a big fan of the corbin. I ride long hours and need a seat I can be in for 10-20 hours.
 
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6269 said:
Yes, as posted earlier, I picked up my Chieftan in Phoenix last Saturday and rode it home to Flagstaff. It was cold outside, but the ride was so HOT that I didn't feel a thing. Seriously! While there are a few issues I'll mention later, the overall ride experience was the best I've ever had. I believe that this is the best production released bike in history.
During breakin, you're not supposed to exceed 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 throttle during the given miles, whatever that means. I have no idea where full throttle is to judge what that means. So, I used RPM, which is the more common benchmark for engine breakin. Everyone, including me, has called the Chieftan a 'Beast,' because the power can rip your arms out of their sockets (exaggeration, but not by much). But, after riding her for several hours, she seems more like a Cheetah. Lean, powerful, and lightening fast, ready to feast on the endless miles ahead. I never went over 2900 rpm, at 80 mph, and the Chieftan kept begging for MORE (and that IS NOT an exaggeration). But I resisted the temptation, for now, because I want to break her in easy. My Cross Country turns 3600 rpm at 80. At 80 mph, it seemed like I was crawling down the road. By contrast, 80 mph feels like 80 on my Cross Country, and I love my Cross Country, but the Chieftan made it feel like a walk in the park. The Chieftan is extremely stable at all speeds without ANY wobble around the tightest and roughest turns. The throttle is extremely responsive to the slightest touch and cruise control interface is absolutely seamless. The 111 Ci monster roars down the road on the factory exhaust, which is a bit quiet at lower speeds, but at cruise, fills the surrounding air with a rich, deep, robust bass that reminds you that you're riding the new King of the Road (my opinion). When inserting yourself into traffic from a start, the Chieftan really is like a Cheetah...absolutely no throttle lag or flat power curve. From stop to speed, you're there instantly. Unlike most other bikes I've ridden, the power curve doesn't flatten at cruise. Passing cars or accelerating into traffic is as simple as a twist of the wrist, and you don't even have to downshit to 5th gear when passing fast moving traffic on steep hills. I practiced routine and emergency braking, and the Chieftan responded quickly with complete control. I didn't have to use it, but she also has interlocked front to rear ABS.
I've read some posts that have 'ragged' on the fairing, but I couldn't disagree more. Indian must have done extensive wind tunnel testing, as claimed, because the Chieftan's fairing manages the wind even better than my Cross Country, which has a huge fairing AND lowers. When driving in gusty winds or when passing a 'Semi,' the wind tends to cause a lot of buffeting on my Cross Country fairing, but I didn't feel ANY of the same kind of wind turbulence on my Chieftan. And, leading you down the road is the well lit, and sexy, glass Chief's head on the front fender. It's just that icing on the cake that tells everyone, 'Indian is Back!!'
The instrumentation is well placed and easy to read, except as mentioned below. You can also adjust your ride with a mechanical spring adjustment under the seat and/or with the air assist usnig the provided manual air pump. The automatic adjustable windshiled is also great and easy to adjust on the fly. I arrived home after dark and the lights provided much better illumination than does my Cross Country. The turn signals are self-cancelling and finding neutral, while not automatic like the Cross Country, is a breeze. The only thing I'll miss is the trunk, an absolute must for long rides with my girl. But, I understand Indian is already working on a solution.
Now for the downside...and when I say downside, it was not enough to distraction from the overall ride experience. First, the radio controls are not intuitive. You'd better read the book before you head down the road. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the 'info management' display is red and CANNOT be seen in INDIRECT sunlight, at least not with polarized sunglesses on, although it can be seen reasonably well in direct sun lignt. This is an issue that Indian is going to have to address. Not only is it a nuisance, but it can be a safety issue as you're struggling to see the display while driving in traffic. Visibility at night is great. However, the speed and tack numerals are white. So, when riding in 'twilight' conditions, the numerals literally blend in with the white dial background and cannot be seen at all. The only other negative worth mentioning is the rock hard seat. I sure hope it breaks in over time. An all day ride would leave your gluttes pretty sore.
I was really frustrated by the slow release of the Indians, but now that I'm in the saddle, all the negatives are a distant memory, soon to be forgotten as I journey into the sunset on my new Chieftan. : )
When I did the demo ride I asked the driver about the display in sunlight, he showed me how to adjust the brightness to help with this, took him a while to find it on the controls but he managed. After the adjustment I did not get a chance to ride again so I am not sure it helped.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
11222 said:
When I did the demo ride I asked the driver about the display in sunlight, he showed me how to adjust the brightness to help with this, took him a while to find it on the controls but he managed. After the adjustment I did not get a chance to ride again so I am not sure it helped.
Nope, doesn't help. Easy to find after trial and error. Just hold down the right toggle for about 5 secs and the brightness display pops up. Had it set to max (100%). My comments were based on this setting.
 
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3758 said:
5 year warranty is power tran only. I am upgrading it to a full warranty. Nice reveiw. I odered my chieftan a couple weeks ago. They said I should see it in December. I also talked to mustang and they said they will be coming out with a seat for it in 2014. Corbin has one out but im not a big fan of the corbin. I ride long hours and need a seat I can be in for 10-20 hours. 
Thanks for your feedback. Like the looks of Corbin, but I agree with you. It doesn't make sense to spend a grand on a good looking seat if it's not going to treat your glutte well over the long hauls. Maybe it will...no customer feedback yet.
Good info about the Extended Warranty. I'm checking on that. When I received my Chieftan, I didn't receive any information or documentation on the ESC.
 
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So Billflag,

You mentioned HEAT. As I remember during warm temps you could really feel some heat on the hamstrings at least on the lower trim bikes while waiting to blast off.

Ironically, I only noticed the heat on my LEFT hamstring (the side of the 1 inch jog out of the rear cylinder) on the Chieftain, which is weird as the fairing should have made it the other way around.

Of course riding/moving there were no issues.

I used to have a Vic Jackpot and I would lean my leg onto the cylinder head for warmth in colder weather. Cant' reach my knee in on the Chief cus of the '111 Pieplate' (my very own nickname for it). It is the ONLY part on the bike I would like to see something improved on. I know LLoyd will be working maybe on that. Even if the depth could be tucked in 1 inch or so would be nice.

Other posters commented on the heat on demo bikes. Not sure if production bikes are any different or if mapping/timing will change any of that.

Curious to your thoughts about the heat. Obviously, July would be the 'test' for this. On my Chieftain rides I noticed difficulty seeing the readouts as well as the touch pad not being so responsive OR intuitive. To be frank, I owned XC's and you can really get distracted with the whole radio thing way too much.

I was very impressed with the Chieftain though. Would also like to hear reports on MPG's.
 
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2108 said:
So Billflag,

You mentioned HEAT. As I remember during warm temps you could really feel some heat on the hamstrings at least on the loweer trim bikes.

Ironically, I only noticed the heat on my LEFT hamstring (the side of the 1 inch jog out of the rear cylinder on the Chieftain, which is weird as the fairing should have made it the other way around.

Of course riding/moving there were no issues.

I used to have a Vic Jackpot and I would lean my leg onto the cylinder head for warmth in colder weather

Other posters commented on the heat on demo bikes. Not sure if production bikes are any different or if mapping/timing will change any of that.

Curious to your thoughts about the heat. Obviously, July would be the 'test' for this. On my Chieftain rides I noticed difficulty seeing the readouts as well as the touch pad not being so responsive OR intuitive. To be frank, I owned XC's and you can really get distracted with the whole radio thing way too much.

I was very impressed with the Chieftain though. Would also like to hear reports on MPG's.
Actually, I was referring to 'Heat' figuratively :) ...as in, the bike looks and rides HOT! Sorry. Actual heat was not an issue. It was in the '80s when I left Phoenix and the '50s when I got home, but I didn't notice any unusual heat, other than what you would expect from a huge V-Twin. Unlike the Gold Wings I used to ride, as a V-Twin rider, I understand the Hot ride goes hand in hand with the Hot look. When temps get back to the 100s, I know it's going to be toasty sitting on top of this huge motor. For whatever it's worth, at least it's oil radiator cooled...
 
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3758 said:
5 year warranty is power tran only. I am upgrading it to a full warranty. Nice reveiw. I odered my chieftan a couple weeks ago. They said I should see it in December. I also talked to mustang and they said they will be coming out with a seat for it in 2014. Corbin has one out but im not a big fan of the corbin. I ride long hours and need a seat I can be in for 10-20 hours.
I've been informed by two very good sources that for U.S. customers the Extended Warranty is a FULL electrical/mechanical warranty and that for Canadian and European customers it is a drive train warranty. Check and double check before putting any money out for an extended warranty.
 
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I specifically ask my dealer when I picked up the bike and he said it was only for the drivetrain. It would be great if it included everything, there's alot of electronics on the Chieftain.
 
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It DOES, mototwin, but I'm not betting my life on it. It is so frustrating that Indian can't get a clear, consistent message and info out there. I've checked this well, Man. Two VERY strong Indian sources. I truly believe it is a FULL extended warranty covering all electrical and mechanical parts but check it again. I am SO sure BUT . . . . . . :)
 
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I talked directly to the Polaris Warranty department today, and they didn't even know if the extended warranty was fender to fender or powertrain....No wonder the dealers are clueless. However, it stands to reason that the promotional add would have said power train if it wasn't a full warranty. So, I'm optimistic that it is a full warranty. Guess well find out some day.
 
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Good review, glad you love it! On a sidenote, if your XC is turning 3600 rpm's at 80 mph you need to shift up to 6th as mine only turns 2900 ;-).
 
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18595 said:
It DOES, mototwin, but I'm not betting my life on it. It is so frustrating that Indian can't get a clear, consistent message and info out there. I've checked this well, Man. Two VERY strong Indian sources. I truly believe it is a FULL extended warranty covering all electrical and mechanical parts but check it again. I am SO sure BUT . . . . . . :)
Get it in writing!
 
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OK, here's the text from the owners manual:

'INDIAN MOTORCYCLE provides the original retail purchaser of this INDIAN motorcycle with a 5 year extended service contract (ESC) that begins at the time of registration. The ESC is seperate from, has different terms and coverage, is not part of, and has no effect on the terms, coverage, or duration of this limited warranty.Please review those terms and conditions for information regaurding the ESC' etc, etc etc.

Where can you get a copy of the ESC terms and conditions, I didn't get anything from the dealer. It also says when requesting warranty service you must present your copy of the warranty registration form. I didn't get a warranty form or card when it was delivered, did anyone get this ?

A quote from Elmer Fudd ' There's something very fishy going on here'
 
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I don't suspect a conspiracy yet. I talked directly to the Polaris warranty department and they didn't even have the ESC contract. They said I would receive the warranty documents within 4-6 weeks. Every other vehicle I've purchased specified that it was a power train warranty. Since Indian didn't, I presume it's a full warranty. However, the bottom line is that the ESC would have had no impact on my decision to buy the Chieftan.
 
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1606 said:
Good review, glad you love it! On a sidenote, if your XC is turning 3600 rpm's at 80 mph you need to shift up to 6th as mine only turns 2900 ;-).
Hee...Hee...I'll check it. May have misspoken. My XC is in Phoenix for service and that will be top on my list when I get it back.
 
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Congratulations on your new Chief!


I just joined yesterday and I'm also considering getting an Indian. For me it would be the Vintage, I think, lol. Hopefully, I'll be going to the dealer in NC as there's no dealers here in VA as of present. I presently have an 05 Wing that's been triked. Just hope I can get use to a 2 wheeler again. The Indian was always my 'Dream Bike'! If all goes well, getting the Vintage will be a big item to check off on my 'Bucket List'!

 
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Discussion Starter #20
Billflag, nice review. Lke you, I find the positives far outweigh the negatives, I love the new Indian.
 
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