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I just saw the new 2014 Indian Chieftain on their website - boy what a beautiful bike - I had been looking at the XCT but really like this model - seems like the price is very reasonable compared to what I saw a while back for Indian motorcyles - too bad the closest dealer is 5 hours away from where I live. Wonder if it has the same sort of ride that Victory's have -no vibration at idle - not too loud stock - nice handling... the Chieftain with some wind managment for legs would be close to the perfect bike for me. Anyway just thought i'd post this.
 
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Discussion Starter #2
I'm scheduled to help out with an Indian demo ride in September, will post up my review at that time. I too am very impressed with this bike from what I've seen so far.
 
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Wow, I'm beginning to think i'm in the minority. I don't like the fairing shape... it seems like someone just cut off it's nose... but, wow... the tech that went into it... MIND BOGGLING. I'm going to bet we are going to start seeing some of these high end features on the xc/xct in 2015 or 2016. And if indian sells REALLY well, then i doubt it'll be available at all on vics. Maybe a special anniversary bike...

Just thinking out loud.

-kg
 
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From a style perspective, I think the fairing really works for an Indian, and that it complements the flow of the valanced fenders. The front end sort of reminds me of a car or truck from the 40's or 50's - big swoping lines and lots of chrome. Very nicely done!
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I took the Chieftain for a demo ride at Sturgis. Rides nice and tons of power. Handles kinda likea Vic. Likes to keep itself upright. Solid front end. Very sure footed.
I am not a big fan of the big chrome piece on the front of the fairing. What I would like is a matching color or a contrast color. Say I want a blue bike and I could order a black section or blue to match the bike.
Talking with Steve M. at the Victory luncheon he said one of their future goals is to have a customer choose the basic parts for the bike (Indian and Victory) and have it delivered in 2 weeks to the dealer for accessories and the customer is good to go. I love this idea. Say I want a black XCT but with the 8 ball engine and exhaust. Have all the blackout 8 ball parts and accessories would be sweet. I used XCT cause there isn't a choice for Indian yet.
Price is right and bike is nice. Go Indian!!!
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Test Riding a Chieftain tomorrow .. Will let you know what I think after the Ride ...
 
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13411 said:
Test Riding a Chieftain tomorrow .. Will let you know what I think after the Ride ...
Will be looking forward to a full report with pictures.

PLEASEEEEEEEEE!
 
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Discussion Starter #8
On Wednesday evening a friend and I rode to St. Paul Indian and did the demo ride of the new Chieftain. First let me say that I think the styling, design and proportions of this new bike are perfect. Yes, there are a few things that I may have done differently but there is never going to be a bike or anything made for that matter that will satisfy everyone. I went into this ride already in love with this bike so take that into consideration when reading my review.

The demo was set up with 12 motorcycles with a ride captain and a sweep. There were a lot of people waiting to demo these bikes so there was not ANY time to walk around the bikes and kick the tires, big mistake on Indian's part if you ask me. They should have had at least one of each model set aside so a thorough inspection for fit and finish could be made.
Strike One.

The very first thing I noticed after swinging my leg over the seat was the lack of leg room, definitely not for us big guys. The ergonomics of this bike are very similar to an H.D. Electra Glide. The fat handlebars with internal wiring are nice and the layout of the controls is intuitive. The sound system controls are back lighted and the grips are nice. The 'Integrated Digital Multi Function Display' as Indian calls it, is in red and virtually impossible to read.
Strike Two.

Time to fire up the motor. Push the start button and the 111 Thunder Stroke rumbles to life. The stock exhaust sounds great and is something I think I could live with. Drop her into gear and we are off. Wow, the torque of this motor is instantly apparent as I shift into second and then into third. The transmission shifts like butter with virtually no noise. Not only is this a cool looking power plant but it has balls! As we cruise down the freeway frontage road I play with the power windshield, nice but kind of unnecessary it you ask me. Wind buffeting was minimal even without lower fairings. The radio was o.k. but certainly could be improved upon with rear speakers. The ABS brakes work great and stopping is one of this bikes strong suits. At 65 mph there is a constant vibration in the floorboards that is rather annoying.

After riding for a few minutes it becomes glaringly apparent that this motorcycle feels a lot like riding a Harley, in other words, it feels like a bike that is well worn but had only 1,006 miles on her.
Strike Three.

After dismounting and talking to some of the other demo riders my observations were echoed by many. The friend that I went there with was prepared to put money down and wait for a bike, but after the demo he has changed his mind. Some of the shorter riders said the power windshield did not go down far enough.

In conclusion, as much as I wanted to like this bike I was extremely disappointed by my demo ride. I will not be switching brands any time soon. My Victory is a superior bike for less money, period.

Edit: I forgot to mention that the check engine light came on half way thru my demo ride.
 
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Interesting thought Mike. Like you said, everyone can't be happy. I have to wonder though. Is any of the 'feel' built in? I have heard a couple of times here (no idea if it is true) that Victory roughed the engine and took out some power on purpose. Seems the powers thout it TOO smooth and strong. WTF?? Is there such a thing? I guess for some there is but, WTF????

New model years and of course a complete new machine will have problems. We all know it. What Indian does about those will define them. HAving dealers pop up will be a challenge for them it seems. Good ones are a must. Vic seems to not give a fuzzy s%&t about after the sale service, but it could be all the attention going to Indian. They have lost customers over it too. A calculated risk and one I don't have a clue how they determine, but they done it. LOL

I hope Indian does well. I never thought they made a package that fit my idea of a touring bike. I may have a differnt definition of 'touring' too. Vic does make one. ONE. They come really close on one of them, if alone it would hit the mark, but,,,just saying.

Best wishes to them.
 
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It just shows, CHOICE is good! :) I am 6'1-2' and LOVED the Chieftain. In fact, I wasn't really in the market, already have two great bikes, but I placed an order for one 475 miles from me! I rode all of the Victories last year at Sturgis and they were okay, but not for me, and I rode a Cross Country Tour just before test riding the Chieftain for the first of a couple times. No comparison. The XCT was SLUGGISH and ackward in comparison. Hey, it's all about CHOICE and thankfully we have it! I'm betting, no money though, :), that Indian will be very successful but even if they take a while to get there, I'll have a beautiful, POWERFUL, red Chieftain! :)

PS: Though I live in South Texas, and the Houston area will have Indian dealers soon, I bought from Gregory Polaris, Indian of Little Rock, in Jacksonville, Ar. I want one YESTERDAY! :) Rob Gregory takes the time to discuss and answer questions and is very fair. I recommend them.
 
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I bet in a year or two the chieftain will be offered with a tour pack and lowers like the XCT and Electra Glide.
Then I will want one...... More than I do now....
 
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19748 said:
I bet in a year or two the chieftain will be offered with a tour pack and lowers like the XCT and Electra Glide.
Then I will want one...... More than I do now....
Exactly, that some cams and a PCV yahoo!
 
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Went to Las Vegas this past week and visited the Victory/Indian dealer there. He has several new Indians there (all models) that had 'sold' signs on them. I got a chance to test fit the Indians and liked what I saw. That clutch pull is NICE, about half the strength that is needed for my CC & I like the way they stamped the Indian logo on the front of the frame at the neck......I am not ready to sell my CC, but as time goes on, we will see.......There is a lot of Victory in those bikes, even the Indian apparel and some of the accessories I noticed were in Victory packaging, with Indian stamped on the outside. I bought a Indian L/S shirt and will wear it proudly on my Victory...My Harley vest will have to remain in the closet though....
 
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I have 1500 miles on my Chieftain. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

I too purchased from Gregory Polaris. Can not recommend them enough. Great folks.
 
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Kel, speaking of wind management for the legs or lack of same, when you are tooling down the open road, almost nearly adhering to the SUGGESTED speed limit, just don't all of a sudden-like lift your legs off the footboards. I did it and the wind pressure pushed my left leg up and damm nearly wrapped it around to my right ear. Unto whom this has happened he would know what I mean.
 
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18852 said:
Went to Las Vegas this past week and visited the Victory/Indian dealer there. He has several new Indians there (all models) that had 'sold' signs on them. I got a chance to test fit the Indians and liked what I saw. That clutch pull is NICE, about half the strength that is needed for my CC & I like the way they stamped the Indian logo on the front of the frame at the neck......I am not ready to sell my CC, but as time goes on, we will see.......There is a lot of Victory in those bikes, even the Indian apparel and some of the accessories I noticed were in Victory packaging, with Indian stamped on the outside. I bought a Indian L/S shirt and will wear it proudly on my Victory...My Harley vest will have to remain in the closet though....
The A-Team in Vegas is my dealer. Nice guys and eager to explain everything about the bikes, even if you visit just to look around. Maybe it's boredom, but I do appreciate the detailed descriptions about the bikes - I learn a lot every time I visit. Bought my Chieftain there and am still waiting for accessories - like a lot of you out there.
 
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I am the proud owner of a red Chieftain #277. I had no intentions of purchasing one since I was very happy with my 2004 Victory Kingpin. I went to Motorcycle of Manchester in Foxboro Massachusetts because a friend wanted to test drive an Indian since they were sponsoring demo days. I rode the classic and the chieftain. I loved them both and when I got off the chieftain after my ride I knew I was hooked and had to get one. The fairing coverage was perfect for me and although I thought the power windshield was a bit silly at start I now love it. If I am in the city I can lower it down and while I am on the highway I can raise it up and then push my helmet shield up and enjoy the view. The transmission is so smooth but I do miss the heel shifter but I since there isn't one avaiable yet I am getting used to the toe again. Compared to my Kingpin transmission I feel 1/2 the need to shift that I used to. It is killing me now that I can't ride but I purchased it in November and got a really low rate and an additional $250 dollars worth of Indian apparell as well. I am 6'1' and find the bike to be incredibly comfortable. I know there are a lot of folks out there that want an Indian, I totally get it and extremely happy that I got mine. Now just bring on the Spring!
 
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20223 said:
I am the proud owner of a red Chieftain #277.  I had no intentions of purchasing one since I was very happy with my 2004 Victory Kingpin.  I went to Motorcycle of Manchester in Foxboro Massachusetts because a friend wanted to test drive an Indian since they were sponsoring demo days.  I rode the classic and the chieftain.  I loved them both and when I got off the chieftain after my ride I knew I was hooked and had to get one.  The fairing coverage was perfect for me and although I thought the power windshield was a bit silly at start I now love it.  If I am in the city I can lower it down and while I am on the highway I can raise it up and then push my helmet shield up and enjoy the view.  The transmission is so smooth but I do miss the heel shifter but I since there isn't one avaiable yet I am getting used to the toe again.  Compared to my Kingpin transmission I feel 1/2 the need to shift that I used to.  It is killing me now that I can't ride but I purchased it in November and got a really low rate and an additional $250 dollars worth of Indian apparell as well.  I am 6'1' and find the bike to be incredibly comfortable.  I know there are a lot of folks out there that want an Indian, I totally get it and extremely happy that I got mine.  Now just bring on the Spring!
Lowering the windshield in he city and raising it on the highway is a very nice option.
I like my XCT but I don't care much for the motor. It makes all the wrong noises and doesn't have a nice Vtwin feel or sound.

I was riding a VTX 1300 and I was amazed at how quiet the motor internals were and the power pulses of the Vtwin could be felt through out the rev range, albeit I kept the revs LOW.... I almost forgot what a Vtwin was supposed to feel like.... Or at least what I like about a Vtwin.

I will have to wait till spring to get a test ride on a cheifton. If the motor has the power pulse feel to go with all that low end torque everyone keeps talking about..... The XCT will be gone........
 
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19748 said:
Lowering the windshield in he city and raising it on the highway is a very nice option.
I like my XCT but I don't care much for the motor. It makes all the wrong noises and doesn't have a nice Vtwin feel or sound.
I was riding a VTX 1300 and I was amazed at how quiet the motor internals were and the power pulses of the Vtwin could be felt through out the rev range, albeit I kept the revs LOW.... I almost forgot what a Vtwin was supposed to feel like.... Or at least what I like about a Vtwin.
I will have to wait till spring to get a test ride on a cheifton. If the motor has the power pulse feel to go with all that low end torque everyone keeps talking about..... The XCT will be gone........
YES it does, and made even sweeter with stage 1 w/six shooter tips. Let us know your thoughts after that test ride...
 

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I have demo'd the Chieftain at a couple of demos last year, and it's a very nice shiny bike with lots of attention to details. Nice power and I like the keyless start. I don't know why more bikes don't have this. However, the test ride convinced me to get the Vision, which was $5k cheaper (year end sale), has a trunk, has a bigger power windshield, more wind protection, more comfortable, and is just as flashy, but not as shiny. The Vision is a bit plasticky and definitely doesn't have the attention to detail like the Chieftain. If you're looking for a bike to ride, get a Vision. If you're looking for a bike for looks, get a Chieftain, at least it won't get lost in the crowd, but neither will the Vision.
 
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