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Discussion Starter #1
I rode to Lincoln Nebraska today with a couple of buddies to test ride the new Indians. I ride a 2013 XC. The only Indian I was interested in was the Chieftain. This was a dealer sponsored demo ride. When we got to the dealer, they had 12 new Indians. I was happy to see that 5 of them were the Chieftain.

The bike looks incredible. The photos on the web site doesn't do it justice. The bike is the perfect blend between old and new. When I threw my leg over the bike, I was surprised at how the size of the bike disappeared. I'm 5'9' and the bike was very comfortable. The electronic display is well positioned in the fairing. Lots of data displayed in an easy to see and recognize format. The controls are integrated beauitifully. In my opinion, you could easily argue it's the nicest looking bagger on the road.

We road 8 to 10 miles, including a brief stretch on the interstate. First things first, the Thunderstoke 111 is an absolute beast. The bike is fast in all gears. Acceleration is better than any stock cruiser I'ver ever ridden. The bike handles like a dream. Easy to tip into a corner. Very smooth with no noticeable vibration. It was a pleasure to ride.

I went into the test ride with the thought of comparing it to my Vic. What I found is that they are completly different bikes. There's nothing of Victory in the Chietain. The set-up and feel is much more Harley in nature. I do have two spefic complaints. One, the lag in the throttle control was surprising. I almost killed it in first gear. Second was the heat. It was almost 100 degrees at the time we rode. My right leg was on fire by the time I got off the bike. My Harley buddy didn't seem to mind. He chalked it up as 'normal'. He rides a 2008 Street Glide.

I came away very impressed. I was also happy to get back on my XC. I bought the XC because it's not a Harlery. The comfort, the feel and the overall ride of the XC is still superior than any other large crusier I've owned. While I'm very pleased Polaris is bringing back an American icon , and has done it with the desing ang quality of the new Indian, I'm happy to stay put on my XC.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Nice review. What would you like to see incorperated on the Victory XC/XCT from the Indian?
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Great Review .. The 2 things that could definitely stop me from getting a Chieftain are the 2 you mentioned .. 1st, Throttle Lag with TBW which Harley had the First year brought it out in 08 .. 2nd, Engine Heat which causes discomfort, just am not going to put up with period .. Had enough of Hot Bikes .. Will Stay Tuned and see what develops over time ..
 
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Discussion Starter #5
13411 said:
Great Review .. The 2 things that could definitely stop me from getting a Chieftain are the 2 you mentioned .. 1st,  Throttle Lag with TBW which Harley had the First year brought it out in 08 .. 2nd,  Engine Heat which causes discomfort,  just am not going to put up with period ..  Had enough of Hot Bikes .. Will Stay Tuned and see what develops over time ..
Honestly, you need to ride the bike before coming to conclusions based on other people's opinions. For example, I've ridden many bike with TBW and didn't notice the lag mentioned here and as for hear, we rode mostly city streets, where heat is the biggest issue and I did t find the Chieftain any hotter than my XC was. It all comes down to what YOU experience.

To the OP, thanks for the review, every bit of information helps.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
I was also in Lincoln yesterday with a BMW rider, a guy that just purchased a XCT last week, and a couple Harley riders. I found our different responses interesting. Every one of us liked the exhaust and thought the bike's fit and finish looked good. That's about all we agreed on. They thought the power was great, I was not impressed. I found it to be very comparable to my cam'ed 100' Kingpin and I, along with the XCT rider almost killed it a couple times because of the throttle lag. He has yet to get cams in his new bike and thought the Indian power is exactly what the Victory should have been. While I liked the looks of the bikes, it was just kind of 'retro gone wild' for me. Just a bit over the top in making it look like a bike from the 40's. The Harley riders and the BMW rider loved it. All three have been on Victory demo rides and contrary to the slogan after they rode one they are unimpressed. Rattles, clunks, underpowered are their thoughts about Victory. The BMW rider wants to buy a Classic as a second bike ( his Beemer is a tour bike ), the female Harley rider is considering trading her Street Glide, which she said feels too heavy, for a Vintage, and the male Harley rider has no plans to trade his Street Glide but will would consider Indian if he was in the market now. To me they certainly do a few things better than a Victory, but they don't do everything better. Comfort and handling I give to Victory. Power and sound (both the exhaust and lack of rattles, clicks, and clunks) I give to Indian.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Both excellent reviews. Like mjw930 said, 'every bit of information helps.' Funny thing is the 2 things that have keep me from falling in love with the XR are the exhaust sounds and the look of the engine. I enjoy the comfort, the power and the handling (except at slow speed parking lot manuevers. I still haven't gotten use to those yet). But I'm in Lust with the look and sound of the Indian. I'm excited to see it in person and hear it live. I hope I'm not disapponted by the riding position. I think it will be interesting to see Victory's next round of design and upgrades. I also think the Harley response (I expect a totally new engine within 2 years) will also be quite interesting. Thanks again for such good reviews.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I was there today. Whew - hot! I rode 2 Chieftains in Sturgis, but it was only around 80 degrees and I did not notice the heat from the engine. Today I did but it was a lot less heat than off a Road Glide or an Ultra (pre twin cooled) in my opinion. Today I rode 2-up, and I am pretty sure the Indian 2-up could outrun my 96 Heritage solo. Keep in mind I 'raced' a stock 106 vision and a stock 100 victory cruiser in the last 6 months and outran them handily... I love the ride compared to any Harley. I feel a bit cramped in legroom compared to my Heritage, but sure do appreciate the extra cornering clearance. I want to love it, and right now just really really like it. Of course I want to love a Vision but am too shallow to get past its looks even though I love the ride.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I was at the Lincoln demo rides on Saturday, I liked how the cruise control and radio were incorporated into the grips area, Being 6'5 I thought I was cramped, and I also felt the heat off the engine. I do like the look, but the comfort is still in my victory cross roads. Maybe they will incorporate a couple of the items from the Indians to the victory. Hopefully will be trading up next fall for a cross country.
Ride Safe all....
 
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Discussion Starter #10
2610 said:
Honestly, you need to ride the bike before coming to conclusions based on other people's opinions. For example, I've ridden many bike with TBW and didn't notice the lag mentioned here and as for hear, we rode mostly city streets, where heat is the biggest issue and I did t find the Chieftain any hotter than my XC was. It all comes down to what YOU experience. To the OP, thanks for the review, every bit of information helps.
I did ride a Chieftain at Daytona Aug 17 and that quick trip around the block they gave us for a Demo ride which never got past 3rd gear is hardly the kind of ride I feel can really give much of an opinion on ..
 
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Discussion Starter #11
13411 said:
 
I did ride a Chieftain at Daytona Aug 17 and that quick trip around the block they gave us for a Demo ride which never got past 3rd gear is hardly the kind of ride I feel can really give much of an opinion on .. 
I rode on the 18th and I believe they stretched the ride out a little but it was still not ideal. I did get to ride about 4 times over the course of the day and on one occasion got to run it up around 65 and went up to 6th to see what cruising speed might feel like. About the only thing I wasn't able to test was highway riding.

The better ride will be at Biketoberfest when they will ride the roads around the speedway.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
I rode a Chieftain in Lincoln last Saturday too. My ride was at 10 AM and it was about 86 degrees at the time. I felt some heat from the engine but I didn't think it was too bad at that time. The bike that I was on didn't have any throttle lag. I was impressed with how smooth the bike was. I was one rider behind the guy that was leading us, so I didn't have much of a chance to get on it. When you did get in to it, it pulled pretty good. It would be nice to take it out on an unsupervised demo
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Just did a demo ride on the chieftain in Murfreesboro, TN. I was very impressed. The bikes were beautiful. The 111 is amazing. Incredibly smooth with great power. The sound was not too loud but had great character, not the sewing machine sound of my XC. One thing that amazed me was how light the steering was compared to the XC, even with the motorized windscreen. Suspension felt well controlled and comfortable. Didn't experience any buffeting. Even the stereo sounded great. Man!!! I wanted to ride more than 20 minutes!

Only one small nit to pick; there was a buzz coming from what sounded like the fairing. Hopefully, this is not the norm. The only other issue I personally have is room. I'm 6'3' and couldn't stretch out near as well as I can on my XC. I don't think I would leave the dealer without highway pegs. Still, I was more comfortable than I was on the Electra Glide I rented for a ride on the pacific coast highway a couple of years ago.

The only thing stopping me from selling blood to get one now, is the lack of a trunk. I ride a lot with my wife. We need the storage space and passenger comfort of the trunk. Hopefully, Indian will wait till my daughter gets out of grad school to offer a trunk so I don't have to auction a kidney on eBay.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Two Indain demo rides in Pheonix over the last two weeks and I want more. The Chieftain is the bike for me. I have a 2000 Road Glide with 139K and it's time to start lookin. I test rode the Cross Roads and the Cross County(three times) just didn't do it for me, loved the power and the handling but the motor feels too buzy. Now after three rides on the Chieftain.... I want it! It has that feel that I've been looking for to replace the Harley.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
i tried a Cheftain while at the dearler in Lincoln and the only issue i had was with the sidestand and not being able to reach it to bring it in. I have a 29 inch inseam. Has any one else had this problem. If it could be located back a few inches it would be great.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
i rode them all, beautiful bikes that handeled well...but....for what i paid for my xc with heated seats&grips, soft lowers,cams,filter,pcv,timing wheel and big honkers i coulden't buy a vintage..stock, never mind the stuff i would put on it. my xc handles awsome, comfortable in all weather and sounds awsome, power? 115&116 at the rear wheel, just pure bliss in any situation all that cost me about 20g. don't get me wrong, if i didn't have a bike and could spend around 25g i'd probably buy one but not now, let's see what or if lloyd's does for a performance upgrade and also what indian does for touring capability and the cost of it, tour pak lowers, heated opions ect. if i had unlimited funds, maybe, but my xc does everything well, and most bang for my buck, she looks pretty good too
 
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Discussion Starter #17
I love the way Indian hit everyone in the back of the head with the Chieftain. A fairing on an Indian? Preposterous! But by most accounts, people are digging it. At the International Motorcycle Show this last weekend, I was talking to an engineer from Polaris and found out something I found intriguing.

Since it hadn't been done before, the designers looked back through history for styling cues for the Chieftain's fairing and they found their inspiration.

Anyone have a guess as to where?
 
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Discussion Starter #18
After reading many of the Indian reviews, I was indeed skeptical about the mixed reviews. I ordered a Chieftan on 6 September and have been like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting for one to arrive. I had expected to ride one at Sturgis, but unfortunately had to cancel my trip. After months of waiting, a 'Showroom' bike arrived at my dealership in October. BUT IT COULDN'T BE RIDDEN. At this point, my frustration was peaked!. I finally had a chance to ride a Chieftan in Pompano, Florida while I was visiting my best friend. I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED!!! The Chieftan is everything I expected and nothing I feared. It is an absolute BEAST and handles like a dream: cornering, accelerating, good RPMs at high speeds, braking, maneuvering, and visibility were all perfect (hold on tight when you give it full throttle, or the bike may leave you in the dust). If I had to make any negative comment, it would be the hard seat, but I expect that will soften over time, and the valve cover. The Chieftan is chromed everywhere, but they installed, what appears to be, a cast valve cover. So, while it is chrome color, it looks 'cheap' as compared to everything else.
A week later I am back in Arizona and MY CHIEFTAN HAS JUST ARRIVED. I go down to pick it up this Saturday, November 2nd, and am totally stoked. An added bonus is that it was one of the first 1901 produced, so it is 'badged' number 1400 on the right side (the first 1901 bikes released are numbered 1-1901). Awesome. I'll get to test everything on my 135 mile ride home, so I'll update this post accordingly.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
4010 said:
...At the International Motorcycle Show this last weekend, I was talking to an engineer from Polaris and found out something I found intriguing.

Since it hadn't been done before, the designers looked back through history for styling cues for the Chieftain's fairing and they found their inspiration.

Anyone have a guess as to where?
Hmmm, streamliner diesel trains?
 
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Discussion Starter #20
14245 said:
Hmmm, streamliner diesel trains?
Somebody get that man a see-gar!

There was nothing on wheels faster or more powerful than a locomotive.
 
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