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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a '18 Chieftain Classic. This is my first cruiser. I've ridden sport bikes for the past 15 years. What I've noticed is that when I hit bumps in the road, not matter what size, I can feel the vibrations in my handlebars. I rode a '19 Chieftain Limited, but don't remember it feeling like this during the test ride. I kind of feels like something is loose. I've checked and can't find anything loose. Is it normal to feel the impact from everything on the road? My Hayabusa seemed more solid and I got very little feedback from the small bumps and grooves on the road. I don't know if the dampening is different on these types of bikes or if that is normal. Any ideas? Hopefully, I'm clear enough on my description.
 

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Your Huyabusa had inverted forks and so does the new Challenger. Neither one transmits the impacts into the bars. I had a 2019 Chieftain Limited and you could feel everything you ran over.
 

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When it's cold outside my forks would be cold to the touch.
The opposite is true when the bike is parked in the sun in summer.
 

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The service schedule specifies a very short interval between fork oil changes, 24,000 kms here in Oz, whatever that is in miles. Check to see if that's been done.
 

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After my 30K service, I noticed that forks were very stiff and transmitted every bump up through the handlebars. It took a while for the dealer to figure it out, they said it was a combination of overfilled forks and that I needed new seals.

I'm changing dealers. I'm lucky and I've got two fairly close to me.





BD
 

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@JSpill
Fellow sport bike rider here.
To adequately describe your situation is near impossible, so many variables, so much subjective in it to be possible to describe. So props to you!
That said, In my opinion, sport bikes have more feel in the front end. So I'm pushed to think you may have an issue.. but again, cold be wrong. A sport bike has a much better front fork with more adjustment, and more tech. IE Valving, cartridge..so to contradict my self, does absorb bigger hits better..
So, we are at an impasse. Lol.
I would check the obvious.
I'd first start with front tire pressure.
I would check for loose bits that bolt to fork. Caliper, fender, front wheel, any slop in front wheel bearings,,stuff like that. A loose bit on there can transfer through the fork.
Then I'd check for any binding.
Does it cycle up and down smoothly. Easy to bottom out? Do you feel any "stickiness"?
A very, very common mistake is in reassembling front wheel. Often doing with out paying attention, or tightening in the wrong sequence can "lock up" the fork from moving freely, making bumps feel much larger.
I'd then check oil level, and what state it's in,, dirty? Gritty?
After that, your starting to get into disassembling the fork to investigate further.
All this said, What I'd do first is ride another similar equipped bike as yours and determine weather its similar to yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@JSpill
Fellow sport bike rider here.
To adequately describe your situation is near impossible, so many variables, so much subjective in it to be possible to describe. So props to you!
That said, In my opinion, sport bikes have more feel in the front end. So I'm pushed to think you may have an issue.. but again, cold be wrong. A sport bike has a much better front fork with more adjustment, and more tech. IE Valving, cartridge..so to contradict my self, does absorb bigger hits better..
So, we are at an impasse. Lol.
I would check the obvious.
I'd first start with front tire pressure.
I would check for loose bits that bolt to fork. Caliper, fender, front wheel, any slop in front wheel bearings,,stuff like that. A loose bit on there can transfer through the fork.
Then I'd check for any binding.
Does it cycle up and down smoothly. Easy to bottom out? Do you feel any "stickiness"?
A very, very common mistake is in reassembling front wheel. Often doing with out paying attention, or tightening in the wrong sequence can "lock up" the fork from moving freely, making bumps feel much larger.
I'd then check oil level, and what state it's in,, dirty? Gritty?
After that, your starting to get into disassembling the fork to investigate further.
All this said, What I'd do first is ride another similar equipped bike as yours and determine weather its similar to yours.
Thanks. It appears that the first thing on my list is the tire pressure. I know that I've been riding that too high. I haven't figured out how to check the fork oil yet, but that is on my list also. It does cycle up and down smoothly, but I want to learn how to check it anyway. I'll check the other items that you mentioned also.
 

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A fully adjustable and tunable sport bike suspension vs a non adjustable cruiser suspension.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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If the neck bearing are loose can cause you to feel the hits of the bumps.
Jack that front end up and make sure nothing is hold the front end anywhere then grab the front wheel and pull sharply upward not pulling parrallel with the forks axis and check for looseness or play.
I can say this that we also had a Hayabusa and my 19 CDH suspension is way better behaved. We could run over a 2 x4 and barely feel it.
Want to go further into forks contact "Max" over at Traxxion Dynamics. He should be able to help you.
He also has a dyno for suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If the neck bearing are loose can cause you to feel the hits of the bumps.
Jack that front end up and make sure nothing is hold the front end anywhere then grab the front wheel and pull sharply upward not pulling parrallel with the forks axis and check for looseness or play.
I can say this that we also had a Hayabusa and my 19 CDH suspension is way better behaved. We could run over a 2 x4 and barely feel it.
Want to go further into forks contact "Max" over at Traxxion Dynamics. He should be able to help you.
He also has a dyno for suspension.
Thanks. I’ll check that out too.
 

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I failed to mention that it has less that 1K miles on it.
Not fork oil then. Unfortunately you can't easily check fork oil level. Everything is covered in shrouds and lots of stuff has to come off for the service to happen. I don't think there's even a drain plug in the bottom.
 

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2018 Indian Chieftain (Tanto) Steel Gray
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I have a similar feeling on my 2018 Chieftain. It almost feels like the side stand is loose. There is a post here somewhere that this could possibly be related to the rear swingarm being loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think it may be just a feel I have to get used to. So far, I’ve put the air pressure where it needs to be. It feels about the same. I don’t know any Indian riders near by to have them give there take on while riding it.
 

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I have a '18 Chieftain Classic. This is my first cruiser. I've ridden sport bikes for the past 15 years. What I've noticed is that when I hit bumps in the road, not matter what size, I can feel the vibrations in my handlebars. I rode a '19 Chieftain Limited, but don't remember it feeling like this during the test ride. I kind of feels like something is loose. I've checked and can't find anything loose. Is it normal to feel the impact from everything on the road? My Hayabusa seemed more solid and I got very little feedback from the small bumps and grooves on the road. I don't know if the dampening is different on these types of bikes or if that is normal. Any ideas? Hopefully, I'm clear enough on my description.
My Chieftain will grab rough spots in the road if the tires are low.
Found I like about 4 lbs more cold than recommended.
More could transfer some vibration.
Drop by your dealer, see if your tech will ride it.
 

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My Chieftain will grab rough spots in the road if the tires are low.
Found I like about 4 lbs more cold than recommended.
More could transfer some vibration.
Drop by your dealer, see if your tech will ride it.
Or if you're not close to an Indian dealer, have someone you trust that rides a TS111 bike take yours for a spin and get their input. If you happen to be out riding, switch bikes with them to see how their bike rides.
 

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I failed to mention that it has less that 1K miles on it.
one thousand miles, you say? Well, that's it Bud. Your bike is not "broke in", as they say. Ride it like you own it to 4K or so - that's when you will notice what a great machine you're riding

I failed to mention that it has less that 1K miles on it.
I failed to mention that it has less that 1K miles on it.
 
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