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A few months ago I was on Indian's website to build and price a Chieftain - specifically, I added the passenger sissybar with luggage rack in black.
Just the other day I went to do the same and it appears the only sissybar rack available is chrome.
I visited the accessories section and there was even a 1-star review on the sissybar rack from a month ago citing the lack of color options as the reason.

Is this a bad call from management, temporary COVID production shortfall, or a long-term budget cut related to financial issues?

The reason I'm asking is I am set to deploy next year and when I return I'm looking to upgrade the scout to a bagger. I think Indian is kicking the pants off Harley and I would love a Chieftain, but I'm not married to the brand and if things are going south for Indian I have no problem checking out the newer Street Glides.
 

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IDK - wasn't it HD that cut 700 jobs from US workers last month? It seems they're increasingly relying on the cheap labor available in Thailand, Brazil and India. Personally, I think I'll stick with Indian for a while longer... maybe its because I live in Mn. I know that my primary case was cast a few miles north of me, the motor was built a few miles east of me, and my bike was assembled 'a ways south' of me by the Iowegians. 😅 Maybe I don't mind chrome so much.
 

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Accessories had a back order because of covid. I was told 2 months a while back for the tour pack mount, so I got an aftermarket one. You can still get the bike, and then add whatever you want later. Or get aftermarket. Not buying a bike because an accessory may not be available yet it not a valid reason.

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...Not buying a bike because an accessory may not be available yet it not a valid reason.

Exactly, which is what I'm trying to figure out. Hoping it's just a back-order issue because of this COVID crap. I love the Chieftain so much more than the Street Glide - I just want to make sure the parts are available to twill make it the bike I need it to be. I'm upgrading for the sole purpose of doing more touring, so the parts available are kind of integral to that decision.
 

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It seems accessories are in short supply across all facets of the motorcycle industry. Keep in mind most of that is manufactured in China. Took forever for me to get Rizoma (made in Italy) grips and mirrors for my Ducati. Try buying LS2‘s new Valiant ll helmet...all the big suppliers are out and have been for months. Finally found one on Amazon, but sizes and colors were limited. I even had to wait weeks to get replace parts for my gas grill.
 

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COVID shut down production almost everywhere. The reality is that Harley has a bigger supply chain so they’ve got more inventory in warehouses. I agree with @Thelastbill that this is probably not a good reason to buy or not buy a bike — particularly if you’re going on deployment. Buy the bike and the parts will be there when you get back.
 

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Why not buy the parts over the following months on the used market.
I have a Indian Sissy Bar listed for less than half price on EBay UK. So the bargains are out there.
You can save yourself a lot of money.
 

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My dealer is having inventory issues and it's all about the supply chain disruptions.
 

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I have an OEM Sissy bar with luggage rack. I don't need to sell it but I will. 600+ reasonable shipping conus. I have a 2p16 chieftain so make sure that fits what chieftain you are considering.

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Exactly, which is what I'm trying to figure out. Hoping it's just a back-order issue because of this COVID crap. I love the Chieftain so much more than the Street Glide - I just want to make sure the parts are available to twill make it the bike I need it to be. I'm upgrading for the sole purpose of doing more touring, so the parts available are kind of integral to that decision.
I tried both 2019 Chieftain and 2019 Street Glide when ready to buy. Indian is just way better. You get more for the money you'll spend. The sissy bar, i bought aftermarket and it works for me. Easy to remove and put back when wife is riding with me.
 

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Keep in mind most of that is manufactured in China.
^^^This.

Production of accessories are almost always outsourced. The availability of accessories has little to do with the core production of motorcycles... although bike production can be slowed when the availability of parts / accessories is disrupted.

I wouldn't buy a Harley over and Indian just because of the availability of accessories during Covid. That being said, I can't imagine that general availability of either the aftermarket or factory accessories of any Indian models will match Harley for many, many years to come. HD is just way too established and (at least right now) dominate in market share in the US.
 

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I came off a 18 Street Glide and am on a 18 Chieftain Limited now. Haven’t looked back, Chieftain is a far better bike. COVID-19 has all products in demand. Try buying a freezer, fridge or almost anything. I agree with the above posters, get the Chieftain and hopefully manufacturing will be caught up when you return home.
 

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There are boat loads of black ones on amazon and e-bay. Knock-offs, but I am sure they would work. Hell, the Indian one says it's only rated for 7lbs. But we all know it can hold much more than that...
 
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Last I knew and this was about a month ago, everything from Asia was in short supply because they can't ship it here fast enough. With airlines almost shut down they have only a little air freight going over and freighters are booked out for months. There was also an increase in some goods during this time, for example computers saw people buying them up like it was Christmas time so lots of industries are also fighting for the limited cargo ship space as warehouses in the US try and fill back up.
 

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Last I knew and this was about a month ago, everything from Asia was in short supply because they can't ship it here fast enough. With airlines almost shut down they have only a little air freight going over and freighters are booked out for months. There was also an increase in some goods during this time, for example computers saw people buying them up like it was Christmas time so lots of industries are also fighting for the limited cargo ship space as warehouses in the US try and fill back up.
I believe it. I've been waiting for an iPad that I ordered direct from Apple for quite a while now. I think that typically, there is a lot of air freight that finds its way hitchhiking on passenger flights with cargo capacity (almost half of it). That has been obviously reduced by a lot.
 

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Last I knew and this was about a month ago, everything from Asia was in short supply because they can't ship it here fast enough. With airlines almost shut down they have only a little air freight going over and freighters are booked out for months. There was also an increase in some goods during this time, for example computers saw people buying them up like it was Christmas time so lots of industries are also fighting for the limited cargo ship space as warehouses in the US try and fill back up.
Most things from China come across the water in Cargo containers. That's 4 weeks minimum on the water and one to two weeks in customs as the long shoremen do their thing.
 

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I believe it. I've been waiting for an iPad that I ordered direct from Apple for quite a while now. I think that typically, there is a lot of air freight that finds its way hitchhiking on passenger flights with cargo capacity (almost half of it). That has been obviously reduced by a lot.

You would be surprised by how much cargo and freight USPS, FedEx, UPS and others ship via passenger flights. It is a lot!
 

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Just to share my experiences. I’m waiting on a back ordered sissy bar luggage rack for my chief dark horse i ordered about a month ago but I’m also waiting on a fuel pump from Harley that I ordered 2.5 months ago and brake lines from HD I ordered 1.5 months ago. Even the extra Sena headset mounts I ordered 2 months ago have been twice updated for its estimated ship date. My suspicions are that everyone stuck at home started spending the extra money (from not traveling and eating out) on homes and toys and depleted the inventory but factories only really fired back up a month or so ago (maybe 2) so are digging out of the biggest holes first. So the more obscure or not in demand, the longer I think it will take to get it made and replenished.
 

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Why not buy the parts over the following months on the used market.
I have a Indian Sissy Bar listed for less than half price on EBay UK. So the bargains are out there.
You can save yourself a lot of money.
Great point, Brother. I bought a tan leather seat, chrome console off of wrecked bikes on eBay.
 
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