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Several members of the Zoo Crew rode up to Erie to test ride the Indians Tuesday, and a few more are up there today.

16 Indians on the truck, about equal amounts of each model.
15 to ride and one was on display in the parking lot.

A good mix of colors and options including pipes, different sizes of windscreens, and chrome/fringe goodies were available.
One of the Vintage bikes had a ton of options on it and the price tag was $30,000.

There is a heel-toe shifter in the works, but none were available on the truck's bikes.
That meant that I couldn't ride.


All models are equipped with Dunlops, with the Chieftain the only one clad in E3 tubeless radials.
The Classic and Vintage have tubed tires (with horizontal nozzles which was a nice touch).

The Chieftain has a rear air shock while the other two models have rear shock adjustment available only by using a spanner tool.

The battery is located under the seat.
It takes a little bit of work to get to it.

I discerned ZERO metal-flake in the paint.
The Blue paint did look very nice, but if I was to purchase an Indian, it would have to be red.
The Blue and Red paint options cost $400 extra.

You can buy the Classic and upgrade it later to the Vintage if you choose.
The Classic is set up to accept the windscreen and saddlebags.

I did notice several of the Vintages with loose saddlebags when they were returned from the 25 minute rides.
The truck driver and Rep were checking each of them on returning and remounting those that had come loose.
Problem?
Maybe this is why production was being held up?

The Chieftain has locking saddlebags VIA the Key fob, BUT, the locking mechanism does take up about 2 stacked VCR tapes worth of interior storage volume and are mounted to the top lids.
I'm not sure I'd like losing that amount of storage space just for the remote locking convenience?

Many commented that the Chieftain needs a top box.

My riding buddies comment that the transmission shifted silky smooth, the Indians had plenty of grunt at the lower RPM's and seemed to lose it just past 4,000 RPM's.
A couple Victory riders I talked to felt that their bikes would match or exceed the performance of the Indian's after that point.

The Harley riders that showed up to test ride the Indians were all generally impressed.
They claimed to hear some 'ticking' going on inside the motor.

That's about all I can comment on as I didn't actually ride one.

The Erie dealership had a very good setup for the rides with wrist banding only occurring once (swiped driver's license), and each 1/2 hour ride required a colored ticket which determined what model bike you could ride.
While sitting on the bike you chose, tickets were collected just before leaving the parking lot for ride.

Once you finished a ride you could go inside and get a new ticket for the next half hours ride.
Simple, painless and straightforward.

The dealership was 'under construction' to conform to Indians requirements as to floor space needed.
The owner of the dealership couldn't have been more congenial if he had gone to etiquette classes.

A really nice guy that must have talked to me 4 or 5 times to make sure I was having an enjoyable experience.

I guess I'm spoiled by Ohio's Victory Dealerships as they always have some kind of FREE food/beverage 'spread' for the riders.
At this dealership, a food truck pulled in around lunchtime and 'SOLD' food.



 
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I know a lot of people are in love with the new indians but personally I don't care for them.... not my style and to each their own. I've heard that that dealership had about 30 bikes sold already before the demo event.
 
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10799 said:
I know a lot of people are in love with the new indians but personally I don't care for them.... not my style and to each their own. I've heard that that dealership had about 30 bikes sold already before the demo event.
I don't know about the number of sold bikes you stated, but he had a very disapointed early purchaser due to the fact he wasn't getting any 'numbered' Indians.
The floor models were the only bikes he had in his possession, and that purchaser had the dealership sell him that Chieftain, so it sits inside a roped off area with a 'sold' sign on it.
That bike will sit there for at least the next 10 weeks per agreement.

Rumors were flying at this event, including one that stated Indian could manufacture 50,000 bikes per year.

 
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Discussion Starter #4
Biggie since you couldn't ride, were you able to sit on any of them and how did they feel as far as leg room?
 
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5452 said:
Biggie since you couldn't ride, were you able to sit on any of them and how did they feel as far as leg room?
Let's start my answer with I'm 6'4' tall.
Proportional, equal distance from the belt up and belt down.
34' inseam.
79 inch armspan.


I sat on a Chieftain and a Classic.
The Classic and the Vintage have the same setup (frame and forks) and the only real difference between them, as far as I could tell, was the shape and color of the seat, bags, and windscreen.
The Classic's black leather does nothing for me.
I loved the looks and feel of the stressed leather used on the Vintage Indians.
The Rep stressed that the stressed leather looked faded because it wasn't being 'treated'.

I could leave the handlebars as they are and be fine.
There was one Indian there that had 2' pullbacks mounted on it.

There was also one Indian that was lowered 1' through the seat setup.
The 2 girls I saw riding that bike seemed to be able to flat foot it with no problems.

I believe the floorboards are 'fixed' as in not adjustable in height or foreward/aft.

I felt slightly cramped on the Chieftain and OK on the Classic I sat on.
As you know, sitting on a static motorcycle tells you almost nothing as to how it will feel on the road.

The guys that actually rode them should feel free to chime in with their observations and impressions.

 
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been there , done that, (in my neck of the woods) . rode all three and enjoyed each in different ways,,, worth investigating for sure. without a doubt i would go indian before harley for the technology alone (same ergos but modern enginuity ). right now though vic has my undivided attention with a remarkable bike, could'nt be happier,,, happy hunting !
 
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Thanks biggie. Thought I remembered you being a little taller than me, but other measurements the same. Was just curious to your opinion then on just sitting on it.
 
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Ridefree - I'm 6'3'. Rode a Chieftain twice. The entire feel is different for me as my current HD has forward controls. So a little hard to say however it felt spacious as any of the touring HD's I have previously ridden. I have ordered highway pegs for mine as I'm used to stretching out my long legs. The stock seat seams (short demo rides) to be firm and good for long miles.
 
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I got to ride a Vintage and a Chieftain in Erie.

I liked the Chieftain an awful lot. If I already didn't love my '12 Cross Country I'd be getting one... as it stands now I'll just have to work at wearing my Vic out.. :)

The wind management on both machines was very impressive. I would have like the Chieftain screen to go down about an inch lower as I could see over it when all the way down, but it still tickled the lower periphery of my vision. There was one Chieftain with the Low optional shield install that I wish I would have tested.

The Vintage seemed to have slightly sloppier handling manners at very low speeds and when hitting bumps while hammering through corners. Not terrible, but not as 'right on' as the Chieftain.

The Thunderstroke 111 had major power down low and the sweetest exhaust note I've ever ridden on. One of the bikes had a stage 1 while the other had stockers-- I'd definitely prefer the stage 1s..

The finish and wire managment were top notch except for one thing that i noticed- below the oil cooler was an ugly fat wire connector- right behind the wheel- I'm not sure if something was missing on this demo unit but It didn't seem good:




Here's some video links and some photos of the demo rides....


<a href='https://www.icloud.com/photostream/#A25n8hH4njJyh;FFF492F2-35E3-49B9-88AA-095E6D5A0C24' target='_blank'>Video- Demo Ride Take off</a><a href='https://s3-us-nca-204-prod.digitalhub.com/CAEQARoQ_I_E87bv05qOGwmbZblT0A/01466f88b9d64b6ff56f6b8fac37fb4dcd8396a640/IMG_0020.mp4' target='_blank'>
</a>
<a href='https://www.icloud.com/photostream/#A25n8hH4njJyh;023D54EB-A2CF-4CFA-B7C1-44A6272D0F92' target='_blank'>Video- Vintage Walkaround</a>


 
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I was at the demo both days, and got to ride the Chieftain a few times, as well as the Vintage once. I concur with what Biggie pointed out, plus a few other comments: I am 5'6' and I fit very well on both models, sitting flat-footed on each. I didn't get to ride the ones with the 2' pullback bars, as they were only on the Classics, and I want wind protection. I felt my arms could use them however, as they were pretty stretched out during the rides. Also, with my short inseam, it was quite a stretch to reach the sidestand. Not impossible, just took a little effort.

The low-end grunt of the 111 engine is very impressive. I ran the tach to just below 2,000 rpms in 4th & 5th gears, and roll-on from that point was very strong. I didn't get to experience the dropoff at 4,000 as someone pointed out. A couple of Harley riders that I talked to also were very impressed, one pointing out how much quieter this engine was compared to his 103 Ultra, in contrast to the one Biggie talked to who heard ticking noises. One Harley rider told me he wants a Classic ASAP. I was amazed at how quiet and smooth the shifting was. I never thought the Victory's shifting was all that bad, but there is a difference, one that I noticed when I took a friend's Cross Country out on one of the rides.

While I was riding, I noticed that the electronic display on the Chieftain was difficult to read, unless it was in the shade. Later, I pushed the right-side button on the backside of the cluster, near the front brake lever (just to see what it was), and held it, the display showed the instrument brightness was at 5%. If you pushed that same button repeatedly, the brightness percentage increased until 100%, then started over at 0%. However, I never got to see whether it improved or not, as I was just about to leave, and didn't ride any more.

I talked to the regional sales manager who said that Polaris had been developing these bikes for 2 years, and they felt that they had to get a product to the people now; to stay tuned, as other improvements, accessories, etc. were coming. They have the same quick mounting system in place for luggage racks and backrests as the Cross bikes, so it seems that a trunk for the Chieftain is also coming. Personally, I'd like to see lowers as well.

The remote locking saddlebags (via the fob, plus a rocker switch on the gas tank) is a nice idea, but not a deal-breaker for me. It's true that the mechanism takes up some of the room in the lid, however I feel if you can deal with the reduced storage of a Vision, this is no big deal.

It was mentioned that the owner - Joe Askins - couldn't have been more congenial if he took etiquette classes, and it's true. He's always that way.

And I too was a little disappointed that if you wanted something from the Famous Dave's truck that was on the premises, you had to pay for it.

Despite that it was a very good 2-day demo event. The weather although a bit cool in the morning, was beautiful.

I could see myself owning an Indian, but only after they offer accessories to make it more of a tourer, such as a trunk and lowers, as I mentioned earlier.
 
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1440 said:
I was at the demo both days, and got to ride the Chieftain a few times, as well as the Vintage once.
It was mentioned that the owner - Joe Askins - couldn't have been more congenial if he took etiquette classes, and it's true. He's always that way.

And I too was a little disappointed that if you wanted something from the Famous Dave's truck that was on the premises, you had to pay for it.

Despite that it was a very good 2-day demo event. The weather although a bit cool in the morning, was beautiful.

I could see myself owning an Indian, but only after they offer accessories to make it more of a tourer, such as a trunk and lowers, as I mentioned earlier.
I'm glad we got a chance to talk quite a bit while my buddies were out riding.
Like me, you're not afraid to ask a lot of questions and together we helped the dealer rep learn more about the 3 Indian models.



 
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Some more photos:




The sales rep going over highlights of the new Indians



Part of the lineup



Getting ready to leave


Bigfoot, I believe CookieMonster, and I'm not sure who's in the middle, around Biggie's Vision


The local FOX station was there to cover the event









Just thought I'd throw this one in there. I really liked this trike!













 
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