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Hi folks, My name is Kitt, or Rogue is my road name. I am from New Zeland and recently purchased a 2018 Indian Chief Vintage.
What an absolute dream, I have been saving and wheeling and dealing some years to get to this point, but finally have the bike I have always desired. I grew up with a friend who had a 1946 Indian Chief, and dreamed of the day I would park one in my own shed.
I am a member of a Christian Chaplaincy CMC, have been for the past couple of decades, providing services and counsel to Bikers, and in the prison population.
Now Im looking forward to clocking up lots of miles on the Chief I do have some questions, after studying some of the forum discussions and also trolling the GOOGLE monster of custom ideas, I am thinking of the following. I would sincerely appreciate feedback from fellow riders who have done already, or thinking the same, would love to know any tricks or experiences.

Mods I am looking at are:
1. Changing to the Indian 16" ape hanger bars: I find the angle and reach of the stock 14's a bit average for my shoulders on longer rides causing me to arch forward a little. Hoping the 16's give me a little more arm length and straighter back. (I have 3 damaged lower vertebrae which don't like moving)
With the bars, it says it comes with the clutch cable, does it need a longer brake cable as well?

2. Heated grips, because of my all year round riding, looking at the heated grips, I see they are 10 position and have a console operation and read on the display. What are the thoughts on the stock Indian heated grips, are they good, or am I better to use aftermarket Oxford ones?

3. Aftermarket Gunfighter seat: Mustang or Corbin.... both have a sleek gunfighter design, has anyone done this, and love to know thoughts on comfort on 500 mile trips. I do long trips so comfy is king.

What else do I need to consider, I have debaffled my bike myself, fairly happy with the sound, do I need to do the Air filter, any aftermarket preferences. Here is a pic of my bike, I have the Vintage model, has screen, pillion seat, saddle bags, and sissy bar. I just dont use them, largely solo rider. (Was thinking of dying the leather darker, open to thoughts on that)
 

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Hi Kitt,

Welcome to the forum. I'm in Newcastle just over to your west. And have recently retired after twenty years as a prison chaplain here.

I don't know how the ape hangers would go for you, probably best to search for another rider who has them. Indian make reduced and extended reach bars and seats for those who want to get a better fit.

The heated grips are worth it. I put a pair on my bike for the winter and my hands were much happier. The Indian grips are a direct and easy replacement for the original grips. The sockets are already built into the switch block for 2018 bikes forward. It took me an hour or so to install both. Some people have trouble removing the left grip and have to cut it off. Mine came off fairly easily with a strap wrench. Here in Oz the grips cost about $300, which is a lot less than double the US price which a lot of spares sell for.

Some people dye the leather, mostly on the earlier bikes as the early leather faded to a greenish grey colour. Indian sells a leather re-dye kit. Here is a friend's bike where the leather has been darkened.

upload_2019-9-8_13-5-42.png


Another mod that a lot of people do is the Power Vision 3. Chase up PV3 (earlier model called PVCX) from Fuel Moto. This allows you to flash a custom tune to the bike, essential if you are going to do any significant mods.
 

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Hi Kitt,

Welcome to the forum. I'm in Newcastle just over to your west. And have recently retired after twenty years as a prison chaplain here.

I don't know how the ape hangers would go for you, probably best to search for another rider who has them. Indian make reduced and extended reach bars and seats for those who want to get a better fit.

The heated grips are worth it. I put a pair on my bike for the winter and my hands were much happier. The Indian grips are a direct and easy replacement for the original grips. The sockets are already built into the switch block for 2018 bikes forward. It took me an hour or so to install both. Some people have trouble removing the left grip and have to cut it off. Mine came off fairly easily with a strap wrench. Here in Oz the grips cost about $300, which is a lot less than double the US price which a lot of spares sell for.

Some people dye the leather, mostly on the earlier bikes as the early leather faded to a greenish grey colour. Indian sells a leather re-dye kit. Here is a friend's bike where the leather has been darkened.

View attachment 524858

Another mod that a lot of people do is the Power Vision 3. Chase up PV3 (earlier model called PVCX) from Fuel Moto. This allows you to flash a custom tune to the bike, essential if you are going to do any significant mods.

Thank you for the response, most helpful, and good tips. Love the darker leather look, I might look into that as well. So I think the heated grips is a good idea, I will look into the bars some more.
 

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Thank you, already feeling the love :)
Sorry Kitt I did not answer your mod questions. As for the bars I can't help much as I have Road Master and happy with that as ,with my seat. Motor wise most of us go for Stage 1 slip-on exhaust ,Stage 1 Air filter in my case a Hi- Flow chrome round one.The I did the Stage 2 cams Indian ones work well enough and reliable.The to smooth the rough generic Indian tune out go with a Power Vision CX or PV3 with a custom tune you and your bike will love it .Gains are slightly more H.P. with Better Torque and much, much smooth readability. As for seats that is like most other things ,everyone has a opinion so do your research and settle for what you think will work for you . You will find the motor runs hot especially on the rear cylinder ,most of that can be tuned out with the PVCX or PV3 along with custom Dyno Tune. If the heat bothers you then a de-cat of the rear header pipe will fix any heat issues, if you go down that way think of doing first before you tune your bike as it saves you a second tune. One of the things you need to know is if you do the de-cat of the rear header pipe it will sound fantastic ,but much louder and illegal dues to EPA and noise issues. I did a new header pipe that. I am selling because of the noise.It does not bother most people but where I live, the chances of being caught out are not worth it. As for the one heated grips they work fine for me. ( Don't get me wrong not trying to flog off my header too you ) . Last of all will be anything you buy for your bike as OME will be expensive ,especially with our dollars being so low compared to the US dollar and their over priced USPS .
Good luck enjoy both your bike and the forum.
 

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I have a 17 RM and have gone down a path driven by it. I too have serious back issues including multiple compressed vertebrae in my lower back. I am springing for a Laam rework of my seat. I have already added the Alaskan Leather's Sheepskin (bet you can get a local version in NZ) to tide me over. Believe it or not it does help. The Venom Plenum is on my want list for air intake. But it is pricey (more so in NZ I am sure). Anyway, welcome.
 

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Hello kitt
Welcome!
I cant offer too much on pipes and mods but I do highly recommend the Oxford heated grips.
Have them on my CanAm Quad.
They work very well.
The only issue there seems to be with these is the material they are made of.
They are not true rubber and the glue they gave to use doesnt hold well and lets go and they twist.
You need to use a bonding agent that will hold under the temp and also bond to i believe its polypropolux plastic. This material is very hard to bond to and not just any grip cement will work.
Wonderful heated grips though.
Paul
 

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Nice bike and welcome to the forum. The Indian heated grips work great, but keep in mind that like almost any Indian add-on, you can probably find an equivalent or better non-OEM for a better price. Indian parts are notoriously high.

I have the Indian high flow air filter (the round one) and I honestly could tell no difference in the performance. It looks a lot better IMO, but it is another very expensive part. If you can find one used on the forum or elsewhere it's a nice upgrade.
 

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I cant offer too much on pipes and mods but I do highly recommend the Oxford heated grips.
Have them on my CanAm Quad.
The Oxford grips are certainly cheaper, but they need to be model specific for the Indians throttle side. The 2018 bikes have a different fly by wire throttle system from the earlier bikes. Perhaps Oxford has grips that suit it by now, but they didn't have them for 2018 bikes when I was looking.

Another consideration with aftermarket grips is the heat control. The Indian grips come with a switch that fits the tank console, the wiring socket is already in there. This also gives another readout on the dash once connected, so as you hit the button the heat level displays up or down.

There are also heated grips that are like little electric blankets that wrap around the existing grips. They are cheap and a bit clunky but they suited us some years ago before decent designs became available.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The Oxford grips are certainly cheaper, but they need to be model specific for the Indians throttle side. The 2018 bikes have a different fly by wire throttle system from the earlier bikes. Perhaps Oxford has grips that suit it by now, but they didn't have them for 2018 bikes when I was looking.

Another consideration with aftermarket grips is the heat control. The Indian grips come with a switch that fits the tank console, the wiring socket is already in there. This also gives another readout on the dash once connected, so as you hit the button the heat level displays up or down.

There are also heated grips that are like little electric blankets that wrap around the existing grips. They are cheap and a bit clunky but they suited us some years ago before decent designs became available.
Thanks for that, I have opted to get the Indian ones, I did a bulk purchase and got a very good discount, still paid heaps but might as well have what was made for it. Got the heated grips, the Thunderstoke Air filter set, Vance and Hines long downs gutter sweepers, and the 16" bars and cables. Thats $2k gone, but Im sure I will enjoy it.
 
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