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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hear all the time from "certain" folks:

-Victory Motorcycles were the best, super reliable and well engineered bikes.

-HD's are the most reliable motorcycles ever, they are WAY better and more reliable than Indians.

-Indian motorcycles are unreliable and have electrical problems, they suck!

Granted plenty of people tell me their Indian's are rock solid and they've had no problems also, I would like to address the above statement. How did the same company go from reliable (Victory) to unreliable (Indian)? How is HD really that much more reliable than Indian? The bikes are coming from Polaris a world class engineering and powersports company with ~70 years' experience. What are the real stats? I feel like Indians must be just as reliable as Victory, and probably HD too, if not more reliable.

Any certain percentage of new bikes are going to have problems, so I'm not saying Indians are ALL problem free, I'm just saying it's likely that any OEM, a certain percentage of people will have similar issues that need to be worked out through warranty, etc.

Are there any consumer reports stats on this to put this one to bed once and for all?
 

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My statement is purely antidotal, of the three Harley Davidsons and one BMW I have owned, none of them had to go to the dealer for anything. So far the 22 Pursuit has been to the dealer once for a chassis fault light that turned out to be a suspension connection that’s was improperly plugged in from the factory. I hope that’s it for the Pursuit. I’m not saying anything bad about Indian, just stating what my experience has been to date.
 

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IMO, the main issue is that the TS111/116 bikes are newly designed and engineered, so there were some growing pains. Look at RideCommand 1.0: Buggy and hard to use. After they updated and patched it a few times, I have had zero issued with using it. Now look at RideCommand 2.0: New hardware, new software, buggy and hard to use. After they updated and patched, it is getting better.

Battery drain issue on the RM and Chieftain: Indian identified the problem and fixed it. Starter gumming up from oil mist on the 2017 and earlier bikes: Indian identified the problem and fixed it.

For comparison, the H-D M8 motor had a known oil sump issue. H-D's fix? Upgrade to the 2020 or newer oil pump, but you have to pay for it.
 
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Google is your friend...
If you want to be misinformed or walk around repeating propaganda, yes by all means get your info from google. I don't trust searches for critical info, I verify information myself using various sources and methods. Google, social media and salespeople are how things like "keep your FOB away from bike or the battery will go dead" falsehoods get started and repeated ad nauseum. Don't even get me started on all the false information about political stuff which years later people are walking around repeating like drones.

We will likely never truly know about reliability because Indian or any other mfg is never going to release warranty claim information to be studied. Internet forums are unreliable because most don't come and post unless they have a problem. Most established mfg's are very reliable, even more so since the switch to electronic fuel controls and all the sensors. Software issues will always exist because there is no way to test everything without having users involved. Every human introduces things that are hard to test for. Many of the software issues are poor design or lack of imagination.
 

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Far be it from me to rain on the parade, but they ain’t what they used to be IMHO. My 2015 Roadmaster was much more reliable than my 2021 Roadmaster. I could throw a leg over my 2015 and ride for as long as I wanted — and I did just that. Daily commuter, many long road trips, etc. Never broke down and never left me stranded. Rock-solid for 90,000 miles. By contrast, my 2021 had problems — dangerous problems — right out of the box. See my thread “Hot Weather Woes.” I will always have that niggling doubt in the back of my head when I go on a long trip. Never had that on my 2015.

And Ride Command has just been a nightmare. For everybody. My 2015 did not have it ~~ one reason it was less frustrating. And battery failures across the board… (yes, including both mine and Julie’s). My 2015 battery lasted for five years, thru cold colorado winters in an unheated garage and with no battery tender. Bike fired up every time. So yeah, I think reliability has slipped ~~ badly.

I looked in the Consumer Reports article and did not see Indian even listed. Did I miss something?

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If someone only opens articles of This thing went bad on my bike... then all they are going to know is the few bad things that have come up. And usually (not always) someone that is loyal to any brand will usually mainly look at those articles of competitors just to be able to say "see look how bad they are" (not to mention that your google or bookface feed will start showing you only those articles).

Plus, if someone took a quick look through these forum pages, they may very well think Indians are terrible bikes. More people post about needing help with this issue or that which has popped up, so on the surface it looks like a lot of problems. But take into account how many have never posted an issue with our bikes, those discussions are fewer. So basically it is all perspective of whomever is doing the viewing.

Someone that is biased will always look for the bad to justify their life, and no amount of arguing or presenting hard evidence will change their mind. Anyone with an open mind will be able to see past the minutia and propaganda, and have a much better view of reality.
 

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Have owned 4 Indians, currently on a 2022 Springfield, have owned a 2017 Scout, 2018 Springfield, and a 2019 Roadmaster. Any issue that came up was taken care of under warranty, except for the cracked leather seat on the 2019 Roadmaster, they said it was normal wear and tear, and would not replace it. Never had one issue out of the motor or transmission on any of these Indians, they were rock solid, even with plenty of mods. Love my Indians.
 

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Simple answer...the more technology and electronics you put on bikes today makes them suspectable to more issues. Victory was great along with the early Indians for reliable. I've owned 4 Victory's and 2 Indians. Not to mention 2 Harley's before I knew better. Ride safe folks.
This is one of the reasons why I traded in my FTR-S for a base model Chief... Water cooled vs air cooled; "Ride command" digital dash vs analog display; ABS, traction control, lean technology, etc. vs no frills...

Don't get me wrong, I loved my FTR but now that it is out of warranty, the Chief will be much easier to maintain and a lot less to worry about.
 

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As to reliability: I had a 2004 HD with the TC88 in it. Harley hid the fact that the spring loaded nylon cam chain tensioners were a problem. It wasn't until people started showing up at Harley dealerships with relatively low mileage TC88s that had grenaded due to clogged oil passages from nylon particles that Harley finally admitted it was a problem. They'd of course fix it for you, for a hefty price naturally.

I don't see anything comparable from Indian. The few issues I've had with my 2019 Chieftain Classic have been resolved quickly and responsibly. Unlike the completely shredded TC88 with 20k miles on it that I trailered to my local HD dealership.
 

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I have been in the motor vehicle repair business for just about all of my life.However,regarding problems with what ever,I,along with other guys in this trade,have discovered that a lot of these problems are, in fact,man made.In other words,they either obused their vehicle/piece of equipment,or did not repair/service ,or have them serviced when they were supposed to ,whether the job was to be performed by a private shop,a dealership,or even a jamoke like myself.So I say "SHAME OM THEM" for not doing what they were/are supposed to be doing maintenance wise "because" they too have a responsibility to maintain,repair, or have their vehicles maintained or repaired by some one who can perform this service for them. Dave!!!
 

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This group convinced me to avoid Ride Command when I was thinking about the Chieftain or Roadmaster. I went for a Springfield Dark Horse and LOVE it.

I can ride without the windshield, with a solo seat, with the tour pack and many other combinations. I have my own GPS solution that works perfectly.
 
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