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2019 Chieftain Classic
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Have a 2019 Chieftain Classic. Can’t say I understand all the complaints about Ride Command b/c mine has been pretty flawless. Granted, it’s RC 1.0, and maybe they worked out the bugs by then, but still…I love it.
 

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I've had issues with Triumph, Victory, HD. The Triumph had a service bulletin about cooling system problems. I got one of those. Triumph gave me a brand new, one year newer bike. That impressed me. I have a very early Victory that had problem with cylinder leak. I don't recall details, but it was fixed under warranty. I have an HD that had an engine mount bolt back out and lodge itself against the frame. That one pissed me off. I also had an oil pump/sump problem on a 2018 M8. I've had numerous problems with other HDs over the years, so I guess statistically, HD has been the most problematic for me. Not sure why I still have one, but I do enjoy it.

Additionally, any talk of reliability must be based on stock motorcycles. Once the various Stage 1,2,3,4,5.....99 kits are deployed, all bets are off. That's the main reason I don't modify my bikes beyond ergo/comfort mods. But...YMMV....
 

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Victory's were very simple bikes. Cruise and ABS were about the only goodies that were offered as "luxury" items. That doesn't mean there weren't issues. I owned 6 Vics and still have one. Most of them were flawless outside of issues I caused with various engine mods. but I did have a 2007 KP that had to have the lifters replaced at 11K miles. Also had the splines on the drive pulley go bad on a '02CC that needed to be replaced. Other than that, they were great, simple bikes to ride and work on.

I have owned 4 of the PII Indian's. My RM had a bad rear shock and and bad left hand audio control, both replaced under warranty. My '14 Vintage dropped the dowel pin from the oil pump and that was replaced under warranty as well. Really only had minor issues with the Challenger, but most were self inflicted with being one of the first to have a 2>1 pipe on it. Other than those codes being thrown, the bike has been error free. FWIW, I don't use the RC on my bike, so can't say it's had issues or whether I love or hate it.
 

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2019 Roadmaster
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353 Posts
I remember the days before EFI and electronic ignition. Anybody who thinks it's worse now is nuts.
+1

People nostalgically look back on vintage vehicles and say, "They don't make them like they used to." That is correct, they don't. It used to be commonplace to see vehicles broken down on the side of the road any time you drove anywhere. These days, when you see someone stranded it's an anomaly. Vehicles have become exponentially more reliable than they used to be.

Unfortunately, the trade off is complexity. When the old cars broke down, an average person could probably get it going again with a screwdriver, pair of pliers and maybe some bailing wire. When modern vehicles break down, most people don't have the technical knowledge and diagnostic tools available to them to fix it on their own.
 

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+1

People nostalgically look back on vintage vehicles and say, "They don't make them like they used to." That is correct, they don't. It used to be commonplace to see vehicles broken down on the side of the road any time you drove anywhere. These days, when you see someone stranded it's an anomaly. Vehicles have become exponentially more reliable than they used to be.

Unfortunately, the trade off is complexity. When the old cars broke down, an average person could probably get it going again with a screwdriver, pair of pliers and maybe some bailing wire. When modern vehicles break down, most people don't have the technical knowledge and diagnostic tools available to them to fix it on their own.
Ahh the good old days. Adjusting solid lifters, timing and ign points on a regular basis. I owned 4 kickers before any elec start. So learning how to keep them tuned up kept me from an early coronary lol.
 

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I remember the days before EFI and electronic ignition. Anybody who thinks it's worse now is nuts.
DH, dude, you said a true mouthful with that
statement. I'll take today's, fast, reliable relatively safe motorcycles, over the double time maintenance oriented bikes, that supposedly were brim filled with character, that I started riding forty years ago. This is the golden age of motorcycles, I think.
 

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most of the older bikes ran well but you could not go 5000 miles and just change the oil. you hadda tighten this, adjust that, replace this all on a regular basis. if YOU did that your bike would run reasonably well, mine did. dare i say this.....in my early years i rode the shit outta my [cringe] hondas and they never broke down.
 

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most of the older bikes ran well but you could not go 5000 miles and just change the oil. you hadda tighten this, adjust that, replace this all on a regular basis. if YOU did that your bike would run reasonably well, mine did. dare i say this.....in my early years i rode the shit outta my [cringe] hondas and they never broke down.
I started riding motorcycle on a mortally wounded 1974 Norton 850. That first summer I owned it, I'm not certain if I even was able to put a 1000 full miles on the bike, but it is the motorcycle that hooked me for life on this wonderful sport of motorcycle riding.
The motorcycles after that were Harley Davidson's, and one more Norton, because I had not learned my lesson from the first one. All of those bikes were maintenance demanding motorcycles. My free time was at a premium back in those days. I hated having to wrench and maintain my motorcycle on the one day I would get off from my job. While I'm certain that there were people who rolled more miles than I did, here in the state of Wisconsin, if you could put between five-and-ten thousand miles on your motorcycle in a season that was considered major riding. Now I routinely put 15000 miles on my Indian motorcycles, and I am still working full time. I definitely like the sport better now.
 

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A lot of the time the reliability is based on older models that are not the same as the new ones. For example the BMW bikes being reliable are based on the old air cooled designs. The new ones (oil and water heads) have teething problems but people believe that because the old one was reliable the new one must be as well. Brands change through time so what once was isn't always the case and brands that were not so great can turn things around and become better.
 

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I had 2 Victory bikes and they were the most reliable I ever had. My chieftain and challenger are a little less so, mostly in the battery & electronics department as many have mentioned. I've still never been stranded though!
 

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This forum convinced me that I need to keep my Scout Bobber forever because it's the only Indian that works without fail every time I turn the key and push the start button...
 
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Mechanically Indians are rock solid, problems are software related. That's what happens when you have ride command, rear cylinder deactivation, 3 different ride modes, etc
 
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I've only had yamaha Enduro, great bike sold it after 8 years of having it. Only problem was the dual carbs were hard to tune . Honda F4 600. Had it 2 years and never let me down . Indian scout bobber 20 , never let me down so far except when the battery started to die and all kinds of weird problems. Now I know if the battery is going bad , the engine will shut down at stoplights randomly , and some weird engine noises . Can't explain it but you will know something isn't running properly.
 
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