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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So Cycleworks in Edmonton, Alberta Had their Demo Event Last weekend and I was available to help with the Demo Rides and got to spent a lot of time on the bikes (150 km on the Chieftain, 250km on the Vintage and 400km on the classic).

So a little background, I am 6'5' with a 33' inseam and ride a 2010 Victory Cross Roads that is stock, except for a driver backrest, to help guage the fit of a rider. I rode with a full face modular helmet the whole time.

First impressions, these bikes look great, the fit and finish is exceptional. The paint is excellent and the depth even on the Black bikes is wonderful compared to it's siblings.

So I was given a Vintage to go out on my own and ride the day before the demo's. I had a couple hours so headded out of town and got onto the highway. First thing I noticed is the great rumble of the engine with stock exhaust. I felt comfortable on the bike, a little cramped, my knees were bent at 90 when on the controls (take a cross bike, leave the foot controls in the middle position, remove the point on the floor boards and put the highway bars right behind the foot controls ant that is essentially the Indian's footing location). The boards might have been up a touch higher, but can't say for certain. The seat is firm, but really comfortable for long rides. The bike seems slightly lighter off the kick stand than mine, and due to the shorter lengthe the turn radius was great. The clutch pull was light compared to my ride, the shifting was crisp and not as clunky either. Engine noise and transmission noise were minimal as well. The throttle by wire was a touch lagging off launch, but when up in RPM there was no hesitation. This bike just wanted to run. At 2500 RPM and above you touch the throttle and you could feel the bike wanting to go and it would. I was able to move my feet around so that in the 150km and 2 hours of riding I didn't feel sore or uncomfortable at all. The suspension on these bikes is extremely well balanced for hard cornering and smooth riding over rough roads, it soaked up a lot of the harshness on the roads around Edmonton.

So on to the next day and sweeping all day. Jumped from bike to bike (what ever was left over) and headed out on a 50km, 45 minute loop with speeds ranging from 60-120km/h. Every time the bikes cornered great, the brakes were firm and twist the throttle and go. I was told to play around in the RPM range to feel the engine and was down at 1800 RPM numerous times, not once did the engine lug. I had a female staff member join me for one of the rides on the Chieftain, this is where I felt the most cramped as I didn't want to push back too far and have her hanging off the back of the pillion, this will be the same if you put a backrest on unless you can get it to go back an inch or so. The adjustable windshield was nice, but not a selling point for me, and no buffeting at all.

That evening there was a demo ride for some out of town guests that had put a deposit down on a New Indian, some staff, the Polaris and Victory/Indian DSR's and myself. I was on a Classic for the 4 hours we were out and logged 250km. I had a blast and even without a windshield and the occasional run to 140 ish km/h didn't feel like I had to hang on for dear life and pull myself in. Like I said the bikes wanted to go.

Day 2, Saturday was a busy day and didn't spend much time on any of the Indian's as we had 16 riders for almost every singl ride all day. So I rode a Zach Ness Cross Country. But the last ride of the day I did and we ended up in a little stop and go traffic. At 25 C there was no real engine heat felt off the bike.

So to summarize my Experience:

These bikes are great and going to be a hot commodity until they can ramp up production.

The negatives I found were the brake pedal was at an odd angle and up way too high, there is no availability to adjust them without modifications and this caused an odd strain on my knee when operating it, the primary sticks out way too far on the left side at the back (probably about an inch further than the Victory), the kickstand was a pain to locate and bring down (usually hooked my foot on the clutch linkage).

Some of the features that are on the bikes, kickstand kill switch, lock on the steering head, great cruise control and intigrated well, the one touch starter, keyless ignition is great, the stereo on the Chieftain is great with a USB connection (not I-pod connection) and the auto adjust so no messing around in stop and go traffic. Also I had no problem seeing the center display with direct sunlight (and nothing critical while riding is located there).

So in summary the Vintage seemed to fit me the best, but the bars slightly closer to the rider on the Chieftain was nicer. All the bikes have the floor boards in the same position, so the complaints about being Cramped on the Chieftain must come from the bars being pulled back and the fairing being closer to you. The extras on the chieftain are well worth it. The Classic footing would have been more comfortable with highway bars so I could put my toes against them and change angles to give more comfort on the rides.

So for me I would love to have one, but due to the mods I would need to do I'll stick to my Cross Roads for the time being (157000km it's just getting broke in).


If I think of anything else I'll update this report.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your evaluation. I have a deposit on a Vintage and am still waiting for a delivery date. It is getting cooler here with the fast approaching autumn and I'm hopeing to pick this bike up in time to ride & enjoy the colorful autumn display before the threat of snow arrives.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice evaluation, bored76.
I am going to Charlotte, NC next weekend to demo them also. I love my XR too, but really looking forward to testing the Indian(s).
...MDHawk
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey bo-red, I rode the black chieftain with you on the Friday night ride, was a blast, never taken a demo ride before 4 hours 250km was a great night. Going to be a long winter!
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
18798 said:
Hey bo-red, I rode the black chieftain with you on the Friday night ride, was a blast, never taken a demo ride before 4 hours 250km was a great night. Going to be a long winter!
I've never had a demo ride like that or that much fun either. Glad i'm almost in phoenix with my bike.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good write up bored76
I skipped work today and went in to Montreal to try the Indians Rode a classic and a vintage couldn't wait any longer to get on the chieftain .never really liked the Indians look still don't but the Chieftain ain't to bad looking in my view. Loved the motor's power and sound really nice, great seats nice and firm, bikes really look good although the paint is kinda dull looking .suspension was real cushy but the bikes didn't really want to lay over but I hear the Chieftain is more willing.I found that Indian was printed on every possible surface to much for my liking, the fenders tell you it's an Indian no need to stamp it into every possible part and the 111 I felt was way oversized not subtle.
I like my Vision more but I did like these bikes and I like many of their features and I like the price I think they are going to be very successful
 
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