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I just sold my Road King so I spent the weekend test riding the Street Glide Special and the Chieftain. Since I also own two vintage Chiefs I preferred the looks of the Indian but I was open minded about what I was going to get. The SG had a lot of torque and much better balance than my RK. I liked the new gauges and the stereo. When I took it out though I found quite a bit of vibration, more than my RK. I made it a point to go down some rough streets and I thought for a moment I was riding a hardtail. There is very little travel in the rear suspension. The new fairing vent worked great on the highway - very little buffeting. Next I went to see the Chieftain. A lot of things that were black on the H-D (switches, etc) were chrome on the Indian. The seats were leather instead of vinyl. The whole bike seemed very well thought out except for the phone compartment which I think I need a creeper to access. The ride would be the deciding factor. First were some slow speed figure eights. Like the H-D the Chieftain was very well balanced and didn't seem like a big heavy bike at slow speed. I went down some rough streets and felt much better rear suspension travel. At 25 mph in 4thh gear I rolled the throttle and found out this is a real stump puller - tons of low end torque. When I hit the highway I raised the windsheild from low to high exposing the vents and the head buffeting was gone. For me there was no comparison once I road them and I bought the Chieftain. I road H-D for 38 years and I think they're a great company but when I'm spending over 20K the ride and features beat out brand loyalty.
 
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20290 said:
I just sold my Road King so I spent the weekend test riding the Street Glide Special and the Chieftain. Since I also own two vintage Chiefs I preferred the looks of the Indian but I was open minded about what I was going to get. The SG had a lot of torque and much better balance than my RK. I liked the new gauges and the stereo. When I took it out though I found quite a bit of vibration, more than my RK. I made it a point to go down some rough streets and I thought for a moment I was riding a hardtail. There is very little travel in the rear suspension. The new fairing vent worked great on the highway - very little buffeting. Next I went to see the Chieftain. A lot of things that were black on the H-D (switches, etc) were chrome on the Indian. The seats were leather instead of vinyl. The whole bike seemed very well thought out except for the phone compartment which I think I need a creeper to access. The ride would be the deciding factor. First were some slow speed figure eights. Like the H-D the Chieftain was very well balanced and didn't seem like a big heavy bike at slow speed. I went down some rough streets and felt much better rear suspension travel. At 25 mph in 4thh gear I rolled the throttle and found out this is a real stump puller - tons of low end torque. When I hit the highway I raised the windsheild from low to high exposing the vents and the head buffeting was gone. For me there was no comparison once I road them and I bought the Chieftain. I road H-D for 38 years and I think they're a great company but when I'm spending over 20K the ride and features beat out brand loyalty.
Good post
 
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HD Rider for 40+ Years myself and unless HD makes a lot of changes doubt own another.. Although Indian has a chance of pulling me away from Victory not ready to do so yet ..
 
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Well said ThreeChiefs. I'm loyal to the brand until the brand is not loyal to me. My Chieftain is extremely well sorted for a first year release, so much so it would seems to have been around for many years. No blind loyalty here. My HD has been parked for the past 1850 miles (since the new ride came home)...
 
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After 30 yrs. of riding HDs, I'm selling my FXRT this spring as I haven't ridden it since purchasing my Victory XC 3 yrs. ago and my Vintage Chief this past October. Having an Indian and a Victory in the garage is all I will need for the forseeable future.
 
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I don't really have a quarter in this jukebox... but I want to share something.

When I bought this bike, I had another bike and I was planning to keep both. After 2500 miles on this bike, I took a ride on that one. Shortly after, I sold it. Why? I knew it would sit. I knew that if I walked out to the shop to go riding I would always choose this one and would have to force myself to ride that one.

Not that there was anything WRONG with that bike.... there was just so much RIGHT with this one.

Does this make any sense?
 
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HC ^^^^^ Makes PERFECT sense to me.

Couldn't have said this any better.
 
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MHO after back to back test rides in Pheonix a month ago is.... Ride what makes you happy. I tend to lean toward the Chieftain because of the comfort factor. The SG has only 2' of travel at the rear, and you feel it on the anything less than perfect pavement. Here's a 11 min. video that you may find interesting. Good luck and Ride Far.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp-qPfyTdms
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Great choice I have had H-D, Vic and now the new Indian, and the Chieftain makes me smile every time I ride or even look at it. Congratulations!!
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I'm in the same boat in the last 12 years have had 3 Harley's but going to a Cheiftain this year, I am a bit nervous paying the same price as a streetglide when it comes to resale. It is not that hard to beat hd on ride and performance, jap bikes have been doing this for years, diff is you can go buy a jap bike for half the price a harley or indian. Will suck if the indian doesn't catch on and I have 50% depreciation in 2-3 years.
 
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6239 said:
After 30 yrs. of riding HDs, I'm selling my FXRT this spring as I haven't ridden it since purchasing my Victory XC 3 yrs. ago and my Vintage Chief this past October. Having an Indian and a Victory in the garage is all I will need for the forseeable future.
Let me know when you want to sell the FXRT. I had an bought 83 model new. Last of the Shovel head
 
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Very thorough review. I have to agree...for a totally new bike to match up with Harley right out of the gate is a credit to Polaris. Personally, I feel that neither powerplant measures up to the Victory 100 and 106. When I test rode a new Boardwalk, recently, it felt like it was not a peppy as my stage 1 100 ci, '07 Kingpin. Can't see buying a new bike, yet.
 
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Great review, I have yet to find any Harley to equal either my Vision or Indian Chief Vintage.
 
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Nicely said three chiefs can i tell you is it image your after or reliability and durability? spendind alot of money and of course we as consumers want loyalty from the companies too, they are all the same till you purchase your bike out the door thats the end of us then isn't it? I am still waiting to buy my first cruiser and would love to hear from the new indian owners as to how they are going i like the fact polaris offers extended 5 yrs warranty that really impressed me and also the indians are getting really good feedback
 
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Adam. Am I taking a chance on a first year machine? Yes. I spent a lot of time researching, looking at the bikes, and riding them. The engineering and fitment impressed me but it was the ride that did it. When I was 20 I loved my 62 Panhead even though if it didn't start on the 2nd kick I wasn't going anywhere. At 58 I want comfort, convenience, durability, and yes a good looking ride. I have a lot of confidence in the bike and the company.Time will tell if I'm right.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
well lets hope ur correct chief but i really like the style chracter about these new indians alot of work has gone into it you can just see it , please keep us informed about the bike
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the compliment ThreeChiefs. I believe in Polaris and the new Indian's. I bought my first Victory back in 2003. It was the first 2002 Freedom V92. It was the first of the V92's and it never let me down. Now the dealer on the other hand was a different story. I kept that bike until 2010 when I fell in love with the Ocean blue/Sandstone Vision Tour. After over 50k miles on the TCD it was time to change to the Vision. Now that Indian is out of the gate I'm more than willing to gamble on thier version of a push rod engine. That Thunderstorke 111 is a real smooth engine with lots of torque. It seems to be very well sorted out and I'm getting used to the throttle by wire. Indian's attention to detail is amazing and I couldn't be happier. The only thing to improve upon is getting the accessories out to the owners/dealers. As a first year bike it is far better than my 2002 TCD. Polaris is doing it's best to put a dent in the heavy curiser/touring market and it appears they have made a great hit. Go Indian!!!

Merry Christmas one and all.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
18798 said:
I am a bit nervous paying the same price as a streetglide when it comes to resale.
If you want an investment, buy bonds. Motorcycles are a crappy investment.
 
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692 said:
If you want an investment, buy bonds. Motorcycles are a crappy investment. 
Actually new motorcycles are a depreciating asset, not an investment. Much much worse than even a crappy investment, if you hope to make a return.
 
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