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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well SHIT! Damn it! Why did I go and test ride this new Indian! Ok Here goes, Let me give you my Motorcycling experience, I have over 18 years of riding. I have road Honda's, Royal Enfield, Yamaha, BSA and the past 13 years all BMW's Pretty much the gamut in the models of BMW. 3 complete coast to coast trips and a total of 130,000 miles on BMW's. I currently own a 2009 BMW R1200 RT. I have never owned a Harley. I have road a friend of mines Heritage soft-tail. One of my reasons for riding BMW's is it is the safest motorcycle on the road, has been for quite some time. I don't want to get into a pissing match here about my beliefs. It also had the best warranty 3-years 36000 miles, and matching road-side assistance and a track record of High mileage motorcycles, I'm sure you've heard, that Honda rides from Restaurant-to-Restaurant, and Harley Riders ride from Bar-to-Bar, and BMW Riders ride Coast-to-Coast for a cup of coffee! Well I have been reading a little about the New Indian, and wanted to go down and see what they were all about. MISTAKE!! Living in Myrtle Beach, and this being Bike-Week, Why not go look.

Well the Indian Dealership in Myrtle Beach is a very nice dealership, good size and what seems to be a great staff, Well the local Harley Davidson dealership made a big mistake I think. I went in to look at there new claimed Rushmore bikes. (I love Motorcycles Period!) There wasn't a bike on the floor, they moved everyone of them to there North Myrtle Beach store. So there was a large void of Harley not being present in the greater Myrtle Beach area and all the towns south of Myrtle Beach. Guess what! The Indian dealership was slammed most of the week and today especially! Why? It's the Indian! Not taking anything away from the Victory's, they also share the Indian dealership. Indian and Victory was there in full force! They brought in the about 20 Indians for demo rides, pretty much the same with Victory.

It was great because You were able to talk shop with new Indian owners, Pretty cool experience. SOOOooo, I test rode the Vintage, the Chieftain, and the Victory Cross country tour. And they were absolutely just super nice, they wanted you to ride as many different models as you wanted to. So here is what I walked away learning and my opinions of these demo rides.

Indian-Vintage: Understand, I went into this demo ride with my mind prepared to kind of wrestle with this new cruiser, do to size weight and wider bars, than I'm use to, Remember now, I ride a BMW that is pretty damn nimble. Well, I was very, very, surprised. This is a very well balanced motorcycle, It did not feel heavy. Plenty of room for my feet, the handlebars were nice too. I was surprised also of the windshield and the top of it not cutting across my eye line. Everyone is different I know. My very first impression as I rode down the street, and gave it some serious throttle, OH MY GOD! what an engine! It was sweet, just an ever so sweet little vibration, (I'm a twin guy) with plenty of constant power, It doesn't matter what gear, grab some throttle and it just Pulls, and Pulls, and Pulls and Pulls! Not a huge burst of power but you can feel the torque! I think I could haul my 32 foot RV trailer with no problem! It smooths out very nicely, 3rd gear and on, just giving you that little sweet reminder that it's a twin.

SUSPENSION:
If you want the same ride, go buy a 1959 Cadillac, there the same! Nicer suspension then the Victory I think. It was a lot quicker to turn at speed as well as in the parking lot. I loved it!

Excellent brakes!
I'm pretty fussy about brakes, because I've been a BMW rider. Well they were right there, not grabby, not mushy, a nice firm feel with not very much play in, both front and back. You definitely felt confident that they would do there job in a panic situation, with good feed back. I did not get to see how the ABS worked, but from what I have read it's a very good system on these Indians,
(Major reason I never bought a Harley, terrible brakes) Also, I have read that the Harley ABS system is an after thought, compared to both the Victory and the Indian. Mirrors were very nice and pretty decent view considering they were sacrificing size for style.

Seat,
well can't say too much here, seats are like well, seats! were all different and not being able to go on an extended ride, (couple of hundred miles) Hard to say how good it is, I have spent more money on seats in my days than any other motorcycle add-on. It feels pretty nice, around town. Now the seating position for me, I'm 6'2" 200lbs NO Muscles! Sorry ladies, I do have something else though! LOL! I never felt cramped at all, if anything, It took a while to get use to having my feet so far out in front of me to be able to shift. Where's that tank Shift Polaris! Just kidding it's fine. The Vintage that I rode had the fish-tail stage-1 exhaust, and a couple of Indian Chrome Bullet speakers for sound, that you could use your smartphone to connect via bluetooth, I tried it and it worked very well, for small speakers, they were very nice. Not sure about that Price though! So then I sat on the grass beside this vintage that I just test rode, and looked it over pretty good, even under a little, The quality and the fit and finish are really well done, you get the feeling that the chrome is very high end quality. Also, the clutch has a nice feel to it, not very heavy, tolerable in slow heavy traffic. Remember ladies, NO Muscles!

SOOOoo what didn't I like, Not very much, But nit-pickinen would be the fly-by-wire throttle. I felt like I had to give it a quarter throttle turn to get the engine to rev, and a half turn or more to do a under the overpass rev, Oh that's right, that's a Harley thing! LOL! THe Indian staff rider said that he heard that from a number of different riders also, but said it is what it is and you can't adjust or change it. He felt that it something that you would adjust to. I think he is right, It started to feel a little better at the end of the ride. At first it felt like I was going to stall the bike real easy, but you can jus t let the clutch out with out any or very little throttle and it would not stall. Other than that, Nothing really stood out that I could not live with.

The Chieftain was pretty much the same feeling of a ride, except: nicer radio, excellent power windscreen, pretty low for such great protection., and the seating position is a little closer to the handle bars and the bars are not as wide, pretty nice. Same 59 Cadillac ride just a few nicer trick technologies and amenities. Very nice machine also!

The Victory, Well I felt a fair amount of heat from the motor, It also did not feel as well balanced as both the Indians, quite surprising actually. A nice ride though, but, Oh That Sweet Indian Motor, that 59 Cadillac ride, That super classic look, the fit and finish, Oh that Black Vintage with those Tan Bags Well Shit, Damn it! I have to have one!! Beemer is up for sale! Hope this demo ride report helps some people thinking about looking at or taking a test ride with there decision. Oh yeah, 5 year Unlimited Mileage Warranty, 1 year Roadside Assistance, and very low cost and maintenance, BMW 6k service, $300 tp $400 every 12K service $500 to $600! That's gonna be BY BY! Rubber side down, Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah, it's a Chick bike also!
 

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Texas Hill Country
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Thanks for the detailed write up.

It's interesting to see it from the eyes of a BMW rider.

Much of what you speak of is trained muscle memory. I faced the same thing coming off of a Harley Road King. I can tell you that your body is quick to retrain once you get on the Indian for a while and it becomes old hat. The throttle by wire did take a little getting used to as my RK was a cable controlled bike and yeah, it is different.

The test ride got me too.
I went to the dealership to "just look" and ok, maybe see what a test ride felt like. Within two blocks I knew that I would be taking the bike home with me that day!

So now comes the difficult part for you.....

1) What will all of your BMW buddies say when you roll up on that Indian?
2) What are you going to do with all of that Crash Dummy florescent clothing that BMW riders pride themselves in?
3) Harley riders used to just ignore you on a BMW. On an Indian they will openly loath you....ready for that?

Welcome aboard and if I read between the lines...like I think I can....an Indian is in the cards for you
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I'm having a hard time with the Vintage or the Chieftain. I just love the Vintage, but worry about having tubed tires! I won't be riding any cross country anymore just a few states here and there.
I have had a number of flats over the road, and being able to just plug, pump and motor down the road was a Godsend!

I have always been pretty much a loan rider, did all my long distance riding a loan, except for a few multi-state rides with my wife. Never did buy into the Crash-dummy hot green clothing, LOL!
You have to understand that most BMW riders are really into safety, the ugliest woman I have ever seen was at any BMW rally. I'm pretty much done with the BMW riding experience. I'm ready for some Drive-Way Jewelry!

I don't care what Harley riders think, never did never will! I enjoy being a little avaunt gaurd. I'm 68 YO now and ready for the Motorized Recliner with the 59 Caddy ride!
 

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Had 4 Harleys,3 Goldwings.Many other bikes.

Sat on an Indian. Wife said she knew I would buy one!

Bought a new Chieftain. Best ride yet.

As far as the Harley riders,well, when they all dress like its Halloween how can you take them seriously?
 

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Good to see that it's not all about changing from HD to Indian. I even think you can give a better opinion because it's also a big style change coming from a Beemer. Anyway, it was a good thing you went for a test ride!
Choosing between a Vintage and a Chieftain is in fact a luxury problem :cool:... I chose for the Chieftain for the adjustable fairing, the hard bags, the radio thingie and the tubeless tires and also because it handles a bit better in my opinion.
Anyway, succes with yer *****!

Adler
 
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