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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm very pleased to see Indian back and Polaris at the helm. I 've been to the dealership and sat on the bike and heard it run. I've looked at the bike from stem to stern and really like the cut of her jib (I'm retired Navy). I have done a lot of reading online and watched the You Tube videos but I'm waiting to see the 2015 two tones in person before I test ride and take the plunge. I'd like feedback from riders that have put some miles on their bikes to see how the bike is holding up in the following areas:

Leather: Is the seat holding up well or is it looking like a wrinkled prune? How is the fringe doing? Those that bought he reduced reach seat, was it worth it? Is it good on long rides?

Chrome: Is it pitting/peeling? How is the engine chrome doing? Are the pipes turning yellow or blue? Are the heat shields working well or rusting? Anyone running the Indian Heal/toe shifter?

Paint: How is the clear coat holding up? Any dulling or fading from spilled fuel? Those that had chips, How is the color match with the touch up paint?

Tires: Any issues with the white walls turning yellow/tan or cracking?

Mechanical: Has the bike left you stranded? Any faulty switches or lights?

The answers I get here will help me decide which model to buy. My current ride is a '02 Yamaha Silverado 650 with 42,000+ miles and has been a great bike for me. After 12 years of riding it still looks/runs great. It truly has been a gas, oil, tires and go bike. I'm hoping that the new Indian will be the same for me. I'm looking at getting a Vintage but might go with a Classic with after market seat and bags if the leather is an issue.
 

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I think you may have to wait awhile for answers to most of those questions since aging takes some time and this bike has only been out for one year. So far I have had no problems in any of the areas you mentioned. As a matter of fact, I have had no problems at all. A well engineered and thought out bike.
 

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I have only owned my Vintage since April 2014 I will answer some questions and let you know why I like Indian. First off the leather on all Vintage (distressed Tan) faded almost immediately, but Indian proactively addressed the issue and is providing free leather repair kits to redye the seats and a protector so Indian (Polaris) is quick on the uptake. As for paint and chrome I have had no issues at all so far except that all the chrome on the Vintage is a little bright in the sunlight and at times may blind you. As far as the white walls the only problem I have had is keeping them clean and cleaning them since the valences are in the way and the rear is a real bear even without the saddle bags. So far I have had no problems and plan to make a 7K journey starting the 29th so I have full confidence in the bike's manufacture and Polaris stepping up if something does go wrong.

Like others say, it is too early to say what will happen after a year, but I am confident that if any of your issues arises that Polaris will immediately rectify the situations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies folks. I know a year is not a long time but allow me to elaborate as to why I'm asking. I own a '08 Dodge Challenger, beautiful car in Hemi orange, gets lots of looks and pictures taken at gas stations ect... But it is a love hate relationship. The metal is thin and can be dented by something as simple as waxing. The headliner does not fit and comes untucked and will fray if you look at it cross eyed. Molding cracked and speakers blown, All this within the first year. My motorcycle has a kuryakyn hypercharger that looks great after 8 years on the bike. I have a kuryakyn light bar that after 6 months is grey/green looking an pitted but the mounting bracket is perfect. I guess what I'm getting at is that they don't make them like they used to. With all the EPA regulations, the manufacturing process (like chroming) suffers.
 

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I've put 2,400 miles on mine since April and it has performed flawlessly. As Sparkman notes, the distressed tan leather faded terribly but I read Big Daddy's post on how he re-dyed his leather and did it myself a couple of weeks ago. I have since received the coupon from Indian from for their dye kit but am in no rush to redeem it. My Vintage looks better now than the day I picked it up.
 

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Almost 3000 miles on my Chieftain. It throws some engine codes. Most have to do with the cruise control switch. There are two good size scratches I have yet to deal with. The speaker in the fairing could be better, but over all I am very pleased with the bike.
 

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I'm very pleased to see Indian back and Polaris at the helm. I 've been to the dealership and sat on the bike and heard it run. I've looked at the bike from stem to stern and really like the cut of her jib (I'm retired Navy). I have done a lot of reading online and watched the You Tube videos but I'm waiting to see the 2015 two tones in person before I test ride and take the plunge. I'd like feedback from riders that have put some miles on their bikes to see how the bike is holding up in the following areas:

Leather: Is the seat holding up well or is it looking like a wrinkled prune? How is the fringe doing? Those that bought he reduced reach seat, was it worth it? Is it good on long rides?

Chrome: Is it pitting/peeling? How is the engine chrome doing? Are the pipes turning yellow or blue? Are the heat shields working well or rusting? Anyone running the Indian Heal/toe shifter?

Paint: How is the clear coat holding up? Any dulling or fading from spilled fuel? Those that had chips, How is the color match with the touch up paint?

Tires: Any issues with the white walls turning yellow/tan or cracking?

Mechanical: Has the bike left you stranded? Any faulty switches or lights?

The answers I get here will help me decide which model to buy. My current ride is a '02 Yamaha Silverado 650 with 42,000+ miles and has been a great bike for me. After 12 years of riding it still looks/runs great. It truly has been a gas, oil, tires and go bike. I'm hoping that the new Indian will be the same for me. I'm looking at getting a Vintage but might go with a Classic with after market seat and bags if the leather is an issue.
Some answers to your questions;
Leather: Is the seat holding up well or is it looking like a wrinkled prune? How is the fringe doing? Those that bought he reduced reach seat, was it worth it? Is it good on long rides? I have the black leather and it has broken in nicely and still looks great.

Chrome: Is it pitting/peeling? How is the engine chrome doing? Are the pipes turning yellow or blue? Are the heat shields working well or rusting? Anyone running the Indian Heal/toe shifter? No chrome issues what so ever, do not have the heel/toe shifter aeromach has never had them in stock and I don't know anyone who has one.

Paint: How is the clear coat holding up? Any dulling or fading from spilled fuel? Those that had chips, How is the color match with the touch up paint? Paint is a lot better than on my Vic Cross Country, Indian's clear coat seem to be harder.

Tires: Any issues with the white walls turning yellow/tan or cracking? I have the Chieftain, so I don't have whitewalls but just like any other tire it all depends on where you live and how you take of them.

Mechanical: Has the bike left you stranded? Any faulty switches or lights? 5000+ miles and no mechanical issues. Been on 2 1000 miles trips with no worries.

My final comment: What are you waiting for Go buy your Indian you will not be disappointed!:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you Hockeyray, glad to see everything is going good for you. I'm waiting for those two tones to come out and I have not decided on the Vintage or Classic yet. Willow green and cream is old school cool but red and black are my high school colors. Plus I learned a lesson when I bought my first year Challenger in '08 and they beefed up the half shafts and rear differential on the '09's. Thanks for the inputs folks and keep'em coming...
 

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Chrome: Is it pitting/peeling? How is the engine chrome doing? Are the pipes turning yellow or blue? Are the heat shields working well or rusting? Anyone running the Indian Heal/toe shifter? No chrome issues what so ever, do not have the heel/toe shifter aeromach has never had them in stock and I don't know anyone who has one.
A little off topic here but, call Aeromach. I called them last Monday or Tuesday and they said they would have more heel shifters ready to go Thursday of the same week. I placed my order while I had them on the phone and recieved my Fed Ex tracking email last Friday.
 

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I've only had my Chieftan for a couple weeks but in the first 10 days I put on over 2000 kms. Then while stationary in a parking stall I was late getting my foot down and when I did I slipped on gravel. When the bike fell over it apparently likely broke something in my wrist and I'm now in a cast. Who'da thunk that my wrist couldn't take the impact of a falling 850 lbs+ bike. This couldn't be the result of my stupidity so it is clearly a fault in the bikes design (LOL!). To be serious though, the front and rear guard bars eventually took the full weight and there is literally not even a hint of a scratch. I think that speaks to the quality of the chrome.
Other points:
1. The am part of the radio is scratchy as if the tuning is off just a smidge.
2. Just before I took it in for the 800 km first service the battery light came on. It was a simple loose wire.
3. Initially, the high beam simply didn't work; it threw a beam less than that of the low beam. At the first service I asked them to fix it but they didn't even look at the beam, just the connection and their response was the beam should work fine. I was a bit torqued at that and had to show the mechanic how it didn't work. He changed the bulb but when I next rode at night the low beam was focussed immediately to the front of the bike.

The point of the preceding issues is that some little things needed attention so if you do buy, be sure to go over it in detail before you ride off.

Slightly off topic - my dealer, Cycle Works of Edmonton, provided me the absolute best buying, financing and after purchase customer service I have ever had, for any product, as recently as today. I chalk up the high beam/low beam thing to a rushed mechanic at the end of a long day. I'm positive this was a one-off and I highly, highly recommend Cycle Works to anyone within 1000 kms looking to buy an Indian (and no, I don't work for them nor do I have any affiliation with them other than being a customer).

One final irritant - on a ride through the Icefields Parkway in Banff and Jasper National Parks the brakes started to make a god-awful noise. Not screeching but a deep sound like like that of a hand rubbing down a dry window. Once the cast comes off it will be back to the shop but I really do believe it will be taken care of promptly.

Overall, I am immensely pleased with the bike and have 100% faith in its reliability. In fact, I have a 7,500 km trip planned, starting August 11.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ouch Seagull! Glad it wasn't any worse and you and your ride are none the worse for wear. Your experience is precisely why I'm asking about that reduced reach seat. I have put my feet down on some pretty slick roads over the years. Thanks for the info on the high beams, I also heard that the tail light on some bikes has lost some of their nuts due to vibration I guess. Happy trails on your August road trip.
 

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Leather problem, valve noise, chrome peeling.

"YOU CAN HAVE INDIAN AND THE HORSE THEY RODE IN ON"!!!The valve chatter is beyond annoying if you ride the bike for any long period of time. The chrome on my primary is peeling. The dealer support network is not there. MOST IMPORTANT: INDIAN HAS THE AUDACITY TO SEND A LEATHER KIT TO OWNERS WHO HAVE PAID $21-$25k FOR THEIR MOTORCYCLE. THIS IS A WARRANTY/ RECALL PROBLEM WITH POOR QUALITY LEATHER ON THE VINTAGE. ASKING THE OWNERS TO DO A FIVE STEP PROCESS TO RE-DYE THE LEATHER SHOWS THAT POLARIS "WILL NOT STAND" BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT. Sad that this is the case with a new introduction. My plan is to "Dump" this bike, go back to HARLEY, and participate in a class action Lawsuit to recover my loss on my 2014 Chief Vintage. My dealer is totally embarrassed by Indians refusal to cover the leather problem. AGAIN: DO NOT BUY INDIAN!!
 

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"YOU CAN HAVE INDIAN AND THE HORSE THEY RODE IN ON"!!!The valve chatter is beyond annoying if you ride the bike for any long period of time. The chrome on my primary is peeling. The dealer support network is not there. MOST IMPORTANT: INDIAN HAS THE AUDACITY TO SEND A LEATHER KIT TO OWNERS WHO HAVE PAID $21-$25k FOR THEIR MOTORCYCLE. THIS IS A WARRANTY/ RECALL PROBLEM WITH POOR QUALITY LEATHER ON THE VINTAGE. ASKING THE OWNERS TO DO A FIVE STEP PROCESS TO RE-DYE THE LEATHER SHOWS THAT POLARIS "WILL NOT STAND" BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT. Sad that this is the case with a new introduction. My plan is to "Dump" this bike, go back to HARLEY, and participate in a class action Lawsuit to recover my loss on my 2014 Chief Vintage. My dealer is totally embarrassed by Indians refusal to cover the leather problem. AGAIN: DO NOT BUY INDIAN!!
What bike did you get (Classic, Vintage, Chieftain)? Is this a numbered bike (early production)?

I'm pretty well versed with the Moss Magunson Act and I'm quite sure "faded leather" will not qualify for a warranty recall nonetheless a class action suit.

Noticed this is your first post, welcome to the board!
 

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I'm going to go along with what everyone else here has said and just add a couple of thoughts for you.

First of all, I've been in the saddle since the early 60's. During those years I spent most of my time on Harley Davidson motorcycles. So maybe I'm just easily impressed. But with that in mind? The Indian Chief Vintage is the best motorcycle I have ever owned. Trust me, you will not be disappointed with the 2014 (or 2015 I suspect).

But you do have some very real concerns to be aware of going in with the Vintage.

1) The slow speed handling on the Classic and Vintage is different than the full dress Chieftain.

I came off of a Road King that I had spent nearly 20 years on. My Road King is a jet ski and the Vintage is a luxury ocean liner. The Vintage more than makes up for it when you get it out on the highway. High speed stability is second to none. Slow speed parking lot stuff will have you filing a flight plan to do a U-turn. I am working on it and getting better....but it is different...way different.

2) Tan Leather-

Gawd it is beautiful, isn't it?
I ride everyday. My Vintage is my primary vehicle. I live in New Orleans. In the summer time it rains almost every afternoon here. All of this means that I ride in the rain. Please know that the leather saddlebags are not waterproof. I have to put my stuff in plastic garbage bags when heading out on a road trip. They do pretty good on short jaunts like back and forth to work, stuff stays dry.

The next thing to consider is that even the "new" fade fix from Indian in place....leather does require considerable maintenance to keep it beautiful. My daily driver is more of a plow horse than a show pony....so I am personally struggling with this one. If I leave that beautiful leather on there then I have to be aware that either I am going to have to devote the time and effort to taking care of it or just let it go to hell. Whew....so after I bought all of this beautiful leather myself....I'm sort of looking for a way to cheat this.... I'm thinking that eventually I will be putting some aftermarket hard saddlebags on there and maybe even a black leather seat. Ya know, for daily use and then save all of the beautiful tan leather for when I want to show off.

3) Whitewall tires....and spoke rims.

Ok, I have found some stuff that I just squirt on, brush off, and rinse with clear water....dazzling bright whitewalls. So that part of the thing is not a big deal for me. Sure, riding in the rain has me doing this more than I want to, but still not as often as I should.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret here....just a heads up of what it is like riding an Indian....get ready because it is certain.
You will draw a crowd everywhere you go. When you ride down the highway, cars will pull up next to you and take your picture or video. When you stop to eat people will be taking pictures of your bike in the parking lot. You and that Indian will be like a rock star....and I'm not kidding one little bit about this.

So when you draw this much attention, how are you going to feel about riding around with grimy whitewalls....yeah, I know. Believe me, I know.

All of this appearance maintenance may be way more than you are used to....I know that I have always prided myself on the image I project on my Harley....but gawd....This Indian has me carrying a polishing rag in my back pocket.
 

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Leather: Is the seat holding up well or is it looking like a wrinkled prune? Mine is holding up fine. How is the fringe doing? Have a Chieftain so it is only on the seat...took it off as I liked the cleaner look. Those that bought he reduced reach seat, was it worth it? Do not have. Is it good on long rides? Been about 200 miles in one ride....was fine.

Chrome: Is it pitting/peeling? None. How is the engine chrome doing? Fine. Are the pipes turning yellow or blue? Not at all. Are the heat shields working well or rusting? Working fine....no rust. Anyone running the Indian Heal/toe shifter? Do not have one.

Paint: How is the clear coat holding up? It does seem to be "soft". Prone to scratches/swirls easily. Any dulling or fading from spilled fuel? None. Those that had chips, How is the color match with the touch up paint? Have not needed yet...:)

Tires: Any issues with the white walls turning yellow/tan or cracking? No white walls on the Chieftain.

Mechanical: Has the bike left you stranded? Absolutely not......like my HD did on an interstate. Any faulty switches or lights? None

I have had mine since early May 2014. Have a little over 1600 miles. When I went to the demo ride I was set to buy a Vintage. After riding the Vintage then the Chieftain I went and borrowed more money to get the Chieftain. If I had purchased a Vintage I would probably have added more fringe by now. The additional fringe is the character of the Vintage.

Whatever model you finally decide on I am sure you will be pleased. Best wishes in your search.
 

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Texas Hill Country
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I've put 2,400 miles on mine since April and it has performed flawlessly. As Sparkman notes, the distressed tan leather faded terribly but I read Big Daddy's post on how he re-dyed his leather and did it myself a couple of weeks ago. I have since received the coupon from Indian from for their dye kit but am in no rush to redeem it. My Vintage looks better now than the day I picked it up.
I'm glad the dye job worked out for you.
Mine seems to be holding up as well.

I'm in no hurry to get the Indian dye kit.
I worry how it would "take" on top of the Tandy dye.
I might try it later on but for now I'm happy.
 

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I have had my vintage chief since early February. The only thing so far that I think you need to know is that many have an annoying if not disturbing engine noise that some including me say it sounds like a bunch of metal parts some say rocks bouncing around in the front cylinder. I would suggest that you take it for a long test ride in traffic lots of stop and go with slow speeds in first second and third gears. Make sure you get a quiet one cause the dealers say they don't hear it or that it is ok. I would use a half helmet during the test ride. I love my Chief but the noise really bothers me!
 

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"YOU CAN HAVE INDIAN AND THE HORSE THEY RODE IN ON"!!!The valve chatter is beyond annoying if you ride the bike for any long period of time. The chrome on my primary is peeling. The dealer support network is not there. MOST IMPORTANT: INDIAN HAS THE AUDACITY TO SEND A LEATHER KIT TO OWNERS WHO HAVE PAID $21-$25k FOR THEIR MOTORCYCLE. THIS IS A WARRANTY/ RECALL PROBLEM WITH POOR QUALITY LEATHER ON THE VINTAGE. ASKING THE OWNERS TO DO A FIVE STEP PROCESS TO RE-DYE THE LEATHER SHOWS THAT POLARIS "WILL NOT STAND" BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT. Sad that this is the case with a new introduction. My plan is to "Dump" this bike, go back to HARLEY, and participate in a class action Lawsuit to recover my loss on my 2014 Chief Vintage. My dealer is totally embarrassed by Indians refusal to cover the leather problem. AGAIN: DO NOT BUY INDIAN!!
I'm sorry to hear of your misfortune in the Indian Experience.

I'm active on several other Indian forums and can only offer that yours is a minority experience.
Most of what I read is overwhelming positive. Most dealers have gone over and above for their customers.

As an example, I had an issue with chrome peeling from the plastic bezel that surrounds the power button, on the dash.
I took my Vintage in to Performance Power Sports in Houma, Louisiana. They photographed the bezel and submitted a warranty claim for me. Several days later they called to inform me that Indian will replace the bezel for me. All I have to do is show up down there and they will replace it while I wait....I just haven't had the free time to ride down there yet.

Top end noise?
Mine is a lot quieter than my 96 EVO was. I thought my EVO was pretty quiet and it had 300,000 miles on it. The few Indians that I have encountered out on the road were quiet too....So you must have a legitimate problem with yours. I have a feeling that perhaps a different dealer would have addressed your problems differently...but just a feeling.

I've been a Harley man since the mid-60's but also an air cooled VW man. My other ride is a 1970 VW Bus. I have accepted a little top end noise as part and partial. Since you are going back to Harley then I can only assume that you have a knowledge base there too. If your Indian is louder than a Harley top end...then something is wrong.

Our opinions on leather fade and Indian's response are diametrically opposed. As such, there is not much sense at picking that scab. I can only tell you that personally? I'm fed up with the arrogant Harley attitude of "they all do that" as an excuse for not addressing the problems that they have. Indian heard what early owners were saying and they stepped up and addressed the issue....and by God, I find that refreshing. You obviously feel that Indian has fallen short in their response on the other hand.

Next thing is, I don't know how many miles you have on your new Indian. They do quiet down quite a bit with mileage. They also quiet down when you get the break-in oil changed. I am noticing my engine getting quieter at the same time my exhaust is burning in and getting louder. However, if you are dead set on "dumping it" then I would NOT recommend putting mileage on it to find out.

In closing, sadly, I can only offer that this is the best motorcycle you will never come to know. I love mine. It is not even in the same league as any of the Harleys I have owned in the past. It also stands head and shoulders above all of the "new" Harleys that all of my Brothers own.

At my advanced age, I understand old dogs and new tricks all too well. I'm just glad that I took the time and effort (and expense) to try the Indian at this stage. I have learned what Harley Davidson could have been it they had not had their head so far up their own arrogant ass.

Good luck with your efforts to step back down to what you know and are comfortable with. I'll never go back to Harley Davidson...ever.
 

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I'm just north of 5K on my Chieftain and only have 2 issues. First is the dim MFD which has been discussed. The second issue I have only noticed a few weeks ago. When first starting the bike and shifting into 1st there is a LOUD clunk. As stated, this only just started and only does it when cold. Also hard to shift from 1-2 and 2-3 for the first few miles. Yes, I allow the recommended warm up time before starting off. Also, I've owned (still do) Harleys for the past 40 years and am pretty familiar with clunky transmissions. This is much louder, but again only when cold and only started about 400 miles ago. Anyone else noticed this??
 

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I ordered my Chief Vintage on 5 August 2013 and waited for it to show up for over three months. It arrived on the 4th of November and I was surprised to find that I had a numbered bike #1137 of the first 1901 off the line. Waiting for all the accessories was a trying experience to say the least. My passenger back rest arrived the week before Bike Week and then I found out that my dealer went Tango Uniform, and closed down his shop in Daytona. I had to pony up another $250 bucks and reorder my luggage rack from the dealer in Ocala back in March. My luggage rack arrived two weeks ago. Finally I have every thing I ordered back in August of last year. Would I give up my Indian after all that? Hell no it is the best bike I have ever ridden, not to mention that it draws more questions than my Victory Vision did. Chrome is top notch, paint if flawless, but it is soft so you have to be careful not to scratch it. White walls do need attention to keep clean and so did the ones on my old 2002 Victory TCD. The wheels are far better quality than my TCD's ever were and are easy to clean. The rear valve stem is a pain to add air to and perhaps the next inner tube will be a 90 degree to make life easier. The Thunderstoke 111 is a sweetheart of an engine that pulls like a locomotive. For a first year bike the bar has been set very high, they will only get better as Indian goes forward. I'm in no hurry to get rid of this bike, I think I'll pass it on to my grandson it is that good. I took a gamble when I bought my 2002 TCD because nobody gave them much of a chance entering the market. My TCD did me well and when the 2010 Vision came out in blue and gold with ABS it became my next bike. Indian came along and I had to make room for one more in the garage and now I've got a great pair of bikes. Take a gamble and get your hands on an Indian it will be quite a ride to say the least.
 
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