Indian Motorcycle Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of JUNE's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 20 of 69 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I rode dirt bikes as a kid and have had a couple of dual sports in the last few years and enjoyed riding them on the street, so I decided that I would get something more suited for riding on the street. I did some looking and really liked the look of the Chief Dark Horse so, I ended up buying one about a month ago. I have ridden this thing almost daily for a month and I just cant get used to it. Compared to the smaller bikes I have ridden, it is feels big, heavy,sluggish and awkward. I am so used to sitting upright, having the tank between my knees and not even thinking about any cornering, stopping, swerving, I just do it, it feels natural. Now, with this bike, It feels like every turn I make I have to concentrate on getting it to go where I want. The way I sit on it, with feet forward, feels unnatural, like I am not ready to make any type of defensive maneuvers if I needed to. Anyone else ever feel this way? Will I eventually get used to it? I am hoping I did not make a mistake buying this thing. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

·
Founding member
Joined
·
1,192 Posts
You will get used to it... Surprised you haven't after a month, but it's just around the next corner.... pun intended... You got a great bike, give it some time... Also you will get used to the gearing and it shouldn't feel sluggish for ever...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
I've found that heavy bikes steer a little quicker if you make sure to countersteer and put more weight on the inside floorboard. Also try adjusting the handlebars a little higher or lower.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,157 Posts
You’ll get it. That chief dark horse is actually pretty great in the turns. It’s bottom heavy and very smooth. Smooth is the key. Unlike sport or dirt, a good cruiser is more like the two of you slide through the turns together. It’s not flickable, so smooth is the game. Once you really get your groove and feel that joker floating through the turns you’ll be happy. You may still want a ninja 650 to thrash around, though. Sometimes that is just an itch that needs to be scratched.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FlacoReyna

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
When I jump on the Scout [Gilroy, 2001] from the much lighter Vulcan S, it takes me a bit to adjust to how differently it handles. The increased weight, longer rake & less grippy tires [Michelin Road 4 on the Vulcan]; it just feels lazier & slower to maneuver by comparison.
 

·
Rider
Joined
·
944 Posts
it would be the same as going from a sports car to a luxury car. They are made to do different things. If you push pull the handlebars when turning the bike will and does respond quickly. I chased down a Ducati on my 2018 RM in the twisties. Don't get the idea that I think I can outrun a sportbike in the twisties because I can't. But if he's not hitting it real hard and I am then I can chase him down. I have been riding touring models for about 15 years and it did not take long for me to get used to a bigger bike. Yes, you will work harder in the corners if you want to push the bike. It is bigger and heavier. Some of our favorite roads here in AZ are over 2 hours away making a 4 hour round trip to ride a great twisty so I personally would rather ride a touring bike those 4 hours than ride a bike I have to hold myself up for those 4+ hours. It is a trade off for sure one you will decide one day was worth it or not and go back to an adventure bike. Just curious did you test ride a Scout in the process of finding a street bike?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
I'll chime in here because I come from a similar riding background. Personally it's a great bike - I too have a chief dark horse. Now, will it ever be a dirt bike or dual sport or sport bike? Nope.

I grew up on dirt bikes, love to thrash them in the dirt and then in the mountain Twisties. There is nothing else like it in my opinion (the combo of lightness and ability to attack a corner is awesome). That said, I bought mine because my lady started liking to ride two up and touring with me. I always rode thumpers, and they SUCK two up especially on the freeway. The DH is so more relaxed and chill....but that's just it, it is so much more relaxed.

The DH is my highly appreciated heritage bike for 2-up touring and cruising (I know not a Springer or a RM). I like the feeling I get when I open the garage and realize I am just smiling looking at it, then I listen to that V-twin melody. Sometimes I forget it's purpose (scraped floorboards on a brand new bike can attest).

I ALMOST bought the 790r cause it sounds amazing, but I just couldn't see two up on it (I didn't like the ergos of the 1090, 1190, or 1290) and neither did my wife. And if my beer drinking buddy isn't happy, neither am I. It's all your perspective, one bike for one purpose (at best two purposes).

In summary,

If you have the means, you mean to own two bikes.

I hope that helps. I think you have a great bike.
(y)
 

·
Silver member
Joined
·
4,933 Posts
800-900 lb. bikes are not for everyone. It will never be like the bikes you're used to riding. Think of your Indian as a two wheeled tractor, that's about what they are, compared to a sport bike. Gobs of low end but heavy and slow-mo. Personally, I'd give it more time and keep riding it. Hopefully it will work out for you. If it ends up that it ain't your cup of tea then you know what ya gotta do ;)
 

·
Silver member
Joined
·
5,098 Posts
I think you will get used to it, but if not the FTR sits they way you are used to and performs more in that manner. So there is that...
 

·
Bronze member
Joined
·
2,271 Posts
No comparison between the styles of riding. Took me a solid 2 months going from a crotch rocket to a cruiser. Kept putting my feet in the wrong place expecting a foot peg to be there. If you really like the styling, the comfort and idea of cruising it'll come. If a more sporty, lightweight toss-able upright bike is more your thing, then maybe a FTR, KTM or similar might fit better.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hatt

·
Registered
Joined
·
962 Posts
I rode dirt bikes as a kid and have had a couple of dual sports in the last few years and enjoyed riding them on the street, so I decided that I would get something more suited for riding on the street. I did some looking and really liked the look of the Chief Dark Horse so, I ended up buying one about a month ago. I have ridden this thing almost daily for a month and I just cant get used to it. Compared to the smaller bikes I have ridden, it is feels big, heavy,sluggish and awkward. I am so used to sitting upright, having the tank between my knees and not even thinking about any cornering, stopping, swerving, I just do it, it feels natural. Now, with this bike, It feels like every turn I make I have to concentrate on getting it to go where I want. The way I sit on it, with feet forward, feels unnatural, like I am not ready to make any type of defensive maneuvers if I needed to. Anyone else ever feel this way? Will I eventually get used to it? I am hoping I did not make a mistake buying this thing. Any advice would be appreciated.
Test ride a Bobber. Drag bars and reduced pegs (which can be installed on any Scout) might do what you’re looking for. Not to mention faster and nimble.
 

·
Bronze member
Joined
·
2,761 Posts
Offroad only, from 1966 to 2015. Open class racing machines only, from 1981 to present. Now I do equal shares of onroad and offroad.. Chief, Scout, RM, FE650E, KX500...

I have not / did not experienced any issues regarding "acclimation" to different types of bikes.

So I'm thinking there's likely something very wrong with you, or with me..







I vote me..
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hairy and Wyobob44

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I rode dirt bikes as a kid and have had a couple of dual sports in the last few years and enjoyed riding them on the street, so I decided that I would get something more suited for riding on the street. I did some looking and really liked the look of the Chief Dark Horse so, I ended up buying one about a month ago. I have ridden this thing almost daily for a month and I just cant get used to it. Compared to the smaller bikes I have ridden, it is feels big, heavy,sluggish and awkward. I am so used to sitting upright, having the tank between my knees and not even thinking about any cornering, stopping, swerving, I just do it, it feels natural. Now, with this bike, It feels like every turn I make I have to concentrate on getting it to go where I want. The way I sit on it, with feet forward, feels unnatural, like I am not ready to make any type of defensive maneuvers if I needed to. Anyone else ever feel this way? Will I eventually get used to it? I am hoping I did not make a mistake buying this thing. Any advice would be appreciated.
you will get use to just give it time once you do you will be able to do almost what you did on the smaller bikes. i'm also sure that with the smaller bikes you picked up some bad habits. think about or learn counter steering with the big bike and using both brakes when stopping. enjoy your new bike. Ray
 

·
Rider
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
Like others have said, you will either get used to it, or it just may not be your cuppa tea. Just there's no way that I could feel comfortable on a sport bike, you may never feel comfortable on a cruiser. There's nothing wrong with that.

Give it a little while longer and then make a decision . . .





BD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
it would be the same as going from a sports car to a luxury car. They are made to do different things. If you push pull the handlebars when turning the bike will and does respond quickly. I chased down a Ducati on my 2018 RM in the twisties. Don't get the idea that I think I can outrun a sportbike in the twisties because I can't. But if he's not hitting it real hard and I am then I can chase him down. I have been riding touring models for about 15 years and it did not take long for me to get used to a bigger bike. Yes, you will work harder in the corners if you want to push the bike. It is bigger and heavier. Some of our favorite roads here in AZ are over 2 hours away making a 4 hour round trip to ride a great twisty so I personally would rather ride a touring bike those 4 hours than ride a bike I have to hold myself up for those 4+ hours. It is a trade off for sure one you will decide one day was worth it or not and go back to an adventure bike. Just curious did you test ride a Scout in the process of finding a street bike?
Thanks Krex56 and I moved to AZ less than a year ago, which has a lot to do with buying more of a street bike. As far as the Scout, as much as I like the looks of the Scout, I want to be able to ride 2-up with my wife and it seems like the Scout would not be too great for that. The Chief seemed like somewhere in between a sport bike and a touring bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'll chime in here because I come from a similar riding background. Personally it's a great bike - I too have a chief dark horse. Now, will it ever be a dirt bike or dual sport or sport bike? Nope.

I grew up on dirt bikes, love to thrash them in the dirt and then in the mountain Twisties. There is nothing else like it in my opinion (the combo of lightness and ability to attack a corner is awesome). That said, I bought mine because my lady started liking to ride two up and touring with me. I always rode thumpers, and they SUCK two up especially on the freeway. The DH is so more relaxed and chill....but that's just it, it is so much more relaxed.

The DH is my highly appreciated heritage bike for 2-up touring and cruising (I know not a Springer or a RM). I like the feeling I get when I open the garage and realize I am just smiling looking at it, then I listen to that V-twin melody. Sometimes I forget it's purpose (scraped floorboards on a brand new bike can attest).

I ALMOST bought the 790r cause it sounds amazing, but I just couldn't see two up on it (I didn't like the ergos of the 1090, 1190, or 1290) and neither did my wife. And if my beer drinking buddy isn't happy, neither am I. It's all your perspective, one bike for one purpose (at best two purposes).

In summary,

If you have the means, you mean to own two bikes.

I hope that helps. I think you have a great bike.
(y)
Thanks Hey JJ. Your situation is very similar to mine. I was riding a BMW F650 thumper and tried riding 2up with the wife, it sucked as you said. That had a lot to do with the purchase of the Dark Horse. I love the look and the history of Indian and I am hoping that I can get comfortable enough with it to put my wife on the back
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all the great replies. I am hoping to get used to it and maybe take some classes to get used to the slow speed characteristics of it. I grew up next to a flat track in Graham,wa in the 60s and 70s and there would always be the battles between Harleys and Indians and somehow that just stuck with me. Indians are just awesome motorcycles and it thrills me to own one, I am just hoping to be as thrilled to ride it.
 

·
Rider
Joined
·
944 Posts
Thanks Krex56 and I moved to AZ less than a year ago, which has a lot to do with buying more of a street bike. As far as the Scout, as much as I like the looks of the Scout, I want to be able to ride 2-up with my wife and it seems like the Scout would not be too great for that. The Chief seemed like somewhere in between a sport bike and a touring bike.
Sorry I must have missed the two up part!

Engine guard or not? With the guard lean angle as I remember is 30 and 31. I have no idea what it is without but I would imagine it might be more. I think that would be fun.

Where in AZ did you move? I am in the Mesa area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sorry I must have missed the two up part!

Engine guard or not? With the guard lean angle as I remember is 30 and 31. I have no idea what it is without but I would imagine it might be more. I think that would be fun.

Where in AZ did you move? I am in the Mesa area.
I forgot to mention the 2-up part. I ended up out in the country, west of Wittmann.
 
1 - 20 of 69 Posts
Top