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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys.

I currently own a 2018 K1600GTL. It's a great bike in most ways, and I have enjoyed riding it. My primary complaint is that the nearest dealer is almost two hours away.

I confess that I am not a v-twin kind of guy. I have rented Harleys as part of group rides, though never owned one. I always come away from those rides as thinking, yuck! They always feel unrefined, clunky, hot, and loud (I'm not into loud pipes…).

However, even though I prefer sport-touring styling, like my 6-cylinders, and am not into the foot-forward riding position, the Challenger caught my eye. Since I ride for enjoyment, and am open to anything, I thought I would visit the Indian dealer for a test ride. What else is there to do during pandemic?

I had never visited the local dealer. They seem like nice guys, and the salesman told me, "ride it for as long as your want." I took him seriously, and went out for a one hour ride on a typical evening route that I do through the local twisties.

Ok, it's not as fast as my Beemer, but it moves very well! I was also impressed with the handling. The bike did whatever I asked it to do, without complaint, and with good results. A few times I hit nearly 90, and the bike seemed well-composed.

My only complain it is that its a little loud, and has more vibes than I am used to on my K1600. I think I would prefer a riser for the bars (if available), or a different set of bars that brought them about 1-2 inches closer to me. Additionally, though the brakes have generally received good review, I wasn't overly impressed with them. Maybe it was just me and my lack of proficiency with the foot forward position…? Not sure.

Anyways, over all, the bike performed well, and I could imagine having fun with it.
 

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Well stop messing around and go get one. How was the heat from the motor?
 

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2,711 Posts
Hi Guys.

I currently own a 2018 K1600GTL. It's a great bike in most ways, and I have enjoyed riding it. My primary complaint is that the nearest dealer is almost two hours away.

I confess that I am not a v-twin kind of guy. I have rented Harleys as part of group rides, though never owned one. I always come away from those rides as thinking, yuck! They always feel unrefined, clunky, hot, and loud (I'm not into loud pipes…).

However, even though I prefer sport-touring styling, like my 6-cylinders, and am not into the foot-forward riding position, the Challenger caught my eye. Since I ride for enjoyment, and am open to anything, I thought I would visit the Indian dealer for a test ride. What else is there to do during pandemic?

I had never visited the local dealer. They seem like nice guys, and the salesman told me, "ride it for as long as your want." I took him seriously, and went out for a one hour ride on a typical evening route that I do through the local twisties.

Ok, it's not as fast as my Beemer, but it moves very well! I was also impressed with the handling. The bike did whatever I asked it to do, without complaint, and with good results. A few times I hit nearly 90, and the bike seemed well-composed.

My only complain it is that its a little loud, and has more vibes than I am used to on my K1600. I think I would prefer a riser for the bars (if available), or a different set of bars that brought them about 1-2 inches closer to me. Additionally, though the brakes have generally received good review, I wasn't overly impressed with them. Maybe it was just me and my lack of proficiency with the foot forward position…? Not sure.

Anyways, over all, the bike performed well, and I could imagine having fun with it.
Having ridden the Challenger and two demo rides on a BMW K1600B, here’s my take. The Challenger is the top dog in the V twin class. Nothing else comes close. However, it’s not going to beat the K1600 for power, smoothness, and handling...can’t comment on the best braking...both were good. The K1600 is a smooth 160 hp rocket...with clutchless shifting. No factory v-twin is going to top that. If you’ve ever had clutchless shifting, you’d wish IM had put it on the Challenger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Having ridden the Challenger and two demo rides on a BMW K1600B, here’s my take. The Challenger is the top dog in the V twin class. Nothing else comes close. However, it’s not going to beat the K1600 for power, smoothness, and handling...can’t comment on the best braking...both were good. The K1600 is a smooth 160 hp rocket...with clutchless shifting. No factory v-twin is going to top that. If you’ve ever had clutchless shifting, you’d wish IM had put it on the Challenger.
The K1600B and GTL are the same engines, although the handling manners are somewhat different.

As for clutchless shifting, my K1600GTL has it and I never use it. It also has reverse which I never use.
 

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2015 Chieftain
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640 Posts
Welcome from Southern Illinois.
 
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Any V-twin, no matter how well balanced it is will never come close to a six cylinder for smoothness. That being said the Challenger is probably the most refined V-twin with that much displacement. Nothing is perfect but the Challenger is head & shoulders above other bikes in it's class. If you can get used to the foot forward floorboards it's a no-brainer.
 

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You’ve got a fair number of ex-beemer guys here. I’ve had two over the last 50 years of riding.

  • my Indian is more reliable than any BMW I’ve had
  • parts and service are less expensive
  • dealer network are very comparable
  • ride comfort is far better on my Indian.

Pull that trigger!
 

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2,711 Posts
The K1600B and GTL are the same engines, although the handling manners are somewhat different.

As for clutchless shifting, my K1600GTL has it and I never use it. It also has reverse which I never use.
I have it on my Ducati. Slow speed and around town, the clutch works better. However, for letting it rip, I always use the clutchless shifting feature. I thought reverse would be a benefit on a fully loaded down touring bike...maybe not so much?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have it on my Ducati. Slow speed and around town, the clutch works better. However, for letting it rip, I always use the clutchless shifting feature. I thought reverse would be a benefit on a fully loaded down touring bike...maybe not so much?
TigerGA,

There are reliability issues with reverse on the K1600's, which dissuaded mean from using it. TBH, I have never really felt a need for it, but since the nearest dealer is almost two hours away, I decided not to take a chance.

Similarly, because there are transmission issues with the K1600, I didn't want to chance it…
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You’ve got a fair number of ex-beemer guys here. I’ve had two over the last 50 years of riding.

  • my Indian is more reliable than any BMW I’ve had
  • parts and service are less expensive
  • dealer network are very comparable
  • ride comfort is far better on my Indian.
Pull that trigger!
Thanks for the encouragement!
 

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2020 Indian Challenger
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1,422 Posts
I've got a Challenger and I love it. I think it really comes down to your style. I love the look and feel of the big V-Twins. I test rode a 2019 Goldwing and didn't like the seating position at all. My wife has a 2010 Honda Shadow RS that has a similar seating position and I can only ride it for a few minutes before I start to get uncomfortable.

I looked at a K1600 before I got my Challenger and it did have some nice features. Overall, I'm very happy with my decision to go with the Indian.
 

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Diamond member
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9,096 Posts
Hi Guys.

I currently own a 2018 K1600GTL. It's a great bike in most ways, and I have enjoyed riding it. My primary complaint is that the nearest dealer is almost two hours away.

I confess that I am not a v-twin kind of guy. I have rented Harleys as part of group rides, though never owned one. I always come away from those rides as thinking, yuck! They always feel unrefined, clunky, hot, and loud (I'm not into loud pipes…).

However, even though I prefer sport-touring styling, like my 6-cylinders, and am not into the foot-forward riding position, the Challenger caught my eye. Since I ride for enjoyment, and am open to anything, I thought I would visit the Indian dealer for a test ride. What else is there to do during pandemic?

I had never visited the local dealer. They seem like nice guys, and the salesman told me, "ride it for as long as your want." I took him seriously, and went out for a one hour ride on a typical evening route that I do through the local twisties.

Ok, it's not as fast as my Beemer, but it moves very well! I was also impressed with the handling. The bike did whatever I asked it to do, without complaint, and with good results. A few times I hit nearly 90, and the bike seemed well-composed.

My only complain it is that its a little loud, and has more vibes than I am used to on my K1600. I think I would prefer a riser for the bars (if available), or a different set of bars that brought them about 1-2 inches closer to me. Additionally, though the brakes have generally received good review, I wasn't overly impressed with them. Maybe it was just me and my lack of proficiency with the foot forward position…? Not sure.

Anyways, over all, the bike performed well, and I could imagine having fun with it.
My observation in regards to Indians and test rides, is their brakes are oddly inconsistent.
Everytime I ride a certain model, the brakes and lever feel always seems to be bit different from each other in one way or another.. I have no idea why this is. But it's been my observation.

I think from now on I'll be having the dealer ship bleed them before I purchase any more new Indians that "don't quite feel right".
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've got a Challenger and I love it. I think it really comes down to your style. I love the look and feel of the big V-Twins. I test rode a 2019 Goldwing and didn't like the seating position at all. My wife has a 2010 Honda Shadow RS that has a similar seating position and I can only ride it for a few minutes before I start to get uncomfortable.

I looked at a K1600 before I got my Challenger and it did have some nice features. Overall, I'm very happy with my decision to go with the Indian.
There is definitely no perfect bike. In the long run, this adds to the fun…!
 

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If you really like the smoothness of a 6 cylinder, reverse and a quiet exhaust, why don't you consider a new Gold Wing. Lots of dealers on the road and extremely unreliable. Personally, I am a V Twin guy. Never owned a flat 6. Had 4 HD's Victory, custom s&s, KTM Adventure, Suzuki TL, Ducati and 2 Indians. I like the thump.keeps my butt from falling asleep. I don't like smooth engines or quiet exhausts. Just my preference. You decide. The only BMW I like is the GS1250. Opposing twin is close to a V Twin.
 

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Yeah I agree that a V-twin has more character than a 4 or 6 cylinder motor. I also like to hear my engine so aftermarket slip-on mufflers are a must have.
 
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