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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have recently returned from a 2 week work trip to the area in and around Geneva Switzerland. While there, instead of getting the usual rental car, I rented a 2019 Roadmaster. And rain or shine, that would be my only transportation while there. Happily, the weather only caused me to put on rain gear twice.

But my reason for this post is to outline some big differences between the almost new 2019 Roadmaster and my own 2016 Stage 3 Roadmaster that was tucked away at home. The first and most obvious difference that was apparent was the power difference. Naturally I expected that the stock '19 would not pull as well as my built '16. But the difference was sufficient to make me label the stocker anemic. It just seemed to have little to offer when I twisted the throttle. The exhaust note got stronger, but acceleration was boring. In particular, passing slower traffic REQUIRED a down shift. My 1901cc Roadmaster leaps forward with every twist of the throttle, even in top gear. As for the selectable ride modes, they didn't impress me. All they do is remap the engine's throttle vs actual twist at the grip. And in truth, I found that "sport mode" just made the engine too sensitive to throttle input while negotiating TIGHT mountain passes. When on the brakes & gearing down for a first-gear hairpin, the less sensitive "touring mode" worked better for smooth transitions from off throttle to acceleration. And when the opportunity to get-on-it came, the sport mode doesn't actually make the bike any faster. It just makes it seem stronger because the engine gets more throttle from less twist at the grip.

While the '19 'Master rode as comfy and stable as one would expect, I never got really comfortable with the odd handlebar/grip positioning. My '16 has wide handlebars, they are much like what is sometimes called "beach bars". They place my hands spread well apart and at about the level of the bottom of my rib cage. The '19 had the grips much closer together and higher, at about mid-chest level. In fact, the controls at the grips were within a half inch of the speaker grills in the fairing. Certainly not ape hanger-ish, but for me, poor positioning for smooth, precise handling on switchbacks. That didn't cause it to have slow steering, as the bike would react quickly to steering input, but for me it felt "tippy" at low speeds. I wonder if the European models have the same handlebars as the American models. I'm going to look into that at the next Indian Rider's Group meeting next week.

I don't listen to music of any kind or radio babble while riding, so I can't say anything about the "entertainment system", but the navigation system on the '19 was GREAT! The display is big and clear. If I wanted an address, a gas station or restaurant, it would unerringly do a search and find them. It never failed to give me a route to where I wanted to go while riding on roads and through country that I've never seen before. My only gripe there is that, like Google Maps and Waze, it only wants to find the quickest, most direct path to the destination. I did some online investigation into how hard it would be to download a detailed route from the computer and it was so complicated that it made my eyes glaze over. And when riding Europe, the best, twistiest roads are rarely the quickest way to get anywhere. Using the laptop, I did put together some great routes on Google Maps that would take me to and through some incredible mountain passes that I always wanted to do on a motorcycle. I downloaded them to my Android phone and STILL the program wanted to alter the route to more expeditious (read: BORING) routes. And then to top it off, the route that I was using in Google Maps would suddenly disappear! as if it had never been loaded into the cell phone. I hear that TomTom has good programming that works better for motorcyclists. I may have to look into that.

I brought along a GoPro Hero 7 camera and got some crazy footage. But the files are too big and I've yet to learn how to edit them with the complicated software. Still, the videos are amazingly sharp and stable. I mounted the camera on the dashboard, behind the windshield and no amount of vibration is evident. Even some occasional VERY HARD bumps that felt like I'd been hit from behind are barely noticeable as a small vertical oscillation in the video. How do they do that?

Of course, the '19 Roadmaster is a great motorcycle and I expected no less. But if the American models are exactly the same as the one I rode in France & Switzerland, well... I find myself thinking that if something bad happened to my '16 and I had to replace it with a newer model, I'd swap the handlebar to the old design and I couldn't live with the 111 cubic inch engine. You can call me spoiled, but the big bore, hot cams & higher compression are a MUST!
 

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There may also be a difference in tuning or power between American spec and European spec bikes. I know that my '17 RM will squat the rear end in any gear when I open up the throttle, and all I have is Stage 1 with a PVCX tuner.

You are absolutely correct about the Ride Command routing. I was traveling from Grafenwoehr to Ansbach, and the "Avoid Highways/Scenic" route would take me straight through downtown Nuremberg. What I ended up doing was logging into my Indian Motorcycle account and plotting the route that I wanted to take with some strategically-placed waypoints, then transferring the route to the bike via my phone's Bluetooth connection.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There may also be a difference in tuning or power between American spec and European spec bikes. I know that my '17 RM will squat the rear end in any gear when I open up the throttle, and all I have is Stage 1 with a PVCX tuner.

You are absolutely correct about the Ride Command routing. I was traveling from Grafenwoehr to Ansbach, and the "Avoid Highways/Scenic" route would take me straight through downtown Nuremberg. What I ended up doing was logging into my Indian Motorcycle account and plotting the route that I wanted to take with some strategically-placed waypoints, then transferring the route to the bike via my phone's Bluetooth connection.
Yeah. And Google Maps will only allow a small number of waypoints in a route. There is Google My Maps ( Sign in - Google Accounts )which allows more waypoints, but it gets complicated with what they call "layers". Why is it too difficult for the programmers to add a "don't f*ck with the custom route" function?
 

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to the OP. how was your 16 prior to upgrades. If u did what u did to a 19 do ya think it would blow the 16 away?
just asking as i have a 18 RM. an still thinking of upgrading it, but from what i seen/heard the 19's little more options (stock). i may even wait till the 20's come out.
Reason for this is yrs ago i upgraded my hd an 2 yrs later hd came out with a bigger eng than i got mine up to.
 

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I brought along a GoPro Hero 7 camera and got some crazy footage. But the files are too big and I've yet to learn how to edit them with the complicated software. Still, the videos are amazingly sharp and stable. I mounted the camera on the dashboard, behind the windshield and no amount of vibration is evident. Even some occasional VERY HARD bumps that felt like I'd been hit from behind are barely noticeable as a small vertical oscillation in the video. How do they do that?
The electronic image stabilization on the 7 is amazing, rivals the pro cameras for 1/10 of the price. As far as sharing, upload them to YouTube or Vimeo and drop the link here, no need to edit. Looking forward to seeing them!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
to the OP. how was your 16 prior to upgrades. If u did what u did to a 19 do ya think it would blow the 16 away?
just asking as i have a 18 RM. an still thinking of upgrading it, but from what i seen/heard the 19's little more options (stock). i may even wait till the 20's come out.
Reason for this is yrs ago i upgraded my hd an 2 yrs later hd came out with a bigger eng than i got mine up to.
My 2016 RM ran great prior to doing the Stage 3 kit. While the bum-dynometer is rarely calibrated, I think that it ran much like the stock '19 that I rented. Perhaps my wording in the original post wasn't as concise as it should have been. The rental ran well and had reasonably good punch in the lower gears and could make a pass in top gear. It just seemed underwhelming to me mostly because I've been riding a 116 CI Stage 3 Roadmaster for a year now. I guess my expectations have been "upgraded" along with the performance of my engine.
 

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Nice write up, surprised that you felt that much of a difference in acceleration. Have never ridden a RM, but there are people on here stating that the 19'Chieftan leave the older models in the dust that have stage 2/3.
Would love to do some touring in Europe, nice summary again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nice write up, surprised that you felt that much of a difference in acceleration. Have never ridden a RM, but there are people on here stating that the 19'Chieftan leave the older models in the dust that have stage 2/3.
Would love to do some touring in Europe, nice summary again.
Thanks, 'Scout. The more I think about it, the more I am wondering if the European models may have some significant differences compared to the US models.
 

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Being an owner of a 19 SF with the ride modes I can say that mine although not a RM has good power and is not sluggish whatsoever. I do not have to downshift to pass anybody.

Couple of things. 1. Europe models did have restrictor plates for the intake IIRC and something with the exhaust as well to meet their noise/EPA requirements. 2. Was the suspension aired up to support the load you were carrying?

I would say that before you pass judgement on the 19MY power that you ride an American model that is the 49 state legal model.

Glad you had a great trip. When I was stationed in Germany I made several trips to Switzerland and Lucerne on the lake was one of the many highlights of traveling there. Stayed in Lucerne and it was just one of the best places on earth for me.

I will also say that my 19 SF has as much if not more power than my 05 HD Springer that has a big bore kit and great cams in it. The 05 is slightly lighter but being a springer it is heavy by nature.

I think that if you test rode an American 19 or coming up 20 MY bagger you would see the difference.

Maybe I am getting old and my seat of my pants meter needs to be re-calibrated.[oldman][woot][woot]
 

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@theMucker
Great write up. Switzerland on a bike is on my Bucket List. I did not know you could rent a RM.

As for the Go Pro, I received one for Christmas. It can be frustrating. I suggest installing the GoPro software on your computer then upgrading the software on the camera. Mine seemed to work after that. It is NOT intuitive but it does take some awesome pics and vids. The software will allow you to manipulate the videos and as Meggie said, upload them to Youtube.

For creating specific routes on the Ride Command, I use Tourstart found at tourstart.org. It is a fee based mapping product. I think my renewal was $19 for the year.
Create your route and export it using the Garmin format to your PC. Then either upload it to your Indian Rider Command account via web or move it to a USB drive. Take the drive to the bike, insert and upload into Ride Command. Now you have a fixed route in RC. Hint: if you want to reverse your route, as RC does not offer that option, use Tourstart to reverse the route and save it and export it under a new name. There may be better ways to skin this cat, but Tourstart is based in Europe and has good tech support via email.
 

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To the OP, thanks for reply. now i see that out of country bikes are slightly different than ones in usa. I guess it compares to MPG while riding in low verse high altitudes .
An also forgot this. awesome write up on your trip. Memories while riding a bike last forever.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
@theMucker
Great write up. Switzerland on a bike is on my Bucket List. I did not know you could rent a RM.

As for the Go Pro, I received one for Christmas. It can be frustrating. I suggest installing the GoPro software on your computer then upgrading the software on the camera. Mine seemed to work after that. It is NOT intuitive but it does take some awesome pics and vids. The software will allow you to manipulate the videos and as Meggie said, upload them to Youtube.

For creating specific routes on the Ride Command, I use Tourstart found at tourstart.org. It is a fee based mapping product. I think my renewal was $19 for the year.
Create your route and export it using the Garmin format to your PC. Then either upload it to your Indian Rider Command account via web or move it to a USB drive. Take the drive to the bike, insert and upload into Ride Command. Now you have a fixed route in RC. Hint: if you want to reverse your route, as RC does not offer that option, use Tourstart to reverse the route and save it and export it under a new name. There may be better ways to skin this cat, but Tourstart is based in Europe and has good tech support via email.
Thanks, WR. My GoPro 7 Black worked great. It's just the editing software that I find overly complex. All of the software/firmware is up to date. Maybe I'm just not geek-enough.
And if I ever own an Indian with Ride Command, I will look into the software that improves it's use.

For anyone looking to rent a motorcycle away from home, check out Scooter, motorcycle, bicycle rental in 65+ countries | BikesBooking.com
 

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Thanks, 'Scout. The more I think about it, the more I am wondering if the European models may have some significant differences compared to the US models.
Living in California & their regulations on carb/fuel would not be surprised if out of state/countries left me in the dust as well
 

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Hmmm, so I spent a time or two overseas, 21 different countries to be exact and to think that a "rental" motorcycle isnt "detuned" to a point wouldnt really surprise me, who knows you were on the real (US) stock version? Guess we'll never know.
 

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From the opposite side; I rode and owned a Harley in the UK and whilst on holiday in the US I hired a new (at the time) 1690 Ultraglide. The US version was so underpowered it was dangerous, it could not keep up with the flow of traffic on the Freeway and run out of steam on an incline, I was holding up trucks when we came to a hill. My own bike was stage 2 tuned, so like the OP it may be you get used to a tuned motor and a stocker feels flat. Or hire bikes are messed about with to stop them being thrashed to death, who knows?
 

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Isn't the cost for the big bore kit around $5K including labor? i would hope your 16 pulls better than a stock 111, i would feel ripped off doing the BBK if it didn't! you paid for that.

i had a stock 16 and just upgraded to the 19. i agree with you on sport mode. I am still trying to see if i like it but I find the accelerator way too touchy.

great write up. I was stationed in Frankfurt in the 80s.. I rode a Honda 750 Magna throughout Germany and Europe with my new bride on the back. A Honda Magna and no speed limit in Europe.... Those were the days!!
 
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As to EU models (I am in Spain and have one), I do not know about post '16 models, but the EU models at that point in time have the intake more restricted than the US models. That I've confirmed visually. I have read that the exhaust is also somewhat more restricted, so I would assume the mappings are different as well. The dealer also has to specify whether it is EU or not in the digital wrench. My 16 vintage has power for sure, but given the engine size and consumption, the power is a bit underwhelming. There were changes in 18 with the adoption of different standards over here about that time, but I am unaware of exactly what those changes were or their impact on performance.
 
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