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The Indian Chieftain is a big motorcycle, designed to soak up the miles on the smooth highways of ‘Murica. The star of the show is the new Thunder Stroke engine, a mighty 111 cubic inch (1811cc) monster pumping out 119 ft-lbs of torque.

It’s a remarkably good-looking motor, and it caught the eye of Roland Sands, the man who can do no wrong when it comes to creating genre-bending customs. Sands has now tapped into Indian’s rich motorsport heritage, and slotted the Thunder Stroke into a vintage-style, boardtracker-inspired build: the Indian Track Chief.

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There’s so much detail on this bike, it’s hard to know where to start. The single-side rigid frame is a masterpiece, hugging the engine just-so. It’s hand-fabricated from 4130 chromoly steel, finished in black by Olympic Powdercoating.

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The frame is a perfect match for the black Paughco Leaf Spring Fork assembly, a fascinating contraption designed for customizers who want a vintage look with high-quality, modern construction. Tucked down low on the left side of the fork, near the axle, is a Fox DHX mountain bike shock—a component popular with riders on the World Cup downhill series.

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“It controls the motion of the front end, and works really well,” reports Sands’ project manager Cameron Brewer. “The compression and rebound dampening of the shock is a perfect match to the rate of the leaf spring.”

Sitting above the frame is a hand-fabricated titanium tank; hidden below the frame is an aluminum belly pan. The engine internals are stock but there’s a Roland Sands Design Blunt air cleaner, a high-flow, low-profile fitment that doesn’t get in the way of your leg. The titanium pipes of the custom 2-into-2 exhaust system follow the lines of the V-twin snugly, and terminate in RSD Slant mufflers.

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For more check it out here: Roland Sands x Indian: "Track Chief" | Bike EXIF
 

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Coincidentally, Roland Sands had done some work with the BMW R Nine T, the bike I was just about to buy UNTIL Indian introduced the Scout at Sturgis (yes, I did a First Runn Scout order). Sands is fantastic and his BMW rendition was nice, but this Indian is awesome! I think a lot of Indian fans are waiting to see the many custom bikes that will be done with a new Indian platform. I'm very anxious to see what will be done with the new Scout engine etc!
 
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