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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't want to sound so negative but I'm not happy at all with my 16' Chieftain. I've had it a year now, bought it in Sturgis but I moved to the Texas coast last October and since then the bike is rusting faster than I can keep up with it. I had it covered and under a car port for one month last November, when I uncovered it it has so much rust I was shocked. I live 12 miles from the coast so I don't think the salt air had much to do with it, it was just the damp air. Mirror stems rusted, front caliper cover, paint bubbled and rusted, brake disks and mounts rusted badly, exhaust heat shields, mufflers, fork tubes rusting, saddle bag hinges chrome bubbling, tail light chrome bubbling, brake line ends rusting. The dealer has put in a claim but Polaris says that I ;live in a corrosive environment and that out of the good of their heart they will replace SOME of the parts but will not cover any labor. My bike has been sitting at the dealer for a month now while I am disputing the labor.
Honestly, Indian has chose to use some of the cheapest chroming processes and most likely done in China. I have buddies that own HD's here and they do not have rust and corrosion problems. I have elevated this claim and I'm waiting for Indian to respond. Are any others having this problem?
 

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Not a problem on the Florida Gulf Coast.
You should not cover a bike for any length of time. Any bike, anywhere. You are only creating a corrosion greenhouse under that cover where moisture is trapped on surfaces and not disturbed. Add salt and you have a great "patina lab".
 

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I had issues on my 15 RM with rust coming out of the seams where the fenders are spot welded together. The Indian rep told me that was a paint prep issue. My fenders rusted in less than 6 months. Both fenders replaced and no further issues. D
 

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Covering your bike for a short period is ok but in hot humid climates it can be very bad. It helps accelerate the corrosion process as the air can't move and moisture builds up significantly. Sorry it has happened.
 

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Did you have a vented cover or just the one that covers the entire bike. I am in CA. I had a cover for a time on mine, but it was aftermarket and has some vents at the mid point and around the top of the engine and high up near the triple trees. This allowed some air movement to prevent sweating and moisture sticking to the parts.

I agree with some of the other posters it should not be covered for long periods of time in an uncontrolled environment, but yours does sound excessive. If they do fix it. build a nice shed with some vents to protect it. Salty air can move 12 miles pretty easily. I've seen many a bike suffer from that issue out here. Two year old Harleys that look like 10 year old bikes because they live outside in the foggy coastal type or redwood forest type climates.

I hope you get it worked out...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It was a vented cover that I bought with the bike, Indian brand cover. It was under a car port and wasn't getting rained on. If I leave it uncovered and don't ride it for a week the rust just comes right back up again and I keep the bike clean and polished. I had a Victory Kingpin that I traded in on the Indian and it sat outside all time, I rode it to work just about every day and never had rust problems on it. It sat covered a lot in the winter, the only thing that ever got rusty was the front brake disks. I just think the chrome is cheesy on this Indian. Besides the other problems too, the speakers suck, buzzy and cheap. I had them replace the passenger seat because the leather looked bad. The windshield rattles at cruising RPM. When I was riding it to the dealer a few weeks ago the battery light came on as it was over-charging. Just one thing after another. I have owned HD's, Honda's, Yamaha's, Victory's and never had so many problems with a new bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Did you have a vented cover or just the one that covers the entire bike. I am in CA. I had a cover for a time on mine, but it was aftermarket and has some vents at the mid point and around the top of the engine and high up near the triple trees. This allowed some air movement to prevent sweating and moisture sticking to the parts.

I agree with some of the other posters it should not be covered for long periods of time in an uncontrolled environment, but yours does sound excessive. If they do fix it. build a nice shed with some vents to protect it. Salty air can move 12 miles pretty easily. I've seen many a bike suffer from that issue out here. Two year old Harleys that look like 10 year old bikes because they live outside in the foggy coastal type or redwood forest type climates.

I hope you get it worked out...
I lived in Oceanside CA 8 blocks from the ocean for five years, had a Honda Shadow and a Yamaha Virago, Never had any problems with rust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just got off the phone with Polaris CS, they are going to GOODWILL most of the parts but not the labor and the parts have to be installed by the dealer at a cost of about $500!. That is not going to happen, I will trade the bike in and never buy another Polaris. That's after having owned two Polaris ATV's, two Victory's and an Indian. I'm Done.
 

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I don't want to sound so negative but I'm not happy at all with my 16' Chieftain. I've had it a year now, bought it in Sturgis but I moved to the Texas coast last October and since then the bike is rusting faster than I can keep up with it. I had it covered and under a car port for one month last November, when I uncovered it it has so much rust I was shocked. I live 12 miles from the coast so I don't think the salt air had much to do with it, it was just the damp air. Mirror stems rusted, front caliper cover, paint bubbled and rusted, brake disks and mounts rusted badly, exhaust heat shields, mufflers, fork tubes rusting, saddle bag hinges chrome bubbling, tail light chrome bubbling, brake line ends rusting. The dealer has put in a claim but Polaris says that I ;live in a corrosive environment and that out of the good of their heart they will replace SOME of the parts but will not cover any labor. My bike has been sitting at the dealer for a month now while I am disputing the labor.
Honestly, Indian has chose to use some of the cheapest chroming processes and most likely done in China. I have buddies that own HD's here and they do not have rust and corrosion problems. I have elevated this claim and I'm waiting for Indian to respond. Are any others having this problem?
Salt water air.
 

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Just got off the phone with Polaris CS, they are going to GOODWILL most of the parts but not the labor and the parts have to be installed by the dealer at a cost of about $500!. That is not going to happen, I will trade the bike in and never buy another Polaris. That's after having owned two Polaris ATV's, two Victory's and an Indian. I'm Done.
I would image this would happen in that area to any brand. Ask some neighbor before ditching Indian.
 

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I don't want to sound so negative but I'm not happy at all with my 16' Chieftain. I've had it a year now, bought it in Sturgis but I moved to the Texas coast last October and since then the bike is rusting faster than I can keep up with it. I had it covered and under a car port for one month last November, when I uncovered it it has so much rust I was shocked. I live 12 miles from the coast so I don't think the salt air had much to do with it, it was just the damp air. Mirror stems rusted, front caliper cover, paint bubbled and rusted, brake disks and mounts rusted badly, exhaust heat shields, mufflers, fork tubes rusting, saddle bag hinges chrome bubbling, tail light chrome bubbling, brake line ends rusting. The dealer has put in a claim but Polaris says that I ;live in a corrosive environment and that out of the good of their heart they will replace SOME of the parts but will not cover any labor. My bike has been sitting at the dealer for a month now while I am disputing the labor.
Honestly, Indian has chose to use some of the cheapest chroming processes and most likely done in China. I have buddies that own HD's here and they do not have rust and corrosion problems. I have elevated this claim and I'm waiting for Indian to respond. Are any others having this problem?
WELCOME to the forum!!

Sorry to hear about your troubles. Sounds like you have the most rusty bike I've read about. Wonder what's different about your bike compared to say, Houston or Florida riders?

.
 

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I live and ride all the time by the ocean in North Florida. Sure my Vintage gets some rust and corrosion. No more than any of my 5 Harley's. I think for $500 Polaris is steeping up to the plate.
 

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I understand 500 bucks, believe me.
The bigger problem is.....What are they going to replace your rusted parts with?
The very same thing that rusted in the first place.

Honestly, I don't believe ANYONE makes chrome like they used to.
When I lived in New Orleans I learned of a place over on the Northshore after asking around a bunch.
I had to work my way into the operation, it took months to gain their trust.
Finally on a moonless night they blindfolded me and "took me in".

It was a backyard chroming shop that might as well a been a meth lab.
The ground was green and glowed in the dark from all of the chemicals.
I had to leave my parts with small denomination bills.
When my parts were finished they dropped them off at my pad.

I don't know, maybe I dreamed it all.
 

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No problem here in the east coast of south Florida . Here the humidity is kind of high and the weather is hot ... very hot .
My 16 Chieftain is inside the garage , not covered and it is in perfect shape with no rust at all anywhere and the same goes for my Suzuki M109R along it . The chrome in my bike is as far as I can see it , just like new . I have looked up from underneath the fenders to see if I see some rust or any paint deterioration and nothing ... I did fix the front fender light that (by reading a post here in the forum) comes with a smallish rubber "plug thing" that protect and seals the hole where the wires go into the light base and by being too small , water gets inside the light . So, I put Silicone around it and sealed it better . Polaris quality control at its best , lol...
Other than that , my bike is in great shape .
 

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I live in San Diego overlooking the Bay. It is about 4 blocks away and the prevailing wind comes off the ocean and bay. I keep my Chieftain in the garage and don't have any rust. My last one, a 2014 Chieftain was the same, no rust. Do you have any pictures? This definitely does not sound normal.
 

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I found out the hard way that there are two things that will kick your azz real quick.
Swimming pool chemicals and water softener chemicals.
Bad JuJu if you have either of these in your garage.
 

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Just got off the phone with Polaris CS, they are going to GOODWILL most of the parts but not the labor and the parts have to be installed by the dealer at a cost of about $500!. That is not going to happen, I will trade the bike in and never buy another Polaris. That's after having owned two Polaris ATV's, two Victory's and an Indian. I'm Done.
Man, your situation sounds quite abnormal, but if I had everything happen that you say, I'd walk(run) away from Indian and never look back. Sorry to hear. I do think the $500 ain't a bad offer. But man, hold onto your pants, a bike in your condition ain't going to get squat on a trade in...get ready to lose a lot of money.
 

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It was a vented cover that I bought with the bike, Indian brand cover. It was under a car port and wasn't getting rained on. If I leave it uncovered and don't ride it for a week the rust just comes right back up again and I keep the bike clean and polished. I had a Victory Kingpin that I traded in on the Indian and it sat outside all time, I rode it to work just about every day and never had rust problems on it. It sat covered a lot in the winter, the only thing that ever got rusty was the front brake disks. I just think the chrome is cheesy on this Indian. Besides the other problems too, the speakers suck, buzzy and cheap. I had them replace the passenger seat because the leather looked bad. The windshield rattles at cruising RPM. When I was riding it to the dealer a few weeks ago the battery light came on as it was over-charging. Just one thing after another. I have owned HD's, Honda's, Yamaha's, Victory's and never had so many problems with a new bike.
Is it a CLACKER as well I think you have a lemon mate
 

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so I just purchased a new dark horse and am forced to leave my bike outdoors. I am in san diego right on the water and I was thinking of getting a bike cover to protect it from the sun, are guys say I shouldn't cover the bike?
 

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A ton of these bikes rust. I keep seeing people say it's this or it's that but the fact is these are vehicles. Vehicles are meant for all weather conditions. Vehicles should not rust, especially the fenders, within months of coming off the showroom floor. There is a serious problem with the materials Polaris is using. It's not a paint problem, or a location problem, or cover problem, it's a big fat Polaris problem. Other brands do not have fender rust after years, some even sitting out in the weather 24/7. I tell everyone that ask DO NOT BUY ONE OF THESE. And I will continue to say that until Polaris fixes the issue. And if they can not or do not fix it they should shut the brand down.
 
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