Indian Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 91 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,793 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am coming up on two years of ownership of my 2017 Chief Vintage. I researched the Indian lineup for months and came to the conclusion that this level of bike best represented the brand, both in history and in style. I finally settled on the red and ivory two-tone combination and went down to El Cajon to make the final deal.

To my surprise, my wife insisted I get a Roadmaster so she could ride with me. That was a difficult situation to be put into, having to say 'no' to a more expensive bike.

But here is the point of the post.

I purchased the Vintage because I wanted a bike I could ride around town, stripped down to Chief entry level and could tour when geared up with saddlebags and a leather trunk. To me, the Vintage represented the best of both worlds.

What I have discovered is that indeed, the Vintage is the best bike for those who need or desire to do both. That said, it does not excel at any one particularly well.

As a naked cruiser, she looks fine. I break her down to the solo seat with grab bar and rear fender bib.
57515821866__FCE175EF-405B-4672-95FE-1310A2C15458.jpeg
57515824127__90EB9AF9-217B-4C20-B032-99B3A760B5D2.jpeg


As you can see, with the Stage Two Fish Tales, the front and rear bumpers, the handlebar bag and fringe, the bike lives up to the memory of the American Indian motorcycle. Notice, the rear crash bars, ala the wife, as well as the rear floor boards for her as well.

As a touring bike, a Roadmaster she isn't. But, as you can see, with the saddlebags, the Boss Leather Trunk bag, and the Sissy bar to match, the bike quickly becomes tour worthy. I replace the solo seat with the heated touring seat (the hardest part is getting the rear rack back on - its a tight fit).
IMG_1111.jpeg
IMG_1227.jpeg


These two photos show the bike with the standard handlebar before I added the Klockwerks Praire bar, (You can see those in the first two photos). Here you see the bike in the back desert in a processional line up with our MC - that's my wife, Cheryl, by the bike. The last photo is on a wooden bridge spanning the mighty Colorado before it disappears into the sands of the desert.

Along the way, I've added Stage Two Cams, Custom Dynamics LED Prolights, rear turn signal lights with the Triple Play, and their engine accent lights. When touring, I attach my GPS to the handlebars. The bike is far from stock and this brings me to my last point.

It took a LOT of money to upgrade the seat, add the trunk, add heated grips, etc. Ultimately, the Roadmaster is a FAR better value. And, the RM is a far better touring bike.

If I could have two bikes, I would. But, due to having a wife, that isn't in the picture just yet. I don't intend to sell the Vintage. Our families generational tradition is to keep bikes until they fall apart, 25 years or more. I find that the Vintage is probably the most versatile of the lineup, the Springfield aside.

Which brings me to my last point. I loved the Springfield. I really looked at it. I understood the problems with leather bags, but because I was also looking for a naked cruiser, the Vintage won out in this department. But the Vintage's long rake. It looks cool. But the Springfield with its shorter rake has it beat in the handling department.

Sorry for such a long post, but I really want to hear from you Vintage owners. What do you think? Do you agree? Is the Vintage the quintessential Indian motorcycle. Are you able to ride both locally and nationally - feeling and believing your bike can do it all?
 

Attachments

·
Silver member
Joined
·
4,972 Posts
What I like about the Vintage is that it is the only bike that has the two-tone paint heritage correct. I hate how they don't two tone the back fender on the bagger versions.

I choose the Springfield for the old school/modern feel. I had never had a hard saddle bag bagger and my 01 Gilroy has the leather bags, two-tone paint, wide white walls with spokes, the 32 degree rake and fringe. So I have the old school feel covered.

However, I still kick myself sometimes for buying black instead of Indian red. I made that decision on a coin toss as I couldn't decide on my own for like two weeks. So I told my Salesman/GM Danny just flip a coins. Heads I buy red. Tails I buy black. True story. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,793 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
What I like about the Vintage is that it is the only bike that has the two-tone paint heritage correct. I hate how they don't two tone the back fender on the bagger versions.

I choose the Springfield for the old school/modern feel. I had never had a hard saddle bag bagger and my 01 Gilroy has the leather bags, two-tone paint, wide white walls with spokes, the 32 degree rake and fringe. So I have the old school feel covered.

However, I still kick myself sometimes for buying black instead of Indian red. I made that decision on a coin toss as I couldn't decide on my own for like two weeks. So I told my Salesman/GM Danny just flip a coins. Heads I buy red. Tails I buy black. True story. ;)
I felt being that I was getting an Indian and wanting an old school look, red and ivory were the only way to go. 2017 was the last year for that deeper red and ivory combination. So iconic. Will it return?
 

·
Silver member
Joined
·
4,972 Posts
I felt being that I was getting an Indian and wanting an old school look, red and ivory were the only way to go. 2017 was the last year for that deeper red and ivory combination. So iconic. Will it return?
Who knows. But I doubt it for a while. They seem to be moving away from the iconic colors the last couple of years. Not one Indian Red available in 2018 or 2019. The trend seems to be this matte shit and darker colors on the shiny paint.

Don't get me wrong I like some of the new colors, but not too many...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,793 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I forgot to add this last point. When fully loaded, the bike, according to my mechanic, really would run better with the air shock. I've had to have both the pulley and the belt changed out due to squeaking issues. I've been told several times that an air shock would be beneficial to the pulley due to the added weight of the trunk and passenger set up.
 

·
Silver member
Joined
·
4,972 Posts
You should put one on. And Indian should change that up one of these days. The Vintage could use a few upgrades...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,541 Posts
I bought a Classic in 2014, primarily because I didn't care for the leather bags on the Vintage. They look excellent, but the leather is very soft and supple (which is great for seats, boots, gloves, and jackets) and I didn't think it would stand up to the way I use saddle bags as I tend to keep them loaded up with tools and other necessary gear. I bought heavy leather aftermarket bags and an Indian windshield, so it's basically a Vintage now. I think it's absolutely the best of both worlds. The longer rake and trail is only an issue in extremely low speed handling, and I can still U-turn on a 2 lane road, but just barely. I've jammed through some of the best twisties in the Ozarks and never held anyone up behind me, and it doesn't seem hard to do. The long rake and trail is actually helpful out on the open road, as the bike is extremely stable and unaffected by cross winds and blasts from trucks. This is the only bike I've ever had a windshield on that isn't pushed around at all by wind. It's my favorite thing about this bike. I can ride it all day in most any conditions without being beat at the end of the ride.
 

·
Silver member
Joined
·
4,803 Posts
Who knows. But I doubt it for a while. They seem to be moving away from the iconic colors the last couple of years. Not one Indian Red available in 2018 or 2019. The trend seems to be this matte shit and darker colors on the shiny paint.

Don't get me wrong I like some of the new colors, but not too many...
Beautiful Vintage, telescopes!! I have my Vintage set up for solo riding. Sometimes bags on, sometimes bags off, depending.... Love the old skool look of the Vintage.

I stopped by a dealer while on the road a few days ago and took a peak at the new 111s. I'm not too impressed with the new colors but some are ok. And I'm not a fan of the black primer as a color, or Harley's primer red as a color LOL. I have the willow green & cream on my '15 Vintage and really dig it. The red & cream on Telescopes bike is great too. If I was gonna buy another Indian, either would do for me, I like them both. Black & cream would be very cool too. Would be a tough choice for me, choosing one of the color combos I mentioned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Great write-up and I had similar reasoning - although I purchased my Vintage in 15 prior to the release of the Springfield, the longer wheelbase drives straight as an arrow on the Highway where I drive most. Engineering is always a compromise, and with the Longer Wheelbase, you will not find yourself meandering so quickly out of your lane, which allows me to relax a bit more and enjoy longer rides on the Highway. Besides, I'm 60+, have no issues handling the beast in turns or in parking lots, and like you, love the stretched out look. My original Fox spring shock would bottom out and clunk from the day I purchased the bike, so Indian offered to replace it with either the spring or air shock under warranty. After riding around 3K miles, my dealer convinced me to go with the air. - that being said, I MUCHLY preferred the feel of the spring shock over the air. The air shock has a quicker return when the air is compressed, no matter what pressure you set it to, so If your spring shock does not clunk, I would keep it. Please post your story on the Vintage forum to this thread created in 2015, Thanks! https://www.indianmotorcycles.net/threads/why-the-vintage.9099/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,793 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Great write-up and I had similar reasoning - although I purchased my Vintage in 15 prior to the release of the Springfield, the longer wheelbase drives straight as an arrow on the Highway where I drive most. Engineering is always a compromise, and with the Longer Wheelbase, you will not find yourself meandering so quickly out of your lane, which allows me to relax a bit more and enjoy longer rides on the Highway. Besides, I'm 60+, have no issues handling the beast in turns or in parking lots, and like you, love the stretched out look. My original Fox spring shock would bottom out and clunk from the day I purchased the bike, so Indian offered to replace it with either the spring or air shock under warranty. After riding around 3K miles, my dealer convinced me to go with the air. - that being said, I MUCHLY preferred the feel of the spring shock over the air. The air shock has a quicker return when the air is compressed, no matter what pressure you set it to, so If your spring shock does not clunk, I would keep it. Please post your story on the Vintage forum to this thread created in 2015, Thanks! https://www.indianmotorcycles.net/threads/why-the-vintage.9099/
Lots of useful information about the spring. Just what I was hoping to learn. I wouldn’t mind posting on the other thread. I looked for a while for an existing thread but couldn’t find one that fit what I was wanting to learn. Not sure the mods would allow me to double post. But I’ll check it out. I agree with your assessment completely.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Max's 57 and Lokni

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,541 Posts
Beautiful Vintage, telescopes!! I have my Vintage set up for solo riding. Sometimes bags on, sometimes bags off, depending.... Love the old skool look of the Vintage.

I stopped by a dealer while on the road a few days ago and took a peak at the new 111s. I'm not too impressed with the new colors but some are ok. And I'm not a fan of the black primer as a color, or Harley's primer red as a color LOL. I have the willow green & cream on my '15 Vintage and really dig it. The red & cream on Telescopes bike is great too. If I was gonna buy another Indian, either would do for me, I like them both. Black & cream would be very cool too. Would be a tough choice for me, choosing one of the color combos I mentioned.
I really don't get the primer look either. I've had younger guys get offended and tell me "it is painted" and "it's old skool" when I ask them what color they want it to be when it's done. :p They seem to think that back in the day we ran around with cars in primer because we thought it was cool. They don't realize that it was just because we didn't have enough cash to make them run AND look the way we wanted, so we spent what we had on performance. We all had dreams of what we wanted them to look like, but seldom actually got to that point before we wrapped them around a pole or stuffed them in a ditch. :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,793 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I
Beautiful Vintage, telescopes!! I have my Vintage set up for solo riding. Sometimes bags on, sometimes bags off, depending.... Love the old skool look of the Vintage.

I stopped by a dealer while on the road a few days ago and took a peak at the new 111s. I'm not too impressed with the new colors but some are ok. And I'm not a fan of the black primer as a color, or Harley's primer red as a color LOL. I have the willow green & cream on my '15 Vintage and really dig it. The red & cream on Telescopes bike is great too. If I was gonna buy another Indian, either would do for me, I like them both. Black & cream would be very cool too. Would be a tough choice for me, choosing one of the color combos I mentioned.
I must admit, like you I love the old school colors. The black and white is also a draw for me as well. I remember seeing the willow and ivory in the state of Washington in 2014. Wow. I also like the orange and white as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Max's 57

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,541 Posts
Lots of useful information about the spring. Just what I was hoping to learn. I wouldn’t mind posting on the other thread. I looked for a while for an existing thread but couldn’t find one that fit what I was wanting to learn. Not sure the mods would allow me to double post. But I’ll check it out. I agree with your assessment completely.
I agree completely about the air shock. I thought it would be an upgrade, so I bought one and put it on my Classic. Rode it a couple of thousand miles to give it a fair test, varied the pressure all over the chart. It never did ride better than the spring, and my back started hurting even more than normal, so it put the old shock back on and am still running it. Back pain relief quickly followed. Much better in my opinion.
 

·
Bronze member
Joined
·
1,148 Posts
As so many have stated, the "Old School" look of the Vintage, especially with FishTail tips and for me, a Hannigan sidecar hopefully in the near future,,,. It was that color combo and the sidecar, or nothing at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,793 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
As so many have stated, the "Old School" look of the Vintage, especially with FishTail tips and for me, a Hannigan sidecar hopefully in the near future,,,. It was that color combo and the sidecar, or nothing at all.
Agreed. Nothing says Indian Vintage better than a two toned Vintage.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jim777

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Lots of useful information about the spring. Just what I was hoping to learn. I wouldn’t mind posting on the other thread. I looked for a while for an existing thread but couldn’t find one that fit what I was wanting to learn. Not sure the mods would allow me to double post. But I’ll check it out. I agree with your assessment completely.
Well - that thread is over 4 years old now, and I forgot about it long ago until I saw your thread. But it does have some good content given the Springfield, RM and Scout were not even around yet. I just updated it to get it going again - yours is a great thread too - need to keep both going!
 

·
Silver member
Joined
·
4,803 Posts
I really don't get the primer look either. I've had younger guys get offended and tell me "it is painted" and "it's old skool" when I ask them what color they want it to be when it's done. :p They seem to think that back in the day we ran around with cars in primer because we thought it was cool. They don't realize that it was just because we didn't have enough cash to make them run AND look the way we wanted, so we spent what we had on performance. We all had dreams of what we wanted them to look like, but seldom actually got to that point before we wrapped them around a pole or stuffed them in a ditch. :rolleyes:
LOL... that is so true!!... been there done that. Put a 383ci and the trans from a wrecked Polara in my '64 Belvedere. Couple days later took out a steel lamp post then bounced over to a maple tree, a block from my dads house. Pops was really pissed at me for that one :oops:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
594 Posts
I have to agree to a point, this summer will be 3 years for me on this 2014 Vintage. I love the leather look and the stance of the Vintage. Around town I am sure there are better bikes, but I have never had a bike that was happier at 70 - 80 mph. Year before last we went to the Dragon, last year central/southern Colorado and it just ate up the miles. Maybe a full fairing is better, but with gloves and jacket I think the difference isn't noticeable...but I have never owned a full dresser, either.
 

·
Rider
Joined
·
797 Posts
Like pablo94, I had a Gilroy Chief - but it was an '03 "bottle cap" (deep red & cream) that I loved and hated but swore I'd never give up. After twelve years I did give her up for a 2015 Vintage (willow & cream) and have never regretted the decision. As the OP says - it can be a lot of rides rolled in to one because it's so easy to detach windshield, bags, passenger seat and sissybar/backrest.

I too wish Polaris/Indian would go back to some of the classic colors like this 1938 Indian 438 . . . at least the duPonts knew paint.



 
1 - 20 of 91 Posts
Top