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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don’t have an Indian yet. My heart is lusting for a Vintage or a Springfield, but my brain is worried about conflicting information I get about regular maintenance, like tire replacements and such.

A couple of sources, including an Indian dealer, say Indian bikes use a proprietary tire size and tube. And only Indian makes tires and tubes that work on their bikes. Naturally this is a huge red flag. If it’s true, Indian can charge whatever they want for their special tire. And if they drop support, I’ll be riding a $20,000+ bike on the rims when the tires go. ?

But I’m also seeing threads on here where people discuss different brands of tires to use on their Indians. So why is the dealer telling me other brands won’t work? And is there any reason a regular non-Indian motorcycle shop can’t replace the tires themselves with a brand they stock? Or does the job require specialized tools that only Indian dealers have?
 

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Believe it or not, the dealer man will sometimes lie :eek: There are several brands of tires that will work on the Indian, just as they will any other moto. Tubes from the dealer are a total $crew job. I plan to replace the front tire on my '15 Vintage after this riding season so I'll be looking for an after market tube that will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Believe it or not, the dealer man will sometimes lie
?
And I would totally understand why if I already owed the bike and needed a new tire right then and there.

But I was expressing my concern to him about buying the bike because somebody had said they needed to buy a $450 proprietary Indian tire because nothing else would fit. You’d think the dealer would switch into “You can throw any tire on these bikes“ mode.

I’m going to have to ask my local shop if they have any experience with routine maintenance for Indians. For major jobs, I’d use a proper Indian shop. But for basic stuff, I’d prefer to use the shop within walking distance from my home.
 

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Good luck finding an Indy shop that works on Indians, I've looked and asked around, and not had any luck. The current Indians have only been on the market for 6-7 years. Not like so many of the other brands that have been around for lots'n lots of years.

Tires - Not too long ago a member on this site mentioned an after market source for a tube that would fit/work on an Indian 111 bike, not sure which model. Maybe said member will spot this thread and chime in. Or you could try the search function.

I bought my '15 Vintage pre-loved a little over a year ago. It is my 1st Indian and I haven't had to deal with tires, yet. But I've had plenty of tires replaced on various Harleys. With my HDs I've always just taken the wheel/tire off and taken it to a trusted shop to have the tire/tube replaced. I'd buy the shop tire if they had what I wanted, and if not I'd have the shop order the tire, or just buy one from another source.... whichever was priced right. Sometimes I'd have to pay the shop a few bucks extra for a tire, But I never minded that, as long as I wasn't getting gouged. Indy needs to make a buck too.

In +,- 50 years of riding I've never taken a bike to a shop to have maintenance or repairs done. But I've been pretty lucky in that I've never had a serious issue with any of my bikes, other than a used and abused 1952 Pan I bought about 40 years ago... the engine needed some serious TLC LOL. And I'll be taking my Vintage to a dealer for stage 2 cam install when some of the snow melts. I don't have the "special tools" needed for the cam install plus it will need to be reflashed, so not much choice.
 

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I'd say tire life depends on ride style and tire brand. I bought my Vintage with about 6,400 miles on it. Seller said the rear was new, replaced after it found a roofing nail a couple months previous to the sale. Bike now has just over 10K on it. Front tire looks about 1/2 worn. Tread is ok for now but I'm sure it will be time to renew by the end of this coming riding season.
 

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I might get 2 or 3 riding seasons on a set of tires. My odometer mileage varies from year to year.
 

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A couple of sources, including an Indian dealer, say Indian bikes use a proprietary tire size and tube. And only Indian makes tires and tubes that work on their bikes.
There could be a kernel of truth in what he's saying, but he's misrepresented it.

When the Scout came out Indian had Kenda make OEM tires for it that had the Indian logo on the sidewall. They looked good (if you like the logo everywhere) but performance was average and many riders didn't like their wet weather behavior. Changing to a different brand was no problem. It wasn't a size/tube thing, it was the Indian logo on them that made them dealer only.

On the TS111 bikes the stock Dunlops were a size that not all brands made. When I changed to Night Dragons it went from a 65 profile to 60 - I think I have those numbers right. As different brands put out a new tire they might not do the whole range in the beginning but build up over time. This means that some brands might not make a tire in the OEM size. That doesn't stop you from getting a close enough equivalent.

Sometimes dealers have it wrong in their own head, other times they outright lie, and sometimes they probably take a guess rather than say they don't know.
 

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Another thought -- It's only the spoked wheels that need tubes, most bikes these days run tubeless. And once again, close enough is good enough for a tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, guys. So am I correct assuming the Springfield doesn’t use tubes since that bike doesn’t have spoked wheels?

I’m currently still on my first bike—A 2003 Honda Shadow ACE750. It has been completely trouble free all these years. On the other hand, my wife has an Audi car, which is a horror story. Every couple thousand miles, a warning indicator lights and it’s at least $1,000 to fix. And a lot of Indy shops don’t know how to service it.

So I’m trying to get an idea of what an Indian is like to live with. Will it be easy like my Honda? Or trouble like my wife”s Audi? Report of $450 tires was one big red flag. But it seems at least the tire situation is manageable after all.
 

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A couple of sources, including an Indian dealer, say Indian bikes use a proprietary tire size and tube. And only Indian makes tires and tubes that work on their bikes.
Absolutely not true the back tire on my 2018 RM is the same as the Goldwing. You can get a tire cheaper from other sources than the dealer. I change my tires so this means I can buy a tire and have it mounted and balanced for less than buying the tire from the dealer. Dealer price $265 rear internet price $221 $28 mounting and balance.

Spokes = tube
mags = tubeless
 

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Thanks, guys. So am I correct assuming the Springfield doesn’t use tubes since that bike doesn’t have spoked wheels?

I’m currently still on my first bike—A 2003 Honda Shadow ACE750. It has been completely trouble free all these years. On the other hand, my wife has an Audi car, which is a horror story. Every couple thousand miles, a warning indicator lights and it’s at least $1,000 to fix. And a lot of Indy shops don’t know how to service it.

So I’m trying to get an idea of what an Indian is like to live with. Will it be easy like my Honda? Or trouble like my wife”s Audi? Report of $450 tires was one big red flag. But it seems at least the tire situation is manageable after all.
Other than dealer network (or lack there of) Indian is no more difficult to live with than other brands. That said, performing your own maintenance, such as oil changes and the like, is way cheaper to do yourself than taking the bike to the dealer. And the cost of OEM add on goodies/farkles is a total screw job. But the after market seems to be catching up. Example... I wanted rear crash bars for my Vintage. Dealer price was somewhere in the $300 range (I don't remember exactly). I bought a set off Ebay for around $65.00. Prolly came from China but fit and finish is perfect (OEMs are probably China made too, so...). I replaced the rear passenger pegs with floorboards that I bought used from a member here, they cost about 1/2 the price of new and were in excellent condition.

Question.... do you plan to buy used or pre-loved?
 

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So I’m trying to get an idea of what an Indian is like to live with. Will it be easy like my Honda? Or trouble like my wife”s Audi?
You will get both from all manufacturers. when buying a vehicle you are really throwing the dice if you will. That's why we have lemon laws.
 

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Thanks, guys. So am I correct assuming the Springfield doesn’t use tubes since that bike doesn’t have spoked wheels?

I’m currently still on my first bike—A 2003 Honda Shadow ACE750. It has been completely trouble free all these years. On the other hand, my wife has an Audi car, which is a horror story. Every couple thousand miles, a warning indicator lights and it’s at least $1,000 to fix. And a lot of Indy shops don’t know how to service it.

So I’m trying to get an idea of what an Indian is like to live with. Will it be easy like my Honda? Or trouble like my wife”s Audi? Report of $450 tires was one big red flag. But it seems at least the tire situation is manageable after all.
The Springfield is tubeless. Tubeless also makes it possible to have the tire pressure sensor system. If there's a tube there is no TPMS.

I've had Indian bikes since 2016, first a Scout and now the Springfield. I've had no real problems with either, but there has been some minor warranty issues - speedo replacement on the Scout, broken clutch cable at 50,000 kms on the Springfield.

In the time I've been on the forum there have been almost no riders who have had continuing problems, perhaps one or two. A forum search might show them up but I don't know what search terms would take you there.
 

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Drag specialties sells a tube for the rear.indian just has a larger hole for the stem.aftermarket tubes come with a little washer that goes over the tube inside the hole.
Or get a tubeless kit that seals the spokes and you can run tubeless.,some folks don't like them, but things have gotten better in the last few years and they work well.
Or you can reuse your tube, there's no reason to keep changing your tube.
I have a Harley with the same tube through multiple tires.i even put a patch on it years ago on Arizona on the way through.
I run a car tire with a tube with ride on inside the tube,works for me.
You can have endless possibilities due to the common size 16 rim.
You can even lace Harley rims on them,(ducking bullet's)
 

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Should have said I have a 15 vintage,with over 30000 miles,car tire and same tube on the rear.
Front wast changed due to a flat.
I think the tube is around 16 bucks.
 

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Tires & tubs are standard HD / Indian Tire sizes
My last purchase for my D-H was:

Front American Elite 130/90HB-16 Wide White Sidewall Tire - 45131520
Part # 544380 $165.82

Rear American Elite 180/65HB-16 Wide White Stripe Tire - 45131150
Part # 544384
$223.56

Tubes are:
Contact Dennis Kirk on line, PN H53-008 Tube/Side Metal Valve (Front Tire) Mfg. Part Number DS181227(Drag Specialties)
PN H53-008 Tube Side Rubber Valve (Rear Tire) Mfg. Part Number DS181226 (Drag Specialties)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks for all this info, guys.
Question.... do you plan to buy used or pre-loved?
Most likely new, unless I find a used deal I can’t refuse. I’d still have to test drive a few models. I’m leaning toward Vintage or Springfield. But I want to check the Challenger, too. Im on the mailing list for demo days info.
Drag specialties sells a tube for the rear.indian just has a larger hole for the stem.aftermarket tubes come with a little washer that goes over the tube inside the hole.
Or get a tubeless kit that seals the spokes and you can run tubeless.,some folks don't like them, but things have gotten better in the last few years and they work well.
Or you can reuse your tube, there's no reason to keep changing your tube.
I have a Harley with the same tube through multiple tires.i even put a patch on it years ago on Arizona on the way through.
I run a car tire with a tube with ride on inside the tube,works for me.
You can have endless possibilities due to the common size 16 rim.
You can even lace Harley rims on them,(ducking bullet's)
Great to know. Thanks. ?
And the cost of OEM add on goodies/farkles is a total screw job. But the after market seems to be catching up.
yeah looking through the accessories page was another red flag. ? Maybe I can find a <$700 sissy bar aftermarket.

In the time I've been on the forum there have been almost no riders who have had continuing problems
That’s something I’ve noticed, too. This forum seems to move slowly, which is a good sign. People are out riding instead of on here complaining. When people aren’t happy, it’s all over the internet.
 

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If you get a vintage,the lower vented fairings for Harley fit the vintage crash bars .the trunk does as well ,as long as you have a rack to mount it.
eBay has some great deals.
Hard bags as well.
 
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