Indian Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! I've owned at least 15 Harley's over the years from the Evo in 1985 to my last a 2012 Road King Classic. To be honest the HD weak engine, crappy suspension, top heavy steel mass of these machines has gotten old.

I'm considering either a Vintage or Chieftain

Harley riders please give me your opinion of the Indian line compared to HD's.

Thanks

Dave in Montana
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
My previous bikes: sportster, heritage softail, street glide, road glide

Not that i didnt like any of my harleys, they were great bikes.

But I fell in love with the pics of the new Indians, the Chieftain to be exact.

So read the reviews, all were good. Love the old school looks with modern technology.

I went as far as trading in the road glide on a chieftain without even being able to look at one.

But I am so happy with taking the leap of faith.

LOVE THIS BIKE. Some of the reasons so far. I sit lower to the ground, the bike has a lower center of gravity - does not feel like a 800lb bike, engine does not vibrate like harleys, the adjustable windshield is the greatest, having just one directional switch on the left side is so much better ( took alittle getting used to ), The remote locking hard saddle bags, keyless starting, a 12volt charging outlet in right saddle bag, has plenty of power, sounds good stock, Looks awsome !!!

I have less than 1000 miles on it so far, but we just did a 500 mile trip this past weekend and it performed wonderfully.

I would highly recommend the Chieftain, its the complete package
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I am "on the fence" too. Never wanted to buy a first year model anything. Too many gremlins , not enough dealers for touring. People tell me they ride Hondas and Yamahas anywhere anytime but those bikes have been made for along long time and are rock solid by now. I do the same on the Harley and Honda

Seems to me Polaris is letting buyers "beta test" their electronics. Most of them seem ok but there are too many threads with gremlins on the Indian sites. Harley may have issues as well but there is always a place to have them repaired close by. The Honda never needed a dealer for anything but maintenance

Would love one bike that does it all. Local, Touring and has somewhat of a social following as well an Owner's Group to chat with, learn from and go on rides.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
It's been 24 hours since I posted my question. I had one reply from a new Chieftain owner and thank you for that! Then the third response is from a guy like me.

One would think I would by now have many of folks responding one way or the other by now!

Kind of confusing the lack of energy in feed back!

One thing though, these bikes came out right before winter and no one ones one yet with enough experience to reply??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
go ride one I have 1999 chief and 2006 hd bagger got 2014 chief in late oct last year I test rode at blacks hills rally two times sold me ordered it and have 875 miles on it love the bike lots of power great handleing very glad I got the bike just go try one out have fun with it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
go ride one I have 1999 chief and 2006 hd bagger got 2014 chief in late oct last year I test rode at blacks hills rally two times sold me ordered it and have 875 miles on it love the bike lots of power great handleing very glad I got the bike just go try one out have fun with it
This is my problem. I live in Montana and the closest dealer is Salt Lake. If I buy one it will be sight unseen so feedback is very important!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
I have a "Classic", not a Chieftain, so I'm really not a candidate for responding to your inquiry.......

Nonetheless, here is something for you to put into you "considerations".....

For me personally.....Indian is selling too many bikes........I got into Victory's in 2006 and between my wife (she rides about 25K per year) and me, we've owned about 15 of them.........I mention them because they are "bullet proff" (like the "honda's" that were refered to) and like it or not the "context" for Indian, is the same as Victory......no matter how hard Polaris wants to present them as distinct bikes........

I traded my Victory for an Indian because of my confidence in Victory.......

Amazingly, I think Indian is even better that the Victory.....

Or in other words, if what's keeping you on the fence is "trouble free" reliability...........get off the fence........

Yes, the will be this guy or that with this problem or that.......but...........I'd say your very likely to have a wonderful, trouble free bike if you get an Indian.....I would buy mine again and again

Now, here's the crazy part..........I'm not crazy about the fact that Indian has been selling as well as it has.......

I love having a unique bike (which is the way it was with Victory, in the early years)

So I actually hope you guys stay on the fence for years.........cuase Polaris has lot's of cash, the stock is strong and they are going to stay with the brand regardless.........

But the last thing I want is to see Indians everywhere..........I see Harley's everywhere and now even Victory's are showing up everywhere..........

I want to have a bike that isn't on everystreet and every street corner...

I hope it takes a loooong time for people to accept that this is a GREAT motorcycle...........

Think it over for another couple of years and come up with more and more reasons why you should wait.........works great for me.........

I just ride and smile........haven't seen another Indian on a ride yet...........and I'd like to be saying that for as long as possible........
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
I have had 8 Harleys over the years, from chopped Sportsters in the '70's to FL's, Heritage Softail, and lastly 08 Ultra Classic. traded my 08 Ultra with 55,000 miles on a new Cheiftain 2 weeks ago. Have a little over 700 miles on it and love it. Most of the gremlins I've read about, and experienced on bikes I took for demo ride, were computer related and have been non-existent on my bike (software updates that fixed problem). New model year Harleys go through the same scenario. The only issues I have had were .. left handlebar grip had slight movement, and one saddlebag lid had some fore and aft play. Both were fixed at 500 mile service. Can't wait to ride it more, now that it is mostly broken in. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
It's been 24 hours since I posted my question. I had one reply from a new Chieftain owner and thank you for that! Then the third response is from a guy like me.
One would think I would by now have many of folks responding one way or the other by now!
Kind of confusing the lack of energy in feed back!
One thing though, these bikes came out right before winter and no one ones one yet with enough experience to reply??
Biggs,, chill baby. you posted on a holiday for some/many/most. Not everybody is glued to their I-devices.
to give reply to your specific questions;
i own, ride muey hardleys. My 07 electraglide served me well 5yrs, 70k smiles. butt the engine was growling the last 20k, I do meticulous maint. she was gonna need some serious coin, I let her go and moved on. this is the bike you need feedback comparison.
oct 13 did ****** fly n ride to Nebraska p/u my chieftain. First leg two days to Indy show my bro (cut teeth on ****** 50s) oil change. Pulled out over to Va hopped up on the BlueRidge. South 2 days to Asheville NC. rain in the mtns time to head west. Nashville Tn jumped on the Natchez Trace south to Jackson Ms. 9 days time to wrap this up, jumped I-20 west to Texas, put her up next to my other 3 bikes.
Synopsis; 10 daze lil over 3k smiles. She is gold. I did lots of long legs on my EG is wat she was bilt for. My ***** CT is all that and more. currently sitting on 4k smiles, yes it's been a bizy winter. All is wunderbar in ***** territory.
More details later, it's Easter and fambly is calling. Poncho
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
This is my problem. I live in Montana and the closest dealer is Salt Lake. If I buy one it will be sight unseen so feedback is very important!
biggs,, many of us did similar.. i put up large depo 3 months b4 the unveiling.. nearest dealer was Lincoln, Ne. they ran a matching down payment non refundable. I knew I was gonna buy at least the basic bike for 19k. when I saw the big chief august. is when I ordered that model. you got to have some faith in your life. heck you do it all the time with them hardleys you are getting tired of. polaris makes some good motors with their vic's. they aint goin nowhere. Yes we ride our jap bikes all over this globe w/o dealers in every nook and cranny.. cuz we dont need em. too bad hardley cant say the same. I have all the confidence in these new ***** motors. they are metric. design and bilt. when you wrench on both hd's and everything else, you soon see the diff.. we dont need a dealer at every town on the map.. except for the shirts? poncho
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Not sure where in Montana your from, but sounds like the Victory dealer in Bismarck, ND is putting up a new store, possibly he will carry the Indian line. I have only driven a Harley about 6 miles total, and have never owned one. I have an 05 Kingpin, and loved every mile of the 44 thousand I put on it. Maintenance, and accessories are the only things I've done to it. I have a new Chieftain, have 1300 miles on it. Went on a demo ride last Aug. in Fargo, I rode 2 Chieftains, one with stage 1 and one stock. The only thing I new after riding both was that I was definitely getting the stage 1. I seemed to be a little more cramped up on the Indian, but after a couple of days on the new bike, I didn't even notice. I don't think you could go wrong buying one. There is a place in Vegas where they rent Indians, Bing it, it should give you the name. What every you do enjoy the ride. Eagle Rider rentals in Vegas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Yup, I thank each and everyone of you posters for the feedback! To me warranties, the name, Victory. Polaris etc. doesn't mean a rats ass. I just want to know this new bike I spend $22000 on will out perform, out handle, out ride, be better suspension etc. etc. than my favorite bikes to date being HD's.

I am tired of the Harley line up and need a replacement after almost 30 years of loyalty. HD's are like lawn mowers, everbodys got one!

I love the fit and finish, design, attention to detail, value etc. of the Indian line. I'm not a victory guy so it's my hope that Indian has something special to offer!

I need prior HD folks to chime in on things like the power differences, sound, torque, American brand build etc. Harley's have always been my choice of ride but anymore there suspensions suck, power is old, everyone's got one is old etc.

any comments welcome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I dont want to detract from this website, hell I am a member of it too, but go over to Chief Motorcycle Forum - Indian Motorcycles, become a member and post the same question. That site has been around longer than this one and seems to be more active from the membership. I am a member of both sites. Both sites have their pros and cons. This site is a splinter site from theVOG.net. I look at all of them to maximize the information I am looking for. There is also a bunch of info on Indians on theVOG.net. I know the HD vs Indian discussion has taken place, you just have to search for it.

I cant answer your question, sorry. Never rode HD. Rode Honda's, then Victory for several years, now a Chieftain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I traded my 08 ElectraGlide Classic on a Chieftain w/o even riding it. One look at that bike and I bought it and have not looked back. Differences: Indian sets lower. Nice to stop and put both feet flat on the ground. Indian tracks much better, taking on the twisties is effortless! When I need to pass, used to have to downshift, sometimes to 4th; now I just hit the throttle and go. You have to get used to "standing out in the crowd". Everywhere you go the bike draws attention , lots of comments and questions and always a conversation. I had owned a Harley for a long time & was used to being part of a "family". Oddly, I do miss that a little.

The lack of dealer support may be a problem, I just don't know yet. I'm nearly 200 miles from the nearest one. I do have a trusted mechanic that I really trust so that will help. I have 2500 miles on it and absolutely no problems yet. The bike runs flawlessly and I have complete faith in it. I never tire of the look of the bike. It is a joy to clean it up after a ride. I don't regret my purchase and haven't looked back. Now, maybe someday I'll buy another Harley, but just as a spare!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the replies and support! One thing that resonates throughout is everyone seems to love the fit, finish, look and ride of the Indian. My beef with Harley is the crappy out dated rear suspension. My other bike is a BMW R1200RT and you talk about a wonderful suspension on a bike BMW nailed it. I think I'm leaving Harley mostly over that!

Now for the Indian at first hearing about the torque of the 111 I concluded it would tromp a Harley but looking at some data I'm reading they are neck and neck in the 1/4 mile.

Indian owners what are the performance differences felt between the two? Also is the Indian engine buzzy Goldwingy or can you feel the power pulses?

Oh yes....maintenance wise Harley have the do it yourself 3 holes (engine, trans and primary) all using same weight oils. Does Indian have similar set up?

thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Yup, I thank each and everyone of you posters for the feedback! To me warranties, the name, Victory. Polaris etc. doesn't mean a rats ass. I just want to know this new bike I spend $22000 on will out perform, out handle, out ride, be better suspension etc. etc. than my favorite bikes to date being HD's.
I am tired of the Harley line up and need a replacement after almost 30 years of loyalty. HD's are like lawn mowers, everbodys got one!
I love the fit and finish, design, attention to detail, value etc. of the Indian line. I'm not a victory guy so it's my hope that Indian has something special to offer! I need prior HD folks to chime in on things like the power differences, sound, torque, American brand build etc. Harley's have always been my choice of ride but anymore there suspensions suck, power is old, everyone's got one is old etc.
any comments welcome!
biggs, I'd been thinking about your earlier questions and came up with the thought that you were really asking what it was like to have sex with a different woman.. well hell, bro, nobody is either gonna give it to you or give it to you straight. you gotta do the deed by your lonesome to get the real skinny on how she can shake your bones..

butt, for the sake of the minions, (harley world is full of em), heres a stab at it;
power is power its all about the same, maybe a little more, not enough to get up and dance for.
Tork, well its got a bunch, but so does the hardley 110s.. not near as much as my 125ci-145ft/lb softail.. but it still will pull like a truk.
smooth, yep its smooth. its got counterbalancers just like hardley ridgid mount softails.. its smoother.. kinda sewing machine smooth.. nuthing like our rubber mount FLH's.
buzz, yep thers some buzz.. at speed 75-80 (sweet spot) rpms 2500-3000 first the right handy bar will put your hand to sleep. at 80 the right footboard sings a song.

itsa ridgid mount motor in an aluminum frame. The motor is the backbone and all the frame members (5-modular) bolt to the motor. so whatever the motor is doing your gonna feel it.
handy bars can be quieted down with dead end weights in the end of the bars.
footboards can use another 1/2" of rubber float to shut them up.. that would be 12mm in metric terms.

Suspension, tho its not a Beemer, it is 100years beyond anything hardley is putting on the street. It has a Progressive Link suspension (1) under the seat. it is air adjustable. It has 5 inches (120mm) of road absorbing travel and did I mention it is Progressive(not the bad kind you find in DC) so the back end is quite stable, manageble, trackable, dial in your preference. for a 850lb bagger, she is VERY tite in the twisties. Bend her over and Bang her. She wont wobble on you wanting to go a diffrent direction, "more.. give me more is that all you got big boy"? she is barking back at you. hey its your post - you asked for it.

Front suspension is good and steering is light and trackable, its not your beemer, its a big horse with good manners. Anybike, Every bike, you have to spend time with and learn what she likes, what she doesnt, and dial her in to what worx for the two of you... but you already know that. you cant just buy a perfect motorcycle no more than you can find the perfect woman.. they dont exist.

Oil, yep. 5 qts of the good stuff. not like your other girlfriend, this ones only got just one hole for you to play with. well there are two drain plugs, sump and clutch. butt its all the same stuff..
Primary is gear driven. no chains. no slop. she is a Tite little package like the babes were back in high skool.. not like that 100yr old gramma you been bangin, three part assembly, loose as a cow pie on the prairie,, with a wagon wheel rut down the middle.
Tranny is helical all but first. Butter smooth 6 banger.

****** are/will become the same pool of minions that the herd of hardleys already is.. If you want to wear the badge, you have to pony up.. nothing new under the sun.

if you really just want your own brand, your bike, your way.. you need to suffer some more and build the bike thats inside of you.. pick the motor, the heart that beats your pulse, then build Your bike around that.. pretty or not, doesnt matter.. its yours, its you. thats all that matters. now go ride her. ponchout
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top