Indian Chief is a real icon that, thanks to a unique style and groundbreaking technology, made motorcycle history. Let’s dive into the history of this model capable of tickle every biker’s imagination.
Right after the great success of the Scout (1920), in 1922 Charles Frankin designs what what was going to become Indian flagship, a Big-Twin: The Indian Chief. Since the very beginning, Chief Models gained a fame for strength and reliability. Qualities that granted Chief the role of flagship til the end of production in 1953.
A wide range of Indian Chief models have seen the light in that time frame. The first model released in 1922 inherited it 61ci engine from its predecessor called “Powerplus”. In 1923 Indian introduced a new model called the Big Chief with a 74ci engine, this model was initially meant to be a sidecar, but it has a great success in solo configuration.
The smallest model production terminates in 1928. In 1930 Indian merges with DuPont, whose paint industry connections drastically widened the color range which Indian Chief became famous for throughout the decade.
America great depression hit Indian hard but the company was able to survive and its flagship, the Chief, was rocking the famous “warbonnet” on the tank, a wide color range, and pioneering front brackes that made it stand out for style and performances.
In 1940 another distinctive trait of this model was introduced: the flared fenders. These fenders staid in production until 1942 and, in the meantime, Chief models were also equipped with sprung frames that made them far better than any Harley-Davidson on the market at that time. By the time United States entered World War 2, Harley Davidson was the most selling motorcycle company in the USA but Indian Chief models were the ones distinguishing themselves for quality, durability and prestige.
During post bellic production, the only models coming out Indian production line were Indian Chief. In 1947 the company introduced the illuminated “warbonnet” on the front fender while, during the same years, Indian established the “Wrecking Crew” Factory Racing Team which during the late 40’2 and early 50’s dominated American Racing.
Unfortunately, due to Harley Davidson incredible sales and American buyers turning their interest to the cars market, Indian had to put Chief production temporarily on stand-by in 1949. The Indian Chief was reintroduced in 1950 and rocked telescopic forks. Production continued with problems throughout 1952 and until in 1953 when the last Chief models were produced using remaining parts before liquidation.
In 2011 the company is bought by Polaris and in 2013, among the new models, there also are an Indian Chief Classic and an Indian Chief Vintage rocking flared fenders, an illuminated “warbonnet” on the fender and deep red paint.
2022 Indian Chief: Chief Dark Horse, Chief Bobber Dark Horse e Super Chief Limited
The all new 2022 models, Chief Dark Horse, Chief Bobber Dark Horse and Super Chief, respect the company heritage but have a more modern, cleaner look and are equipped with the best technology available on the market.
These three new Chief models are equipped with:
- Thunderstroke 116 engine
- 46mm front fork
- Adjustable rear shocks
- 15 liters tank
- Led headlight
- Smart key
- 3 riding modes (sport, standard and tour)
- Touch display with Indian Ride Command.
These 3 models have uniqe traits:
the Chief Dark Horse is a minimal single seater equipped with drag style bars and mid mount foot pegs.
Available colors: Black Smoke, Alumina Jade Smoke and Stealth Gray.
the Chief Bobber Dark Horse has a mini ape, low seat, and 16” wire wheels.
Available colors: Black Smoke, Titanium Smoke and Sagebrush Smoke.
the Super Chief Limited is the most accessorized of the three. It is equipped with saddlebags, touring seat, passenger footpegs and windshield.
Available colors: Black Metallic, Blue Slate Metallic and Maroon Metallic.
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