Dropped in 2022, Indian Chief Vintage can still be found in some dealerships (new or used) and might be a good deal for someone that is in love with old-school styling, tan leather, and ample chrome channels yesteryear with a custom bent to finish the package. Without further ado, let’s dive into its specs.
Some features of the Indian Chief Vintage take you way back to the 1940’s when motorcycle just started to be equipped with forks frames were most likely to be rigid. The vintage looks is achieved in the front with a full-valence front fender, laced wheels, and whitewalls. The iconic war bonnet rides in chrome up top with a chrome brow at the leading edge of the sheetmetal.
The front forks are equipped with chrome beercan fork skirts that butt up to a chrome headlight nacelle. Halogen pimp lights join the cyclops halogen headlight to really split the night, and LED turn signals make sure your intentions are known to the surrounding traffic.
To complete its impressive looks, the Indian Chief Vintage rocks a large quick-release windshields for rider protection.
A 5.5-gallon teardrop fuel tank houses a chrome tank console composed of a single round speedometerand, an LCD screen, and all the LED indicators. The seat, the pillion pad and the soft-side saddlebags are made of tan leather complete the overall incredible vintage look.
The overall classic look of the Indian Chief Vintage comes from the frame geometry that mimics the old rigid frames. The tubular double-cradle frame supports the engine instead of using it as a stressed member. Both wheels are 16-inchers, and to boost the old-school tourbike look, the front tires are 130/90 and the back tires are 180/65.
Suspensions are…ok: in the front is possible to find 46 mm non-adjustable forks. In fact, the only adjustment in the suspension is the air-preload in the rear shocks that delivers a cushy ride overall, just not a very tweakable one. Suspension travel is 4.7 inches up front with 4.5 inches of travel in the shocks which is definitely near the top of the range for American-style touring bikes. The suspensions might be good for American roads, European roads are a whole another territory.
The brakes are good: the system has ABS and sports a front set of 300 mm brake discs with four-piston calipers, and a rear 300 mm brake disc with a twin-pot caliper.
Indian Chief Vintage beating heart is the Thunder Stroke 116 V-Twin that is basically designed to look dated. The factory put in the extra work to make it look like an old flathead with fauxcooling fins on the rocker-box covers, with exhaust-header routing, and with the parallel pushrod tubes. All this to achieve a look similar to the sidevalve engines.
Do not get fooled by its looks, this engine is equipped with all the 2021 electronic witchcraft: closed-loop fuel injection and a single throttle body controls the fuel-air ratio for both cylinders under the control of the ECM that comes with cruise control and a trio of Ride Modes built in (tour, standard, and sport). The Rear-Cylinder Deactivation feature also comes stock. Rear Cylinder Deactivation kills the rear cylinder at a stop to reduce the waste heat that washes over you when you are idling.
Afterall, the Indian Chief Vintage is one hell of a motorcycle. Despite its weight (it does not exactly compete with light weight motorcycles), it is agile and easy to ride thanks to its incredible engine and its well-designed frame. If you find one, we highly recommend you to grab it.
Ends Cuoio bags
If you own one of this bad boys and want to add to its vintage look, we have a full collection of leather saddlebags for Indian Chief Vintage models.