Each bike is hand-painted over a assiduous 25-hour action and aback hand-painting is usually allotment of a bound copy run, in this respect, Indian brings a top-shelf accomplishment to the every-rider category.
As usual, the branch does a abundant job of affiliation the old with the new on the Chieftain Elite, and appropriate abroad that’s credible in the affection but cut-down advanced fender that hails aback to the ’20s and the archetypal war beanie fender accessory that takes us aback to the ancient years of this American marque. Cast auto add a avant-garde blow amid chrome bend lowers, and up top, archetypal beer-can bend skirts do their bit to blow on the ’40s while confined the applied purpose of befitting the abutting bend tubes apple-pie and chargeless from seal-destroying grit.
The archetypal allowance appearance looks like it aloof got aback from the fat acreage with a trimmer attending that omits the driving-light area for a attending that’s not absolutely clashing Harley-Davidson’s new Batwing fairing, so it fits appropriate into the American market. As for the palette, Indian clads the Chieftain Elite in Wildfire Red Candy over a high-gloss and sparkly Thunder Black Vivid Crystal, and anniversary assemblage is hand-painted over a assiduous 25-hour action to accomplish anniversary bike unique. It’s account pointing out that hand-painted units are usually allotment of a bound copy run, so in this respect, Indian brings a top-shelf accomplishment to the every-rider category.
Vents in the face of the allowance abate the exhaustion abaft the bottle to advice abbreviate that boring head-buffet effect, and the windshield comes with push-button adaptability so you can calmly bite in the acme to suit. Inside the allowance wings you’ll acquisition the advanced brace of weatherproof speakers on either ancillary of the seven-inch Thin Film Transistor touchscreen that acts as an interface for the Ride Command arrangement forth with annular analog gauges for the speedo and tach. A analogous brace of speakers are army in the lids of the adamantine sidebags to bear the appurtenances from the 100 Watt complete system. The arrangement comes with an AM/FM receiver, Bluetooth connection, and USB charger. Additionally, the arrangement will arrangement with your smartphone to use it as a carriageable jukebox so you can aqueduct in your admired tunes, and if you bounce for the helmet-mounted headset, you can acreage hands-free buzz calls on the road. Detailed cruise information, weather, and aeronautics circuit out the infotainment features, and buyers of new 2020 Chieftain Elite can attending advanced to a two-year Connected Service plan chargeless of charge.
The 5.5-gallon ammunition catchbasin defines the flyline as it acclaim slopes bottomward to the low saddle that slings your base at alone 25.6 inches off the arena for accomplished rider-machine affiliation and accessible admission to the ground, alike for riders with beneath inseams. The pillion’s accessory is rather chaste and humble with fold-up footpegs and a array of Mustang-style bench that peters out over the rear fender in such a way that it contributes to a abandoned look, which is absolutely befitting of a bagger. All about LED lighting ensures that you can see and be seen, and the rear lights ride on a archetypal ablaze bar over the down-low plateholder that finishes the accessory in the rear.
Far from banausic in the corners, this bike is maneuverable and acquisitive to dive into the turns.
Welded tubular-steel associates accomplish up the double-downtube/double-cradle anatomy that delivers an old-school attending on the Chieftain Elite while it supports the new agent and protects the cases with its basal rails. A able-bodied council arch sets a rake bend of 25 degrees that works with the 19-inch advanced caster for 5.9 inches of aisle over a 65.7-inch wheelbase, and this gives the Chieftain Elite a angular bend of 31 degrees if you accept the assumption for it. Far from banausic in the corners, this bike approaches the Honda Gold Wing in its maneuverability and alacrity to dive into the turns.
Rwu advanced forks run with a 46 mm abutting tube bore for backbone but bear a boilerplate ride with no adjustments at all. In the rear, air-adjustable shocks bear a costly ride like alone air can, and the abeyance biking measures at 4.7 inches up advanced and 4.5 inches out back. Cast auto alternating blackout and able aluminum for a bit of bling beneath way, and the 19-inch advanced caster is accompanied by a 16-inch rear with Dunlop Elite hoops in a 130/60 adverse a 180/60.
Dual, 300 mm discs and four-pot calipers apathetic the advanced caster with addition 300 mm disc out aback that has a twin-piston ballast and all-around ABS aegis as allotment of the banal package.
With the new Thunder Achievement 116 engine, you can calculation on low-stress canoeing and a apparatus that has article to accord at any point in the rev range.
Now for the brilliant of the show. Indian’s new Thunder Achievement 116 agent packs in addition bristles cubic-inches over its 111 adaptation for a absolute displacement of 1,900 cc. That’s appropriate folks, the new comminute is blame two liters for your benumbed enjoyment. It delivers a whopping 126 pound-feet to exhausted alike Harley’s Milwaukee-Eight 117, alike if alone by a distinct pound-foot (claimed, on both accounts). Best of all, it develops this abundant balance at a low 2,900 rpm, so you can calculation on low-stress canoeing and a apparatus that has article to accord at any point in the rev range.
The 103.2 mm bore and 113 mm achievement accord it a compression arrangement of 11-to-1 – exceptional gas country – but that’s the bulk for that stump-pulling torque. Like the antecedent generation, the Thunder Achievement 116 is adequately capital with closed-loop ammunition bang in a single, 54 mm burke body, and a capricious Ability Approach affection as the alone ride-quality control. One affair that is different to the marque is the Rear-Cylinder Deactivation affection that kills the rear jug aback you’re dabbling at a stop in a bid to abate the calefaction ablution acquainted by the rider, and it makes the alteration assimilate the new lump.
As always, the visuals are above analyze as the branch took accomplish to approach the attending of yesteryear with faux cooling fins on the rocker box covers and alongside pushrod tubes that actor the old flathead engines, and this accurate agglomeration sports red tubes to added accentuate the look. Not that top acceleration should bulk that abundant on such a bike, but you can calculation on 115 mph if you wind it all the way to the rev limiter in sixth gear, which is the top accessory in this accurate transmission.
MSRP on the 2020 Chieftain Elite is $35k, a affluence bulk for a affluence ride.
Base bulk on the 2020 Chieftain Elite will set you aback a absolute of $34,999, but if you’re into the customizing game, the branch provides abounding befalling to airship the sticker with a abounding ambit of accessories.
Harley’s RDRS arrangement packs an cyberbanking punch, but you’ll pay for that at the checkout adverse to the tune of added than five-grand in bulk difference.
It’s adamantine to brainstorm activity across for a acceptable antagonist for the Indian Chieftain Elite, so I went for some Milwaukee adamant in the anatomy of the CVO Street Glide. To be fair, Harley-Davidson has a bit of a aperture in its lineup, but aback Indian brought its A-game, I ample why not go for the top shelf all the way around.
Harley leads off with a agnate affection fender on the CVO Street Glide that rocks cut-back abandon to leave a acceptable appearance of the advanced caster but is rather apparent adjoin the iconic war beanie that decorates the Chieftain Elite. The Batwing allowance is additionally pared bottomward with a chopped windshield to complete the aegis admitting it’s anchored in acme and thus, avalanche abbreviate of its adversary.
H-D’s Boom! GTS Infotainment Arrangement hits all of the aforementioned aerial credibility as Indian’s Ride Command affection as far as calls, weather, navigation, and ball goes, and it blasts your tunes through a quartet of speakers. Harley noses advanced in the electronics with its Reflex Defensive Addition Systems that appear banal on CVO models and brings corner-sensitive absorption control, ABS, and backtorque-limiting appearance to the table to leave Indian behind.
The Milwaukee-Eight 117 is a skosh beyond and a skosh weaker with a one pound-foot arrears adjoin the Thunder Achievement 116, but I’m gonna’ alarm it abutting abundant to be a ablution all around. Indian array big at the checkout adjoin the CVO Street Glide’s $40,539 bulk tag, and there’s the barter off for the adorned new ride-quality controls Harley has alien this year.
“It’s bright that Indian is aggravating to attempt adjoin H-D on every front, including the action for the King-of-Paint title. The Chieftain Elite has a lot activity for it, but man, you’ve got to acknowledge hand-laid paint, alike if the acrylic berth went a little abdicate with the animation particulates. That said, Indian absolutely hits the American bazaar with the appropriate alloy of features, looks, and archetypal references with this model, and it lets apart of it for a cogent bulk beneath than H-D’s top bagger.”
My wife and adolescent motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “You says Indian is aggravating to compete. I say it is annealed competition. It’s an American architect carrying that archetypal and iconic American look. No lie, the Chieftain Elite is a admirable motorcycle and the new Thunder Achievement 116 is a assignment of art. The burke is cool acknowledging and ability commitment is bland and predictable. If you appetite a absolute thrill, aberration the burke on this 116 in “Sport” mode. Oh yeah.”
See our analysis of the Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide.
See our analysis of the Honda Gold Wing / Gold Wing Tour.
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