When it comes to cruisers there are two giant names that immediately come to mind.
We recently did a blog looking at some of the best Harley-Davidson Motorcycles out there currently. Now it's time to take a look at the other big-hitting American cruiser giants: Indian Motorcycles.
Founded in 1901, Indian have been a force in the biking world for more than a century and although the road hasn't always been smooth (collapsing and rising from the ashes under new ownership more times than a phoenix), Indian Motorcycle are once again at the top of the pile when it comes to modern cruisers.
Now under the ownership of Polaris Industries since 2011, Indian Motorcycle has been putting out some fantastic bikes and continues to go from strength to strength. In this blog, we are going to take a look at some of the very best Indian models on offer...
The Scout was one of the classic Indian models, first going into production all the way back in 1920! Obviously, this modern incarnation of the Scout is a completely different beast, but it carries the name and features some nice custom details as a nod to the company's deep heritage.
This modern version was introduced in 2015 and in 2021 still stands as one of the best mid-range cruisers on the market. Like most of Indian's cruisers, they aim for a mixture of comfort and performance. The luxurious leather seat with a low height of 649mm creates that comfortable cruiser riding style but the 1133cc V-Twin engine with its 94hp makes for a surprisingly responsive ride with plenty of power!
A brand-new Indian Scout starts at £12,499 and comes in a range of colours that all look stunning. Like most cruisers, it is a relatively stripped-down experience in terms of features, but the Scout does come with ABS and a USB charger as standard.
Scout Bobber Sixty
This is Indian's new entry-level cruiser. First unveiled last year, it is still the cheapest way to own an Indian Motorcycle in 2021, with a starting price of £10,250 brand new.
The Scout Bobber Sixty comes in just one colour: fully blacked out and it is one bad-ass looking motorcycle. Despite the reduced engine size (1000cc down from the regular Scout's 1133cc), this bike still puts out 76hp and delivers a fun and powerful riding experience.
Once again rider aids and features are bare minimum, in fact, even ABS is an optional extra but like all Indian bikes, what you do get is high quality. This is a stylish and authentic cruiser that doesn't sacrifice performance or functionality and what more do you really want at this price point?
The FTR 1200 is based on Indian's championship-winning FTR 750 flat tracker and is quite a departure from the cruisers they are most famous for, moving into the super-naked category. One thing the FTR does have in common with its cruiser counterparts, however, is its beautiful looks. It may be a different style of motorcycle, but it will still turn heads.
The FTR 1200 enters into hooligan territory with high torque at the low end and an impressive 120hp, 1203cc V-Twin engine that takes no prisoners. The bike features an upright and aggressive riding position and comes packed full of tech including switchable ABS and cruise control. If you have the budget for it, an extra grand will get you the S model which piles in even more cutting features including switchable traction control, stability control, rider modes, fully adjustable suspension, and a large LCD screen with multimedia connectivity.
The FTR 1200 starts at £11,899 and, as of 2020, there is now a Rally version as well. The Rally costs an extra £250 and takes the already excellent base model and adds knobby tires, a rally-style front screen, and raised handlebars to give it more of a retro adventure bike feel.
With the Indian Vintage we enter premium territory in the range, from its beautiful heritage styling to its cutting-edge technology, everything about this cruiser is luxury.
As standard, the Vintage comes with a leather seat and matching leather saddlebags, combined with the crimson paint job and all chrome detailing, it really does look beautiful. The whitewall tires and quick-release windshield make for lovely finishing touches too.
Despite the retro looks, there is a fair amount of tech in this bike with 3 rider modes, cruise control, and keyless ignition to name a few. The Vintage also uses Rear Cylinder Deactivation to automatically shut off the rear cylinder when stationary, then a twist of the throttle will bring it back to life seamlessly.
I said this was a premium motorcycle and there is a premium price tag to go with it - starting at £22,149. If you prefer the blacked-out outlaw styling of some of Indian's other bikes, you can get the Vintage Dark Horse version for around £700 cheaper as an alternative.
Chieftain Dark Horse
The next model in Indian's premium range of motorcycles we will look at is the Chieftain Dark Horse. Moving back into a more modern blacked-out style this one is perfect for commuting or touring in luxury.
Powered by the mighty Thunderstroke 116 engine, this is a 1890cc beast that reaches its impressive peak torque of 171Nm at just 3000 rpm, so despite its large size, there will be plenty of pull from the go.
The Chieftain is once again loaded with technology, there are 3 ride modes, cruise control, ABS, and keyless ignition. It also features an attractive front fairing with electric windshield and built-in speakers so you can even listen to high-quality audio while cruising! There is a 7" touch screen display with built-in navigation and multimedia connectivity as well.
If all this wasn't enough the Chieftain comes with 18 gallons of storage space thanks to its power locking saddlebags and is available in a variety of finishes including a gorgeous ruby colour scheme that really looks unique. If you prefer a more traditional look the Chieftain Limited edition will still be available in 2021, replacing the blacked-out detailing with full chrome and a redesigned and more compact front fairing.
The Chieftain Dark Horse starts at £24,299.
The Roadmaster is Indian's ultimate touring option which in their own words, comes fully loaded with the most extensive package of touring amenities in their entire range.
Once again powered by the Thunderstroke 116 V-Twin engine, the Roadmaster basically takes everything the Chieftain has and raises it to the next level. All the same features and technology, including ride modes, cruise control, and audio system are present, but we also get Rear Cylinder Deactivation technology, a premium touring seat that looks like an armchair, and a whopping 140 litres of cargo space.
One thing to bear in mind with the Roadmaster is the size of this motorcycle. Once you are cruising it isn't such a big issue but at slow speeds and at a standstill the hefty 412-kilo weight of this bike could become an issue if you aren't prepared for it.
Still, this is one of the most stylish and comfortable ways to go touring you will find anywhere, so long as you can afford the £27,699 entry price.
Indian released the Challenger in 2020 and followed it with a limited edition that will remain in showrooms for 2021. The Challenger seems to combine all of Indian's motorcycle know-how, offering cruising, touring, and performance all rolled into one.
Similar to the Chieftain, the Challenger Limited comes with paint matched saddlebags and a chunky front fairing with built-in audio speakers. It also comes high on features with the familiar ride modes, cruise control, and 7" display panel but adds on top Smart Lean Technology, traction control, assist clutch, Brembo brakes, and an adjustable rear shock.
Perhaps the biggest difference here is the brand-new engine, the Indian Motorcycle PowerPlus, the company's most powerful ever liquid-cooled engine, putting out an impressive 122hp. This is a bike that weighs in with a full tank of fuel at 381 kilos but despite this, it is still capable of 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds. For a bike of this size that is some extremely impressive performance.
As with all Indian bikes, this one is a real head-turner with a choice of two finishes and plenty of chrome on display. Another premium motorcycle, it isn't cheap either - starting at £25,299 but if you have the budget for it this is one impressive motorcycle.
Whether you are looking for a stripped-down bobber, luxury tourer or even a formidable street naked, Indian Motorcycle is worth a look. Whatever you go for, old or new - make sure to get a motorcycle insurance quote direct from Lexham.