American icon Indian Motorcycles introduces the Chieftain Elite
The Indian Motorcycles brand has had more lives than a cat. Originally produced from 1901 to 1953 in Springfield, Massachusetts, Indian became the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world in the 1910s and perpetually morphed its brand and focus throughout the 20th century. From its World War 2 focus on designing military models exclusively for the U.S and its Allies to its resuscitation and near-death numerous times, Indian Motorcycles ceased production altogether from 1977 to 1998, declared bankruptcy in 2003, rose up again in 2008 and enjoyed a fortuitous acquisition in 2011 by snowmobile and ATV manufacturer Polaris Industries.
Since that serendipitous merging, Polaris has been enjoying a steady whoopin’ of, ahem, competing motorcycle brands, thanks in large part to the Indian Motorcycles brand, and specifically to bikes like the limited-edition Chieftain Elite. Only the second touring bike Polaris has introduced, the Chieftain Elite was released in April 2017 at a price point of $31,499.
Only 350 of the bikes will be built, and the enduring legacy and romance of the Indian Motorcycle brand still draws riders like a moth to the flame — a particularly fitting metaphor for the Chieftain Elite. Hand-painted in custom Fireglow Red Candy with Marble Accents in Indian’s custom paint facility in Spearfish, South Dakota, no two motorcycles are ever the same.
The Elite’s high-end touches include include primary and cam covers with color matched pinstripes, a color-matched headlight bezel and flared tinted power windscreen. The tight rake of 25 inches and shorter wheelbase enables great cruising and handling when opening up the 1,811 cc Thunder Stroke, and the Elite gets consistently high marks for both rider comfort and superb cruise control operation.
Keyless ignition, remote locking sidebags, and a touchscreen Ride Command info/audio/navigation system come standard, as well as Elite’s unique feature: a 200-watt premium audio system. One rider discovered the ability to connect his personal device via Bluetooth to more than one bike at a time, for true rocking-and-rolling with Chieftain-riding friends.
And with releases like the top-of-the-line Chieftain Elite, the Indian Motorcycle brand is sure to keep rockin’-n-rollin’ its way into America’s heart.
Visit Grand Prix Motorsports at 3105 W. County Line Rd. in Littleton. GrandPrixMotorsports.com