Polaris Industries bought Indian last April, which hasn’t given the company much time to launch a completely reengineered, all-new line of 2012 Indian motorcycles. So it hasn’t. But three bikes will be offered for 2012: Vintage, Classic and Dark Horse—all three powered by Indian’s 105-inch Powerplus engine. That’s 1720cc in metric terms, running an undersquare 3.96 x 4.25-inch bore and stroke, with two pushrod-activated valves per jug and cooled in the time-honored fashion: air. The Indian Chief Vintage we tested in November, 2009, made 64.5 horsepower at 4550 rpm and 94.1 foot-pounds of peak torque at 3250. And while there were some sweet spots in the rev range with the non-counterbalanced 45-degree V-Twin, our main complaint was serious vibration in the less-sweet spots. According to our Indian PR contact, “over a dozen small improvements primarily on the minor technical side” have been made to the bikes, which we expect means the riding experience will be similar to what it was on our 2009.
MSRP for the top-line model remains in the same rarified ballpark for 2012. The Vintage, which comes with a windshield, a cool fringed leather seat and matching bags (also a removable pillion pad) is $35,999 in solid colors, with optional two-tone paint schemes $900 more. The Indian Chief Classic retails for $26,499 and dispenses with some of the Vintage’s gewgaws and furbelows, while the Dark Horse (matte black) is $27,999. (If those are out of your price range, Indian does have some very nice T-shirts.)
Mark Blackwell, VP of Special Projects at Polaris, informs us that the company is not for now revealing any details about future Indian models, but that the feedback he’s been getting about the acquisition from around the world, including Europe and China, has been “incredibly positive.”