Indian Chieftain - Long-Term Test Update #4

Have tunes, will travel. Far.

Indian Chieftain static side view

I've ridden a variety of sportbikes, naked bikes, cruisers, and even some older classics. And now, with our long-term Indian Chieftain, I've had the opportunity to spend several thousand miles of quality time on a bagger-style bike. In short, I'm impressed. This Indian begs to head out on the open road, packing plenty of comfort features and impressing us thus far with its rock-solid reliability.

The electric-adjust windshield has proven highly effective in manipulating airflow to eliminate buffeting, which is absolutely essential to enjoy the bike’s amazing sound system at highway speeds. To test the effectiveness of the upgraded stereo—which features the 6.5-inch coaxial speakers and 100-watt amplifier of the Concert Audio Kit ($574.99), plus color-matched audio bag lids ($424.99), I disconnected the rear speakers. While the bag speakers certainly provide a discernible improvement in volume and sound, it’s most noticeable for my passenger.

I must also point out that she loves the Indian’s newly installed accessory backrest ($449.99), which adds support and comfort while also providing a place for her to strap on an extra backpack to make those longer overnight trips much easier. And, come to think of it, pretty much everything thus far with the big Chieftain has been easy, the relaxed Thunder Stroke V-twin setting the tone for a long-term experience that has been trouble-free and thoroughly enjoyable but is coming too quickly to an end. Nevertheless, we plan to put 10,0000 miles on this beauty before it goes back to Indian. Stay tuned.

PRICE AS TESTED (2014)|$22,999