Whereas the Chief Dark Horse effectively “hides” the Chief’s robust and well-integrated shapes beneath its shadowy black finishes, the Chief Classic lets this goodness shine through, rendering a more retro-looking ride in the process. Starting with a common silhouette, the Chief adds chromed wire-spoke wheels with throwback whitewall tires, glossy paint finishes—replete with contrasting striping and bright trim—and polished chrome engine covers, fork assembly, headlight nacelle, instrument panel, handlebar, and controls. Like the Chief and Chief Dark Horse, a solo bucket seat is standard on the Chief Classic.
Underneath the B-25 Mitchell Bomber-era thematics lurks a network of electronic rider assists, including a tire-pressure-monitoring system, keyless ignition with push-button start, cruise control, and antilock triple-disc brakes. Everything about the Chief Classic seems outsized, with a wheelbase of 68.1 inches (a foot longer than a 1,000cc sportbike), a 29-degree steering-head angle, and 6.1 inches of trail (translation: hard to turn around in your buddy’s driveway but ultra-steady on the highway), and a claimed curb weight just a bag of sugar shy of 800 pounds.
Likes: Indian "reclaimed" its big valanced fenders and 1940s V-twin visual presence and then made them work today.
Dislikes: The locked-in seating position—you either fit or you don't.
Verdict: We think the Chief Classic best validates Indian's vision of modern retro-cruisers.