Among Indian’s quiver of eight baggers, the Chieftain Dark Horse has the most attitude. Its bad-boy appearance is a carefully crafted assemblage of design elements, including a big handlebar-mounted fairing with a cut-down, tinted power windshield, a large-diameter 19-inch cast aluminum front wheel, an abbreviated front fender, a matte-black treatment (including Thunder Black Smoke body-color paint) from stem to stern, a low 26-inch solo seat, and, of course, hard saddlebags.
Most everything about the Chieftain Dark Horse says, “I ride alone.” And yet, that doesn’t mean suffering in silence. Besides the thump of the Thunder Stroke 111 engine, there’s a standard Ride Command infotainment system that includes a 100-watt audio system with dual speakers, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, a headset, and navigation with a 7-inch touchscreen that offers, among other travel aids, points of interest—such as, you know, the historic Crazy Horse Memorial. Encouraging such sojourns are features like air-adjustable rear suspension, electronic cruise control, a real-time fuel-range readout, air temperature and altimeter displays, and an available wider (flared) windshield for greater wind protection.
Likes: Despite the Chieftain Dark Horse's long 65.7-inch wheelbase, its quick 25-degree steering-head angle shows Indian engineers appreciate sharp handling.
Dislikes: By the time you've swung aboard, this big rig is gonna weigh more than 1,000 pounds.
Verdict: When you're in a dark mood and want to ride alone, here's your horse.