Indian Raptor Coming In 2020?

A water-cooled bagger is planned for August

liquid-cooled V-twin
A liquid-cooled V-twin will power Indian’s Raptor bagger.US Patent Office

Indian is preparing to launch its new Raptor bagger in August this year as a 2020 model but a combination of spy shots, leaked documents, and patent applications means we've already got a clear view of the bike's design, performance, and target market.

The Raptor’s centerpiece will be an all-new liquid-cooled V-twin, which is believed to originally have been intended to replace the Freedom 106 V-twin in Polaris’ now-deceased Victory brand. Like the Freedom 106, the new motor uses a single-overhead-cam layout and four valves per cylinder, but adds water-cooling and a couple of extra cubic inches of capacity. Leaked documents confirm the engine comes in at 108ci, or 1,770cc, and is rated at 120 hp. That’s around 30 hp more than Indian’s existing large-capacity motor, the Thunder Stroke 111, can manage.

single-overhead-camshaft design
The Raptor’s engine will feature a single-overhead-camshaft design.US Patent Office

The SOHC layout and water-cooled design means the engine can’t hope to retain the classic fins-and-pushrods appearance of the Thunder Stroke, but it’s still relatively compact for its capacity, with the camshafts buried deep in the cylinder heads to keep their height to a minimum. Patents show that the camshafts can be removed from the side without dismantling the rockers above them, and that they feature a built-in automatic centrifugal decompression system to ease the starter motor’s life. A six-speed transmission is confirmed by the limited specifications that have leaked onto the internet so far.

single camshaft with rocker arms
Patent drawings show the Raptor’s single camshaft sitting low in the head with rocker arms place above the shaft.US Patent Office

The engine is bolted to a typical modern Indian chassis; a cast aluminum frame that’s far more advanced than you might expect on a bike of this type. Up front, an inverted fork meets a pair of Brembo radial-mount brake calipers to continue the high-spec theme. The rear suspension remains something of a mystery, since the Raptor’s bagger design doesn’t give us a view of its workings.

In terms of style, spy shots and a sole, low-resolution image of the finished bike reveal that it’s clearly aimed at Harley-Davidson’s Road Glide. There’s a near-identical fixed half fairing at the front, with a similarly forward-slanted headlight and short, stubby windscreen, a 19-inch front rim, large footboards, a low seat, and body-colored hard panniers sitting above twin, low-level exhausts.

The bike’s Raptor name and its planned production start date of August this year are revealed in leaked factory documents. They also confirm that the bike is the first of a range of machines going under the project name “Legend.” Although the documents don’t indicate what other models are likely to appear using the same engine, Indian has recently filed trademark applications to use the names “Raven” and “Renegade” on future bikes, along with a stylised “R” logo.

The August launch date suggests that Sturgis, taking place from August 2, is likely to be where we get our first official view of the Raptor.

Raptor engine?
This engine does not retain the classically styled engine fins of the air-cooled Thunder Stroke 111 powerplant.US Patent Office

There will also be two new models derived from the 1,203cc, 120-hp Indian FTR1200 over the next two years. That entire model line goes under the project name "Apollo," with the FTR1200 referred to as the "Apollo Tracker." For the 2020 model year a "Street" model is to join the Apollo line, though there's no further information as to its style or specification, and for 2021 the firm plans to create an adventure bike on the same basis. The Street is likely to be revealed in the second half of this year. Another recent trademark filing, for the rights to the name "Challenger," could be an indication as to its final name.