After closing the shutters on Victory, Polaris Corporation – owner of both the Indian Motorcycle and Victory brands – has focused its attention on Indian, in an effort to usurp the current US motorcycle market leader, Harley-Davidson. For 2017, it has introduced the 2017 Indian Chieftain Limited and Indian Chieftain Elite, which retail at a base price of USD 24,499 (RM108,598) and USD 31,499 (RM139,524), respectively.

Having recently ridden the 2016 Indian Chief Classic, which retails in Malaysia for RM158,000, we can vouch for the fact that Indian Motorcycle is producing some distinctly retro-styled cruisers that actually perform. This includes modern conveniences such as ABS, push-start, and sharp handling in the corners.

For these big baggers, Indian uses its Thunderstroke 111 V-twin which displaces 1,811 cc. Both the Limited and Elite share the same engine, gearbox and chassis configuration, and while no power figure is supplied, the Thunderstroke 111 mill is rated at 161.6 Nm of torque at 3,000.

Based on our review of the Chief Classic, this means low-down grunt in any gear you choose, of which there are six. Fuelling is with closed-loop EFI, feeding a 54 mm throttle body.

A 19-inch wheel in front is fitted with twin 300 mm floating brake discs grabbed by four-piston callipers, while the rear 16-inchers carries a single 300 mm rotor with dual-piston calliper. Front suspension is with a pair of 46 mm diameter telescopic forks with 119 mm of travel, and the rear-end is propped up with a monoshock with Air Adjust that gives 114 mm of travel.

The Indian Chieftain Elite is differentiated from the Chieftain Limited by the inclusion of LED lighting and chromed billet-machined floorboards compared to the Limited’s standard footpegs. Also standard on the Elite is a Clear Flare powered windshield and 200 Watt stereo, as opposed to the 100 Watt unit installed on the Indian Chieftain Limited.

Both Indian baggers come with keyless start, cruise control and remote locking hard-case saddle bags. Also common to both cruisers is driving lights, highway bar and tyre pressure monitoring system, along with Bluetooth connectivity, USB and smartphone input for the on-board entertainment system.

Standard for both the Limited and Elite is Indian Motorcycle’s Ride Command system that uses a seven-inch LCD screen to display navigation information, engine checks and service intervals and ride computer data, along with phone connectivity. The 2017 Indian Chieftain Limited comes only in Thunder Black, while the 2017 Indian Chieftain Elite comes in Fireglow Red Candy with marble accents.


GALLERY: 2017 Indian Chieftain Elite


GALLERY: 2017 Indian Chieftain Limited