Rode a 2014 Indian on Friday (8/23/13)

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Ratboy859
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Rode a 2014 Indian on Friday (8/23/13)

Postby Ratboy859 » August 24th, 2013, 5:10 pm

The new 2014 Indians are coming to the Indian/Victory dealerships. I signed up at the Indian dealership in Lowell, NC (just outside of Charlotte, NC) - my home town! I was given a demo ride at 11:30 and it was interesting.

I rode my 08 C50T to the dealership and was happy to see other makes in the V-Twin category - Star (Yamaha), Kawasaki and my Suzuki. There was also two Triumphs (one was a Rocket III). A few Honda Goldwings were in the lot. Of course, tons of H-D's were on the lot.

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I got to sit on this Indian for the 'photo op', but actually rode a Chief Vintage.

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This Indian has the windshield and the saddle bags:

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So, the demo ride took about 20 of us out of the dealership and making as many right turns as possible. I thought the clutch was a little touchy - let it out just a bit and it was trying to engage. It could have been an adjustment issue or just me. I like some movement before the clutch engages. The bike also had cruise control, but I didn't use it. While on I-85 South Bound (60 MPH Speed Limit), I forgot about the 6th gear. The bike was doing OK in 5th, but when I remembered - it was truly like going into Over Drive. The 111 Cubic Inch engine (1700cc) pulls away pretty well. I wish the dash board had a tachometer. It was fun getting use to the C50's sound and shifting requirements, but I didn't have enough time to learn on the Indian.

I didn't like the hand grips - - they weren't smooth like the C50's and the ribs on the hand grips gave me discomfort. There was a lot of heat coming out from under the gas tank. Cue the jokes about all the heat between my legs! The ride was smooth and we come off of I-85 and headed towards Spencer Mountain and made the loop from Ranlo, NC, around the mountain, and headed back south to Lowell, NC. I never really got out of 3rd or 4th gear and I didn't hear the engine complain on either side of being too slow or too fast. I will admit that the parking lot behavior of the bike is really pleasant. I was able to perform slow speed maneuvers with no problems.

I like the new price points for this bike $18,000 to $22,000 as compared to the $30K to $38K for the bike. Colors are limited and there are three models. I'm interested in taking a better demo ride without a group of strangers and see if the bike performs better for me. If I do get one, I'm keeping the C50T because she has been good and loyal to me.

Anyway, it was a fun 35 minutes on a new Indian - whether I get one or not - I've ridden one.

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Rob
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Re: Rode a 2014 Indian on Friday (8/23/13)

Postby Rob » August 24th, 2013, 7:19 pm

Very cool, thanks for the review. I'll be over there trying one out one of these days for sure.
2014 black & chrome HD ultra, 12" mini-apes, 4" Rinehart Racing exhaust, BSEG!!
2003 black & chrome Suzuki Volusia

Metal monsters that let us breathe... -- Zook, a well-remembered VOL Original

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Re: Rode a 2014 Indian on Friday (8/23/13)

Postby Doc » August 24th, 2013, 7:21 pm

Jealous... I have always loved the Indian look. The new Harleys are looking pretty good too. Hard to know what my next bike will be.

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Rob
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Re: Rode a 2014 Indian on Friday (8/23/13)

Postby Rob » August 24th, 2013, 10:45 pm

Can't wait to ride the Indian. Can't fit a third bike in the garage, and can't part with the two I already own (without permission), but can't wait to ride the Indian!
2014 black & chrome HD ultra, 12" mini-apes, 4" Rinehart Racing exhaust, BSEG!!
2003 black & chrome Suzuki Volusia

Metal monsters that let us breathe... -- Zook, a well-remembered VOL Original

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Ratboy859
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Re: Rode a 2014 Indian on Friday (8/23/13)

Postby Ratboy859 » August 25th, 2013, 5:43 am

Rob wrote:Very cool, thanks for the review. I'll be over there trying one out one of these days for sure.


If you get down this way, give me a shout. I live less than 3 miles from the dealership. We could get together for lunch or dinner depending on the time.

I can't tell you how many times my youngest (7) and I go bicycling and we always end of at the dealer and looking through the windows.... [drool]

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Re: Rode a 2014 Indian on Friday (8/23/13)

Postby Luvs2Play » August 25th, 2013, 6:42 am

Good review, thanks.

My wife wants to test the Indian, probably next weekend. She is just in love with the looks and the fact that they are not overpriced like they were before. I am trying to talk her out of it until the engine and trans have been around for a couple years. I don't think she is going to be impressed with the power anyway since she is riding a Raider now. Just spent a bunch of money modding it, so it will end up being a garage queen with her Vulcan 900.

Myself, I just don't care for the looks of the Indian, but that is just me. I also want to stay with the water cooled engine.

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Re: Rode a 2014 Indian on Friday (8/23/13)

Postby Elephant Rider » August 25th, 2013, 12:10 pm

Nice write up. I like how you compared the ride to the C50, and mentioned how it handles at low speeds. Looks like you had a good time!

I've often wondered how those ride. Some of them look really nice. Even though it's not the old-school Indian anymore, it's still an Indian, and well, that in itself makes it pretty cool.

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Re: Rode a 2014 Indian on Friday (8/23/13)

Postby LabRat » August 28th, 2013, 7:57 am

The dealer in Charlotte is one of the best in the country - lucky that you live so close. I saw them at Sturgis and fell in love, but didn't have a chance to ride one. I did do a demo at the Indian dealer in North Jersey. I rode the Chieftain (the new one with a fairing and hard bags) and it didn't disappoint. They have created quite a stir over on HDForms. There are the koolaid drinkers, but virtually anyone that has seen/ridden one of the new ones have very little negative to say about them. They are certainly a love it or leave it with respect to styling. Here's a review I posted over on HDForums.......................

Sorry for the length, but figured it would be better than the pissing match that's been going on.

OK, back from a test ride at the Indian dealer in North Jersey. It was pretty crowded with lots of HD's, a couple Vic's and a one or two Wings in the parking lot. Oh, this was one VERY old, freakin' awesome HD that someone rode in. Lots of riders coming and going. I was surprised at the crowd because it was a Friday morning. I suspect tomorrow to be even worse.

The ride was escorted by motor officers from the city and that was a very good thing because THE TRAFFIC SUCKS AS DO THE ROADS IN NORTH JERSEY. The test ride was about 10 miles (this is a factory demo event - so individual dealers' bikes might get demo'd differently) and went through the town and then a quick trip on the Garden State Parkway.

If you are going to do a test ride like this, do it twice. My first ride was really just getting acquainted with the bike and controls. Felt much more at home on the second ride. I rode a Chieftain both times, each had fishtail pipes which are optional. As much as I love the looks of the Vintage, but my CVO isn't a garage queen and I ride rain or shine so a fairing'd bike with hard, lockable bags suits my riding style better.

Bike was very comfortable. The seat was great and the quality of the leather fantastic - now before you jump and say that 2 15-20 minute rides is no way to judge a seat, I had just come 130 miles on my bike to do the demo. The seat was very comfortable, no pinch points and a very good solid feel. I mention this because when I got back on my bike to ride home, my seat didn't feel comfortable anymore. My seat is what came stock on the CVO's for 2008 and don't have issues putting several hundred miles a day on her.

The bike probably fits average sized riders best. Seat height is only 26" compared to nearly 30" on my Ultra. I'm about 5'6", so being vertically challenged, the lower seat was nice and gave a feel you were sitting in the bike rather than on top of the bike. That being said, I had more leg room on the Indian.
My bike had the short windshield in the fairing and I rode with it all the way lowered it was down around my chin, but even on the highway, air flow was very good with no buffeting. I didn't raise it up while on the highway, but did so on the local road and would work in a rain storm - I just don't like looking through a shield. By comparison, I have a LRS X-stream shield in my Ultra that is about the same height. Those not familiar with that shield, it is a serious recurve that works great and was amazed that the 'flat' stock shield on the Indian performed as well. Having the ability to move a shield up/down is a plus.
The bars are much different than on my Ultra and were strange at first, but felt good and riding position was good, more upright than I am on my Ultra. If you are a forward lean kinda rider, like I am on my Bro's Roadglide, you might not like the riding position. The bars seamed narrower than what I was used to, but again, was comfortable.

Bike has gobs of power, lots of torque and smooth as hell, almost too smooth. It's power is on par with my 110" and that's factory vs. a Stage 1 and dyno tune on my 110". While this is seat of the pants, the dyno curves on the TS111 look better than my 110" post mods. You can feel the transmission, but it doesn't clunk like a Harley and neutral was easy to find. The engine is quiet. Not the exhaust, but the engine. The valve train on my 110" is noisy as hell and overall a lot of noise from the engine that took me a while to accept as "normal". The TS111 didn't have a lot of extraneous noise, just the exhaust. That being said, the transmission had a very different sound. Very hard to explain but somewhat of a whining sound. Our Cayenne had a similar sound, it's like a rubber band wound very tight that has power just waiting to be set free. Again, hard to describe, but it is different than a Harley.

You can feel heat off the engine but not nearly as hot as my 110". It was about 86 outside and the bikes weren't allowed to cool down much before the next group of riders took them out. You really didn't feel the heat moving, it was just when stopped.

The rider controls are very different and need to get used to. But then again the 2014 HD controls with the two nipples to play with are all different as well. I thought there were a lot of controls on an Ultra, but this blows that away. I'm not crazy about the turn signals together on the left. They are self cancelling - I tried to leave them on, and they did cancel. Most of your controls are on your left with the right reserved mainly for cruise control and starting the bike. Oh, as far as starting the bike. I know many have joked about the push button start, but the push button isn't a start, but a power button. Much like our big ignition knob at the top of the forks. Starting the bike is as on any other bike, on the right. One of the things I never liked about the Vics was that the controls looked like after thoughts. Not the case with the Indians. They are all part of the same, very nicely chromed housing.

The bike feels much lighter than it really is. Both getting it off the side stand and feel of the bars. It's about the same weight as my Ultra, but feels much less. The weight is lower and think this would be a big plus for petite female riders that don't feel comfortable an E-glide or other big twin for that matter. It's also very well balanced.

The Chieftain rides in Dunlop Elite 3's. I put these on my CVO a few years back and they are awesome tires. Great traction and much better for the aggressive geezer glide rider than the one's the put as stock on the HD's without giving up black slab comfort. The tires fit well with the handling of the bike. This bike is quick into turns and very easy to hold those turns. It has a very good lean angle (don't ask me what it is, I have no clue) and is very comfortable laying it over. Yes I ride a geezer glide, but the metal scrapped from the bottoms of my floorboards can attest I like to push her limits. The Chieftain just felt even better. It is just a very nimble bike. I'm not sure how the Chief rides with the additional rake, but assume it will be different.

Overall, this is a fantastic bike. Is it a Harley, no. If you drink the Koolaid, don't bother, it's not for you. The fit and finish on these bikes were very good and the engine pulls like a freight train.

Some of the things I didn't like:
No optional tourpack, but was told it is coming.
No heel shifter. I use mine all the time, so I really missed that.
The placement of the side stand when up is not in a great position and found myself "looking" for it with my foot. It's like it's tucked a little too far under the transmission.

So I left and got on my bike to head home thinking could I really be happy with an Indian Chieftain, particularly stepping from a CVO Ultra? The CVO has so much "bling" and the Chieftain is just a classic looking bike. Then no sooner did I hit the Garden State Parkway, Friday traffic hit. The Parkway was a crawl and the turnpike south was a parking lot. Now this is normal, but I could start to feel my 110" heating up. She starts with the neutral light beginning to flicker, then parade mode kicks in when I sit long enough at idle and I start thinking - Oh s***, wonder if my clutch will go out AGAIN. Luckily I just had the fluids changed, so I didn't lose my clutch and was able to get her cooled down once traffic began moving again. That's when I thought, yes, I could be happy with a Chieftain.
'05 C50 Aug 05 - Sept 07
'08 FLHTCUSE3 - Sept 07 - Oct 13
'14 Indian Chieftain - Oct 13 - ??

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Re: Rode a 2014 Indian on Friday (8/23/13)

Postby Doc » August 28th, 2013, 10:34 am

Very nice write-up! There certainly are quite a few exciting options this year. I love the fact that Victory had the balls to make this many changes to the Indian brand, but still managed to maintain the familiar styling. That's something that Harley historically has been hard-pressed to do because of it's hard-core base of fans that oppose changes. Even with that, they still managed to make some styling changes along with the long awaited (or dreaded, depending on your viewpoint) water cooling. Heck, even Suzuki is trying to keep the C50 line relevant.. new this year is the blacked out C50 B.O.S.S.

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Re: Rode a 2014 Indian on Friday (8/23/13)

Postby LabRat » August 28th, 2013, 12:41 pm

Thanks and yes, there are a lot of good choices out there. The Indian TS111 was launched early in the spring, so HD knew what was coming, just not final form of the bike. The question is whether it was Project Rushmore or Project Rush More for HD.

The fairing on the Chieftain took a while for me to get used to, but after reading about where the designers got they design from, it really started to sink in. The fairing was modeled after the 1940's Art Deco streamliner locomotives and after looking at pictures of the famed Hiawatha or Broadway engines, you see the design.

If nothing else it should get HD off their asses to produce a better bike.
'05 C50 Aug 05 - Sept 07
'08 FLHTCUSE3 - Sept 07 - Oct 13
'14 Indian Chieftain - Oct 13 - ??


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