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2019 MOTORCYCLE REVIEW: Indian Chieftain Dark Horse

After two days of riding the 2019 Indian Chieftain Dark Horse, I was able to spend enough time with this bike to get a good feel for it. Although I do not normally go for white bikes, my first impression was that this one really caught my eye with the soft matte white paint and everything else being matte black just really had a nice look to it, I thought. But more importantly, how does this bike ride? There is no doubt that the 111 Thunderstroke engine has the power to make this a fun bike to ride; but this year Indian added three (3) ride mode options to give the rider the ability to adjust…on the fly. (1) Touring - a predictable roll on the throttle kind of acceleration; I would use this mode for rolling down the freeway just banging out the miles. (2) Standard – you could actually feel the increase in throttle response. This mode is where I would personally ride most of the time.(3) Sport – this mode will definitely give you that seat of the pants thrill. If I were hitting the back roads and looking for some fun I would switch it over to the Sport mode. When I first heard about this feature, I thought it might be a bit gimmicky. After playing with it a bit, I do think that I would use all the features regularly it definitely adds more fun to the ride. The next highlight of this model is the infotainment center that was designed with the visual needs of a rider in mind. Located in the fairing, there is a touch screen monitor that is easy to operate with gloves on or off. It is easy to read display to keep the rider informed about the bike from tire pressure, the oil life before needing to change it, plus navigation that will prompt thru the speakers or thru bluetooth to your helmet. Indian really did a great job on this design. One of my favorite things about this particular model is how nice they ride with 4.7 inches of travel up front and 4.5 inches at the rear wheel from the Fox Mono shock. The ride quality is sure and plush, just what you would want from a touring bike. The seats have been redesigned this year and it is a big improvement. My overall take is this bike hit the nail on the head for this category. If you like to crank out the miles, but want to look good and feel good while you do it - this bike definitely deserves your consideration.


Engine & DrivetrainEngine TypeThunder Stroke® 111ExhaustSplit Dual Exhaust w/ Cross-overPeak Torque119 ft-lb (161.6 Nm)Peak Torque RPM3,000 rpmDimensionsFuel Capacity5.5 gal (20.8 L)Ground Clearance5.1 in (130 mm)GVWR1,385 lb (628 kg)Lean Angle31°Overall Height54.5 in (1385 mm)Overall Length98.7 in (2,506 mm)Overall Width39.4 in (1,000 mm)Rake/Trail25° / 5.9 in (150 mm)Seat Height25.6 in (650 mm)Weight (Empty Tank / Full of Fuel)795 lb (361 kg) / 827 lb (375 kg)Wheelbase65.7 in (1668 mm)BrakesFront BrakesDual 300mm floating rotors with 4-piston calipersRear BrakesSingle / 300 mm Floating Rotor / 2 Piston CaliperTires / WheelsFront TiresDunlop® American Elite 130/60B19 61HFront WheelCast 19 in x 3.5 inRear TiresDunlop® Elite 3 Multi-Compound 180/60R16 80HRear WheelCast 16 in x 5 inSuspensionFront Fork Tube Diameter46 mmFront SuspensionTelescopic Fork - Cartridge TypeFront Travel4.7 in (120 mm)Rear SuspensionSingle Shock w/ Air adjustRear Travel4.5 in (114 mm)FeaturesColor / GraphicsThunder Pearl White SmokeGaugesFairing-mounted instrument cluster featuring analog speedometer and tachometer with fuel gauge, range, odometer and current gear. 15 LED telltale indicators; cruise control enabled, cruise control set, neutral, high beam, turn signal, ABS, check engine, low tire pressure, battery, low fuel, security system, low engine oil pressure and MHP or km/h unit designation.Infotainment7" Ride Command® touchscreen display with real-time clock; ambient air temperature; heading; audio information display; vehicle trouble code readout; Vehicle Status (tire pressure, voltage, engine hours, oil change); Vehicle Info (speed, fuel range, RPM, gear position); Dual Trip Meters (fuel range, miles, average fuel economy, instantaneous fuel economy time, average speed); Ride Data (heading, moving time, stop time, altitude, altitude change); Bluetooth Status for phone and headset; Ride Mode Selection; Map/NavigationLightsLEDStandard Equipment7" Ride Command® Touchscreen Display with Navigation; Power Windshield; Highway Bars; Vinyl Gunfighter Seat; Tire Pressure Monitoring; Remote-locking Hard Saddlebags; Selectable Ride Modes; Rear Cylinder Deactivation; ABS; Cruise Control; Keyless Ignition; 100 Watt Audio System with AM/FM, Bluetooth, USB, Smartphone Compatible Input, and Weatherband111 cu inEngine Size119 ft-lbTorqueRide Command®Gauge Type

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