cruiser motorcycles

Indian Chief Classic Motorcycle: Detailed Specs, Background, Performance, and More

Indian Chief Classic Motorcycle Detailed Specs, Background, Performance, and More

The Indian Motorcycle Company of America is known for providing its customers with high-quality vehicles with unique yet classic designs and modern features. The Indian Motorcycle Company has become a best-selling motorcycle brand since Polaris Industries discontinued Victory motorcycles in 2011.

In this post, we’re discussing an entry-level cruiser from the Indian cruisers lineup, the Indian Chief Classic. Released in 2014, the Chief Classic features a Thunder Stroke 111 engine combined with a six-speed transmission and comes with factory custom leather seats, keyless startup system, cruise control, ABS, and more. The engineers at the Indian Motorcycle Company perfectly combined old-school looks with advanced accents while building this motorcycle.

Jump down to read everything you want, including history, features, performance, specifications, and more about the Indian Chief Classic.

1. A Look Back At Indian Chief Classic Motorcycle

Indian is known as the first American motorcycle Company and was introduced in 1901. It was created by the Hendee Manufacturing Company, a bicycle manufacturer. George Hendee, a bicycle racer, owned the company and set up a workshop in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The story began when George Hendee asked Oscar Hedstrom to assist him in the development of a motorized bicycle. Following some debate over the motorcycle’s name, Indian was eventually chosen. This joint venture resulted in the production of two models that were marketed later in 1902.

The following year earned Hedstrom much fame for creating an Indian motorcycle capable of reaching a top speed of 56 miles per hour. Next year the business debuted the dark red color scheme which would later become one of its defining characteristics.

In 1913, Hedstrom resigned from the company after raising the production scale to 32,000 motorcycles. The company became the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the United States in 1920 and its name was changed to Indian Motorcycle Company in 1923. But by that time, the two most recognizable models from the company were already in production.

The first model was the Scout, launched in 1920 to attract new riders with a lower capacity V-twin engine displacing 610 cc which was highly maneuverable and manageable. The modern version of the Scout continues this tradition.

In 1922, the first Indian Chief was launched. Charles B. Franklin designed both the Scout and the Chief to be the company’s “big twin” range-topper, establishing their reputation for dependability and robustness in no time. This Chief model was introduced to replace the PowerPlus model but kept the same V-twin 1000cc engine.

Later on, the company also added a motorcycle named the Big Chief to the lineup, fitting it with a bigger 1200 cc engine. This motorcycle was designed to attach a sidecar but it became popular as a solo vehicle.

After World War II, Indian Motorcycle Company only brought back the Chief lineup when they began production of civilian two-wheelers. The final Indian motorbike, the Chief, was produced in 1953 and production didn’t resume until 1999.

From 1999 to 2003, the Indian Motorcycle Company produced Indian Chief motorcycles in Gilroy, California. Initially, these had Harley Evolution engine replicas constructed from S&S components. Afterward, the company used the proprietary PowerPlus engine in later models.

In 2011, the Indian Motorcycle Company was bought by Polaris Industries, with the production of the Chief being shifted to Spirit Lake, Iowa. It was the beginning of the company’s golden age. In August 2013, a revitalized Indian company debuted its first batch of completely brand-new, large V-twin motorcycles, including the Chief Vintage and Chief Classic. These models featured wide fenders, dark red paint, and a warbonnet mascot with lights.

Some of the major differences between Indian Chief Classic and Indian Chief Vintage are listed in the chart below including dimensions, category, and price.

Comparison Indian Chief Classic Indian Chief Vintage
Length  2630 mm 2634 mm
Height 1176 mm 1490 mm
Dry Weight  354 kg 364 kg
Wet Weight 370 kg 379 kg
Category  Cruiser Touring
Seat Type Single Dual
Base Price  $18,999 $20,999

2. Indian Chief Classic Motorcycle At First Glance

Indian Chief Classic Styling & Tank Mounted Instruments

The Indian Chief Classic is one of the best cruisers ever constructed by the company and has both contemporary and vintage elements. It has the characteristics of large Indian badging on the fuel tank, along with the fashionable, attractive fenders that have been a staple of all Indian motorcycles since 1940.

It has a keyless startup system that is a safe and practical feature. The bike’s body, including the area around the headlamp, is covered in chrome plating. The iconic War Bonnet is applied to the front fender and the brake calipers are also covered. The Indian Chief is an excellent combination of modern technology and vintage styling.

The Indian Chief Classic’s tank-mounted console is fitted with a big, easy-to-read analog speedometer and digital display. This digital panel offers a variety of useful vehicle and fuel-related statistics. Moreover, the motorcycle has a slip-on exhaust with a fishtail tip that can be customized.

Indian Chief Classic Engine

The Indian Chief Classic is powered by a triple-cam, Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin engine that is capable of generating 119 lb/ft of torque while allowing flow via a 54 mm throttle body. This engine was designed and created by Polaris Industries.

Indian Chief Classic Transmission

The Classic Chief’s engine is powered by a six-speed transmission and an electronic fuel injection system. The transmission has a positive neutral finder and the sixth gear serves as an overdrive gear. The overdrive gear is designed to provide you with an ultimate cruising experience and low-to-mid-range torque.

Indian Chief Classic Brakes

The Indian Chief Classic has impressive braking thanks to the ABS and 300mm discs with dual four-piston calipers fitted at the front and twin-piston calipers at the rear. Fitted behind the brake covers, the discs are painted to match the fenders.

Indian Chief Classic Suspension

The company pays homage to the classic style by retaining the sweeping look of the valanced fenders on the Chief Classic. The front end has 4.7 inches of wheel travel provided by large 46 mm forks, while the rear adjustable pneumatic shock provides 3.7 inches of wheel travel.

Indian Chief Classic Low Seat Height

The Indian Chief Classic features a low seat height of 26 inches above the ground. The bike is designed with a comfortable riding position, forward foot controls, and swept-back handlebars that allow for easy cruising. It provides an ultimate cruising experience with its smooth and quick throttle response and stability at low speeds.

3. Indian Chief Classic: A Buyer’s Guide

3.1 What is the Engine Size of an Indian Chief Classic Motorcycle?

The Indian Chief Classic is powered by an 1811 cc triple-cam, Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin engine combined with a six-speed transmission and capable of producing 119 lb/ft of torque.

3.2 What is the Top Speed of the Indian Chief Classic Motorcycle?

It is estimated that an Indian Chief Classic can reach a top speed of 143 mph.

3.3 What is the Weight of an Indian Chief Classic Motorcycle?

The Indian Chief Classic weighs around 357 kg or 787.1 lbs dry and 357 kg or787.1 lbs when including oil, gas, etc.

3.4 What is the cost of an Indian Chief Classic Motorcycle?

The Indian Chief Classic came with a base price of $18,999. Since the motorcycle is no longer in production, you have to buy it from a second-hand market or you can rent this motorcycle from your nearest motorcycle rental service to see if it is a good choice for you.

4. Indian Chief Classic Motorcycle Specifications

4.1 Class, Model & Year

Category Custom / Cruiser
Model  Indian Chief Classic
Year 2017

4.2 Frame Type & Suspension

Suspension, Front Telescopic fork
Wheel Travel, Front  4.7 in, 119 mm
Suspension, Rear Shock, Single
Wheel Travel, Rear  3.7 in, 94 mm
Trail 6.1 in, 155 mm
Rake  29°
Frame Type Air-Box Integrated Cast Aluminum Frame

4.3 Powerplant, Gearbox & Exhaust

Engine Details Thunder Stroke, 111 engine
Engine Type  Four-stroke, V2
Engine Size 110.51 cu in, 1811 ccm
Bore & Stroke  4.0 x 4.4 in, 101.6 x 113.0 mm
Compression 9.5:1
Torque  161.1 Nm (118.8 ft/lbs or 16.4 kgf/m)
Gearbox Six-speed
Cooling System  Air
Fuel System Closed Loop Sequential Port Injection
Exhaust System  Split dual exhaust with cross-over
Transmission Type Belt

4.4 Seat Type, Tires & Brakes

Seat  Single vinyl seat with passenger pillion
Wheels Dunlop Elite tires, Cast Aluminum wheels
Brakes, Front  ABS, Double disc, Floating rotors
Diameter 11.8 in, 300 mm
Brakes, Rear  ABS, Single disc, Floating rotor
Diameter 11.8 in, 300 mm
Tire, Front  130/90-B16
Tire, Rear 150/80-B16

4.5 Body Measurements, Weight & Capacities

Wheelbase 68.1 in, 1730 mm
Ground Clearance  5.5 in, 140 mm
Width, Overall 39.4 in, 1000 mm
Length, Overall  103.5 in, 2630 mm
Height, Overall 46.3 in, 1176 mm
Seat Height  26 in, 660 mm (lowest setting if adjustable)
Wet Weight 357 kg, 787.1 lbs
Dry Weight  341 kg, 751.8 lbs

4.6 Electrical & Color Options

Light Fender, light, spotlight, teardrop headlamp
Tank Mounted Instruments  Electronic speedometer with odometer
Ignition Electric Starting
Color Choice  Burgundy Metallic/Thunder Black, Pearl White

5. Customizations & Accessories For Indian Chief Classic

The Chief Classic is an entry-level cruiser in the Indian Motorcycle lineup. The Indian Motorcycle Company designed the Chief Classic with unique features, including vintage badging, a lighted front fender, tear-drop shaped fuel tank, tank-mounted instruments, leather saddle, and valanced fenders.

The designers decorated the Chief Classic by applying chrome on almost every part of the frame. To increase comfort while riding on this motorcycle, you can add a quick-release low windshield to reduce harsh winds and a quick-release passenger backrest to ensure secure and comfortable back support. The best part of these components is you can install and remove them without using any tools.

Chief Classic fans love its vintage styling and distinctive features but they might want to add accessories to make this motorcycle more reliable and suited to their riding styles and preferred level of comfort. It is possible to add fairings, handlebars, crash bars, luggage racks, and more.

The Indian Chief Classic is an ultimate cruiser ready to take you on scenic highways and tours but you might need to equip it with motorcycle luggage to carry your belongings and mount a sissy bar to serve as a backrest. Always select the best parts from a reliable and stylish brand like Viking Bags to customize your ride.

Also, you can replace your seat with a new, more comfortable one or you can add a pair of saddlebags made of premium materials to improve the bike’s level of comfort and appearance. Customization of your Indian Chief Classic doesn’t end here, there are multiple ways to change its look.

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