Options are limited when it comes to baggers. By definition a bagger is a motorcycle that has saddlebags attached to it. Over the years these bags have grown in size, just like the motorcycles they are attached to. The 2011 Indian Chief Vintage model is based on the Indian Chief model of from 1940. With high-quality, distressed, tan leather saddlebags and fringe seat, whitewall tires, chromed spoke wheels, chrome Indian tank badge, and a distinctive fender light, there is no question that the Indian Chief Vintage stands out form the rest. With a long and low profile and design elements reminiscent of older Indian models, this is a bagger for the individualist. With art deco styling and excellent finishing, teardrop headlamp, long-skirted fenders, auxiliary spotlights, and Ivory Cream and Willow Green color scheme, the Indian Chief has the true vintage feel.
The 2011 Indian Chief Vintage is powered by a PowerPlus 105 cubic-inch, four-stroke, 45-degree V-twin engine, which is mated with a smooth-shifting six-speed transmission that effortlessly carries the motorcycle forward while keeping the rpm low. The cylinders are Nikasil plated, while the stainless steel exhaust system has an integrated three-way catalytic converter with heated oxygen sensors. The six-speed Baker transmission delivers power through a belt drive. Handling is excellent for a motorcycle that weighs more than 750 pounds and is around a 100 inches in length. The adjustable, mono-shock suspension at the back does a great job of absorbing the bumps on the road, while 11.5-inch floating rotors from Brembo with dual calipers in the front and single caliper at the back provide excellent braking force to control the massive machine. However, there are no anti-lock brakes.
The saddlebags and windshield are intentionally made such that they can detach quickly. While the saddlebags provide plenty of carrying capacity, they cannot be locked. The bags can be removed by loosening two latches inside each bag, which leaves the rear fender clean. The rider can change the look of the motorcycle from a bagger to a town cruiser in no time. The wide handlebars, a single saddle (passenger pillion is available in distressed tan leather), and floorboards make the seating position very comfortable. Mounted on the top of the 5.5-gallon fuel tank are the easy to read multifunction digital display and the analog speedometer. The digital display can be operated with a toggle switch on the bars, while the metric-style controls on the bars may require some getting used to. There are two 12-volt outlets that make it easy to add electronics such as a GPS device. The 2011 Indian Chief Vintage is equipped with a stainless steel exhaust system with a three-way catalytic converter. All 2011 models are fitted with a special 110th anniversary speedometer and a 110th Vintage Anniversary badge is mounted to the frame in order to celebrate the company's 110th anniversary.