2014 Indian Chieftain | DOIN’ TIME

Long-Term Update: Adding mirror-shaft extensions for improved adjustability and a better rearview.

WRIST: Art Friedman
MSRP (2014): $23,999
MILES: 12,452
MPG: 36
MODS: Mirror extensions

A few niggles with the Indian Chieftain got addressed this month. Indian’s tech rep took it for a weekend and fixed the minute oil leak on the right-side case. This mostly involved applying some sealant to one of the screw holes, a fairly simple procedure. The leak was so small that it never even left a single drop of oil on the ground—just a light mist of oil at the front of the case. I could wipe it off every week or two when it began to show, but Indian wanted to fix it.

While he had the bike he also replaced the right mirror, which had loosened up at the pivot in the mirror head and would droop while riding. Shortly after the bike returned, I received two 1.5-inch mirror-shaft extensions from Roger Slater (slaterbro2@gmail.com or (509) 924-5194; $30/pair). Slater created them to counter the effects of changing his Chieftain’s handlebar to Indian’s 2-inch-narrower accessory pullback bar, which he further narrowed by an additional inch. He said he had “mirrors full of elbows” as a result.

I considered shortening my Chieftain’s handlebar to make it less awkward during full-lock turns (though I would have done it by cutting the stock bar, not with the accessory pullbacks). However, about the time I was getting around to it, the weather turned warm and I suddenly liked having my hands out in the wind beyond the edges of the fairing’s wingtips.

I tried the extensions anyway, and while I found that I didn’t need the extra width, I did find another benefit. Like other OEs using teardrop-shaped mirrors, Indian puts the pointy end outboard. That’s annoying because the outboard edge of the mirror is where I most need to see. I want the wide end outboard. Pivoting the heads around just moves the mirrors inboard, making your shoulders block them. Slater’s extensions allow me to pivot the heads and regain the width. Installation takes about five minutes and requires just a 17mm wrench. If you want the warning text on the mirrors (“Riders in mirror are uglier than they appear” or whatever) to be upright, just swap the mirror heads before reinstalling them.