2018 Indian Chief

No fooling and straight shooting

2018 Indian Chief
2018 Indian ChiefCRS

One step up the price ladder from the blacked-out Chief Dark Horse is the straight-shooting Chief. While retaining the Dark Horse’s black 16-inch wheel set, the Chief otherwise more closely follows Indian’s heritage by adopting glossy bodywork and a brightly finished engine. Despite its commanding presence (the Chief is more than 8-1/2 feet long), the appearance is quite minimalistic, with organically shaped bodywork covering many of the typically exposed motorcycle features such as brake calipers, final drive, and wiring.

In purposeful contrast is the intricately designed V-twin powerplant, which looks even more authoritative surrounded by soft curves. And speaking of which, like the other big Indians, the Chief’s Thunder Stroke 111 kicks out a claimed 119 pound-feet of torque—by coincidence, exactly the same torque output as the 2018 Kia Rio sedan! (Warning: Don’t brag about this in the Salty Dawg Saloon.) Indians are about the ride as much as heritage and style though and, to suit, the Chief includes such niceties as an ambient air-temperature gauge, a fuel-range readout, and available heated grips.

Likes: Despite the industry's gradual changeover to liquid-cooling, Indian committed to historic air-cooling for most of its lineup, including the Chief.

Dislikes: Like many Indians, the Chief is a solo ride; including a quick-detach passenger seat would expand its usefulness by tons.

Verdict: Prototypical classic Indian; big Thunder Stroke 111 engine; minimal cost.

2018 Indian Chief Specs and Pricing

MSRP $18,499

Cycle World 2018 Indian Chief Review