Catch a glimpse of the Chieftain Limited in Thunder Black Pearl—one of five color cocktails available for 2018—and if you’re a motorcycle history buff, you might be reminded of a famous, long-ago bike: the 1955 Vincent Black Prince. The similarities are remarkable as both machines were designed to provide maximum rider enjoyment and comfort. Both have full bodywork to protect the rider from wind, rain, and grit covering nearly the entire machine save the black-finished V-twin engine and front wheel; a comprehensive instrument panel tucked behind the fairing; dual front brakes (drum on the Vincent, disc on the Chieftain); a single-shock rear end; and a 19-inch front wheel.
While the Black Prince arrived too late to save the Vincent marque, for the Chieftain Limited nowadays, the horizon is wide open. And it’s more than ready to take you there. As with other premium Indians, it includes such niceties as keyless ignition, a safety-conscious tire-pressure monitoring system, remote locking for the hard side bags, and a comprehensive infotainment system. Philip Conrad Vincent would be amazed.
Likes: A most interesting amalgam of classic and modern.
Dislikes: There are 14 Thunder Stroke 111 Indian models—so how do you decide?
Verdict: First impressions count, and the Chieftain Limited's premium details and color choices get it done.