Took a test drive of the new Indian "Chieftain" bagger up in St Paul today and was very impressed. I ride a Honda GW '06 1800 and my wife has a 2013 Harley Street Glide that I've had out a few times. Here are my thoughts:
- FANTASTIC TORQUE! Beats the Harley easily, maybe beats the Wing. 3rd gear is like "auto" in town and 5th is the same at hwy speeds. Roll on the throttle when you KNOW you are WAY too slow for that gear and it just responds. Amazing!
- Even compared to the Street Glide it seems like a MUCH smaller bike than it is in low speed handling. Better and LOWER balance. Right off the start complete confidence in slow speed handling!
- SUPERB application of technology,. SUPER to be able to see what gear you are in when you jump on a new bike, and with this much torque it will take some time before you never look down at the indicator -- or maybe makes no difference. Wrong gear? Who the hell cares? It just pulls anyway!! I was on the Chieftain however -- gotta love the electrical adjustable windshield!
- Sound -- the Harley guys were complaining about the"missing long stroke lope". Well, maybe ... as a Winger, it sounded freaking fabulous! Mine had the louder option and it had that " I make THUNDER, so respect me"! sound of POWER. But then, we Wing guys have a bit of an inferiority complex in that department. With the Wing, I know I will be beat up at the next stop ... with the Indian I felt like I could stand tall and sturdy, gazing down on the puny masses, knowing that they would KNOW and keep their place!
BUT ... the Indian puts a SMILE on the face as soon as it fires up! One doesn't even need to eat mile one and it is already very very cool ... ah, the problems of life!