In the premium end of heritage motorcycles, Indian Motorcycles is gradually creating a huge impact in its favor. The American major did made a stupendous comeback, when it rose from the ashes back in 2012. Considering the growing importance of India in the sales radar of premium motorcycles, Indian Motorcycles made its foray into the Indian market in no short time.

The company has been launching a series of motorcycles in the market, soon after their global unveiling. The latest motorcycle from the stable of Indian is the Chief Dark Horse. Now, the Chief Dark Horse is not an all new nameplate, as the manufacturer used to sell a motorcycle with this name a few years back.

Though the newly launched Chief Dark Horse is significantly different motorcycle from its predecessor, and has that essential air of premium-ness which the motorcycles of Indian are renowned for. The Chief Dark Horse joins the Chief Classic in the cruiser family of Indian Motorcycles. Following is an elaborated preview of the all new Indian Chief Dark Horse.

STYLING

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Undoubtedly, the first impression of the Chief Dark Horse has to be of a wonderfully crafted design, which has been adorned with numerous attention-to-detailing elements – a typical trait of Indian Motorcycles.

The motorcycle has an air of lavishness, which makes it an extremely priced possession just going by the stance it has. The Chief Dark Horse is the only motorcycle in Indian’s portfolio to ditch the shiny chromed out components for a complete blacked-out styling from end to end, which is equally awe-inspiring from every angle.

The major highlight of the front of the Chief Dark Horse is the circular headlamp incorporated in a sweptback fairing, which gets the assistance of orange colored round turn indicators mounted on the front forks housings. The motorcycle gets a swept back handlebar, which gives it an appeal of a dragster. The trademark illuminated Indian War Motif sits on the iconic valenced front fender, which partially covers the front tyre.

On moving sideways, the Chief Dark Horse gets an inclined and curvaceous fuel tank, which gets distinctive monochrome warbonnet graphics on both of its sides. The lower positioned seat with the blacked out V-twin engine with chromed parts give it a premium look. The rear of the Chief Dark Horse also gets a valenced rear fender and a vertical LED tail lamp with orange colored round indicators.

The tank mounted instrument console on the Chief Dark Horse has been retained from the Chief Classic. The unit consists of a long list of data, including a speedometer, odometer, fuel gauge, low fuel indicator, dual trip meters, digital tachometer, ambient air temperature, fuel range, average fuel economy, battery voltage, gear indicator, vehicle trouble code readout, clock, engine oil temperature and a set of nine tell tale lamps.

The Chief Dark Horse comes with ABS, cruise control, keyless ignition, blacked out styling, dual exhausts, vinyl rider seat and war motif on the front fender, while the list of optional equipment includes ape hanger handlebars, pinnacle one-up luggage rack, gloss black parts, pillion seat, leather seats and Stage I slip-on exhausts.

POWERTRAIN

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The Indian Chief Dark Horse comes bolstered with the same liquid cooled, V-twin, Thunderstroke 111 engine, which powers all the motorcycles of Indian, except the Scout. Mated to a six-speed gearbox, the fuel injected Thunderstroke 111 engine displaces 1811cc and produces a peak torque output of 138.9 Nm.

The Thunderstoke 111 engine has always been known for the excellent distribution of torque across the rev range, and the Chief Dark Horse is no exception on that front. The motorcycle comes out to life with a deep rumble from the exhaust pipes, and pulls of nicely with a linear feel.

The meat of the torque, though lies in the mid-range of the torque band, making the Chief Dark Horse a brilliant highway cruiser. The rider also has an option of boosting the performance of the motorcycle by opting for the ‘Big Sucker’ intake package at an additional cost, which enhances both the air intake and throttle response. Though the motorcycle has enough punch to tackle the in-city conditions as well, but the gigantic dimensions and a total kerb weight of whopping 357 kg restrict its commuting abilities.

RIDE AND HANDLING

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The ergonomics of the Chief Dark Horse make this motorcycle a comfortable place to be on. The bike comes with 46mm inverted cartridge-type telescopic forks at the front and a hidden monoshock at the rear. The suspension is tuned on the softer side to make it an effortless and comfortable too for munching miles. The 16-inch alloy wheels at both the ends come wrapped with tubeless Dunlop tyres, and get dual 300mm disc brakes at front and a single 300mm disc brake at the rear, along with the ABS.

PRICING

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With plenty of exclusiveness on board, it is quite obvious that the Indian Chief Dark Horse is not a motorcycle for everyone. Like all the motorcycles of Indian, the Chief Dark Horse too is positioned in the very upper end of the motorcycle market of India. Indian has priced the Chief Dark Horse at Rs. 21.99 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi).

The Indian Chief Dark Horse comes painted in only one color option of Thunder Black Smoke, which is essentially a matt black paint scheme. Needless to say, the motorcycle looks absolutely opulent in this color.

COMPETITION

Like in other international markets, the only potential rival which the Indian Chief Dark Horse will face is the Harley Davidson Night Rod Special. Much like the Chief Dark Horse, the blacked out appeal of the Night Rod Special distinguishes itself from the rest of the Harley Davidson’s lineup.

Harley Davidson Nightrod

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The design approach of both the motorcycles are pretty different, with the Night Rod Special being on a sporty side and the Chief Dark Horse being a more extra-special and exclusive one. The Harley Davidson Night Rod Special is blessed with a liquid cooled, V-twin, Revolution engine, which displaces 1247cc and pumps out 111 Nm of maximum torque. This makes it significantly lesser powered in comparison to the Chief Dark Horse.

In terms of exclusivity, both these Americans, Harley Davidson Night Rod Special and Indian Chief Dark Horse, fare equally, opting one of which will guarantee an experience worth having.

CONCLUSION

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The Indian Chief Dark Horse is loaded with a starry appeal and equipment, which makes it an incredibly valued possession on two wheels. The V-twin Thunderstroke 111 engine is a gem, and suits the character of the rest of the motorcycle. The top-notch hardware on offer makes the Chief Dark Horse an excellent cruiser to traverse unlimited miles, though one should take care of the fact that the maneuverability of this motorcycle is not something which is in the hands of everyone.

Like all the Indians of the past, the new Chief Dark Horse proves out to be one hugely exclusive and luxuriant motorcycle, which may be stupendously expensive, but feel worth of the every penny spent for it.