Seldom comes a motorcycle when it is an exemplar of unprecedented luxury and sumptuousness. But in case of Indian Motorcycles, there have been several such examples. A company as old as over a century, the Indian Motorcycles offers you bikes like no other manufacturer with its machines which successfully try to pamper you with their sybaritic appeal.
The motorcycles of Indian are certainly not cheap, and not for everyone too. There are very few motorcycles in the world which come close to the opulent persona of the Indian’s motorcycles, especially the one which are positioned at the topmost end. The Roadmaster is one such motorcycle from Indian which has raised the standards of craft and attention to detail in case of motorcycles.
In today’s date, the Roadmaster is the flagship motorcycle from Indian, and is regarded as one of the most impeccable touring motorcycles sold around the world. Overall, the Roadmaster looks premium and lavish from every angle, and tries to justify its premium positioning in terms of price and segment. Here’s a quick look on what all things make the Indian Roadmaster this desirable.
First things first, the Indian Roadmaster is all about size and luxury. Indian has tried hard to make this motorcycle appear as extravagant as possible, without going over the board. The motorcycle does carry a lot of retro appeal, but comes with a gazillion of contemporary features, which makes it a splendid and timeless machine on two wheels. The overall styling borrows a lot from the Chieftain which is positioned below it, but there is a suitably long list of features and cosmetic add-ons, which make this motorcycle more premium and distinctive over the Chieftain.
At the front, the Indian Roadmaster comes with a huge front fairing around the headlamp units, which not only look good and give the Roadmaster a unique identity of its own, but also work effortlessly in protecting the rider from windblasts. Within this front fairing sit the main headlamp at the center, which is then flanked with two auxiliary lamps. At the upper corners of the fairing are positioned the LED turn indicators. The center headlamp unit is surrounded by a chrome panel. At the top of the fairing sits an electronically adjustable windshield, the height of which can be adjusted just by the push of a button on the switchgear. Like in every other motorcycle from Indian barring the entry level Scout, the curvaceous front fender of the Roadmaster is ornamented by the iconic war motif which can be lightened up along with the headlamp units.
Moving beyond this front fairing towards the sides, you will find that the Indian Roadmaster bears resemblance with the Chieftain. The sloping down and curvy fuel tank, chrome bathed engine and dual exhaust pipes and side body panels have been shared with the Chief Classic and Chief Vintage. The Roadmaster, though, comes with saddle bags at both of its rear sides, which slope down beautifully in a curvaceous manner toward the rear, in symphony with the rear fender. These saddlebags come with premium concert audio system, with a set of premium speakers on the saddle bag lids. The rear of the Roadmaster is also a lot more feature packed and different from the rest of the Indian lineup, as the motorcycle comes with armrest support and cushioned pads made up of leather for the pillion rider. Behind the pillion seat sits another storage compartment, which gets chrome garnishing for highlighting the premium appeal of the motorcycle.
Compared to the fuel tank mounted instrument console of the Chief Classic and Chieftain, the Indian Roadmaster gets a proper console behind the front fairing and above the handlebar. This fully loaded console comes with the readouts for speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, odometer, dual trip meters with distance and time, instantaneous and average fuel economy with remaining fuel range, real-time clock, ambient air temperature, gear position display, front and rear tire pressure, engine hours of operation, engine oil life percentage, average speed, battery voltage, radio information display, vehicle trouble code readout, heated grip level (if heated grips installed), and 15 LED telltale indicators for cruise control enabled, cruise control set, neutral, high beam, turn signal, ABS, check engine, low tire pressure, battery, low fuel, security system and low engine oil pressure.
The stretched back handlebar and switchgear are finished in chrome to impart that extra edge of premiumness. Other standard features on the Indian Chieftain include ABS, Cast Aluminum Frame with Integrated Air-Box, Cruise Control, Keyless Start, Black Genuine Leather Seats, Remote Locking Hard Saddle Bags, Tire Pressure Monitoring and 100 Watt Stereo with AM/FM Bluetooth and Smartphone Compatible Input.
Powering the mammoth Indian Roadmaster requires an equally mammoth engine, which is why Indian motorcycle has employed its ballistic and proven Thunderstroke 111 engine on the Chief Vintage. Shared with the Chief Classic and Chief Vintage, this engine displaces 1811cc produces 138.9 Nm of torque, and comes mated to a 6-speed gearbox.
The engine has bucketloads of torque down the rev range as well as in the mid range, making it an effortless highway mile muncher. The power delivery is almost linear, and you won’t feel any instantaneous surge anywhere in the entire rev range, which prevents it from being as intimidating as its size. The top end of the rev range is also meaty, thus making this bike stable and powerful even at higher speeds.
RIDE AND HANDLING
The Indian Roadmaster is equipped with the best of hardware a touring motorcycle can pack in. The bike gets 46mm inverted telescopic hydraulic forks at the front and a hidden hydraulic monoshock at the rear. This suspension system is comfortable enough to absorb all kinds of bumps and undulations, whatever the size may be.
The riding posture on the Roadmaster is extremely comfortable, with the forward laid foot pegs and mildly high positioned and stretched back handlebar. The humongous kerb weight of 421 kgs though means that maneuvering this huge motorcycle is not an easy task, especially at lower speeds. Plus, handling such amount of weight on two wheels also requires a set of very skilled hands.
It’s where the Indian Roadmaster becomes totally out of reach for most of the buyers. Given the amount of exclusivity and power this motorcycle packs in, it is expected that it isn’t a thing for the common man. At Rs. 37 lakh, the Indian Roadmaster is a very expensive motorcycle, but the amount of lavishness this motorcycle possesses is also hard to match.
Like in any other market worldwide, the Indian Roadmaster is available in five different paint schemes – Thunder Black, Blue Diamond, Indian Motorcycle Red with Ivory Cream, Springfield Blue with Ivory Cream and Steel Grey with Thunder Black. The motorcycle is available through very limited dealerships in India, making it even more exclusive.
The Indian Roadmaster has one and only one true competition, which hails from the same country to which it belongs – Harley Davidson Street Glide Special. Just like the Indian Chieftain, the Street Glide Special too comes with a large windshield, but misses out on auxiliary lamps. Though, the Indian Roadmaster feels one or two notches more premium with better attention to detailing exclusive touches, like the fender mounted war motif, more comprehensive gauges and well sculpted front and rear fenders.
Harley Davidson Street Glide Special
The Harley Davidson Street Glide Special is powered by a four stroke, air cooled, Twin Cam 103B engine, which displaces 1690cc and puts up 130Nm of torque. These figures do make the Street Glide Special match the credentials of the Roadmaster, but the overall refinement and the aural pleasure from the exhaust pipes from the Roadmaster are marginally better. There is nothing much to differentiate between both the motorcycles when it comes to ride quality and comfort on both the motorcycles, which are absolutely stellar on both the machines.
Like all the motorcycles from Indian, the Roadmaster is a hugely expensive, exclusive and supreme motorcycle, which isn’t built for everyone. But for those who can afford such a beautiful machine on two wheels, the Roadmaster will always deliver more than expected. The motorcycle is utterly lavish to say the least, packs in a plethora of features, has a gem of an engine and has a magic carpet like ride quality. Sure, it isn’t a perfect motorcycle, with a limited availability and cumbersome size to handle in city traffic being the curbing factors going against it. But there are customers who can easily live with these shortcomings, and for those people, the Indian Roadmaster has the potential of being the most valuable possession to be proud of. The bike does get a prefect name – it surely is a master of roads!