There is an unmatched charm which the vintage bikes from Indian motorcycles possess. The beauty and the fact that their styling still feels like the motorcycles from the bygone eras make people love them even more. Yes, all the motorcycles from the stable of Indian are super-pricey, but that’s the catch – they are not for everyone, they are exclusive!
Indian Motorcycles entered into the Indian two wheeler market soon after their much awaited global revival in early 2014. The brand was dead for many years, until the Polaris group took the initiative of taking over the brand and restoring it by launching the newest avatar of all the motorcycles.
After tasting the success with the current range of Chief motorcycles, Indian has now expanded the range by introducing the all new Springfield to the range. The Springfield has been launched under the Bagger range of bikes, which currently has Chief Classic and Chief Vintage. A heavenly motorcycle for the touring aficionados and classic motorcycle lovers, the Springfield is a supremely special motorcycle. Here’s a quick look on the latest avatar of the Indian Springfield.
As said above, the Indian Springfield is a heavily kitted version of its stable mate, the Chief Classic. That means, except for a long list of equipment, the Springfield is essentially the same motorcycle as the Chief Classic. But those features are substantial enough to make you feel that the Springfield is a completely different motorcycle from the Chief Vintage.
Take for instance, the front view of the motorcycle. The chrome finished circular headlamp with twin assisting lamps beside it has been borrowed from the Chief Classic. But the large and adjustable windshield above the headlamp unit make you realize that this is a completely different and bigger face. The windshield is very effective in cutting the windblasts at higher speeds, making the Springfield an excellent highway cruiser.
Below the assisting lamps at the front sit the turn indicators, which too are finished in chrome. Like all the motorcycles from the Chief family, the Springfield too gets a beautifully sculpted front fender, with chrome garnishing, 3-D ‘Vintage’ logo and the very special illuminated war motif sitting right at the front.
From the sides, the Indian Springfield looks extremely huge and bulky for motorcycle standards. The motorcycle borrows the sloping fuel tank from its ancestors, resulting in a family resemblance. The side body cowls gel well with the retro appeal of the bike and give it a presence like no other. Like the front fender, the rear fender too is a curvy unit, with the longitudinal LED tail lamp mounted on it, along with the chromed turn indicators assisting it. The Springfield, just like its other stablemates, gets heavy dose of chrome, as the V-twin engine, exhausts on both sides, alloy wheels, handlebar, gauges, rear view mirrors and lamps are all bathed in chrome, giving this motorcycle a heavy starry appeal. The bike also gets hard saddlebags, tyres with side whitewalls, genuine leather seats, cruise control, ABS and keyless ignition as a part of standard equipment.
The instrument console of the Indian Springfielde is heavily loaded with almost all the information which you will need on the go, some of which are exclusive to this machine. The tank mounted unit has displays for the speedometer, odometer, two trip meters, digital tachometer, ambient air temperature, fuel range, average fuel economy, battery voltage, gear indicator, clock, low engine oil pressure, fuel gauge, and nine different tell tale lights. Phew, A long list it is!
Powering the huge Indian Springfield requires an equally mammoth engine, which is why Indian motorcycle has employed its ballistic and proven Thunderstroke 111 engine on the Springfield. 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 mil 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 Springfield is equipped with the best of hardware a cruiser motorcycle can pack in. The bike, like other motorcycles of Chief range, 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 Springfield is extremely comfortable, with the forward laid foot pegs and mildly high positioned and stretched back handlebar. The humongous kerb weight of 364 kgs though means that maneuvering this huge motorcycle is not easy task, especially at lower speeds. Plus, handling such amount of weight on two wheels also requires a set of very skilled hands.
The Springfield gets tubeless Dunlop tyres shod on 16-inch spoked wheels, which are meaty and provide ample grip on all types of terrains. The bike is also bestowed with dual 300mm disc brakes at the front and a single 300mm disc brake at the rear, which are coupled with the ABS.
It’s where the Indian Springfield 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. 27.5 lakh, the Indian Springfield 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 Springfield is available in five different paint schemes – Thunder Black and Indian Red. The motorcycle is available through very limited dealerships in India, making it even more exclusive.
The Indian Springfield has one and only true competition, which hails from the same country to which it belongs – Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic. The motorcycle bears heavy resemblance with the Springfield with three chrome bathed headlamps and turn indicators at front, high set front windshield, white walled tyres, chromed engine and exhaust pipes, tank mounted instrument console and leather saddlebags and seats. Though, the Indian Springfield feels one or two notches more premium with exclusive touches, like the fender mounted war motif, more comprehensive gauges and well sculpted front and rear fenders.
Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic
The Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic 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 Heritage Softail Classic match the credentials of the Springfield, but the overall refinement and the aural pleasure from the exhaust pipes from the Springfield 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 Springfield 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 Springfield 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. But there are customers who can easily live with these shortcoming, and for those people, the Indian Springfield has the potential of being the most valuable possession to be proud of.