Ride quality is good, as expected from an American cruiser, at stand still the machine feels heavy and tough as a brick. Suspension is plush, while travel and ground clearance are good. The suspension soaks up the rough stuff pretty well and did not leave me wanting. This motorcycle’s road manners are extremely polite, leaning easily without grinding anything on the tarmac. On the move, it is surprisingly light on its feet, tackling bends is not at all intimidating given its size and 376kg mass. OEM tyres are Dunlop Elite 3s and given the really wet weather throughout that week, the tyres stood up to the test very well. Lots of feedback from the road and never once breaking traction despite its 1811cc or 111 cubic inch engine and mountains of torque. Very modern handling and might I add well mannered, turning radius is surprisingly tight for such a large machine.
In taking on a well established market, Indian positioned itself well with standard equipment. Moving from front to back, the secure windshield pops off under 5 seconds while the massive headlight nacelle comes fully chromed, combined with fog lights and nobody will say they didn’t see you coming. Black tape over the chrome behind the windshield ensures no glare is reflected at the rider under the sun. Controls are also well built, tough and beefy but easy to thumb and activate. Cruise control is also easy to engage.
Dubious amounts of chrome and “Thunder Black” paint all over make this motorcycle an unmistakable wall of chrome. Nobody can walk by without noticing. Left on the sidewalk, even tourists stop to admire and take photos with the bike. Cylinder heads are both chromed and textured, made to resemble the side valved cylinders powering the postwar models although modern combustion chamber design has departed from that technology. Pushrod covers are fat and beefy, adding to the robust look of the engine.
The console comes with an electric power on button. One touch start lets you put a smug look on your face before you roll off. The speedometer comes in a timeless colour and design, while an LCD panel readout gives everything from RPM to ambient temperature, volt meter, tyre pressure monitor, alert for low tyre pressure.
This alert lets you get away with having to make manual checks on tyre pressure, when the deep and graceful fenders do make it a little tricky to get to the tyre pressure valves. The standard electric locking sidecases are such a joy. These sidecases can be removed in minutes while the hidden power socket is not even a hassle to get to. Adjustable pillion floorboards with 9 different positions lock in place with a very assuring click. Seats are adorned in premium leather and detailed with decorative studs. Absolutely beautiful.