Indian Chief Dark Horse review by Andy Bisson.
I did a review over 2 years ago of the Indian Chief Limited so I was keen to see how this compared as whilst I’m not a cruiser type of guy, I did really like the Indian Chief Limited and found it a really easy bike to handle due to the low weight ratio. It was just the forward pegs that put me off.
For a naked bike, this is a real beast. It looks stunning in the grey and black and the finish is superb with Indian putting the effort into the finer detail with subtle finishes like the raised lettering on the tank that really stand out. The front of the bike is really neat and tidy without wires and cables everywhere.
It’s a belt drive which is great and takes away all the maintenance hassle of the chain. It has LED lights which are neat and tidy and in keeping with the bike. The TFT screen is great, keeping the traditional old school look with modern applications. It’s a touch screen or it can be controlled from a switch on the handlebars. It has Bluetooth function for linking to your phone as well as GPS with a great mapping system which is clear to follow. It also comes with ABS, traction control and a keyless system.
Starting her up didn’t disappoint either as it sounds superb with the V-Twin air-cooled 1900cc engine roaring out. It has a very comfortable seat and it low down so ideal for the shorter rider. It has mid-set pegs which I really like as I’m not a fan of forward pegs or plates and I found it a really comfortable sitting position. The bars are wide providing a nice upright riding position.
As I headed out around town, I found it smooth and very easy for balance at slow speeds due to its low weight placement and once I got to grips with the clutch which is quite heavy with little bite, it was quite happy to tick along in traffic. Heading out of town it came into its own and was a delight to ride. I found it very smooth for a V-Twin displaying more character that you would expect from a cruiser rather than a thumping jolt that you get with some others.
As we headed off through St Peters Valley and out west it soon let me know that it was built with low down grunt and the little grin started to appear, reminding me it was time to ease off. The wide handlebars make it easy for cornering and it chewed up the bends with ease.
We did our compulsory trip through waterworks valley and the roads through the bends were embedded with squashed wet leaves providing a challenge for the Chief as we powered through and as I expected (and hoped) the Chief rose to the challenge and didn’t faulter, maintaining a firm grip and a well-balanced ride.
So, what’s my overall thoughts. If I could pick a bike for my Sunday afternoon rides, I think I may have just found it. It broke all my negative thoughts of a cruiser and it sits well above any other that I’ve ridden. A superb bike and well worth a demo ride.