2017 American Iron Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide: Cruisers

There’s nothing like having an American V-Twin thundering beneath you, from the bolts of torque it unleashes from the first crack of the throttle to the raw vibrations in the bars and saddle. It’s a sensation that’s often imitated but never duplicated. This style of cruiser motorcycle is at the crux of the Harley, Indian and Victory brands, bikes with big power and big style, everyday riders and bar hoppers. With that in mind, let’s take a peek at the 2017 American cruiser motorcycle market.

Between its Softail and Dyna models, Harley-Davidson easily leads the segment in terms of having the most horses in the stable. Last year Harley threw its High Output Twin Cam 103 in all Softails and Dynas except the Street Bob, along with introducing the Softail Slim S and Fat Boy S with the Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110. While the return of both “S” models in 2017 is good news from the Harley camp, overall it’s a quieter year for The Motor Company. This rings true across the board as there’s only returning models from all three American manufacturers as no all-new cruiser motorcycles hit the market.

2017 Harley Street Bob

2017 Harley Street Bob

Harley Dynas are a hot commodity, the FX chassis a favorite for those who ride hard. With its mini-apes, bobbed back fender and solo seat, the 2017 Street Bob sports a chopper-like vibe. The front is tall and skinny, its rear is slammed, and the fork lowers, triple clamps and engine covers have all received the blacked-out treatment. At $13, 849 it’s the most affordable Dyna in the bunch and a great bike to get your “Easy Rider” on with.

2017 Harley Low Rider

2017 Harley Low Rider

Harley introduced its Low Rider in 1977 and the model continues to find a soft spot in Harley enthusiasts’ hearts. The 2017 Low Rider keeps the rider’s triangle compact with mid-mount controls and an adjustable seat and handlebars. The handlebar riser can be moved forward or backward 2.4 inches and the seat design allows for 1.5 inches of adjustability. Traditional styling and plenty of chrome trim help the latest Low Rider maintain its longstanding status as a fan favorite.

2017 Harley Low Rider S

2017 Harley Low Rider S

With club-styling straight from the factory, the 2017 Low Rider S ups the attitude ante with a host of performance upgrades including the Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine, forward-facing heavy breather intake, and upgraded suspension thanks to a cartridge fork and emulsion-type rear shocks. American Iron Garage Editor Tyler Greenblatt said “There’s fast, then there’s 110” Screamin’ Eagle Dyna fast” in his first ride review of the Low Rider S. With a bikini fairing, slotted heat shields, burly pipes, and denim gold rims against a primarily black bike, the Low Rider S has the rugged good looks to match its boosted performance.

The 2017 Fat Bob is no slouch in the attitude department either thanks to meaty tires front and back, dual bullet headlamps, and Tommy Gun exhaust. The Fat Bob rolls on disc wheels from machined aluminum and benefits from dual front discs. A custom LED tail light, drag bars, and coil-over shock housings give the Fat Bob its own signature look amongst Dynas.

2017 Harley Wide Glide

2017 Harley Wide Glide

The 2017 Wide Glide also has its own unique identity thanks to its wide, raked-out fork, 21-inch laced wheel and wire sissy bar. The Wide Glide runs a single rotor on the front and has the fists in the wind riding position courtesy of drag-style bars and forward controls. Internal wiring keeps the bars nice and tidy. Chrome bits and top-notch paint, especially with the nostalgic flame job on the tank, provide the Wide Glide flair.

Harley’s Softail motorcycles are prized for having an old school, hardtail look without the rigid ride thanks to its hidden rear shocks. Last year, cruise control and ABS became standard on all Softails.

2017 Harley Softail Slim

2017 Harley Softail Slim

For 2017, the Softail Slim comes in two versions, the base model equipped with the High Output Twin Cam 103B engine and the “S” version running the Screamin’ Eagle Air-Cooled Twin Cam 110B V-twin. The 2017 Softail Slim is distinguished by vintage Hollywood bars perched atop a stout fork. With the signature Softail horseshoe oil tank and cat eye console, the Softail Slim has textbook American cruiser styling. The 2017 Softail Slim S punches a little harder thanks to its Twin Cam 110B and Stage 1 High Flow intake. It looks the part of brawler thanks to a black triple clamp and riser, gloss black headlamp ring, black fork slider covers, fork lowers, mirrors, and over/under shotgun exhaust with slash cut mufflers. The added punch comes at an added price. At $18,999, the 2017 Softail Slim S costs $3900 more than the $15,099 Softail Slim.

Similar to the Softail Slim, the 2017 Fat Boy also comes in two versions, the first with the High Output Twin Cam 103B engine and the second with the Screamin’ Eagle Air-Cooled Twin Cam 110B. Solid disc wheels and thick forks are standard fare on both, as are wide handlebars and a 200mm rear. The 2017 Fat Boy S gets the bigger engine and performance intake along with the blacked-out treatment. The list includes frame, wheels, fenders, a gloss black front console, brake levers, hydraulic clutch assemblies, handlebar, handlebar riser, triple clamp, headlamp trim ring- even the axle nut covers are black. For paint, there’s two choices: Vivid black and Denim black. At $20,199, the 2017 Fat Boy S is the spendiest of the 2017 Softails.

2017 Harley Breakout

2017 Harley Breakout

2017 CVO Pro Street Breakout

2017 CVO Pro Street Breakout

The 2017 Breakout sits low and stretched. Add drag bars, 21-spoke Turbine wheels, and staggered, straight cut pipes to the equation and you’ve got the raciest-looking Softail of the bunch. The Breakout rolls 21 inches tall up front and 240mm wide out back with a High Output Twin Cam 103B slung in between. The Harley Breakout has a more custom look than other standard Softails.

Meanwhile, the 2017 CVO Pro Street Breakout does look like a custom bike direct from the factory floor. This thing will straight up boogie thanks to its Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110B engine and heavy breather intake. A hydraulic “Assist & Slip” clutch facilitates smooth launches. The CVO Pro Street Breakout’s performance is further boosted by an inverted fork and dual discs on the front. With Aggressor wheels, a club fairing, chin spoiler, top-shelf paint and a gold race stripe, it’s one mean-looking machine.

2017 Indian Chief Classic

2017 Indian Chief Classic

Indian powers into the cruiser segment with a twin bill of Indian Chiefs, the classy 2017 Chief Classic and its alter ego, the 2017 Indian Chief Dark Horse. Powering both is a pearl of an engine, Indian’s 1811cc Thunder Stroke 111 that easily pumps out in excess of 100 ft-lbs. of torque. The 2017 Indian Chiefs are an attractive combination of classic and contemporary. Plenty of the company’s heritage is evident, from the motorcycle’s big valanced fenders to the illuminated headdress on the front fender to the graphics on the tank. Make no mistake, though, these are modern machines with ABS, cruise control, and keyless ignitions. The stout frame is made of cast aluminum with an airbox integrated into the design. A big powerful bike like this needs big brakes so Indian equipped them with dual 300mm floating rotors on the front. The 2017 Chief Classic exudes class thanks to a bounty of shiny chrome, from the engine and exhaust to the fork and bars. Premium paint is icing on the cake, the Chief Classic striking in either its Pearl White or Burgundy Metallic over Thunder Black colorways. For the 2017 Indian Chief Dark Horse, it’s all about the black. There’s a hint of silver in the machined cylinder heads, fender trim and pipes, but beyond that everything on the bike has been blacked-out. At $17,499, the Chief Dark Horse is a grand cheaper than its dolled-up sibling.

2017 Indian Chief Dark Horse

2017 Indian Chief Dark Horse

Victory takes a four-pronged approach to the 2017 American cruiser market, all powered by the tried-and-true Freedom 106 V-twin. In the same manner as its competitors, Victory offers its 2017 Vegas in a traditional and blacked-out form. The standard Vegas sports a striking wheel up front in the form of the industrial 21 inch Falchion. The frame is color-matched to the Sunset Red paint job, the vibrant color offset by a powertrain, bars and fork clamps all in black. The spined tank continues to be one of its strong style points while its headlight has a new, more streamlined design. With a low 25 inch seat height, the 2017 Vegas is suitable for a wide variety of riders. On the flip side, the 2017 Vegas 8-Ball is dark as night, the contrast cut of the Falchion wheels, fork legs, and speedo housing the only shiny bits on the bike. At 25.2 inches, its seat height is a tad higher than the 2017 Vegas. With an MSRP of $12,999, the Vegas 8-Ball is the most affordable of the Victory cruisers.

2017 Victory Vegas 8-Ball

2017 Victory Vegas 8-Ball

The 2017 High-Ball exudes more attitude thanks to a 12 inch mini-apehanger handlebar and chunky tires on 16 inch spoke wheels. Matte paint replaces the gloss of the Vegas. A grunty 1731cc engine with plenty of low end torque suits this motorcycle perfectly. The High-Ball with the Suede Nuclear Sunset Orange paint is matched to whitewall tires while the Suede Black version is mated to straight black rubber. Even with the high bars, the High-Ball will surprise you with its willingness in turns.

2017 Victory High-Ball

2017 Victory High-Ball

2017 Victory Gunner

2017 Victory Gunner

The final offering in the Victory stable is the 2017 Gunner. The fact that Victory competes in the NHRA with a Gunner drag bike is a good clue as to the company’s intentions with this bike. With bobbed fenders, 24-spoke cast aluminum wheels, 16 inch wheels all the way around, and pullback handlebars, the Gunner is a real runner. Muscular Dunlop 491 Elite tires are ready to be roasted on this bike. Price point is definitely one of Victory cruisers’ strong point, the 2017 Gunner starting at $13,499 with the Suede Titanium Metallic paint.

Be sure to check out our 2017 Harley, Indian and Victory Bagger & Tourers Buyer’s Guide in American Iron Magazine issue # 345 on news stands now! To order a back issue of this or any other issue of American Iron Magazine, visit Greaserag.com.
 
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2017 American Iron Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide: Performance Cruisers

Victory Stunters Joe Vertical and Tony Carbajal

Joe Vertical and Tony Carbajal demonstrate the prowess of the 2017 Victory Octane.

Since OEM’s have been busy unveiling the latest crop of 2017 motorcycles, we’ve put together a series of “Buyer’s Guides” to bring you up to date on the latest and greatest offerings from American manufacturers. With the performance bar being raised higher and higher, it’s an exciting time in the industry. Victory unveiled its 2017 Octane by inviting a bunch of journalists to the track for some runs down the dragstrip and a little Stunt Riding 101 taught by Joe Dryden and Tony Carbajal. Dryden further demonstrated the Octane’s prowess by setting a Guinness World Record for the “World’s Longest Burnout.” Harley countered by bringing back its racy Roadster model for 2017 with stronger brakes, beefier suspension, mid controls and lowered bars. These days, “cruisers” don’t necessarily mean simply “sit back and enjoy the ride.” With that in mind, we take a look at the 2017 segment of American-made motorcycles that lean more toward the performance side of the equation than typical cruisers do.

2017 Night Rod Special

2017 Night Rod Special

2017 V-Rod Muscle

2017 V-Rod Muscle

One of the first to break down those stereotypes is Harley-Davidson’s V-Rod. Launched in 2001, the V-Rod was a big departure from the norm for The Motor Company. Powered by a liquid-cooled, 60 degree Revolution V-twin developed with the help of Porsche, the motorcycle came straight from the factory ready to rip up the quarter-mile. With its low rise bars, streamlined tank, fastback tail section and meaty 240mm rear, the V-Rod sure looks the part. Thanks to a powerplant with arm-stretching torque, Brembo brakes, ABS, and a “slipper” clutch, the V-Rod has the “go” to support its “show.” Joining the 2017 Night Rod Special is the 2017 Muscle with its faux air-rams on the sides of the tank, straight shot dual exhausts, rear turn signals integrated into the fender and more chiseled lines. If you’ve ever thought about plunking down the money for a V-Rod, the time is nigh because we’ve heard rumors this is the last year it will be in production.

2017 Sportster Forty-Eight

2017 Sportster Forty-Eight

One motorcycle that isn’t going anywhere is Harley’s Sportster. The iconic motorcycle is heading into its 60th year of continuous production in 2017. Offering the Sportster in both 883cc and 1200cc versions in a variety of configurations contributes to its longevity. This rings true once again in 2017. Harley got ahead of the game by releasing the 2017 Roadster a few months before the rest of its lineup. Positive reviews rolled in thanks to its 43mm inverted fork, adjustable rear suspension, dual front discs and a sporty riding position. The popular Forty-Eight returns in 2017, another 1200cc powered Sportster that runs a 49mm fork along with 16-inch cast aluminum wheels front and back and chunkier tires. While the Forty-Eight and Roadster both sport the heritage Peanut tank, the Sportster 1200 Custom has the 4.5 gallon tank and a lot more chrome than its 1200cc siblings. The Iron 883, a member of Harley’s Dark Custom line, is back in 2017 as well, the 883cc equipped Sporty with its blacked-out styling and solo seat a great gateway bike for just under $9K. Speaking of gateway motorcycles, the Street 750 and Street 500 featuring Harley’s liquid-cooled Revolution X engine both made the cut for 2017. While Harley improved the braking package on the Street models last year, in 2017 both are offered with a couple new options, including ABS for $750 or the H-D Smart Security System for $395.

2017 Harley Sportster Iron 883

2017 Harley Sportster Iron 883

Similar to Harley and its Roadster, Victory got the jump on its 2017 offerings by releasing its Octane back in March. The motorcycle represents Victory’s first foray into liquid-cooling, its 1179cc 60-degree V-twin said to be good for over 100 horsepower. Compact and quick, American Iron’s Editor-in-Chief Steve Lita said “I don’t ever recall riding any V-Rod that offered the agility or the pared-down muscle car feeling of the Octane or left as much spending money in my wallet,” in his first ride review. With a cast aluminum frame and wheels, Victory’s Octane rockets up to 60 mph in under four seconds. A sticker price of $10,499 leaves a little of that pocket change Lita mentioned.

2017 Victory Octane

2017 Victory Octane

Joining the Octane in Victory’s performance cruiser stable is the 2017 Hammer S. With a pro-street style stance, rear cowl, and 250mm rear, the Hammer S is a long-running staple in the Victory lineup. Powered by the tried and true Freedom 106 engine, the Hammer S sports an inverted fork, dual front discs and 18-inch tires front and back. Offered in a blacked-out Hammer S Eight Ball version last year, in 2017 the Hammer S comes in Gloss Black with White Racing Stripes only.

2017 Victory Hammer S

2017 Victory Hammer S

For 2017, Indian Motorcycle Co. enters the niche with two models, the 1133cc 2017 Scout and the 999cc 2017 Scout Sixty. With its revvy engine, cast aluminum frame, slick gearbox and low center of gravity, the Scout has been a tremendous sales success for the company. Last year, Indian offered the Scout with ABS as a $1000 option, which is a carry over to 2017. The two-tone paint schemes for the 2017 Scout are new, though, the contrast helping define the bike’s lines even more so than the monochromatic ones.

2017 Indian Scout

2017 Indian Scout

The 2017 Scout Sixty is also offered with ABS, but only on the Indian Motorcycle Red version. Though the engine is smaller, the Scout Sixty displays much of the same character as its stable mate, from the revviness of its engine to its sure-footedness in turns. Primary differences between the two include one less cog on the transmission of the Scout Sixty, smaller cylinder sleeves and a remapped ECU. The other differences are mostly cost-saving cosmetics, from less machining to less chrome to seat materials. But at a buck under $9K, the Scout Sixty is priced competitively enough to leave a little change for customization. Roland Sands Design used the Scout Sixty as a base platform for its SuperHooligan flat trackers it has been racing over the last year at events across the country.

2017 Indian Scout Sixty

2017 Indian Scout Sixty

Be sure to check out the 2017 Harley, Indian and Victory Cruiser Buyer’s Guide in American Iron Magazine issue # 344! To order a back issue of this or any other issue of American Iron Magazine, visit Greaserag.com.
 
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To subscribe to the PRINT edition, click here. To receive DIGITAL DELIVERY, click here.
 

2017 Indian Motorcycles, New Ride Command System Unveiled

2017 Indian Motorcycle Lineup

Newly expanded family of award-winning premium motorcycles includes cruisers, mid-size cruisers, baggers and touring bikes that encourage our riders to stand apart and ‘Be Legendary’

Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company, today announced its lineup of Model Year 2017 bikes. The 2017 family carries forth all 2016 models including the recently released Scout Sixty, Indian Springfield, and Chieftain Dark Horse models, while featuring an array of new features, new color choices, awe-inspiring infotainment, and much more.

Ride Command Infotainment System
Indian Motorcycle raises the bar yet again, redefining the premium motorcycle segment with Ride Command, motorcycling’s most advanced yet user-friendly infotainment system. Sporting the industry’s largest and brightest touchscreen display, highest resolution and fastest response time, Indian Motorcycle masterfully fuses state-of-the-art technologies with truly remarkable styling. Fully integrated into the dash for an up-close rider experience, Ride Command offers an intuitive interface, customizable information displays, glove-compatible two-finger touch capabilities, and easy navigation to points of interest, like gas stations and restaurants. The breakthrough new Ride Command infotainment system comes standard on all 2017 Chieftain and Roadmaster models. (Read our 2017 Indian Chieftain & Roadmaster First Ride Review for even more information about the new Ride Command center.)

2017 Indian Motorcycle Ride Command System

2017 Indian Motorcycle Ride Command System

Features include:
– 7-inch display, 800×480 pixels, 2-finger capacitive with swipe and pinch to zoom
– Fastest boot time – ready in about 10 seconds
– 100-watt premium audio system (Chieftain) output (Chieftain), 200-watt Roadmaster, with both touchscreen and handlebar audio controls
– Bluetooth audio, AM/FM/weather band, USB flash drive support with USB song shuffle
– GPS navigation with turn-by-turn directions, points of interest, compass, and more
– Critical information always displayed, like clock, air temperature, compass heading, fuel level and fuel range
– Convenient phone features available through easy Bluetooth pairing, including phonebook download, incoming call notification with name display, voice activated calling, incoming text notification, and more

2017 Indian Scout

2017 Indian Scout

2017 Midsize Lineup
Indian Scout – Riding a landslide of awards, accolades and phenomenal sales success, the ever-classic Indian Scout is back for 2017. This middle-weight cruiser’s weight has been reduced to 538 pounds (dry) and extends its legacy of dominance with perfect balance, precise handling and category-leading power and quickness. With a low 25.3-inch seat height and available extended and reduced reach accessories, the Indian Scout is the perfect bike for riders of many sizes and skill levels. Featuring a liquid-cooled 69 cubic inch V-twin engine, an exhilarating 100 HP of raw power, and starting at $11,299, the 2017 Indian Scout is the thoroughly modern rebirth of an American classic. Available in Ivory Cream, Thunder Black, Silver Smoke and Thunder Black Smoke. Indian Scout featuring ABS is offered in Burgundy Metallic plus a pair of two-tone finishes starting at $12,299.

Scout Sixty – For 2017, the Scout Sixty returns in all its glory, encouraging riders to “Start Your Legend.” With the legendary handling and performance of the Scout, the Scout Sixty is offered at a very attainable $8,999 starting price. Powered by a potent 60 cubic inch engine mated to a silky smooth 5-speed transmission, this mid-size cruiser is arguably the best buy in motorcycling today. Available in Thunder Black and Pearl White. Scout Sixty with ABS is offered in Indian Motorcycle Red starting at $9,999.

2017 Cruiser Lineup
Chief Classic – Powered by the proven and award-winning Thunder Stroke 111 engine, the aptly named Chief Classic has set a new benchmark as the classic American cruiser. Its iconic lines, world-class finishes, heritage inspired design, balance, and unrivaled engineering make it the ultimate choice for pure cruiser enthusiasts. The 2017 Chief Classic is available starting at $18,499 and is available in Pearl White and Burgundy Metallic over Thunder Black two-tone.

Chief Dark Horse – Embrace the darkness with the 2017 Indian Chief Dark Horse, the baddest, boldest bike on the road. With the endless power of the award-winning Thunder Stroke 111 engine, end-to-end matte black finish and just a touch of chrome, every other bike on the road seems tame. Featuring ABS, remote key fob for keyless ignition, electronic cruise control, a dry weight of 751 pounds and starting at just $17,499, the Indian Chief Dark Horse has it all – including a seriously bad attitude.

2017 Bagger Lineup
Chief Vintage – The 2017 Chief Vintage is the ultimate retro-vintage bagger, turning heads with its classic styling, iconic soft-sided saddle bags crafted from Desert Tan Genuine Leather – dripping in fringe and Indian Motorcycle nostalgia. Featuring the classic power of the Thunder Stroke 111 engine, the Chief Vintage is offered in Thunder Black and three gorgeous two-tone vintage color schemes. MSRP starting at $19,999.

2017 Indian Chieftain

2017 Indian Chieftain

Chieftain & Chieftain Dark Horse – Indian Motorcycle proudly offers riders an opportunity to “Lead the Pack” with two of America’s most commanding, versatile and awe-inspiring bikes. Both feature the Thunder Stroke 111 engine, TPMS, ABS, fairing with integrated driving lights and power windshield, cruise control, remote locking hard bags, keyless ignition, and much more. The Chieftain Dark Horse, starting at $21,999, is the newest addition to Indian’s bagger family. Sporting a premium 100W audio system and an ominous nose-to-tail matte black finish with minimal chrome for a menacing presence that refuses to be ignored. The Indian Chieftain starts at $23,999 and comes standard with the all-new Ride Command system, blasting out 100W of premium audio and all the infotainment features a rider leading the pack could ever want. The Chieftain is available in Thunder Black Pearl, White Smoke, Silver Smoke, and a pair of two-tone palettes.

Indian Springfield – Named after the birthplace of Indian Motorcycle, the Indian Springfield offers classic styling blended with thoroughly modern technology for a purist’s take on both touring comfort and urban versatility. The Springfield can be quickly converted into a cruiser with the quick-release windshield and saddlebags removed, or transformed into a high-capacity touring model with Genuine Indian Motorcycle accessories. Remote locking hard bags and adjustable passenger floorboards come standard along with genuine leather seating, ABS, TPMS, cruise control, and a powerful headlight and dual driving lights. Indian Springfield is offered in Thunder Black or Indian Motorcycle Red. New for 2017 are stunning Steel Gray/Burgundy Metallic and Blue Sapphire/Star Silver two-tone finishes. Starting at $20,999.

2017 Indian Roadmaster

2017 Indian Roadmaster

2017 Touring Lineup
Indian Roadmaster – The Roadmaster returns for 2017 as the industry’s flagship tourer and the epitome of luxury and comfort. Powered by the rock solid Thunder Stroke 111 engine and offering nearly 38 gallons of storage, Roadmaster is “Your Ultimate Ride.” It offers a wealth of ergonomic luxury and innovations for rider and passenger alike, including a power-adjustable windscreen, heated grips, individually controlled heated seats for driver and passenger, ABS, TPMS, keyless ignition with remote locking storage, electronic cruise control and adjustable passenger floorboards. New for 2017, Roadmaster comes standard with the Ride Command™ infotainment system, delivering a glorious 200W premium audio experience, along with state-of-the-art GPS/Navigation, a 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen display, seamless Bluetooth integration, hands-free calling, a wealth of vehicle information, and more. Offered in Thunder Black, Burgundy Metallic, and three two-tone palettes starting at $28,999.

Experience the 2017 Lineup at the 76th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Sturgis attendees are cordially invited to view the entire new 2017 lineup at the Indian Motorcycle Factory display on Lazelle St. throughout the rally, or to experience them firsthand with a Factory Demo Ride at 2100 Whitewood Service Road (I-90 at Exit 30) from August 6 – August 12 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. The entire family of 2017 models will be available for demo rides, including a selection of accessorized models.

2017 Indian Chieftain & Roadmaster First Ride Review

2017 Indian Motorcycle Ride Command System

The Indian Motorcycle Ride Command System features a 7-inch capacitor touchscreen teamed to a fast processor. (Barry Hathaway Photos Courtesy of Indian Motorcycle Co.) 

Biggest. Fastest. Most Customizable.

These words are running through my head as I sit roadside pushing buttons on the Indian Roadmaster’s new infotainment system trying to decide what I want to see on the display of my split screens. Seeing how a 5,000 foot climb to the Blue Ridge Parkway lies before me, I opt for the digital compass that has an altimeter so I can chart my ascension for the left half. On the right I run the motorcycle’s navigation system so I can chart my course through these marvelous ribbons of asphalt in the Appalachians. I bump the volume up a couple of notches on the music I’m streaming through Wi-Fi to set the tone for a spirited ride up the mountain. Welcome to the 21st Century Indian tourers.

During the presentation of its 2017 heavyweight motorcycles, Polaris’ President-Motorcycles Steve Menneto said that while Chieftain and Roadmaster sales were good, the bikes lacked one essential part consumers wanted. That missing part was a multi-functional, state-of-the-art infotainment system. Count us among those who scratched their heads wondering why Indian’s touring motorcycles didn’t come with nav as a standard feature. Now we know why. Indian was already in the process of developing it, and just like its motorcycles, the company doesn’t rush to launch something until they’ve got it right. In order to one-up its competitors, the Indian Motorcycle Ride Command System reportedly has the “biggest screen, fastest processor, and is the most customizable.”

To assess these claims, let’s peek at some of the primary features of the Indian Motorcycle Ride Command System and Harley’s Boom! Box Infotainment System. The Indian features a 7-inch capacitor touchscreen with an 800 X 480 pixel resolution while Harley’s Boom! Box is offered with either a 4.3-inch or 6.5-inch high resolution touchscreen. Both systems can be linked via Bluetooth and have voice activation, the Indian featuring “Voice Activated Call” and “Voice Activated Siri or OK Google” through a headset while voice-operated commands of H-D’s 6.5-inch Boom! Box system controls “mobile phone functions, media, radio tuner, navigation, and help.” Navigation comes standard for both Indian tourers while Harley’s navigation system comes standard only on models with the Boom! Box 6.5GR system. The Indian audio system is 50 watts-per-channel (100 watts on Chieftain; 200 watts on Roadmaster) while audio output on the Harleys is 25 watts-per-channel through either a two-channel or four-channel system.

2017 Indian Motorcycles 7-inch touchscreen

The 7-inch touchscreen of the 2017 Indian heavyweight motorcycles is mounted close to the rider and the fairing has been stretched a tad to accommodate it.

While the two systems are definitely comparable, what sets the Indian apart is its ability to customize screens and the amount of features it offers. There are eight screen options total, including Vehicle Status (tire pressure, voltage, engine hours, oil change), Vehicle Info (speed, fuel range, RPM, gear position), Trip 1 (fuel range, miles, average fuel economy, instantaneous fuel economy time, average speed), Trip 2 (fuel range, miles, average fuel economy, instantaneous fuel economy time, average speed), Ride Data (heading, moving time, stop time, altitude, altitude change), Audio, Bluetooth and Map/Navigation. The 7-inch digital display is flanked by two analog dials, a speedo and tach, each with small digital windows at the bottom of the dials. The tach window includes a gear indicator and an odometer, while the speedo has a digital fuel gauge. Radio controls can be accessed either from the display or through the pad on the left control housing on the handlebar. There is also two finger triggers on the back of the control housings to accept and decline navigation functions displayed on the screen, green on the right for accept and red on left for decline. The screen can also be turned off altogether if riders just want to kick back and enjoy the ride.

Look for the full ride review of the 2017 Indian Chieftain and Roadmaster in an upcoming issue of American Iron Magazine.

In the meantime, be sure to check out plenty more custom and classic motorcycle features, tech stories, events and more in past issues of  American Iron Magazine

Also available in digital format CLICK HERE American Iron Digital

 

INDIAN MOTORCYCLE RIDE COMMAND SYSTEM SPECS & FEATURES 
SPECIFICATIONS
Screen Size: 7”
Pixel Count: 800×480
Number of Buttons: 5
Brightness: 1000 Nit’s
Touch Screen: Two-Finger Capacitive
Glove Touch Screen: Swipe and Pinch to Zoom

NAVIGATION
Maps: (turn by turn with 3D birds eye view)
Point of Interest List
Point of Interest Search
Address Search
Audible Route Notifications
Show List of Nearby Gas Stations Upon Low Fuel Indication
Compass

CRITICAL INFORMATION
(ALWAYS DISPLAYED IN HEADER)
Clock from GPS
Consumer Adjustable Clock
Ambient Air Temperature

OTHER
Customizable Information Displays
Vehicle Information (From CANbus)
Trip Information
TPMS Display
Output power per channel (RMS), 50W (External Amp)
Display User Interface Customization (Main Screen Field Data Selection)

RADIO/AUDIO
Radio Control from display
Radio Control from handlebars
AM, FM & Weatherband
iPod Control over USB (no old iPods with 32 pin connector)
Songs from USB flash drive
USB Song Shuffle
Bluetooth Audio
Album Art

BLUETOOTH
Driver Smartphone Bluetooth Capable
Driver Bluetooth Headset

PHONE FEATURES*
Phonebook Download (Bluetooth )
Incoming Call Notification
Incoming Call Friendly Name Display
Place a call from phonebook
Dial a number to call
Voice Activated Call (with headset)
Voice Activated Siri or “OK Google” (with headset)
Incoming Driver Text Notification
Incoming Driver Text Friendly Name Display
Send a quick text from driver device (Android only)
* Smartphone must support this feature

2017 Indian Chieftain bagger

It’s easy to see why the Chieftain bagger is a big seller for Indian Motorcycle Co.

2017 INDIAN CHIEFTAIN SPECS 

ENGINE – THUNDER STROKE 111
Engine Type: 49˚ V-Twin
Transmission: 6-speed/constant mesh/foot shift
Battery: 12 volts / 18 amp/hour, 310 CCA
Bore x Stroke: 3.976”x 4.449” (101mm x 113mm)
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Compression Ratio: 9.5 : 1
Cooling System: Air / Oil
Displacement: 111 cubic-inch / 1811cc
Exhaust: Split dual exhaust with crossover
Final Drive: Belt, 152 tooth
Fuel Capacity: 5.5 gal / 20.8 ltr
Fuel System: Electronic fuel injection, closed loop/54mm bore
Oil Capacity: 5.5 qts / 5.20 ltr
Primary Drive: Gear drive wet clutch
Torque (claimed): 119.2 ft-lbs at 3000 rpm

SUSPENSION
Front: Telescopic fork, 46mm diameter, 4.7 in. / 119mm travel
Rear: Single shock 4.5 in. / 114mm travel, air adjustable

CHASSIS
Dry Weight: 828 lbs / 376 kg
Ground Clearance: 5.6 in / 142mm
GVWR: 1,385 lbs / 630 kg
Length: 101.2 in. / 2571mm
Rake/Trail: 25° / 5.9 in. / 150mm
Seat Height: 26 in. / 660mm
Wheelbase: 65.7 in. / 1668mm

BRAKES
Brake System Type: Individual front and rear control with ABS
Front: Dual 300mm floating rotor with 4-piston calipers
Rear: Single 300mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper

WHEELS & TIRES
Front Tire: Dunlop Elite 3, 130/90B16 73H
Front Wheel: Cast 16” x 3.5” with tire pressure monitoring
Rear Tire: Dunlop Elite 3 180/60R16 80H
Rear Wheel: Cast 16” x 5.0” with tire pressure monitoring

2017 CHIEFTAIN COLORS & MSRP
Thunder Black Pearl $23,999
Silver Smoke $24,499
White Smoke $24,499
Wildfire Red over Thunder Black $25,199
Star Silver over Thunder Black $25,199

2017 ROADMASTER COLOR & MSRP
Thunder Black $28,999
Burgundy Metallic $29,599
Willow Green over Ivory Cream $30,399
Thunder Black over Ivory Cream $30,399
Steel Gray over Thunder Black $30,399 US

*Does not include California emissions.