"Heritage" and "authenticity" are two commonly used buzzwords in marketing today. Sometimes they are used loosely; Sometimes there is a good reason to apply the terms to a new product.
Indian Motorcycle Company's new luxury touring motorcycle, the 2015 Roadmaster, has just arrived in showrooms, claiming both the labels 'heritage' and 'authenticity'. Joining a line of motorcycles all-new for 2014, the Roadmaster continues to expand Indian's lineup and borders on territory that has been Harley-Davidson's near-exclusive territory since the original Indian Motorcycle Company turned on its head in 1953 became.
In addition to the Roadmaster, the 2015 Indian lineup consists of the Chief Vintage, the Chief Classic, the Chieftain and the new Scout.
The new Roadmaster carries a front upper and lower fairing, a pair of fixed saddlebags and a trunk. Several design features reflect the classic Native American. Once again there is a low flared front fender with an illuminated Indian head. A chrome luggage rack is located on the trunk lid. A Roadmaster badging is located on each side of the lower fairing. The bike is both a tribute and an update to the Indian aesthetic, executed with taste and attention to detail. In my eyes, Indian managed to achieve their stated goal of designing a bike that respects the original while still bringing it into the present. This might look like the bike Indian would have evolved into if they had never gone out of business in 1953.
I had the Roadmaster for a couple of weeks, striving to ride the bike in a wide variety of conditions on as many roads as time would allow. Since we're in the middle of an epic drought here in Southern California and my credit coincided with a terrible triple-digit heatwave, I couldn't ride in the rain or cold. My longest dedicated ride was about 100 miles, and I used the bike for short jumps and everything in between. I've spent time on wide freeways, congested commuter routes, suburban streets, and country roads. During the weekday I had a nice ride on the Angeles Crest Highway, one of my favorite local roads and a fantastic place to challenge the cornering and handling of a big bike. I even drove a few kilometers down a dirt road in search of a great spot for photos.
CONTINUE READING:The Indian Boy Scout and the Wall of Death
The Roadmaster handles very well at low speeds and feels like it has a low center of gravity. Parking lot maneuvers and turns are drama-free despite the bike’s claimed 897lb dry weight. That's heavier than the comparable Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited (861 lbs) and Indian Chieftain (815 lbs). I've made sure to park the Roadmaster in positions where I can easily get off the jiffy stand and drive off without backing up - the six-speed gearbox doesn't have reverse.
On the open road, the Roadmaster drives like a dream. It is solid, planted and undisturbed by cross winds. It soaks up the miles just like a touring bike should. When traffic gets tight, the width of the bike is predictable because the back of the bike is no wider than the front. So lane sharing is possible in many situations (still legal here in California) if done with care. Balancing at low speeds in bumper-to-bumper traffic is easy – as long as you're moving forward with the clutch disengaged, you can keep your feet on the floorboards and avoid paddling.
On winding terrain, the Roadmaster handles with a grace that belies its weight - that feeling of low center of gravity makes itself felt again. Changing direction isn't quite as easy as pivoting a sportbike from side to side, but the bike responds predictably to gentle inputs and has enough ground clearance to allow for generous leaning. The first part to touch down is the folding floorplate, so a grating sound lets you know you're reaching your cornering limits.
The Roadmaster gets the same air/oil-cooled 49-degree V-twin as the Chief, the 111-cubic-inch Thunderstroke 111, which Indian claims puts out 119 lb-ft of torque (they don't list horsepower). Developed from the ground up for the new Indian lineup, this engine really sets the bikes apart from any other attempts at reviving the brand.
The technology is a mix of conventional and advanced. The fact that the engine is air-cooled, with two valves per cylinder and hydraulic tappets fits into the traditional mold. It gets a little more adventurous and advanced with a direct drive connection between the clutch and six-speed gearbox, three camshafts, a helical-driven primary balancer and throttle-by-wire.
CONTINUE READING:2014 Indian Scout Review
On the road, the Thunderstroke 111 is a great match for the Roadmaster. Power is plentiful and spread across the torque curve, making it feel like the bike can pull hard at any rpm. The action of the electronic throttle is well modulated, making it easy to cruise smoothly and maintain a constant speed manually. When that gets old, you can turn on the cruise control and the bike will do the hard work for you. I'm not normally a cruise control guy, but I liked how well it worked on long open stretches.
The clutch pull on the Roadmaster is moderately light, and shifts are smooth and quiet, without the big knock that plagues large engine bikes when downshifting from neutral to first gear. At cruising speed on the Autobahn, the engine plods along comfortably in sixth gear, balanced power keeping vibrations at bay. This is an all-day motor in an all-day bike.
Another big differentiator of the Roadmaster is its cast aluminum frame, which weighs less and is stiffer than a traditional tubular steel frame. This stiffness translates directly to a solid road feel, especially in situations where the bike is stressed, such as when riding. B. when hitting bumps in the middle of the curve.
Beyond the engine, transmission, and suspension technologies, Roadmaster gets some notable luxury and touring technologies. Standard heated grips and a dual heated seat (rider/passenger) are definitely luxury features and much appreciated on a cold morning (though not much use in triple digit heat). A power windshield, redesigned from the Chieftain, offers a good range of motion to find the right airflow for your height and riding position. Keyless ignition and remote lock storage add automotive-style convenience.
Roadmaster also gets full LED lighting, including a Pathfinder headlight and fog lights. LED lighting is a great technology for bicycles with low power consumption, high vibration resistance and long service life. Bright and powerful, the Pathfinder headlight casts a clean beam that greatly improves night-time visibility.
CONTINUE READING:Indian Motorcycle - A Triumphant Return
Roadmaster gets an AM/FM/WB/AUX sound system with Bluetooth capability. You can connect an iPod or other MP3 player to the bike via a USB port in the top fairing, where there is a compact (non-locking) compartment for your device. There are two pairs of speakers on the bike, in the upper fairing and trunk, but there's no option to connect a hardwired headset or intercom. A glaring shortcoming in the luxury touring class is the fact that there is no factory navigation on the Roadmaster. Whether you like GPS navigation or not, it's becoming standard equipment on some touring bikes, including the H-D Ultra Limited.
A big part of luxury is comfort and Roadmaster has that covered. The heated, leather-trimmed seat is supportive yet comfortably padded. I'm 6ft 2", 32" inseam (short legs, long torso) and wear 36" sleeves. I know, kind of gorilla-like proportions. Add to that the fact that I wear size 14 boots and you can see I'm some kind of prize. I mention all of this to put my comments on comfort into perspective. I had no problem wrapping my legs around the Roadmaster's 5.5-gallon fuel tank or reaching the ground with flat feet from the 26.5-inch high seat. The low seat height would be essential for a smaller rider as the bike is too heavy to safely balance off one side with just one leg touching the ground. I could have used a little more foot and leg room as the rides got longer - which I would probably fix with a set of highway pegs mounted on the front engine fenders. The reach to the handlebars worked for me, and there seems to be good adjustability built in with a simple twist of the bar.
The 2015 Indian Roadmaster starts at $26,999 in Thunder Black; $27,599 in Indian Motorcycle Red; and $28,1999 in two-tone Indian Motorcycle Red and Ivory Cream.
Indian has done a great job of competing from a dead start into a very important market segment: full-dress touring. While there are quite a few bikes in this category, let's face it - most riders considering buying a Roadmaster will measure it against the Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited. In many ways, the bikes are very close, with the differences being more a matter of taste than quality. In other respects, the Roadmaster is a better bike. The Thunderstroke 111 is a great engine and the Roadmaster's chassis is fantastic with minimal flex. The Harley has the edge when it comes to infotainment and telematics, with intercom, headset outputs and navigation as part of the package. Harley has the added benefit of a long established dealer and service network, proven solid resale value and brand stability. While I have great faith in Polaris, Indian's parent company, there's no doubt that the smart money is still on Harley. So which one would I buy? Depends when you ask me. If I were to embark on a long journey, I still think I would want the Harley. This built-in GPS navigation works really well and I've become quite addicted to it. If I stayed closer to home, rode familiar roads, and showed my bike to friends, I would be proud to ride an Indian Roadmaster, which is perhaps the finest new bike currently being made. I would have to flip a coin and then flip it about a hundred times. The bikes are so close to me, all things considered.
Lid: Arai Siegel-Q
(The only riding footage is from Indian Motorcycles, but the gear above is Jason's everyday stuff.)
Every rider has their own style, height and weight. We decided to put things in perspective and show what each reviewer weighs and experiences.
To build:broad-shouldered, tall, powerfully built
Experience:Have been driving on the road for over 30 years
Specialty:Motorcycle trips, cruisers
Story by Jason Fogelson
Photos by Indian Motorcycles and Jason Fogelson
In terms of raw performance, Indian often has the advantage over Harley, but typically by what are negligible amounts, though H-D does produce models with spec sheets that best their Indian-made direct competitor.How good is Indian Roadmaster? ›
|Summary of owners' reviews|
|Overall rating:||4 out of 5 (4/5)|
|Ride quality & brakes:||4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)|
|Engine:||4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)|
|Reliability & build quality:||4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)|
Reviewing the 2022 Indian Challenger
The 2022 Indian Challenger directly competes with Harley-Davidson®'s Grand American Touring series. The Indian Challenger comes in two paint colors and has a V-twin engine. It also has Brembo brakes and big saddlebags.
That said, routine maintenance is important, and going to a mechanic who specializes in a motorcycle design as unique as Indian's isn't a bad plan. Routine service on an Indian big twin motorcycle, including an oil change, brake, hydraulic fluid change, and a top-to-bottom inspection, will run you around $450.Which Harley Davidson is best for Indian roads? ›
Best bike for Indian roads - HARLEY DAVIDSON STREET 750 Customer Review - MouthShut.com.Which is the most powerful bike in 250cc segment? ›
Best 250cc bike models
There are 17 under 250cc bikes available in India in 2022 with top bikes being QJ Motor SRC 250, TVS Ronin and KTM 250 Duke.
“What are the most reliable motorcycle brands?” In a nutshell, Honda and Yamaha were the most-named most-reliable motorcycle brands. “Any Japanese” motorcycle was mentioned after that. That would include Honda and Yamaha, but also includes Suzuki and Kawasaki.What year of Indian Motorcycle is the best? ›
It rivaled the Chief as Indian's most important model. The 101 Scout, made from 1928 to 1931, has been called the best motorcycle Indian ever made.What is the easiest Indian motorcycle to ride? ›
The Indian Scout Bobber has all the makings of a very good first bike. In particular, the Scout Bobber Sixty is an ideal entry to Bobber ownership although all 3 Indian Bobbers are low to the ground and have a smooth power delivery so despite being big displacement bikes, they are easy to handle.
Both H-D motorcycles offer an exceptional riding experience. A quick summary of the two motorcycle's strengths: The Street Glide offers better agility due to the lighter weight. The Road Glide offers better rider comfort due to the fairing design and seat height.Why is the Street Glide called a bagger? ›
The 'bagger' term is used to describe a motorcycle that came with the accessorising bags. Today there are so many luggage accessories available to all sorts of bikes that in theory any bike could be called a bagger if it can accommodate a set of saddlebags.Which motorcycle company has the best engine? ›
- DUCATI 851. Year: 1988. Power: 93hp @ 9,00rpm. ...
- HONDA CB750. Power: 68hp @ 8,000rpm. Torque: 49lbft @ 6,900rpm. ...
- YAMAHA R1. Year: 1998. Power: 150hp @ 11,700Rrpm. ...
- SUZUKI GSX-R1100. Year: 1986. ...
- HONDA C90. Year: 1958. ...
- KAWASAKI Z1. Year: 1973. ...
- Honda NSR500. Year: 1992. ...
- TRIUMPH DAYTONA 675. Year: 2006.
- 15/15 Honda Rebel CMX500.
- 14/15 Kawasaki Vulcan.
- 13/15 Yamaha V-Star.
- 12/15 Honda Gold Wing.
- 11/15 Triumph Bonneville Bobber.
- 10/15 Yamaha Star Bolt.
- 9/15 Honda Shadow.
- 8/15 Suzuki Boulevard C90T.
Generally, high mileage on a motorcycle is anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 miles. For sport bikes, the high mileage number will be on the low end (usually around 25,000), while cruisers and touring bikes typically become high mileage in the 40,000- to the 50,000-mile range.Is Indian motorcycle a 500 mile service? ›
Break-in maintenance is due when the motorcycle's odometer registers 500 miles (800 km). See your authorized Indian Motorcycle dealer for this service. Performing the break-in maintenance will help facilitate optimum engine performance for the entire service life of the engine.What is the most sought after Indian motorcycle? ›
- 8/10 Indian Challenger Dark Horse.
- 7/10 Jack Daniel's Limited Edition Indian Springfield Dark Horse.
- 6/10 Indian Chieftain.
- 5/10 Indian Scout.
- 4/10 Indian Four.
- 3/10 Indian Chief.
- 2/10 Scout Sixty.
- 1/10 Scout Bobber.
The Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited is another excellent choice out of the best motorcycles for long-distance riding. This bike was designed for the optimal touring experience with its heated hand grips, electronic cruise control with the 6-Speed Cruise Drive Transmission, and spacious Tour-Pak® luggage compartments.What is the Indian equivalent of a Sportster? ›
The 2021 Harley-Davidson® Sportster® S is often compared to the 2021 Indian Scout, so these vintage sports bikes are understandably two leading contenders in your search. The Harley-Davidson® Sportster has been a popular option for years for motorcyclists who want a mid-range bike with a V-twin engine.Which type of motorcycle is best for long drive? ›
- 2022 Indian Pursuit. The 2022 Indian Pursuit is one of the top bikes in the luxury touring class. ...
- 2020 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide. ...
- Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT. ...
- BMW R 1250 GS. ...
- Indian Roadmaster. ...
- Ducati Multistrada 1260. ...
- Yamaha V Star 1300 Tourer. ...
- Harley-Davidson Iron 883.
Yamaha FZ25 is the best 250cc mileage bike in India. Yamaha FZ25 is the best 250cc mileage bike in India.Which bike has highest pick up? ›
- Splendor Plus. Rs 71,176 - 75,446*
- HF Deluxe. Rs 60,308 - 65,938*
- Glamour. Rs 78,018 - 84,138*
- Passion Pro. Rs 74,408 - 80,858*
- XPulse 200. Rs 1.27 - 1.52 Lakh*
- DODGE TOMAHAWK – TOP SPEED: 350 MPH. Dodge Tomahawk. ...
- Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R Supersport: 249 mph. Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R Supersport. ...
- Kawasaki Ninja H2R: 240 mph. Kawasaki Ninja H2R.
Like the Roadmaster Elite, the base Roadmaster still wears the bike's original swoopy fork-mounted fairing and skirted front fender like Indians of old, while the Limited and Dark Horse models have a more modern streamlined fairing, open front fender and slammed saddlebags.Can you remove the trunk on the Indian Roadmaster? ›
To remove the trunk: First, disconnect the trunk harness multi-plug. Lift both trunk latches to unlock the trunk from the mount. Then lift up on the rear of the trunk and slide rearward to release the trunk from the motorcycle.What is the heaviest Indian motorcycle? ›
Indian Roadmaster Limited [Weight: 412kg]
Based around the massive 'Thunderstroke' 1811cc V-twin, Indian's big twins include the Chief cruiser, Chieftain bagger and, biggest of the lot, the Roadmaster full-dresser.
Harley-Davidson is the number one motorcycle manufacturer in the United States.Which motorcycle holds its value? ›
Bikes made by Harley-Davidson, BMW, and Ducati, in fact, seem to hold their MSRP value better than any others. By brand, according to data compiled by the Kelley Blue Book Official Motorcycle Guide, Harley-Davidson motorcycles retained an average of 84% of their value over a five-year period.Why did Indian go out of business? ›
The Gilroy, California company announced it would shut its doors on Friday, September 19, 2003, after failing to obtain necessary financing to continue operations. The announcement comes 50 years after the first Indian Motorcycle company ceased operations and five years after the current entity was created.Are Indian Motorcycles 100% American made? ›
So, where are Indian Motorcycles made? All Indian Motorcycles are currently made in the USA at the Spirit Lake, Iowa plant. However, like all other bike manufacturers several components are sourced elsewhere before being shipped to Spirit Lake for assembly.
Pre-sold Indian Motorcycles are given priority and are usually available in 6 to 8 weeks - sometimes less.Which Indian motorcycle is best for short riders? ›
Number 1: The Indian Scout
Its 25.3 inch seat and narrowly designed leather saddle makes it easy to ride without suffering with harsh back pains. The Indian Scout has been specifically designed for both short people and tall people as well. The recommended height range for riding the Indian Scout is 5'4 to 6 feet.
According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, standard motorcycles, touring motorcycles, cruisers, and sport-touring motorcycles have the lowest rate of fatal accidents. The highest number of motorcycle crashes involve super-sport bikes and sport bikes.What is the best motorcycle for long distance touring? ›
- Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 | Starting from: ₹ 2,81,500. ...
- Bajaj Dominar 400 | Starting from: ₹ 2,12,100. ...
- Yezdi Adventure | Starting from: ₹ 2,09,900. ...
- Royal Enfield Himalayan | Starting from: ₹ 1,94,100. ...
- Honda CB200X | Starting from: ₹ 1,44,500. ...
- Hero XPulse 200 | Starting from: ₹ 1,23,100.
- Quite a bit of ink and pixels have already gone to these fine bikes, so let's jump right to the figures.
- BMW G 310 GS: 64–66 mpg.
- Honda CBR300R: 71 mpg (claimed)
- Honda Rebel 300: 78 mpg (claimed)
- Kawasaki Versys-X 300: 60 mpg.
- Kawasaki Ninja 400: 55–59 mpg.
- 11/11 Kawasaki KLR650.
- 10/11 Honda CRF300L.
- 9/11 Suzuki DR-Z400S.
- 8/11 KTM 450 EXC-F Six Days.
- 7/11 Kawasaki KLX230.
- 6/11 Beta 390 RR-S.
- 5/11 Honda CRF450L.
- 4/11 Husqvarna FE 350s.
A 2021 Harley-Davidson® Street Glide® vs 2022 Indian Chieftain comparison review is a battle of the giants. They're extremely evenly matched on almost everything, but when you really narrow things down, it's the Street Glide® that inevitably wins over the most hearts.Which is easier to ride a Street Glide or a Road Glide? ›
If you're okay with a lower MSRP for a bike that's closer to the ground, the Road Glide might be a good choice. Or, if you just want a bike that's easier for you to mount and dismount, the Road Glide is also a great pick. If you're not looking for these features, you might be better off choosing a Street Glide.Why do Harley riders hang a bell? ›
These little bells, known in the motorcycling world as Gremlin Bells, Guardian Bells, or Spirit Bells, are a kind of good luck charm for motorcycle riders. The bell is said to protect them during their travels, similar to how a pendant or image of St.What do you call someone who rides a Harley? ›
Biker – A person with a passion for Harleys; who owns a bike, not just a t-shirt; and needs no “excuse” to ride.
Squid: Here we have a piece of motorcycle slang that is also at times made into an acronym. According to one source it stands for Stupidly Quick, Underdressed and Imminently Dead. A squid, in nutshell, is a rider who rides without the proper gear and without much common sense. You have probably seen a few squids.Who came first Harley or Indian? ›
Indian Motorcycle was founded in 1901, and Harley-Davidson two years later. Both companies built groundbreaking bikes, delivering motorcycles to police forces, racing them on the dirt track, providing a simple alternative to the automobile, and serving in both world wars.What is the Harley equivalent to the Indian scout? ›
The 2021 Harley-Davidson® Sportster® S is often compared to the 2021 Indian Scout, so these vintage sports bikes are understandably two leading contenders in your search. The Harley-Davidson® Sportster has been a popular option for years for motorcyclists who want a mid-range bike with a V-twin engine.Are Indian bikes made by Harley? ›
Indian Motorcycle (or Indian) is an American brand of motorcycles owned and produced by American automotive manufacturer Polaris Inc.Which motorcycle is older Harley or Indian? ›
Indian Motorcycle® was launched first in 1901 and Harley-Davidson followed soon after in 1903. Both companies saw several decades of early success. In 1953, however, Indian Motorcycle® folded.What did Indian steal from Harley? ›
Indian did sue Harley-Davidson in the mid 1900's because Indian saw that on Harleys new model was a carburetor of his design and Indian accused Harley of plagiarizing their design of a the carburetor so Indian sued them for steeling their carburetor design.Do Hells Angels ride Indian Motorcycles? ›
Hell's Angels, Outlaws, Bandidos, Mongols, Pagans - according to the documentaries, all those clubs used Harleys exclusively. Not even Indian bikes were allowed.Can a beginner ride an Indian Scout? ›
The Indian Scout Bobber has all the makings of a very good first bike. In particular, the Scout Bobber Sixty is an ideal entry to Bobber ownership although all 3 Indian Bobbers are low to the ground and have a smooth power delivery so despite being big displacement bikes, they are easy to handle.What is the cheapest Indian Scout? ›
- Scout. Starting at $10,749 US MSRP.
- Chief. Starting at $14,999 US MSRP.
Sportster. Introduced in 1957, the Sportster is the longest-running model family in the Harley-Davidson lineup.
So, where are Indian Motorcycles made? All Indian Motorcycles are currently made in the USA at the Spirit Lake, Iowa plant. However, like all other bike manufacturers several components are sourced elsewhere before being shipped to Spirit Lake for assembly.Why are Indian bikes called Indian? ›
Traces of origin of Indian Motorcycle Co. date back to 1897 when George M. Hendee founded a bicycle manufacturing company called Hendee Manufacturing Company. The Indian nameplate was introduced in 1898 as it lent better identity in export market.
These bikes are well-built, high-quality machines and owners typically experience few problems providing they don't ride too aggressively and stay on top of maintenance and routine oil changes.Which Harley-Davidson is best for Indian roads? ›
Best bike for Indian roads - HARLEY DAVIDSON STREET 750 Customer Review - MouthShut.com.Are triumphs better than Harleys? ›
Both are undoubtedly classic, but the Harley has a much more strong and buffed design, meanwhile, the Triumph bike seems more stylish and ellegant. Both motorcycles are probably the most customized bikes ever, and the kits and parts available for that two are closer to innumerable.Who made the first V twin engine? ›
Origins. One of the first V-twin engines was built by Gottlieb Daimler in 1889. It was used as a stationary engine, for boats and in the Daimler Stahlradwagen ("steel-wheeled car"), Daimler's second car. The engine was also manufactured under licence in France by Panhard et Levassor.