Indian Chief Deluxe

2009 Chief Deluxe Indian Motorcycle Test Ride

Can the mystery behind the Indian Motorcycle be revealed?  Why is it so popular with their owners?  Does it really stand up to the accolades from the buying public?

  What really makes this a special motorcycle?

The all new steel, chrome and leather motorcycles created by Indian Motorcycles have come a long way from the first 2 2/3 horsepower singles they created in 1901.  The Indian Motorcycle Company has been very innovative and a leader in the motorcycle community for years.  Not only did Indian introduce the first V-twin motorcycle in 1907, long before Harley Davidson. they brought a class and style that is unmatched by any other manufacturer today.

  From innovative technology and unparalleled craftsmanship, they have created a smooth rolling and powerful work of art, one that turns heads and rides like a magic carpet.

2009 Chief Deluxe Indian Motorcycle

Question.  Have you ever seen a dirty or beat-up Indian motorcycle running around town?  I don’t know about you, but I have never seen one.  They seem to have a cult like following.

  Every time I ask an Indian motorcycle owner, why they like their motorcycle, they claim there is no comparison to any other motorcycle on the road.  When I ask for more information, they seem to get somewhat vague about the reasons for the love affair.  Some claim the looks and or the ride, craftsmanship and so on without really revealing what it is that convinced them that this is in fact “the one” of their undying attention.

  But as vague as they seem in definition, they are crystal clear in reassuring me that the Indian line of motorcycles are the best motorcycles on the planet, at least for them.  And there is no doubt that the Indian line of motorcycles has a very strong and loyal following.

You may ask, if they are so great, why don’t you see more of them on the road.  These motorcycles are not entry level masterpieces.  Prices start around $25,000 and quickly occupying the mid 30’s with their more deluxe models.

These great machines are not for the financially faint of heart.

As I approached the larger than life motorcycle, I noticed how clean and smooth the lines were.   I found it very pleasing to the eye and the attention to detail speaks volumes about the overall appeal.  Chromed spoke wheels, swept back handlebars, tear drop halogen headlamp, long shirt fenders and the two tone, white/black paint job, what more could you want?

  The awesome 105 inch, air cooled pushrod power plus engine that is completely polished really stands out nicely and the swooping low two into one chrome exhaust does a great job of finishing off the clean and classic look of this truly great looking machine.

2009 Chief Deluxe Indian Motorcycle

Knowing that this machine is larger than any of the HD’s that I have been on in the past did concern me. I wondered how sluggish it would be in acceleration and how much trouble would it be to coax it around the corners in town and on the curvy back roads in Arizona?    The dry weight on the model is 746 pounds and the wheel base is 68.4 inches.  That is 5 inches longer than the Roadking .  Although the weight is about the same as the Roadking. the 105 inch engine boasts 100 ft.lbs of torque, a little more than what is offered from Harley .

Just before I climbed aboard this machine for the discovery ride, I did notice the dual caliper brembo brakes on the front and had a sense of relief.  Normally dual brakes indicate that you are on a performance or sport type of machine.  Or in this case, could it be because there is so much bike to stop

2009 Chief Deluxe Indian Motorcycle

Climbing aboard the Chief Deluxe. I found that the seat was very comfortable with lower back support.  Because of the nice low seat height of 27.25 inches, I was able to put my feet flat on the ground.  That is a plus for someone that is only 5’8”.

  The engine controls and switches are straight forward and the indicators, like the speedometer is clearly right in front of you on the 5.5 Gallon fuel tank.

As I gazed over the wide sweeping handlebars, I noticed the clean look of the top of the chromed tear drop headlamp surrounded by the auxiliary driving lamps as I hit the starter button and thought to myself, this will be fun.  Sure enough, the mill fired up and we were ready to go.  First thing I noticed was you could barely hear the exhaust as I tapped the gear lever down for first gear.

  Yes, this is a cruiser and cruise we will.

2009 Chief Deluxe Indian Motorcycle

After a little time getting acquainted with the new machine, I noticed the nice floor boards.  This is not something I am accustom to.  Being more of a sport rider, I find that the floor boards are usually the first thing that drags on the ground when cornering.  Although in this case, they did feel comfy with one exception.  I have never liked heel shifters.

  I have never used the heel part of the shifter and it always seems to get in the way when I want to slide my foot back on the floor board.

It was not until I reached the city limits that I noticed that this bigger than the average machine worked very well in traffic.  There were no issues of it being big or clumsy.  I felt right a home and did notice that the low end torque was quite refreshing.

  What set this apart from other motorcycles is that even at the slowest speeds the engine never felt like it was lugging.

Indian Chief Deluxe
Indian Chief Deluxe

2009 Chief Deluxe Indian Motocycle

Because of the seemingly low center of gravity and the low seat position, I was somewhat concerned about the next part of the ride as we approached some of the twisty mountain roads.

Wow, what a surprise!  This machine really handles well in the corners.  Even with the big ole 130 front tire, the Chief Deluxe glides around the corners very smooth and without any coaxing.  In fact, I was right a home pushing the scooter faster and faster.

  Not at anytime did anything drag on the ground.  Several times I kind of gritted my teeth, thinking that I was going to drag something on the payment.

Note to self.  When I get back to the barn, check for ground clearance. There seems to be ample clearance for carving out corners while still in the cruise mode.

  Don’t get me wrong, this is not a canyon carver.  But for the everyday rider on back roads that have really sharp corners you will not find a problem negotiating these obstacles while still enjoying the magic carpet ride.  Plus, the deep pockets of torque really complement the ride and make cornering fun without leaving you feeling like you have the biggest bike on the block.

  I was impressed.

2009 Chief Indian Motorcycle

The ride back to the barn was just as I expected.  I took the interstate highway back, and of course, this is where the Indian motorcycle shines.  After grabbing sixth gear, I was in heaven.  I don’t know what there is about it but the bike is so stable and so easy to maneuver on the highway that I wanted to make lane changes often just to feel the bike respond.

  It was graceful, clean and fun.  If this was my ride I would have to put a windshield on it.  The wind was a bit too much.

  But, if the wind in your face is what you enjoy, this is just the ticket.

Overall, this is a really great motorcycle. The attention to detail and over all looks, stunning.  This machine is a real head turner and one that glides down the road like magic carpet.

  A machine that is not afraid of the corners provided you don’t leave the truly satisfying cruise mode that this motorcycle was intended for.

Now, I now understand some of the loyal attraction to this great motorcycle.

Indian Chief Deluxe
Indian Chief Deluxe
Indian Chief Deluxe
Indian Chief Deluxe
Indian Chief Deluxe
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