Bryan Harley, Cruiser Editor

A smooth, powerful torque monster

We became enamored with it when it first rolled out on stage at Daytona Beach. The ribbed heads of Indian’s Thunder Stroke 111 engine glistened, thick pushrod tubes streaked up the side, while multi-directional cooling fins spiraled up to the offset fins on the rocker boxes. With its left-side intake and down-firing exhaust, traits from the Chief V-Twin of the 1940’s were apparent. We listened as American Picker Mike Wolfe flipped the switch and brought it to life that evening in front of a standing-room only crowd, a deep-seated rumble from big hammering pistons.

“It’s got a rumble and a lope that when you gas it, you feel it in your chest,” said Motorcycle USA Editor Justin Dawes after a recent ride.

We would get our first chance to sample the new Indian Motorcycle powerplant at the 2013 Sturgis Rally, riding both the Chieftain and Classic. We were impressed by its bottom-end punch and enjoyed the almost immediate access to the bulk of its torque.

“It just seems, when you gas it, it kinda tugs on your arms and pulls on your shoulders and it pulls out,” added Dawes.

Roll-on comes on with a surge before smoothing out at highway speeds. By the time you throw it into sixth gear, it maintains speed with little effort.

We recently got a chance to spend a little more time on the 2014 Indian Chief Vintage, so we took the opportunity to put it on our in-house dyno. Results confirmed it is a torque monster, with the 1811cc mill putting out 100.87 lb-ft at 2,700 rpm and 73.33 hp at 4,500 rpm. At 2,100 rpm, you’ve already got 94.94 lb-ft of torque to play with. While it peeks at 2,700 rpm, another mid-range surge soon follows as it again produces over 100 lb-ft at 3,100-3,200 rpm. We thought you might be interested to see some of the first dyno numbers provided by an outside source, so we graphed a 2014 Indian Chief Vintage dyno chart for your perusal.