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Common Tread

Indian gives Pursuit the Elite treatment, Chieftain Elite returns

Apr 11, 2023

One segment of U.S. motorcycle consumers is not underserved: those willing to pay a little more for a bike that will be the only one like it at the local Bike Night. For riders who want to factor long-haul comfort, traditional styling, and modern technology into that formula, Indian has two limited-edition bikes for you, one of them new to the lineup. Just choose liquid- or air-cooled.

What was that I was saying recently about manufacturers' enthusiasm for limited-edition releases? Like these three and this and these and one for the track-day junkies and now these Indians, and I never even got around to writing about the limited-edition Jack Daniel's Indian that supposedly has whisky infused in the paint. Maybe only Indian outdoes Triumph at the limited-edition game, and these two touring bikes just pad that lead.

2023 Indian Pursuit Elite parked in front of a hotel
For 2023, the Pursuit gets the Elite treatment. Just 150 of these bikes with the premium paint will be offered. Indian photo.

2023 Indian Pursuit Elite

Just 150 Pursuit Elites will be available worldwide, and of course you get a unique paint job. Indian names the combo Super Graphite Metallic and Black Metallic with Shadow Bronze Chrome accents.

2023 Indian Pursuit Elite parked in front of a hotel, front view
2023 Indian Pursuit Elite. Indian photo.

You get the technology and comfort features found on other Pursuits, such as cruise control, an IMU for lean-sensitive traction control and ABS, adaptive headlight, heated seats, the seven-inch touchscreen, and so-on. The Elite comes with the Fox rear shock that allows the rider to adjust the preload electronically from that touchscreen. That's an option on lesser Pursuits.

touchscreen display on 2023 Indian Pursuit Elite
That seven-inch display allows you to manage music, navigation, etc., but also provides the ability to adjust the preload on the rear shock electronically. Indian photo.

GPS navigation and Apple Carplay are integrated into the infotainment system and you get a free year of the Indian Ride Commmand app, with traffic and weather overlays. Our standard spec box here at Common Tread doesn't have a space for number of speakers, but if it did, I think the Pursuit Elite would leave competitors in distant pursuit. It boasts no fewer than 16 speakers.

seat and pannier speaker on Pursuit Elite
The Pursuit Elite surrounds you with no fewer than 16 speakers. Plus, there are heating elements underneath that stitching on the seat, to keep both the rider's and the passenger's buns warm. Indian photo.

Being this elite will cost you $39,999 in the United States. That's a full $6,000 more expensive than the previous top of the Pursuit lineup, the Pursuit Limited with Premium Package.

2023 Indian Chieftain Elite parked in front of a hotel
Indian first gave the Chieftain the Elite treatment in 2018 and it's still in the lineup. Indian photo.

2023 Indian Chieftain Elite

While the Pursuit Elite is new, the Chieftain Elite is a returning model. It provides the same level of comfort and technology but with a more traditional air-cooled Thunderstroke engine. Indian will produce 175 Chieftain Elites with Super Graphite Smoke paint and Shadow Bronze highlights.

Closeup of Thunderstroke 116 engine with bronze highlights
The Thunderstroke 116 engine provides old-school, air-cooled looks but with some modern twists, such as rear cylinder deactivation to manage heat when idling and electronic management that includes three ride modes. Indian photo.

With the Chieftain you'll have to make do with eight speakers, but it does come with the an electrically adjustable windshield you can raise or lower with the push of a button to fine-tune air flow.

At $35,499, the Chieftain Elite is a $2,500 jump over last year's Chieftain Elite.

If these exclusive offerings don't fit your personal ideal, hang around a while. The way things are going, we'll see some more limited editions coming along soon.

2023 Indian Pursuit Elite 2023 Indian Chieftain Elite
Price (MSRP) $39,999 U.S.; $47,999 Canada $35,499 U.S.; $40,499 Canada
Engine 1,768 cc, liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-twin 1,890 cc, air-cooled, 49-degree V-twin
final drive
Six-speed, belt Six-speed, belt
Claimed horsepower 122 N/A
Claimed torque 128 foot-pounds @ 3,800 rpm 126 foot-pounds @ 2,900 rpm
Frame Cast aluminum Cast aluminum
Front suspension 43 mm inverted fork; 5.1 inches of travel 46 mm fork; 4.7 inches of travel
Rear suspension Fox single shock, electronically adjustable preload; 4.5 inches of travel Single shock, air adjustable; 4.5 inches of travel
Front brake Dual Brembo four-piston calipers, 320 mm discs with ABS Dual four-piston calipers, 300 mm discs with ABS
Rear brake Brembo two-piston caliper, 298 mm disc with ABS Two-piston caliper, 300 mm disc with ABS
Rake, trail 25.0 degrees, 5.9 inches 25.0 degrees, 5.9 inches
Wheelbase 65.7 inches 65.7 inches
Seat height 26.5 inches 25.6 inches
Fuel capacity 6.0 gallons 5.5 gallons
Tires Metzeler Cruisetec 130/60B19 front, 180/60R16 rear Metzeler Cruisetec 130/60B19 front, 180/60R16 rear
Claimed dry weight 882 pounds 797 pounds
Available Spring 2023 Spring 2023
Warranty 24 months 24 months
More info