A century ago, the Indian Chief motorcycle debuted as a larger version of the Scout, with a V-Twin, dual cams, a low seat and modification potential that would make it a favorite of DIY customizers for decades to come. America's oldest moto manufacturer is leaning into that heritage hard with its all-new 2022 Chief lineup, which marks 100 years since the Chief first hit the streets in 1921.
The same stance, simple tubular steel frame and 64-inch wheelbase that you'd find in photos of your grandpa's post-WWII Indian motorcycle are immediately recognizable in the core three-bike lineup: the Chief, Chief Bobber and Super Chief.
All three run the same 111 cubic-inch, 49-degree Thunder Stroke 111 featured in the preceding models. Peak output is rated at 108 pound-feet of torque, which is transmitted to the pavement via a six-speed transmission—more than enough for speedy short jaunts, but ample for longer hauls. The cylinder deactivation tech that keeps the 2022 Indian FTR's engine cool during stops is also standard.
The base Chief gets a cast 19-inch front wheel, slim headlight bucket and exposed rear shocks, and the choice of Black Metallic, Ruby Smoke or White Smoke. The Chief Bobber's position is less sporty and more upright thanks to more forward-oriented foot controls and the addition of mini-ape hanger handlebars, while the wire spoke front wheels channel the pioneering look of vintage Indians.
Eagle-eyed fans of the moto marque might notice that the Chief Bobber's tank is embossed with the "Indian" cursive over the Native American headdress as a nod to historic logos.
The Super Chief is like a cruiser specced for highway warriors, with a quick-release windscreen, black saddlebags, touring pillion and floorboards. It also gets a large headlight bucket with nacelle, fork covers, and a full chrome exhaust. Available hues are Black Metallic and Pearl White.
There are also two upgraded trims across the three models—Indian's menacing Dark Horse treatment for the Chief and Chief Bobber, and a "Limited" version of the Super Chief that's iced out with chrome finishes and all-metallic paint.
Both trims swap the power unit for its bigger 116 cubic-inch brother, the Thunderstroke 116, upping peak torque to 120 pound-feet. Another highlight is the four-inch round digital display, which packs Indian's mobile device-connected Ride Command system into the circumference of an analog gauge.
Indian is also rolling out a host of new accessories that add extra personalization potential, including an upgraded air intake with an exposed red filter that's meant to be paired with power-improving Stage 1 slip-on exhaust, three sizes of quick-release windshields, sissy bars and long-lasting Pathfinder LED headlights.
Those who really want to squeeze the most out of the engine with factory upgrades can also add a Stage 3 116 Big Bore kit to gain 20 percent more horses and tighter throttle response when paired with the Stage 1 exhaust.
Arriving at dealerships in April, prices range from $14,499 for the Chief to all the way up to $21,499 for the Super Chief Limited. Visit Indian's website to start playing with an online builder and make a reservation.