Indian Chieftain Dark Horse review
- Published On: 2 May 2017
- 5 min read
We take the mammoth 377kg Indian Chieftain Dark Horse out for a spin.
Indian has added yet another model to its bagger series, the Chieftain Dark Horse, and it’s one aggressive looking beast. Spotting the Chieftain Dark Horse in the distance makes you wonder if a boat is approaching you. It sits almost 8.5 feet long and weighs a whopping 377kg!
On the outside
At the front, you get this sleek, flowing front mudguard with the signature illuminated Native American Indian chief’s head. Right on top of the front wheel sits a bulbous fairing that ensures your upper body is protected from any stray windblast. For further wind protection, there is a height-adjustable, electronically controlled windscreen.
The elegant tank features a central strip that has a large start-stop power button. It gets a supremely comfortable single seat, with the backrest and pillion seat available as add-ons. Its rear fender looks exquisite; it flows towards the floor, into a swooping tip that give the bike a regal air.
From the saddle
The seating position is authoritative and relaxed at the same time. You have what feels like a dashboard in front of you. This Chieftain Dark Horse version though misses out on the 7.0-inch TFT screen found on the 2017 Chieftain and Roadmaster. However, you get a fair amount of goodies to keep you happy - two 100W fairing speakers and a Bluetooth and smartphone-compatible music system that also picks up FM/AM radio stations. This bike even comes with cruise control.
This bike is powered by a 1,811cc air-cooled Thunder Stroke 111 V-Twin motor, which is an absolute gem. This isn’t a new engine but it steals the show with its refinement. It makes 138.9Nm of torque that is spread smoothly over the rev range. It’s nearly vibe-free and there’s ample thrust available in each gear. The bike accelerates smoothly off the line, and you can pull away easily from slow speeds, even in third gear. The engine is relaxed, and allows you to amble about effortlessly with the muffled rumble from its twin exhausts to accompany you.
Riding this Dark Horse is simply a meditative experience. The bike turns in very easily, precisely and with a lot of confidence. Even ride quality is great. The 46mm front forks and air-adjustable monoshock at the back handle big bumps rather well and the ride is very pliant for the most part. You don’t have to worry about scraping those long, chromed-out silencer tubes on speed bumps thanks to this bike’s 142mm ground clearance. And for bringing that 377kg mass to a halt, there are ABS-equipped twin 300mm front discs and a single 300mm rear disc, which provide more than sufficient stopping power.
Is it worth the money?
At ₹32.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), this bike certainly isn’t cheap. Indian has ensured that its high levels of refinement and riding pleasure shine through to make it worth your money. Moreover, the Thunder Black Smoke paint scheme lends the bike a regal yet mildly sinister character. And there’s an endless number of customisation available.