Indian Chief Vintage in the 50,000 km endurance test

Indian Chief Vintage in the 50,000 km endurance test

The great Indian persevered

Only when the last screw is unscrewed, the largest bearing has been removed and the smallest groove has been inspected, you will find that you can no longer drive the Indian.

E.t was not just the result of a MOTORCYCLE endurance test back in 2008. After 50,000 kilometers, the Harley-Davidson Road King left everyone behind. At least in terms of durability. Zero breakdowns, hardly any wear and tear, no hassle. First place in the long-term test leaderboard. A sensation. And a historical burden – even if it has now slipped to fourth place. Because since then it is no longer enough for American and other heavy metal to dim away any technical competence with the endless loop of the "Lonesome Cowboy", further prairie and sunset. Since then it has also been said for the fat people: butter for the fish.

Indian Chief Vintage in the 50,000 km endurance test

The great Indian persevered

Starting difficulties in cold weather

As if the Indian weren’t having a hard enough time anyway. Since the parent company Polaris announced the end of the sister brand Victory on January 9, 2017, the redskins have had to do it all by themselves. By that time, the Chief Vintage had already scrubbed 40,000 kilometers. And what had happened up to then? As for the technology, nothing spectacular. Or shall we say, nothing that one could not have come to terms with. That the chrome burst from the side stand right at the beginning – a free gift. Exchanged on guarantee, done. However, the first cold nights caused an increased resting heart rate. The starter only managed to pull the 101 millimeter thick pistons through the cylinders early in the morning with great difficulty. That shouldn’t change until the end of the test. The US boom is not there alone. The combination of large displacement and power-hungry modern electronics at MOTORRAD already brought the batteries of the KTM 1290 Super Duke R or currently the Yamaha R1 to their knees during frosty times. To save the Chief’s honor: In the end, the massive V2 always started.

Indian Chief is a noticeable figure

Rossen Gargolov

The Indian was always an eye catcher.

Speaking of electrics. The bitchy flasher switch also accompanied the endurance test from start to finish. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, was cleaned both on its own and by the workshop and then rebelled again and again. Probably the part should have simply been replaced during the first strike at 7,000 kilometers.

The buffalo leather on the bench and panniers also called for attention. Rain or sun bleached the animal skins in record time. For the two leather preparations in the workshop, the working time alone cost 490 euros. Because this can also be done at home with the “Tan Leather Restore Kit” (51 euros) and is considered a cosmetic repair, it was not included in the total cost balance.

Generally speaking, the subject of beauty. Seldom before has the driving staff with the Indian been approached so often – and so positively – about a motorcycle. When it comes to first-time interpersonal contact, the opulent American easily outperforms any West Highland Terrier puppy. Even if she’s driving more like a well-fed St. Bernard. The chief wants to be moved with caution and foresight with eight hundred pounds. Anyone who does this is amazed at how easily the battleship can be tamed. Assuming that the Dunlop American Elite tires, which will last forever, but are catastrophic when wet, have been replaced. The Pirelli Night Dragon GT (lifespan: 11,000 km) or Metzeler ME 888 Marathon Ultra (22,000 km) stick better and make the Indian more manageable – but also a little less stable when running straight ahead.

Maintenance doesn’t come cheap

Real worries about the buxom Indian tended to germinate in city traffic or simply in summer temperatures. In these situations, the engine control lamp kept warning of a heat collapse. After dismantling, it became clear that the sensors were not mistaken. But more about that later. Because previously, the Chief only showed up for the scheduled inspections in the workshop, albeit at 8,000 intervals. The costs in quick succession: 1,000 km 360 euros, 4,000 km 290 euros, 8,000 km 480 euros, 16,000 km 535 euros, 24,000 km 553 euros, 32,000 km 495 euros, 40,000 km 714 euros, 48,000 km 927 euros. These are not bargain tariffs. Especially since the expenses for the leather processing were excluded as mentioned. However: The costs for oil, air and oil filters and spark plugs are included as well as the mandatory replacement of the toothed belt (320 euros) for the 40,000 check and the replacement of fork oil and brake fluid for the 48,000 service.

The bottom line was that the appearance was very problematic in terms of quality and was only somewhat clouded by the worn front wheel bearings shortly before the end of the test (at 45,600 km). The repair was done under warranty.

Heat damages the rear cylinder

Jacek Bilski

The exhaust valves have suffered from operating temperatures.

Back to the subject of heat sensitivity. After dismantling, it became clear that the V2’s cries for help were indeed justified. The exhaust valves – especially that of the rear cylinder lying in the warm air flow of the person in front – are leaking, their valve seats widened. There the pressure loss was 56 percent instead of four at the beginning at the end of the test! Even if the valve guides, camshafts and rocker arms are still OK, overhauling the heads before reassembly is inevitable. The leaks are clearly recognizable from the torque curves in the range below 4,000 rpm. In practice, however, the Indian only loses when pulling from 60 to 100 km / h. There was also no oil consumption towards the end of the test. A modified cooling air routing should be able to master this problem from model year 2015.

And otherwise? Just take a look at the wear diagram. Everything in the green area. The running gear is also full of sunshine. The frame, paintwork and chrome parts survived three winters well. The gearbox, shift forks and clutch can be reused just like cylinders and pistons. Therefore to refer to the European development history of the 1,811 cm³ block would certainly be presumptuous. Even if the crankshaft is from Hoeckle, the pistons from Mahle and the electrics are from Bosch, and the entire construction was created by the Swiss Polaris subsidiary Swissauto. Because not only Indian has proven: Even fat people can hold on.

Price comparison and Indian Chief Vintage deals

1000PS marketplace app

The Indian Chief Vintage is represented several times in the used exchange.

As the owner of an Indian Chief Vintage you are in a very exclusive club, because this cruiser is rarely seen on the road. The prices are high and the second hand offer. For everyone who wants to own an Indian Chief Vintage in the near future, here is a price overview of current used vehicles: used Indian Chief Vintage in Germany.

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