I went to the Indian Demo Day at Off-road Express, just outside off Erie, PA (I believe the town is called Wattsburg) today. Rode up there with my dad, my brother, and my sister's boyfriend. Just under two hours ride time from my house.....was a chilly and foggy morning but it warmed up nicely into a beautiful day. Off-Road Express is an Indian and Victory Dealer. They also have
Suzuki and Yamaha bikes and atvs as well as Polaris ATVs. Nice little dealership on the outskirts of Erie.
The Indian Demo tour was there Friday and Saturday so we took the opportunity to ride up and check them out. They had 20-25 bikes there for demo purposes. Chief Classic, Chief Vintage, The Chieftain, The Roadmaster, and the Scout. All the bikes were 2015 models and they have various colors of each (they had 4 or 5 of each model). Most of them were stock but a few of them had a few accessories...mostly sissy bars and luggage racks and stuff...and a couple of the bikes had the stage 1 exhaust upgrade. Riding them was a pretty simple process...they scan your license to check that it is valid and you have a mc endorsement. You sign a waiver that basically says if you wreck break the bike...they pay for it...if you break yourself you pay for it
After that you pick what bike you want...they sign you up for it and give you a wristband for that ride. Subsequent rides only require getting a new wristband.
The ride itself was a 13 mile loop of two-lane country roads. It was guided by a few of the Indian guys and we all went out as a group each time. No chance to really open the bikes up a lot...but a nice little cruise to get a feel for each one.
Although you can ride any bike you want and as many times as you want if you're willing to wait for an opening I only rode the Scout, The Chieftain, and the Roadmaster. My dad and brother rode the Vintage and the Classic respectively and said they basically road the same as the Chieftain, but they don't have the fairing or hard bags. The Vintage does have a HUGE windshield and some really nice brown leather saddlebags. The Classic is the same bike but "naked"
First bike I rode was The Scout. First impressions are that its tiny. It also to me looks much better in person than the pics (the same could be said for all the bikes). Sitting on it, very low seat height and very light up off of the kickstand. This bike is just about the same size as a Sportster and the riding position is very close to my brother's Sportster that has forward controls on it. Pretty comfortable riding position...but the seat was a bit small for me. Firing it up....no vibration at all at idle (not much anywhere through the rev range) and it's whisper quiet (all the Scouts had the stock exhaust). Out on the ride, this thing is smooth and very flickable. Low end power is pretty damn good and if you're just cruising along it doesn't seem to care what gear it is in (plenty of power and torque). So at the first turn, I dropped it down into first and putted along til the bikes in front of me got quite a ways ahead of me. Then I cracked the throttle and ran it to redline in first gear. HOLY ****!!! This bike has SERIOUS balls. I knew it would from reading the specs on it, but god damn when you open it up, you'd better be hanging on tight. The rev limiter kicked in at about 55mph in first and it felt like it got there instantly. Hitting 2nd and keeping on it, just kept pulling.....but I only had room hold 2nd wide open briefly. Bottom line this thing is VERY fast. My brother rides a 1200 Sportster and there is no contest...the Scout would cream it. Not much else to say about it. Handled great, rode great, brakes felt very good. The only thing I didn't like was the seat...but my brother, who isn't a fat ass like me
liked it just fine. Bottom line....anyone shopping for a Sportster NEEDS to ride this bike before making a decision. Indian is gonna sell a ton of these.
Next up I rode the Chieftain.....I knew going into it that if I was gonna buy an Indian, the Chieftain would be it. My first impression of it was how incredibly light weight it felt. I believe it weighs in the neighborhood of 850lbs. Picking it up off of the kickstand it literally felt lighter than my shadow! Standing there rocking it side to side....just amazing how well balanced it is. My dad rides a Goldwing....and this thing feels likes it is half the weight of that...very impressive. Second thing is this bike feels like it was built for me. Seating position was absolutely perfect for me (I'm 5'11" with a 30" inseam), nice big floorboards and the bars were just where I wanted them. This is, by far, the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden. The ignition system on these bikes is really cool. As long as the fob is in range, you just push the power button on the tank and the bike powers up, then you just thumb the starter. The Thunderstroke 111 is a sweet engine. Great exhaust note, the stage 1 ones sounded incredible. Riding it....great low speed handling...first time on the bike and I felt instantly comfortable with it. Out on the road....nice and smooth, great wind protection from the fairing...the electronic adjustable windshield is cool as hell. This thing is a torque monster....just tons of low end grunt. Didn't get to run this one out much but anytime I did crack it open it just pulled like a freight train (which is good, cuz that fairing makes it look like one...love that look). This thing handles great, rides smooth...super comfortable. Basically, I loved it
If I was in a position to buy right now I'd a rode one home today...it was that awesome. Oh and the stereo was pretty good...cruise control, tons of info available on the display like tire pressure, Fuel info (mpg, range, etc) a couple trip meters...oil change info stuff....basically all the info you get on a car these days. Oh and the saddle bags were pretty nice. Nice and big...and, get this, POWER LOCKS! there was a button on the gas tank console to lock and unlock them.....so as long as you have the fob with you, just push that button and they lock or unlock (I think there is also a button on the fob for this). Just an all around awesome bike. Wish I could afford one right now
The last bike I road was the Roadmaster. This is the same bike as the Chieftain with the addition of a large trunk and hard lower fairings up front. The passenger seat was also quite a bit wider...the driver's portion felt the same. I didn't notice the extra weight of the trunk at all. I believe the Indian guy said it was about 70lbs heavier. Basically riding the Roadmaster was exactly the same as the Chieftain....with two exceptions. The stereo sounded better because of the rear speakers, and there was a bit more heat because you don't really get any airflow with the lowers on there, it wasn't bad at all, it was just noticeably warmer. The lowers do have vents that you can open...but they were closed on this bike and I wasn't about to try and open them while riding.
It was a real fun day.....the Indian folks, as well as the dealership people were all awesome, went out of their way to answer questions and tell us about the bikes. And the one thing I kept hearing over and over from all the people there is "Harley better watch out cause Indian is going to sell a ton of these things". Exactly how I feel about it too.
I didn't take many pictures myself...but I know my brother and my sister's bf did...so I'll get there's and post them on here too. For now here's the 3 I took.
The Chief Classic...with the Scout beside it:
The Chieftain (this one had the optional quick detatch sissy bar....$700!!!)
The Roadmaster....I think the Black bike with the brown leather seats is a great combo