Author Topic: Got a post card in the mail to test ride a new Indian*UPDATE*-THE RIDE  (Read 7212 times)

Offline Strawboss

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The only problem? Its addressed to my wife using her maiden name, last used 23 years ago. She is not going to ride an Indian bike, not alone. We show up, no need to call, we ride, answer a few questions, get a T-shirt and a $50 gift card, they did not say where the gift card is from, but if its from the dealership, that $50 will just about cover the cost of another t-shirt. Offer expires in a few weeks. I'm not interested at all at anything to ride two up, but I will just because, I'd love to try the Scout though. I'm not a cruiser type guy, I tried one once and couldn't wait to get off. I'll keep you posted.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 09:52:34 am by Strawboss »
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Offline stevewfl

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nice!
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Offline Conrad

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23 years? That's strange, I wonder what list they pulled her name from?
Northern Illinois   Silverdammit '08 C-14 ABS

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Offline Rhino

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I'm always willing to ride demo bikes if they offer. Whenever factory demo trucks are in town I go if I can. Twice I went to a Victory event and rode numerous bikes and once BMW. I would definitely take them up on the offer. I got a call from HD and they wanted me to ride a live wire. I said absolutely but they only had a schedule when I was working.

Offline twowheeladdict

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I'm always willing to ride demo bikes if they offer. Whenever factory demo trucks are in town I go if I can. Twice I went to a Victory event and rode numerous bikes and once BMW. I would definitely take them up on the offer. I got a call from HD and they wanted me to ride a live wire. I said absolutely but they only had a schedule when I was working.

I will ride anything with two wheels.  They are all bikes.  I won't buy without a ride soaring on the demos.
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Offline Strawboss

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I think they got her name from her former insurance agency who we called a few years back to insure a bike in her name when my agency wouldn't add it to my policy. Since then, we have been getting a lot of junk mail from them in her maiden name.
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Offline Strawboss

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Re: Got a post card in the mail to test ride a new Indian*UPDATE*-THE RIDE
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2015, 10:45:34 am »
OK, a few notes before we begin.

I'm not a cruiser rider, never have been, never will be. I do however know the ups and downs of the design, so bear with me. The last time I rode a cruiser type was a mid-90's HD Heritage Soft Bob tailwind classic deuce rider or some such, it was big, LOUD, and vibrated and most of all one of the most uncomfortable bikes I've ever had the occasion to sit on.

I call and ask to ride as my wife is 5ft 5in tall and all of 115 lbs and most likely NOT the target buyer of an Indian Chieftain. Dealer says "OK".

First, the bike is HUGE, I mean giant. Lots of blue paint, lots of chrome. Its a Chieftain, meaning bags and a "bat wing" fairing. After going through the virtual litany of controls for the radio, windshield, cruise control, and such, he showed me how to start the behemoth, push a button, well, that's dumb, no keys? Way of the future I guess.

I straddle the saddle, and reach WAAAAAY out to grab the handgrips, and I trying to fly here? I lift my feet WAAAAY forward to giant floorboards, am I trying to do a backflip here? Weight all on my lower spine, not good. Clunk into first gear, positive. Ease away from curb, clutch real easy, engagement very close to grip, power easily away. This thing has got to weight close to 900lbs, YES, 9-0-0 lbs. Jesus, God, really? But, to my surprise, after about 10mph, you'd never notice. OK, good. 2nd gear, hey, where's the shifter? OH, physically, reach up, foot off board, lift. Positive, good.

Dealer said take a 1/2 hour -45 minutes and have some fun. OK. Semi-rural-suburban secondary streets, some stop and go. Bike has torque, that's for sure. Front end is a bit chattery on Clevelands frost heaved excuses for roads. Rear suspension is outstanding. Have I mentioned that this bike is HUGE. A bit of gear whine in 1st and 2nd gear but it either goes away or you can't hear it after you get to speed. Exhaust note not as loud as most magazines have led me to believe. It was pleasant and not loud at all. 

Kept it mostly below 45mph on suburban streets, and mostly in 5th gear.

Brakes I thought were great for the bike. I was also led to believe they were anti-lock. They are not, or it was turned off, or its a crappy system. I turned into a gravel lot and slammed the rear brake and promptly left a skid mark about 5 feet long, I also grabbed a hand full of fronts and also left a skid mark while keeping the bike upright. What gives?

Got on the highway and found that this thing has some pickup! Cruised at 80mph for about 20 miles, in 6th gear, its at 3000rpm's at that speed, too much vibration. Keep it below 2500rpm's and you'll be fine. Around town and on secondary roads, 1500-2000 rpm's is just fine too. I ran it up to 110mph indicated and it was not nice, but there was a lot left to go but I ran out of highway.

As much as I tried to drag something in the corners, I could not do it in my limited time and location, I tried though really.

Heat crept up from under the seat, it was in the mid-80's, not oppressive, just there, its inherent in the design, not much to do about it on an air cooled bike. Fairing deflected quite nicely, I adjusted the shield to where I just looked over the top and the air blast was just hitting the top of my helmet, air rushed under to my legs though, a good thing on a hot day. Instruments are packed with info, the only ones I used really were the tach and the gear indicator which is nicely situated lower  center of the cluster and big enough for older eyes to see clearly. Many times I looked down thinking I was going maybe 35mph and was surprised to see my speed at 50mph, it was practically idling at 50mph!

The seat. I guess its good for the type but its bad for me. Its low. Its wide. Its confining. I was stuck, nowhere to go forward or back. I know, its a design, I don't have to like it. The thing is, after a 1/2 hour on this thing, I did not really want to get off! I would love to point this thing west and travel on 2 lanes till I hit water, the seat being the only weak point of it all. Putting away in 5th or 6th gear at 55mph is what this bike was designed to do.

The bags are small, body colored with a big chrome latch on each. They can remain closed while staying unlocked by a button on the tank console.  I imagine the key fob was somewhere in one of them, I also imagine the dealer had some sort of GPS on board to track me.

I rode back and went around the big lot to see how agile this thing is. Impressive. I'm sure the wide bars helped. This things acts as though its 400lbs lighter.

Dealer asked a few questions and I filled out an obligatory check off list of questions. I told him I was impressed, not enough to buy one at over $20,000, but impressed nonetheless, Indian did their homework and designed not only a beautiful bike but one that handles and goes and will appeal to quite a number of older and younger riders also with its power and handling. He said to a rider that all of the non-HD's riders who have ridden one have expressed basically the same thing while all of the HD riders hated the Indian. I told him HD has taken over 100 years to cultivate its image and perception, although, really, its only been about 35 years since HD has really been a sales success, due in large part to non-bike parts, accessories and clothing, and marketing an image and life style , Indian took a time out for 65 years, its got a ways to go, it looks like they've started well. Its always nice to have a choice.

I got a t-shirt and a $50 gift card to the dealer.

I'm glad I went, I was really impressed. I still don't like the overall design, cruisers are just not me, but its a great bike for those who do, they will sell many of them, hopefully enough to design bikes for riders like me, with Indian's history I don't see that happening, it will most likely fall to Victory to do that as they are getting into racing.

I got back on my C-10 to ride home and it was as though my hands were clasped together in front of me! If you get a card to ride and Indian, please go, it is a great experience.
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Offline twowheeladdict

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Re: Got a post card in the mail to test ride a new Indian*UPDATE*-THE RIDE
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2015, 12:56:17 pm »
Interesting to read comments from a Non-Cruiser guy. 

I guess everything is relative to our own life experiences. 

I would love to own an Indian, but I don't want to buy one.  I would love to own a BMW, but I don't want to buy one.  Same with Ducati.

I think every bike has it's time and place and every rider as well.  I think there are bikes for every kind of road and roads for every kind of bike.

My Concours Travels:
2014 New England Tour http://www.zggtr.org/index.php?topic=17336.msg212077#msg212077

Offline Strawboss

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Re: Got a post card in the mail to test ride a new Indian*UPDATE*-THE RIDE
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2015, 07:48:14 am »
Forgot to add that drive line lash is really pronounced during trailing throttle, every time I let off the throttle, 2 seconds later I get a huge "push" like somebody is in back pushing me forward when the transmission catches up almost to the point where I need to pull in the clutch and hit the brake, it was unnerving the first few times. Guess you need to coast with the clutch in.
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Offline Rhino

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Re: Got a post card in the mail to test ride a new Indian*UPDATE*-THE RIDE
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 08:47:36 am »
Forgot to add that drive line lash is really pronounced during trailing throttle, every time I let off the throttle, 2 seconds later I get a huge "push" like somebody is in back pushing me forward when the transmission catches up almost to the point where I need to pull in the clutch and hit the brake, it was unnerving the first few times. Guess you need to coast with the clutch in.

I wouldn't expect that with a belt drive.

Offline Strawboss

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Re: Got a post card in the mail to test ride a new Indian*UPDATE*-THE RIDE
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2015, 09:17:38 am »
I wasn't sure what to call it, maybe its the tranny?
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Offline Rhino

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Re: Got a post card in the mail to test ride a new Indian*UPDATE*-THE RIDE
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2015, 09:23:48 am »
I wasn't sure what to call it, maybe its the tranny?

Must be. Lash is something more prone in shaft drive bikes. Maybe the belt wasn't adjusted right? I assume it is a belt drive but not really sure.

Offline Strawboss

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Re: Got a post card in the mail to test ride a new Indian*UPDATE*-THE RIDE
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2015, 09:45:11 am »
Yeah, belt drive, it just surprised me is all, it wasn't dangerous, just sudden and the first time it happened I chalked it up to inherent in the design. It was the engine catching up to the tranny and giving me a push forward. Again, nice bike, well thought out, well engineered, in fact, they had a cut down version of the bike on the showroom floor with all the bodywork, fenders, seat, tank, etc..  off and it was very interesting to look at the frame, sub frame and motor/tranny. 
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Offline jimmymac

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Re: Got a post card in the mail to test ride a new Indian*UPDATE*-THE RIDE
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2015, 10:40:06 am »
It's a mapping issue, and the bike was lean, creating a surge. :-X
2010 Connie. No ABS, no TC, no linked brakes. A real bike.
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Offline Rhino

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Re: Got a post card in the mail to test ride a new Indian*UPDATE*-THE RIDE
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2015, 11:56:47 am »
I'm thinking it is lack of KIPASS  ;D