Even though we’re only in the fourth model year since Polaris re-launched Indian Motorcycle, it feels like the brand has been going strong for much longer. Polaris’ experience creating the Victory brand from scratch certainly helped it hit the ground running with Indian, leaving a checkered past of restarts for the historic brand far in the rearview mirror. Even though the decision made economic sense, we were disappointed when Victory was shut down early last year. Fortunately, the best of Victory’s DNA—strong V-twins, solid chassis and good handling—lives on in the new-generation Indians.
Indian’s air-cooled, 49-degree Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin is a workhorse, churning out a big helping of torque for 13 models in the lineup—every bike without “Scout” in its name, in fact. We’ve been consistently impressed with the Thunder Stroke’s heavily chromed, flathead styling and downward firing exhausts, though it can be loud under hard acceleration and radiates significant engine heat on hot days. The engine sends power to the rear wheel through a 6-speed transmission with a cable-actuated wet clutch and belt final drive, and the non-linked triple-disc brakes are equipped with ABS.
Standard equipment includes an electrically adjustable windscreen, LED lighting, the Ride Command infotainment system (with a 7-inch color touchscreen, navigation and Bluetooth), heated grips and seats, cruise control, adjustable passenger floorboards, an adjustable brake lever, remote luggage locks, keyless ignition, a tire-pressure monitoring system, a luggage rack, three 12V power outlets and a USB port.