LEAKED: Here is the 2016 Indian Chief Dark Horse

02/06/2015 @ 11:33 am, by Jensen Beeler44 COMMENTS


Cruisers aren’t really our forté, here at Asphalt & Rubber, but breaking stories is…so, without all the typical fanfare, we bring you the first full photos of the upcoming 2016 Indian Chief Dark Horse.

The Stead is murdered out and visually appealing, with black engine covers, black fenders, black forks…hell, even the tires are black. Under the hood is Indian’s Thunder Stroke 111 engine, which is an air-cooled 1,811cc v-twin good for 73hp and 100 lbs•ft.

More technical features include ABS as standard, a keyless ignition system, cast wheels, and a solo seat. Our Bothan Spies suggest an MSRP of $17,000, and more accessories (all black, natch) than you can fit into the belly of a Tauntaun.

Expect to see the Indian Chief Dark Horse launch officially on February 13th elsewhere.


Source: Bothan Spies

  • MrDefo

    You know, there was a time during Indian’s hey-day where they had white tires. It might have been a nice touch to give this bike some all-white tires.

  • Elton Alwine

    I like this Indian quite a bit. Thanks for sharing it on A&R. I’m not really a cruiser guy myself, but I am a huge Indian enthusiast. I’m glad Polaris is throwing everything at the iconic marque. One day I’ll own a Roadmaster, myself…
    Glad to see the lineup growing each and every year.

  • Elton Alwine

    I completely agree with this, MrDefo.

  • Richard Gozinya

    Looks like they just blacked out one of their Softail clones.

  • Jake F.

    A little shy of two full liters and 73hp? Clearly, this is designed to posture menacingly at low speed from one biker bar to the next.

  • Trenchanting

    As an owner of a high volume, low HP bike I couldn’t disagree more. Where it lacks in fast pick up it makes up in torque. Bikes like that are deliciously lazy cruisers where you can pass a semi in the mountains on a fully loaded bike by just twisting the throttle. Not everybody’s cup of tea but it sure is mine.

  • Starmag

    Based on supply and demand all the manufacturers must be paying top dollar for flat black paint these days. Boring. I agree with the all white tires suggestion. At least that would actually be different.

  • Jake F.

    I hear you but my Multistrada 1200 has over twice as much horsepower, nearly the same amount of torque, is also a V-twin (or L-twin, as they like to call it) and spots this Indian over 500cc. I just don’t see any advantage to the Indian, and I see plenty of drawbacks.

  • crshnbrn

    That lumbering 1811cc v-twin that produces a paltry 73hp is equipped with hydraulic lifters that NEVER require adjustment. Think about that the next time your Duc is due for a valve service.

  • Piglet2010

    The level of wet grip of a tire without carbon black might make the ride a bit interesting.

  • Clay Nicolsen

    Horsepower only matters at top speed. Torque is all that matters pulling away from a stop, or pulling onto the freeway. Tell me you think 100 ft-lb is low.

  • Jake F.

    I will, for one day every 12,000 miles. The rest of the time I’ll be enjoying a much faster and more capable ride.

  • Rico Bustamente

    I am almost 59… Sold my harley street glide 2 years ago…. 3rd Harley I had ..was nice, quick for a Harley after $2000 worth of mods + $20000k for bike. Sold it to concentrate on getting ready to retire at 65….man has got to be prepared….I had a 2000 Indian chief back in 2001… Long ‘n low…same thing.. $25000 + $2000 mods to make it right…
    No more $20k + cruisers for me…just bought a new 2013 Aprilia Shiver 750… 95 hp, v twin liquid cooled…. $8500 out the door…. Was considering Honda f6b but again…. $20k +…
    I actually started feeling embarrassed riding the street glide when I would see other harleyriders wearing the costume… Harley leather jacket with black Harley t shirt… I thought “do I look that ridiculous/foolish?”… I knew the answer was Hell Yes!… got to the point I would feel real uncomfortable telling someone “yes.. I ride motorcycles….. Yes, I have a Harley”… Like telling someone “yes… I smoke cigarettes” & then looking down at my feet….
    So yes.. This Indian looks kinda cool but no freakin thanks. I firmly believe Polaris/victory made a big mistake buying Indian if they are just reproducing what Harley is desperately trying to change… An outdated product line whose appeal is waning.
    If I get an Aprilia jacket, is that considered a costume?
    Gave all my Harley t shirts to goodwill “>}

  • Piglet2010

    I have thought about renting a H-D for a weekend, and riding around in my Hi-Viz ‘Stich waving at everyone (even moped riders).

    I would ride in a pink tutu before dressing like a land pirate.

  • Rico B

    Piglet….not there is anything wrong with the high viz stich or the pink tutu…. IMO they are 1 & the same…. Just another costume…. My vote is for the pink tutu with Elvis sunglasses …
    Forgot to mention..when riding the Harley….I would occasionally come upon a lone BMWGS rider with his step stool or small ladder strapped to the back of his aluminum saddlebags so he could climb on and off the bike with nothing more than a Clif bar in one of them saddle bags, wearing a full length “stitch” in 90+ degree heat & 90% humidity ready to take on the narliest roads southern NJ has to offer (fyi: south jersey is flat… About 16 inches above sea level at its highest point…. You can almost see the ocean looking east from philly). The bike was pristine having never seen anything worse than maybe a mosquito collision…. I would look at the guy, knowing he was dying inside that space suit….but his oversized ego would not allow him to acknowledge how utterly ridiculous he in fact was. Same thing with racer-boys…. Come across some guy with a Eric Bostrom signed Ducati 996 wearing full race leathers knowing full well his riding skills peaked on a 1973 Honda cb 350….. At times like these, I would take comfort in the fact that we are all trying to project some image totally different than the person behind the mask & costume….
    If you come across an old man wearing elvis sunglasses riding a new Aprilia Shiver wearing a new Aprilia jacket & trying to look all cool & fast…. Give me a wave!

  • Goat

    This bike is following the “Blacked Out” theme which is very popular with a lot of bikes today. Pretty much every manufacturer offers one of their bikes in the blacked out theme including Victory, Harley, Triumph, Kawasaki, etc…
    Putting white tires on a blacked out bike would go against the “blacked out” theme. This is a blacked out Indian Chief so offering white tires on a Chief would make more sense.

  • Goat


  • Zeek Seseika

    Personally cant stand the noise that cruiser riders Love to make…not much of a bike imo…whats the big deal in so much black then they go and dress in all black…hmm is that supposed to intimidate? what i’m wonderin is how many get run ovah by a little old person with cataracts…

  • Richard Gozinya

    More torque very likely, if you factor vehicle weight into it. The primary difference though isn’t so much the amount of torque, or torque to weight, as where the engines make their torque. The big cruiser engines make it down low, very very low, and maintain it over a broader engine speed than the Ducati engine, which does have a revier nature.

    Different engines, different characters. More variety is a good thing.

  • BDan75

    Costume or not, a hi-viz ‘stich or a leather “power ranger” suit (along with the full-face helmet–as opposed to a “novelty” brain bucket) is a heck of a lot more likely to actually do you some good in a crash than the typical pirate costume…

  • Frederick Robles

    That’s Ben!

    Ben Bostrom road for Ducati in World Superbike. Eric road for Kawasaki. LOL!

  • Piglet2010

    You are wrong in that the ‘Stich both comfortable* and protective, unlike the tutu or the Land Pirate costume.

    *I have spent nearly 20 hours straight in one, as well as doing track days in July.

  • Piglet2010

    I find the sound level of a stock Bonnie to be about right, while a stock TW200 is too loud to even ride around town without ear plugs.

    I have to leave my office temporarily when a cow-orker warms up his Softtail (Twin-Cam 96 with straight pipes) outside in the parking lot about 30 feet away.

  • Zeek Seseika

    Being anywhere within earshot of one or more Hardlees is like living next to an airport…y’all have to stop yer conversation till they go by…

  • Frederick Robles

    Love or hate it people. These are the facts…

    Cruisers, were the only reason we Americans have any motorcycle manufacturing left in our country. If not for them, all we would have left to choose from would be imports. Only, after the Japanese assault on the one last holdout failed did others realize the potential of a revival. Trust me when I say. I love all motorcycles, all types. Yet, in a time when we Americans only had one manufacturer left stranding. After we lost everything else. The final insult to us, is when the Japanese wanted to own the last peace of American pie.

    They couldn’t do with their own designs or style. So, they just copied ours. (America’s) Style and design. Even going so far as to copy Harley’s single crank design to give them Harley’s signature sound. Luckily there were enough proud Americans left that said “No Way!” The European manufacturers didn’t do this. Triumph, Moto Guzzi and other didn’t try this tactic. They were proud enough to follow their own history and paths.

    No matter how hard Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki tried. They weren’t successful of knocking us out. Now others have stepped up to the plate and invested in America. We have Victory, Indian, EBR and Harley Davidson. Not to forget the little guys doing electric bikes and limited editions.

    Without the success of the Cruiser, we would have nothing! No thanks to our friends!

  • Carlton Bigelow

    Too much chrome.

  • Rico b

    Aren’t the Bostrom’s twins? Ben, Eric…
    .. Pirate costume or spaceman suit…. Why not pirate spaceman?

  • crshnbrn

    re: “If I get an Aprilia jacket, is that considered a costume?”
    I believe that is what is referred to as being a “tool”. I refuse to wear a leather jacket that doubles as a billboard. I’m not out to impress anyone. I’d rather have a conversation with someone who asks me what I ride than know they can read.

  • indymoto

    Good sir, your multi is a fine bike in all respects, costs about the same, and puts out about 70 ft-lb of torque (chief does 100 at the wheel) at a much higher engine speed. Both very well engineered products, for different purposes.

  • indymoto

    Mr. Beeler, I do believe that’s about as excited as you get about a cruiser, no? This thing does look badass.

  • MrDefo

    Oh I know there’s a reason why tires went black in ye olden days. Though I’d like to think by now the technical gurus behind a major manufacturer would have found a replacement that retained the white color. My suggestion for white tires was pure aesthetics, but ideally not at the serious cost of performance.

  • Jake F.

    A stock Multistrada 1200 puts down about 80 ft-lb at the wheel, and puts down between 70-80 ft-lb over a wider power band than the entire rev range of the Thunder Stroke 111.

  • indymoto

    Jake – no argument here, sorry for any confusion. What I meant was, if the engineer had been given the inputs to design a lightweight power box able to rev to 9500, something very similar to your testastretta would have been born in his/her mind. That’s not the case here. Let’s agree that not every bike is intended to do what yours does, but isn’t that diversity what makes motorcycling so great?

  • Paul McM

    Folks, don’t be deceived. It’s NOT as low as it looks. The second image in the A&R article has been “Squashed” by about 10%, creating a deceptively lower profile (with ovoid wheels, it’s quite strange actually). Here is the REAL Indian Dark Horse, with aspect ratio corrected (wheels are now round): http://i59.tinypic.com/209owtk.jpg

  • ‘Mike Smith

    Surely you peel off the emblems on your bike too, right?

  • crshnbrn

    I am not out to impress anyone. Nor am I embarrassed of what I ride, although I have told people my bike was a different brand than it is just to see if they were paying attention.

  • Alby Mangled

    Ain’t that the truth.

    I ride Ducati Diavel which is mechanically similar to the Multi and no doubt just as hideously expensive to maintain.

    It has just run out of warranty, is three thousand days off the expensive service regime and looking down the barrel of despatch to the nearest “consignment sale” dealer showroom.

    My first and probably last Ducati.

    The Indian?

    Looks okayyyy but it’s just another murdered out cruiser, this time with silly mudguards.

  • Alby Mangled

    I did twenty five years with HD owning five in that time. Loved them all but in the end I too was beginning to wonder if I looked as silly as all the other old guys (I am 56) I saw riding HD’s. Traded on a Ducati Diavel (my first Spaghetti Glide) and it’s a neat toy but to be honest I don’t feel comfortable with the brand. Everything from Tshirts up are ridiculously overpriced and I just can’t identify with the “rich boys toy” bit at all as I am neither rich or at 56 years of age, anywhere near a “boy”. Probably sell it if I get any sort of a half reasonable price for it as it’s now two years old, out of warranty and perilously close to expensive maintenance needs. Next bike a Triumph Bonneville? Certainly not a lumbering behemoth like the Indian. Seen them up close and the quality looks to be there but as you say, just too old fashioned.

  • Alby Mangled

    Hard to tell what the wheels look like with those silly fenders.

  • crshnbrn

    Rico, Alby, why do either of you care how others look at you? I sometimes ride a trike. I admit that when I see someone else riding a trike, I think it looks a little “silly”. Others may think I look “silly” when I ride a trike, but I don’t care, because I enjoy riding a trike. And trikes can sure be a lot of fun on a snow-covered vacant parking lot.

  • Singletrack

    I know I’m late to the party, but Jensen, why this story about a Blacked-out Chief, which is as cruiser as it gets, but nothing on the Scout? The Scout is actually quite significant to Polaris and the industry, with it’s a new liquid cooled, stressed member engine in a (partially) aluminum frame.

  • We got photos of it a week before it was to be officially released…just continuing our fine tradition of being the scourge of the motorcycling OEMs.

  • malcolm66

    BEST COMMENT on this entire RETARDED thread.
    Indian Schmindian! They say this company competes directly with another company they put in their cross hairs, a company that didn’t go belly up every 5 minutes after someone whispers the Indian name brand!
    It’s absurd to compare Polaris and their line of cruddy Victory bikes now they’ve added a full on cloned out black softail with an over stroked, underpowered side valve copy of a motor? Great maybe they’ll just compete with the smaller bikes ne… never mind.
    Good luck Indian and sorry that you had to be swallowed up by such a crappy company.

  • Vincan

    Rode the Dark Horse Sunday at Daytona Bike week and loved the bike. It handle, braked and feels better than a CVO I rode earlier that day. I’ve been a HD rider for 38 years and it maybe time to switch rides.