Indian’s heavyweight models aren’t really our cup of tea, though we do get an immature chuckle when we hear them talk about their “Thunder Stroke” engine platform. Childish jokes aside, some interesting news caught our eye about the American brand’s 2019 models.
Included as part of the 2019 Indian Chief, Springfield, and Roadmaster models is a number of new features, the most interesting of which is the inclusion of rear-cylinder deactivation.
We have seen this technology most recently in the World Superbike Championship (and it is no stranger in the land of four wheels), where manufacturers deactivate cylinders mid-corner to improve bike’s response during partial throttle applications.
Indian is using this concept in a different way though – one that will be more applicable to riding on the street.
We can think of a number of motorcycles that enjoy roasting your legs and body as you sit in traffic, but Indian hopes not to make that unenviable list.
This is because Indian is using rear-cylinder deactivation to manage the heat that emanates from its heavyweight cruisers, which use the Thunder Stroke 111 engine.
As such, the 2019 bikes will deactivate the rear cylinder under very specific conditions: once the rear cylinder reaches operating temperatures, the ambient temperature exceeds 59?F, and the motorcycle is at a standstill.
As we have seen in the automotive world, once the throttle is applied, the deactivated engine cylinder comes back online and begins firing again.
This should result in less heat generated by the engine, and thus a more enjoyable experience of the rider(s).
An interesting (if not obvious) piece of tech for motorcycles (Honda uses the same idea for gas savings on the VFR1200F), and we doubt Indian will be the last manufacturer to employ this heat-saving system.