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Test Rides and Reviews If you've gone out and ridden it... let us know your thoughts...

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  #1  
Old 03-08-2014, 06:00 PM
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2014 Indian Chieftain

So Indian rolled through Houston today for a demo day and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to check them out in person.

I rode the Chieftain and the Chief Vintage. I'm too big to get my butt on a Chief Classic so I didn't even try that one.

The Chieftain was a big surprise in how much fun it was.

Pro's:
- Smooth, very smooth. At idle the engine isn't doing the HD paint shaker routine but it's not the Goldwing sewing machine either. It's somewhere in-between.
- Under hard acceleration the front end picks up and goes. I think I could have done a wheelie if I had pushed it a little more!
- Braking - the feel of the brakes is great! Floating rotors from the factory are nice.
- The engine, even with stock exhaust, sounded really good. I'm surprised I'm saying that but I actually like it. It didn't have an odd metric bike v-twin sound that I was expected. It didn't soundly Harley, but it wasn't too far off of that mark IMO.
- The adjustable windshield is a nice touch!
- The controls, even though different placement than HD became very natural after the 1st mile.
- Power locks on the saddle bags! Yeah, hit the button on the remote and *click* the saddle bags are now locked up too! There's also a cool pouch and ipod/iphone connecter in the right side saddle bag as well.
- The sound system - great sound and quite loud at 80mph. The sounds increases/decreases based upon speed. It also has built in bluetooth!
- The suspension - OMG what a dream! I found myself looking for potholes to really test it out and it was amazing! I was having so much fun cornering I caught myself actually laughing out loud. The handling was exceptional and I think I can lean this thing over in turns farther w/out anything scraping than what I can do in my Road King. I think the suspension is the best part of this whole bike. I almost didn't want to ride home on my RK because of how good the suspension felt on the Chieftain.

Con's:
- Not much to find except the styling. I'm not 100% sold the looks.
- My 95" with cams has much more low end than the stock 111, but mid range is a wash and top end the 111 is a monster!

Seating position is definitely different than the HD, but it's not bad. It's more of personal preference and I liked it. Seating is lower than my RK with the floorboards further forward. At least that's how it felt to me. The stock bars felt good. Much higher than stock RK/EG bars and they cleared my highly perched knees with plenty of room.

I'll be keeping an eye on them over the next couple of years to see how maintenance is on them as well as their pricing in the used market. Throw on a riders back rest, passenger back rest, and some highway pegs and I'm set to put miles and miles on one!
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:44 PM
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Uh-ohh.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:53 PM
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I've been trying real hard to stay away from them.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:04 PM
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It ALMOST sounds like you were describing a 14 FLHTK. ...

Power locking bags would be nice. ..

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Old 03-09-2014, 09:47 PM
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Thanks for the ride review, BB. You echo what I have read elsewhere. Makes me wish I could have found one to take for a test ride before pulling the trigger on my RK.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:36 AM
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I forgot to mention that buffeting was minimal, even for a tall rider like me.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:05 AM
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When I got the Ultra I thought the power locks were a silly toy and I got a kick out of showing them to everyone. They seemed to be the perfect illustration of ridiculousness, equal to headlight wipers.
And after a bit I realized they are actually kinda cool and more useful than I had thought.
I'm glad they are there, now.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:17 PM
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Much as it pains me to say it, I've grown quite fond of the power locks.


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Old 03-10-2014, 02:47 PM
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Much as it pains me to say it, I've grown quite fond of the power locks.


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when I cut the wires you won't be gloating so damn much
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:49 PM
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I can't handle that fugly fairing that Indian has. It looks like they took some kid's snow saucer and bolted it to the bike.

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Old 03-10-2014, 03:27 PM
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when I cut the wires you won't be gloating so damn much

Wire cutters or tin snips?
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