Indian Motorcycles Rolls on with 2016 Chief Dark Horse


Minnesota-based Indian Motorcycles continued its reinvention and evolution with their latest bike and first rollout of 2016, the Indian Chief Dark Horse.

Based on the popular Indian Chief cruiser, the Chief Dark Horse opts for satin black paint from fairing to pipes, offering only a flash of chrome on one trim package. The intended aesthetic is a more aggressive appearance that hangs onto the retro themes Indian built into its bikes since the company jumped back into the marketplace.

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Starting around $16,999, the Dark Horse Thunder Stroke 111 engine mated to the original chassis and suspensions setup of the standard Indian Chief Classic. Indian throws in ABS, a remote key fob for keyless ignition and electronic cruise control. Like most cruisers, it’s built for one — but higher trim packages will throw in rear seat pegs and other passenger essentials.


In this era of personalization on everything from cell phones to body art, the Indian Chief Dark Horse is ready to slap on 40 possible accessories. Some are on the market now, and others are inbound in the months to come. The expected mix of ape hanger handlebars, fender struts, exhaust tips and black fender trim can all mix and match.


Of course, there are critics are there who want to point out that Indian’s most recent styling cues echo some of Harley-Davidson’s most recent bikes — especially their own Dark Custom line and elements of the 

You can make that argument, but it’s a little harsh when you consider there are only so many visual tricks you can pull with a cruiser or touring motorcycle. The nature of what they are and must be to satisfy consumer expectations limits the amount of toys in the box.

Having ridden both the most recent Indian rides and the newest motorcycles coming out of Wisconsin, Regardless of who you think is wrestling visual appointments from whom, this Milwaukee native acknowledges the higher build quality is coming out of Minnesota these days.