What’s wrong with admitting that a cruiser model is a styling exercise? Cruisers are all about style – perhaps even more so than any other motorcycle category. So, if a cruiser that works as well as the Indian Roadmaster gets some new clothes in an effort to appeal to more buyers, that can be a good thing. In this instance, the result is the Indian Roadmaster Classic, a Roadmaster with a heaping helping of classic design cues.

2017 Indian Roadmaster Classic Review: First Ride

The Roadmaster is a good handling motorcycle, and the Classic is no different. Both use Indian’s forged and cast aluminum frame employing the engine as a stressed member. With a 25-degree rake and 5.9 in. trail attached to a 65.7 in. wheelbase, the ride is as stable as you’d expect. The slow-revving, torquey Thunder Stroke 111 V-Twin engine motivates the Classic as ably as its does its siblings. The riding position is all-day comfortable – as is the weather protection.

Which brings us to the bags, covered with the same stylish, durable leather as the seats on several Indian models, just begging for you to run your fingers over them. If you liked the full-grain American leather featured on those other bikes, you’ll love the extra dose of it on the bags and trunk. The only downside is they are more weather-resistant than waterproof.

Take a look at the video review below to see 2017 Indian Roadmaster Classic in all its leather-clad glory – complete with fringe!

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  • Aurora

    Sorry to say-but this “bike” is unrealistically ugly and out of a current time-belongs to stone age

    • Ronald Machisen

      If you like it buy it. If you don’t, don’t. I don’t buy anything to please others. I don’t particularly care for the leather bag on top, but I wouldn’t call it ugly. I own a Roadmaster. I find there is no in between on like it, either you do or don’t. I like vintage looks with new tech. The engine is amazing. Just because Polaris stopped making Victory, wouldn’t stop me from buying an Indian. They are well made. I like Harley’s too. I wanted something different and American made.

      • Aurora

        I agree with you-I mean “beauty is in a eye of beholder” but this design is just catastrophic from any point of view

  • JWH

    Beautiful bike. It’s good to see the traditional fringe that instantly makes the bike look like an Indian. It just wouldn’t be the same with a more modern paint job, black and aero seat and luggage or even a streamlined front fender. Those are the hallmarks that make an icon, an icon.

    I would really advise anyone to wait and make Polaris prove it’s commitment to Indian before considering one though. It’s kind of sad, but I don’t have any confidence in the company right now.

    • angry tiger!

      I have to agree with your advice there. Polaris could and would bail out in a heartbeat just like they did with Victory and screw their customers…ON MORE TIME. Check out the Kawasaki Vaquero for the same class bike and ten grand less.

      • spiff

        As good as that Kawi is you will get no respect at Sturgis.

        • angry tiger!

          I have no need for ‘respect’ from a bunch of sheep and dirt bags in South Dakota. In other words, who cares what a bunch of toothless, double digit IQ’d, slobs living in a trailer think in the first place?

          • Evans Brasfield

            Well, ain’t you just a little ray of sunshine. You don’t need a tiger in your avatar to illustrate your anger issues. Sheesh.

          • angry tiger!

            So, you are at least one, or probably all of the above, or else why else would you be so offended? Offended enough to just pop in and spout off huh? And BTW there genius, ‘ain’t’ is a contraction of the phrase ‘am not’ and can only be used correctly after the first person noun ‘I’. As I said, you one of the above for sure.

          • Evans Brasfield

            Ain’t you just the sweetest thing?

          • angry tiger!

            As I said, and you write for a living! Good lord, I couldn’t make this stuff up. A true product of run of the mill public education capped of by some two bit college no one ever heard of, if you even made it that far.

          • spiff

            I ain’t thinking you have many friends. Did I nail it. I ain’t afraid of grammar.

          • angry tiger!

            Well you did use ain’t correctly and I applaud you on that. As far as friends, I have a ton of them. Some of them I have made as I talked them out of spending their money on a heavy, slow, ugly piece of tin named Indian. Indian is a poser bike, nothing more. It is cheaply made, breaks down and is aimed at the clown crowd of what I call motorcycle goons. It is not what real motorcycle enthusiast would even consider. But…..you go ahead and throw a ton of money away on this pig if you like and try to convince yourself and others how ‘cool’ it is. And BTW, you should have used a ‘?’ after ‘nail it.’ I see you are not afraid of grammar, however punctuation seems to leave you terrified.

          • spiff

            I can’t believe I fubared my punctuation. I’ll be more attentive in the future. 🙂 That said you don’t have to like the Indian line, but if you think that they are poor quality I doubt you have ridden one. As I said, they’re grrreat.

          • Bruce Allen

            Do like I do. When a reader tags me for poor syntax or bad punctuation in these threads, I just edit the bad stuff out. Wish I could do it in the articles.

          • DickRuble

            This discussion board was getting stale until you made it out of the jungle to maul some Indian. Thank you!

          • Evans Brasfield

            Angry, you are just darling!

          • spiff

            Evans I owe you an apology. I’m all defending your honor, and didn’t mention that your IQ is probably higher than 100. What a dick, right? lol

          • Evans Brasfield

            I’m just taking a break from a Saturday afternoon shuffling papers for taxes. I’m enjoying Tiger’s demonstration of the old Southernism, “If you’re already in a hole. Ain’t no use to continue digging.”

          • JWH

            I’m enjoying his lectures on the word ain’t. I’m a Texan, and we really, really do genuinely own that word.

          • Evans Brasfield

            And his criticisms ain’t correct.

          • JWH

            No they ain’t.

          • Well, we know who Evans is, but I can’t say I can find Angry Tiger in the phone book. That said, nothing succeeds like success and according to Stephen King, if someone pays you to write, you’re a professional writer. Can’t say I’ve seen the byline for angry tiger. Now, where were we…Kawasaki makes a nice reliable affordable bike. It’s long in tooth though and it doesn’t have the fit and finish of the american brands. SO, if your budget is tight and you want a motorcycle that will go many miles reliably, for sure buy a Kawasaki. If you can afford something better or nicer and have the bucks, rock on. No reason to be angry.

          • spiff

            Watch the video. You will see Evans is not an example of your stereo type. Also, you should give the Indians a chance. I think you will agree, they’re great.

          • angry tiger!

            As far as Evans goes, he has a rudimentary at best command of the English language. So as far as stereotype, he seems to fit. Now as far as Indians go, I have ridden them and find them to be heavy, slow and they handle like a tank. They have also had tons and tons of recalls, have not been able to keep their promises of orders and stuff like that. I give them 10 years at best and then Polaris will bail and start making fart powered ox carts or some other lunatic line of three wheeled hove rounds or something.

          • spiff

            I bet Evans has a house, and from the photos I don’t think those are dentures. Also, your view of Polaris is pretty limited, and yes the bike is a land yacht. There is a huge market for them here in the US. In ten years I would think Indian will be just fine.

          • Bruce Allen

            Go Evans! Tell the man.

          • spiff

            If I have to explain you probably wouldn’t understand.

          • JWH

            Wow, everyone who doesn’t see it your way is a toothless, double digit IQ’d slob living in a trailer park? You have some serious issues dude, seek therapy.

          • Jon Jones

            PERFECT!

      • JWH

        But you’d be on a Kawasaki and not an Indian. The intangibles here are innumerable.

      • Jon Jones

        Good call.

    • Kevin Duke

      I see the inverse. Polaris proved its commitment to Indian by shuttering Victory. Now all of the two-wheel resources go into Indian. Indian’s sales are much higher than Victory’s, so I wouldn’t be worried about the brand going anywhere. I think it’s fair to say that Polaris’ motorcycle business has never been stronger, especially considering the massive R&D resources it’s built since Victory first began.

      • JWH

        Here’s to hoping that you’re right and that I’m wrong. Indian has had so many brief forays into resurrection that it’s time it is back to stay.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Kevin, we all wish Indian well, but how many $28,000 motorcycles do you think they are going to sell? Indian sales may be “much higher” than Victory, but that is not saying a lot. Are they high enough to keep the company afloat? Are they high enough to support the development of new models? So far we have only heard promises, no real results. You must agree that the motorcycle in this article (for which moto journalists were flown from Palm Springs to Lake Havasu City in a 1943 DC-3 airplane while Polaris was announcing the shutting down of Victory Motorcycles) is just a existing motorcycle with two leather bags and a top case. What was all the hoopla about? Why did moto journalists even go to see an existing Indian model? I can see that no one wants to turn down a free junket, but Indian would have been much better off spending the money instead on developing a new model. They are following the EBR strategy of putting lipstick on a pig, but it does not bode well for their future.

        • DickRuble

          It’s not EBRs strategy, its Liquid Assets’ (or whatever their name). EBR had many shortcomings but at least they dared to innovate and be different.

          • JWH

            Innovation is wonderful as long as you’re selling bikes. Innovation in the absence of sales is pointless. Erik Buell has a certain genius to be sure, but selling motorcycles isn’t a part of it.

        • Kevin Duke

          I’d say creating two new platforms and engines from scratch in just a few years is strong evidence against your “no real results” claim. And, with the FTR750 seemingly on its way to a production machine, it’ll be three. Perhaps no other OEM has done that in the same time period.

          I don’t see any credible evidence that would lead me to believe that Indian will be shut down. Saying that Polaris shut down Victory, so they will one day shut down Indian doesn’t accurately reflect the long-term business case for the brand.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Kevin, you are pulling at straws. The FTR750 is a flat track race-only machine selling for the enormous sum of $50,000. It is not a “production motorcycle” by any stretch of the imagination. It is not even designed or made by Indian but another subsidiary of Polaris. Even if Indian wanted to make a production motorcycle out of it, according to John Burns interview with the Indian Director of Marketing: “It takes years and years of engineering and effort and money” to convert a race bike into a street bike. So Indian has produced a total of two platforms in six years. The 111 cu in models are way too expensive (and big and heavy) for most people to buy. The Scout models are more reasonable but I don’t know how many have been sold. I am not saying Polaris will shut down Indian. What I am saying is that unless they can sell enough of their current models, they will not have enough money to develop new platforms. Polaris will not keep pumping money into Indian forever.

          • Kevin Duke

            While the FTR is currently only an expensive racebike, I predict a reasonably priced street version will be unveiled within 3 years. The Chiefs might be too big and heavy for you, but their prices start below $18k, not $30k.

        • JWH

          I’m curious, are you a cruiser guy? I’m betting not. Cruiser models are rarely about new engines and new tech, it’s just not what it’s about. It’s almost always about aesthetics and ergonomics, with engines and tech moving at a snails pace. If you want to go broke chasing the latest and greatest every other year, ride something else.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I have been riding Harleys for 30 years. Indian keeps promising new products but they have to sell the existing products first. The cruiser market is saturated by Harley. It is hard to compete with their extensive dealer network, number of models or excellent quality. Indian has a uphill battle ahead of it. I also have a KTM 1190 Adventure R with the latest and greatest technology, so I don’t mind buying new models.

        • that’s the thing. They are banking on the HD type of religious mindset and 84-96 month loans. For that kind of scarole and probably a little less OTD if you shop, I can get a K1600GT(L). A better bike by all acounts than anything Indian or HD makes. That said, I find it nuts to spend 28K on a bike. Better to buy slightly used and let some other fool take the hit. That said, Indian doesn’t make a bike I am interested in. Heavy, hot and slow.

  • Old MOron

    Wow, that was a classy vid, right from the start. They flew you to Havasu in a DC3 war bird? Fooking awesome. Nice blend of mood music and combustion music. The narrative seemed comfortable and delivered with ease. Gorgeous sunset cinematography. I didn’t expect to, but I enjoyed the show. Good job, Evans and Barry.

    • Evans Brasfield

      The editing was courtesy of James Martinec, MO’s newest staff member and first full-time video guy.

      • Old MOron

        Yes, I recognize that name. Good job, James.

  • angry tiger!

    https://www.automd.com/recall/indian_m/?

    OK you geniuses. So if you think these pigs are so great, copy this, post it to Google and see the thousands and thousands of these Indian pieces of trash which have been recalled just so far. I didn’t make this up so you decide if you want to get involved in this mess of a bucket of bolts.
    Now, as far as Evans Brasfield is concerned, since he decided to pipe in and get all ‘tuffy’ here with his broken English, remember this. This Evans guys get paid to blow smoke up your butts as he works for a two bit internet motorcycle magazine which gets its revenue from advertisers. ie. Indian dollars. So, you can believe the ungodly amount of recalls already which I have provided you in the above link, our you can believe some paid industry shill which would try to convince you anything, in bad English I will add, to keep those bucks flowing and his pay check coming.

    Caveat emptor.

    • Evans Brasfield

      Yet, you choose to come here and get your undies in a twist.

      http://www.motorcycle.com/features/evans-off-camber-that-thing-we-do.html

      • angry tiger!

        Evans, if you go back chronologically ( look up that word), you will see I was not the one to bet personal here pal as that would have been you. So I am sorry if you got your ‘undies in a twist’ first and then came back with some inane personal insults FIRST. If you can’t keep up than why did YOU start it huh?
        Anyway, when one argues with a fool, one has only themselves to blame. And with that in mind, I chose not to argue with your foolish rump one more second as painting you in a corner of your making is too easy and hence, too boring.

        • Evans Brasfield

          No undie twisting here. I’ve been enjoying the view as you worked yourself into a snit. Wise move to stop digging, declare victory, and go home.

          • spiff

            I have a theory. I think that this is a set up, and he is working on a sociology project for his 200 level class at community. If he isn’t, Kpaul is going to be upset that we have a new village idiot.

      • John B.

        It mystifies me why miscreants come out of the woodwork to attack you in vicious and personal ways. I read everything you write, and can’t ever recall being the least bit offended or agitated. From your articles, videos, and comments, you seem like an affable and soft-spoken person, yet somehow you’re anathema to miscreants. How do you explain this superpower?

        PS – I read some of Mr. Tiger’s non-motorcycling-related posts on Disqus, and conclude he would hold you in even lower esteem were you Black and/or female. To my chagrin, reading Mr. Tiger’s comments on various subjects led me to discover the stereotypical Trump voter actually exists. Who knew watching a motorcycling video would force me to confront such grim realities?

        • Evans Brasfield

          Well, to be fair, I did bait him, and when saying he was the “sweetest thing” and “darling,” I was using two old Southern pejoratives. Since these were traditionally delivered by women in their sweetest, yet most condescending, tones, if he has any knowledge of Southern culture, he’d pick up on it right away and be doubly insulted if he, as you say, has issues with women. (Which was kinda the point.)

          So, maybe I’m not so nice. 😉

          • JWH

            Psssst, you forgot, “Well, bless your heart.” Again, I’m a Texan and I know things.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Hi Tiger! If you were really that bold and forceful in real life, you wouldn’t be hiding behind a nick name. Most people here know all about Indian so we do not need to be lectured to. Since you don’t like Indian motorcycles, you should go and read about the motorcycles you like. There is no need to abuse the author of this article and other people on this forum, and millions of people who ride Harleys and Indians. If you are tracking motorcycle recalls, can you tell us how many Honda recalls there have been in the past five years?

    • Bruce Allen

      Dude. If this stuff gets your panties in such a complete twist, go read something else. The Police Gazette. US magazine. Breitbart. I do, however, agree with one of your positions: No, you’re grammar.

      • spiff

        Hey Bruce, get your pen ready. I mean keyboard.

        • Bruce Allen

          Season preview goes up today. Losail preview on the 22nd. Can’t wait. Glad my few fans aren’t as rude as Evans’.

          • spiff

            Yeah, Evans is a jerk. 🙂

  • azicat

    25 degree rake is sport tourer territory!