Indian Motorcycle Announces Updated Chieftain For 2019

Evans Brasfield
by Evans Brasfield

Today, Indian Motorcycle took the wraps off of the updated 2019 Chieftain line, which will consist of four models: Chieftain Limited, Chieftain Dark Horse, Chieftain, and Chieftain Classic (for riders who prefer the previous Chieftain’s design).

For 2019, the Chieftain’s fairing and saddlebags have been re-penned with a hint of the aggressive flair that was the hallmark of the departed Victory marque. The new lines, paired with all-LED lighting, give the fairing a more modern look, while the fork guards add to the bike’s sizable presence. The new bags offer a swoopier profile, and the addition of the new one-piece hinges (another Victory touch) accentuate the bags’ new lines. Behind the bags, color-matched fender closeouts eliminate clutter, keeping the visuals clean. The Rogue gunfighter seat carries on the low-slung look by erasing bulk from the back of the motorcycle. It also looks like it will provide good support under acceleration. The final visual change is the new Indian headdress badging on the tank.

indian motorcycle announces updated chieftain for 2019, The Chieftain s new fairing has a cleaner more modern appearance
The Chieftain’s new fairing has a cleaner, more modern appearance.

One of the functional changes that we are most excited about is the new Rear Cylinder Deactivation that shuts down the rear cylinder when the bike is idling at a stop with the ambient temperature is higher than 59°. When the throttle is opened, the rear cylinder resumes firing. This should make stop-and-go traffic much cooler. The other ride-related change is the inclusion of three ride-modes: Tour, Standard, and Sport. As one would expect, the throttle’s responsiveness will increase as the modes change from Tour to Standard to Sport.

Since sound systems are so important for baggers, Indian’s standard system was also massaged for an improved riding experience. For improved clarity, the tweeters have been separated from the mid-range speakers. However, the most interesting tidbit is the dynamic equalizer that “adjusts each frequency to the optimal level to compensate for road, wind and engine noise.”

We can’t wait to test the new Chieftains when they’re available. Until then, you, like us, will have to satisfy your curiosity with the press release, photos, and video below.

Begin Press Release:


Restyled Fairing & Saddlebags, Combined with New Features, Offer Riders a More Streamlined, Aggressive Style

New PowerBand™ Audio Upgrade Package is Loudest Audio System in Indian Motorcycle History

MINNEAPOLIS (Sept. 5, 2018)– Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company founded in 1901, today announced a redesigned Chieftain lineup. Since its debut in 2013, the Chieftain has consistently won high marks for handling, power and comfort. Now, for 2019, the Indian Chieftain, Chieftain Dark Horse and Chieftain Limited feature more streamlined, aggressive styling that reflects the bike’s well-established performance capabilities. For those loyal to Indian’s classic designs, the 2019 Indian Chieftain Classic will continue to feature its traditional fairing and iconic valanced front fender.

The redesigned Chieftain lineup continues an evolution that started in 2017 with the introduction of the 10-spoke, 19-inch contrast-cutfront wheel and open fender on the Chieftain Limited and Chieftain Elite. The response from customers was overwhelmingly positive, paving the way for this lineup expansion.

indian motorcycle announces updated chieftain for 2019, 2019 Indian Motorcycle Chieftain
2019 Indian Motorcycle Chieftain

“As we continue to evolve the Indian Motorcycle brand, we want to expand our lineup with more aggressive style options, while still maintaining the availability of our more classic style options,” said Reid Wilson, Senior Director for Indian Motorcycle. “What’s most important to us is developing motorcycles that meet a wide variety of customer style preferences, and Chieftain’s new look does just that.”

At first glance of the new Chieftain, riders will notice a restyled fairing and saddlebags with sharper lines and harder edges that give the bike a commanding presence and more streamlined look. A trimmed and slimmed fairing, paired with full LED lighting and new fork guards, delivers a streamlined front-end package that’s indicative of the bike’s impressive performance capabilities. The Chieftain’s new, slammed saddlebags with color-matched fender closeouts also provide a sleek and custom-inspired look. While the new Rogue gunfighter seat gives the bike a sleek, low-slung stance, Chieftain maintains its superior handling and comfort with more than four inches of rear suspension travel. New badging on the tank and saddlebags and the iconic Indian headdress on the front fender complete the package.

indian motorcycle announces updated chieftain for 2019, 2019 Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Dark Horse
2019 Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Dark Horse

In addition to the styling and design enhancements, the 2019 Chieftain lineup features new ride-enhancing technology for increased performance customization and rider comfort. For a more customized ride experience, riders can now choose between three Ride Modes – Tour, Standard or Sport. The throttle map for each Ride Mode was designed with a specific application in mind, resulting in one bike with three distinct personalities. All 2019 Chieftains are also equipped with Rear Cylinder Deactivation for increased rider comfort when the bike is stationary.

Also new for 2019, the Chieftain Dark Horse lineup expands with new paint options, including White Smoke, Bronze Smoke and Thunder Black Smoke. More than just matte-finish body paint, the 2019 Chieftain Dark Horse now features premium black ceramic exhaust and gloss black finishes on the primary cover, valve covers, push-rod tubes, cam cover, and saddlebag hinges for a custom, blacked-out look.

indian motorcycle announces updated chieftain for 2019, 2019 Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Limited
2019 Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Limited

Several enhancements have also been made to Indian Motorcycle’s stock audio system to significantly improve sound quality. First, the tweeters have been separated from the mid-range speakers to optimize sound output and clarity. Second, a dynamic equalizer that’s fully customizable now adjusts specific frequencies at different vehicle speeds to provide peak system performance at all times. As speed increases, the equalizer automatically adjusts each frequency to the optimal level to compensate for road, wind and engine noise. The result is crystal-clear, 100-watts of premium audio at all speeds.

In summary, the 2019 Chieftain lineup packs a host of new features, including:

  • A restyled fairing and saddlebags that reflect Chieftain’s performance capabilities
  • A new Rogue gunfighter seat that enhances the bike’s sleek profile
  • New front and rear turn signals and full LED lighting
  • New ride-enhancing technology that provides a customizable ride experience with three Ride Modes and Rear Cylinder Deactivation for improved rider comfort
  • Enhanced stock, 100-watt premium audio system for crystal-clear sound at all speeds

Also new for 2019, Indian Motorcycle introduces its loudest audio system to date. With PowerBand™ Audio, riders can choose from audio configurations that are up to 50 percent louder than stock audio. The system is engineered with an integrated amp on speaker and does not require additional amps. The premium audio package is fully integrated with Indian Motorcyle® Ride Command® so that when PowerBand™ Audio speakers are installed, Ride Command® automatically recognizes the upgrade and takes the equalizer from five bands to nine bands with additional pre-set options and volume control. Riders can choose from three kits – PowerBand Audio™ (fairing upgrade), PowerBand™ Audio Plus (fairing and saddlebag upgrade) and PowerBand™ Audio Plus with accessory trunk (fairing, saddlebag and accessory trunk upgrade).

Riders can further customize their Chieftain with a variety of accessories, including performance packages from Stage 1, 2 and 3 featuring exhaust, air intakes, cams and the 116 ci big bore kit. Custom fit options like extended and reduced reach seats, mid-rise handlebars and reduced reach handlebars are also available. Color-matched accessories such as Hard Lower Fairings, Saddlebag Audio Lids, a Quick Release Trunk, and for the Chieftain Classic owners, a 10-spoke 19-inch contrast-cut wheel with an open fender can be added to give your bike a custom look.

Pricing for the 2019 Chieftain begins at $21,999 in the U.S. and $26,999 in Canada, while the Chieftain Dark Horse starts at $25,999 in the U.S. and $32,499 in Canada. Indian’s Chieftain Limited is available starting at $25,999 in the U.S. and $32,499 in Canada. Pricing for the Chieftain Classic begins at $24,999 in the U.S. and $31,499 in Canada.

Arriving at dealerships now, riders can learn more or test ride by visiting a local Indian Motorcycle dealership. For more information on the 2019 Chieftain lineup, or to find the nearest dealer, visit and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Indian Motorcycle Company is America’s First Motorcycle Company®. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit

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