2009 Indian Chief Roadmaster
09 INDIAN CHIEF ROADMASTERBy (I am an Owner) on Oct 11, 2011
BEST BIKE I HAVE EVER OWNED BREMBO BRAKE SYSTEM IS SECOND TO NONE GREAT VALUE GREAT BIKE!!!!
Demo RideBy (I am an Enthusiast) on Jun 29, 2009
I ride a 26 year old cruiser so I jumped at the chance to test ride the 2009 Chief Roadmaster. Overall the bike is quite a piece of art. Very nice leather options. The tank flows into the seat and nice paint. Closer inspection however revealed some pretty tacky "after thoughts" for a bike costing ... over 30g's.
The horn is ridiculous. One would expect maybe trumpets or something similar. Not pimped out but something classy. But they stuck on some cheap looking thing from JC Whitney. (no offense Whitney...). They could have at least painted it black to conceal it a bit.
There is a galvanized bolt sticking out from under the exhaust pipe. This should have either been inserted the other direction, cut down, or made of stainless. This is the same type of bolt holding on my fence gate!
The wire for the fender mounted Indian head should have been routed rather than just sticking it in the side of that cool fender. This may sound like nit picking but we are talking 30 large!
Now for the ride: Lots of power from the 105. Lots of vibration too. Buzzy floor boards and buzzy hand grips. The clutch was smooth and easy to grab but that Baker trans clunked into every gear. I was not expecting Gold Wing smooth but at least Harley smooth.
No self cancelling turn signals? My vintage UJM has that! There are little idiot flashers on each side of the gauge cluster but they were almost impossible to see in day light. The dealer said this was currently being fixed at the factory. There is no tach on the Indian. Not even a digital one. All that power and no way to know where you are in the rev range. Very disappointing.
The suspension seemed a bit harsh but we were on city streets. Highway cruising should be smoother, except for those nasty vibes. I'm not sure about that skinny rear tire. I was thinking more like a 180, not 150. The handle bars are quite a reach. I'm 5'10 and my shoulders were feeling stretched just after the 20 minutes. The brakes are excellent! Light with lots of bite.
Overall, if I were in the market for a high end cruiser, Harley would get the first nod. Even for how expensive they may be compared to the metrics, they are a bargain compared to the Indian. Good luck to the dealers in this economy.