Who are we to question the motorcycles red-blooded Americans love most? Harley-Davidson sells more Street Glides than it does Road Glide Limiteds (which basically adds the frame-mounted fairing and trunk), but the song remains the same. Indian’s new Pursuit adds the same things to its Challenger – though its fairing was already a frame-mounted design. Who doesn’t want more storage? More closet space? Nobody. And that goes double for people who travel in pairs. In every couple, there’s at least one shoe hound.
Indian announced it initial batch of 2021 models including its touring, bagger and Scout models. Along with new color options for several motorcycles, the 2021 model year includes a new Roadmaster Limited, a new Vintage Dark Horse and a restyled Roadmaster Dark Horse. Not included in the announcement were the FTR 1200 and the Chief cruiser, but we expect further news from Indian in the weeks ahead.
When we think of baggers, we think V-Twin engines. Yes, there are some exceptions, the BMW K1600B and the Moto Guzzi MGX-21 (with its unusual transverse V-Twin) come to mind, but aside from those outliers, baggers from all manufacturers are solidly in V-Twin land. However, with the chassis, a couple of choices exist. Do you want a fork-mounted or frame-mounted fairing? In the frame-mounted category, there is one, big-daddy model that dominates the class, the Harley-Davidson Road Glide. For 2020, the grizzled veteran has been called out by a young gun that wants to prove its mettle. The Indian Challenger clearly has its sights on the Road Glide. In a classic battle reminiscent of the Old West, these two gunslingers have stepped onto the street, and the outcome will be determined on Route 66.
What exactly the hell is the meaning of this, letting a 30-year old kid be the Powertrain Project Engineer for an all-new bagger? What could a callow youth who roadraces a 15-year old GSX-R600 and rides a Tuono on the street, possibly know about the bagger mentality? When they’re not tearing around on sportbikes (and Indians!) because the snow’s too deep up in Minnesota, that 30-year old engineer (who only spoke to us on condition of anonymity) and Product Director Josh Katt are plotting mostly legal routes to get to work on Polaris snowmobiles. If that’s not heretical enough, Indian put a Swedish guy who designed BMW motorcycles for 15 years in charge of design – Ola Stenegard.
Back in 2008, Can-Am shook up the motorcycling world by introducing its intriguing, not-a-trike, not-a-bike Spyder RS line of V-Twin-powered, three-wheeled sport riding vehicles. Solid initial sales of the RS encouraged the Bombardier-owned Canadian company to produce an encore, and in 2009 the Spyder RT luxury liner was introduced. It was an instant hit among touring riders who were advancing in age but didn’t want to give up the freedom of the open road.