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2022 Indian Chief lineup debuts with big engines and better tech

The Chief offers tons of vintage style with enough modern tech to keep riders happy.

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The 2022 Indian Chief offers plenty of vintage bike charm with enough modern safety and convenience tech.
Indian

Indian's Chief is one of its most iconic and longest-lived nameplates. It's a bike that not only has to help Indian on its nostalgia-plus mission, but it also has to appeal to a relatively wide range of riders, being the brand's middle-of-the-range bike. Making its debut Tuesday, Indian decided to further refine the Chief for the 2022 model year with new styling and some cleverly integrated technology.

To start, the Indian Chief is a classic-looking American touring bike. It's got a large-displacement, 111-cubic-inch Thunderstroke engine, which is physically imposing and fills out the bike's classic steel tube frame. That engine is paired with a six-speed transmission and features Indian's excellent cylinder deactivation technology. The Thunderstroke 111 is good for 108 pound-feet of torque, which is ample, but the horsepower output is a mystery. We suspect that it will be at least adequate for the segment, which is to say in the high double-digits.

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With a name like Thunderstroke, it's bound to be big, torquey and loud.

Indian

The Chief features adjustable dual rear shocks and is available with or without anti-lock brakes (we'd suggest getting it with ABS; safety is cool). It's a minimalist bike and carries off its throwback looks well, which is cool because the Chief comes with some nice modern features like cruise control and user-selectable ride modes thanks to its ride-by-wire throttle system. 

The 2022 Chief will be available in several flavors: the standard Chief, the Chief Bobber and the Super Chief. Beyond that, Indian will offer the Chief and Chief Bobber in more modern-looking and feature-rich Dark Horse trims. The Super Chief will get a higher-spec Limited trim. Both Dark Horse and Limited models get standard ABS and an LCD instrument panel that features Indian's Ride Command system, which we experienced on our long-term FTR 1200.

Pricing for the new Chief line starts at $14,499 for the base Chief and tops out at $20,999 for the Super Chief Limited. Indian will offer a bunch of factory-approved performance parts and accessories for the bikes, including a Stage 3 116 cubic-inch big bore kit, which, when paired with an intake and a factory performance exhaust, promises to add 20% more horsepower.

The new Chiefs will be available in Indian dealers starting in April.

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