As we predicted would happen, Indian Motorcycle has pulled back the cover on a new blacked-out version of its popular Chieftain bagger, the Chieftain Dark Horse.
The release of this model follows the trend of last year's Chief Dark Horse in aiming the heritage brand at a slightly younger audience. The matte black, almost-no-chrome look certainly plays a part in targeting that demographic; however, perhaps more successful at putting butts in saddles will be the new bike's lower price tag.
The new Chieftain Dark Horse is set at US $1,000 less than the the standard Chieftain –– costing $21,999 against the more blinged-out model's $22,999 asking price. Looking at the two bikes side by side, we can see that some of the savings come from the absence of engine bars and passenger accommodation. Indian doesn't say one way or the other, but we're also guessing the Chieftain Dark Horse's seat is vinyl, rather than the leather saddle found on the Chieftain.
The only other difference we can spot is a shorter, tinted screen on the Chieftain Dark Horse. Riders eager to make the bike even more difficult to spot at night can opt for accessory blacked-out pipes, grips, floorboards, fender trim and saddlebag trim.
Accessory blacked out engine bars will help protect the roughly 900-pound bike's delicate bits in a tipover situation. Other accessories include ape-hanger handlebars and additional stereo speakers that integrate with the bike's panniers, available in any color you like –– as long as it's matte black.
Meanwhile, the Chieftain Dark Horse will retain the surprisingly light handling, nifty keyless panniers system and keyless start, cruise control, ABS, power screen, and stereo of the Chieftain. Not to mention the delightfully grunty Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin that powers all of Indian's "big" bikes.
"The Dark Horse series... is an open canvas for customization," said Indian Motorcycle Marketing Director Reid Wilson.
From what we hear, the Chieftain Dark Horse has already arrived at some dealerships, and will be available at others very soon.
Learn more about Chris and the rest of RideApart's excellent staff here: The RideApart Team