Man, those dealers meetings is like trying to keep the lid on Pandora’s box. We’ve been treated to a number of leaks (desired or not) captured by enthusiastic dealers looking for a bit of Internet fame. While at the end of last year, the juicier sneak peeks came from Triumph, this time, we’re heading over to Indian's for a look at the all new Challenger. This time, there’s even a video!
We knew it was coming. In fact, back in April, the test mule of a new, fully-faired tourer was spotted out in the wild, clad in leather to try and hide the details from nosy onlookers. A moderately successful attempt considering people figured they were looking at something different. Comparing the quirky headlight design to the mule’s confirms that this is actually the same bike. The central round headlight is framed between LED brackets, a very recognizable design observed on the test mule. According to the presentation, the model will receive the name “Challenger”, a name the company trademarked in April as well.
The presentation also highlights a new engine, the Powerplus 108, the patent for which was released in March by Polaris. According to early reports, the 108 cubic-in block (1,770cc) should be a water-cooled, 60-degree V-twin and is expected to produce 120 horsepower.
The engine was apparently a former design meant for a new Victory Cross Country—the brand Indian “replaced” when it was given the sack in 2017. With Victory gone, whatever was left one the shelves was Polaris’ to dispose of. In the case of the 108 mill, the only logical choice was to send it over to the guys at Indian. Already then, according to the person who shared that information with us, the names “Charger” and “Challenger” were being bounced around.
Some speculate that the Indian Challenger will make its official debuts at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally which runs August 2 to 11, 2019 in South Dakota.