American V-twin cruisers are known for high torque figures and bottom-end pull. On the other hand, Tyler O’Hara’s King of the Baggers win aboard the Indian Challenger sure put the importance of horsepower on display in 2020. Capitalizing on the dominant race results with both Challenger teams on the rostrum, Indian will offer the Stage 2 PowerPlus Performance Cams to optimize horsepower.
Tested in the race-winning S&S Cycle Indian Challenger at Laguna Seca raceway last October, the Stage 2 cams increase the bagger’s power figures by a claimed 10 percent. Thanks to the liquid-cooled, DOHC 108ci (1,758cc) mill, Indian’s performance tourer already harnesses 122 ponies but the after-purchase upgrade should bump that number up to 134 horsepower.
“The Challenger has already established itself as the outright leader in performance for American baggers, but these PowerPlus Performance Cams raise that bar even higher,” noted Indian Motorcycle Vice President Reid Wilson.
“The world got its first taste of what these cams can do when our S&S Challenger dominated at King of the Baggers. But now everyone can experience it, whether you’re coming off the line at Laguna Seca or just giving it a little bit more to pass a semi out on the highway.”
Of course, for the Stage 2 Cams to work properly, owners will need to complete Stage 1 upgrades such as Power Plus high-flow air intake (S400 USD) and Thunderstroke slip-on exhausts ($700 USD). Along with the PowerPlus Stage 2 Performance Cams $699.99 list price, those 12 extra ponies would cost Challenger owners a pretty penny ($1,800 USD).
Though O’Hara’s winning steed also benefitted from chassis modifications, upgraded suspension, weight-cutting, racing wheels, and ergonomic refinements, engineers made minimal tweaks to the PowerPlus powerplant—including PowerPlus Stage 2 cams. Due to its inclusion, Indian can tout the part as a race-winning product. That’s something Harley can’t leverage with its second-place King of the Baggers finish and shrinking overall race presence.
With King of the Baggers expanding to a five-race series and moving away from the invitational model in 2021, Indian couldn’t pick a better time to release its latest performance add-on. For aspiring bagger racers, the Stage2 cams should be the go-to mod for those seeking more performance. Yes, cruiser fans might still love their torque, but if Indian has any say, they’ll come over to the horsepower camp soon enough.