Getting all dressed up for its birthday.
Indian Motorcycles dates all the way back to 1901. Originally produced in Springfield, Massachusetts, the brand went bankrupt in 1953. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to revive Indian through the years, Polaris purchased the rights to the nameplate in 2011. Despite extensive gaps in production, the now Minnesota-based company still plans to celebrate Indian's 120th anniversary with the new 2021 Chieftain Elite.
The ultra-limited variant features the brand’s Thunderstroke 116 (1,890cc) V-twin engine. Slate Smoke finishes separate it from its standard counterparts. Those looking for even more power can tap into Indian’s extensive catalog for Stage 1 and Stage 2 cams, air intakes, mufflers, and exhausts. However, the air-cooled V-twin produces 126 ft-lb of torque in stock form so the Chieftain Elite is plenty powerful out of the box.
Gallery: 2021 Indian Chieftain Elite
Riders can also dial in the engine characteristics with Sport, Touring, and Standard ride modes. Rear cylinder deactivation prioritizes heat management through slow-moving traffic while the streamlined fairing and two-up Rogue seat maximize comfort on the open road.
“We designed the Chieftain Elite for riders who want to turn heads and stand out without sacrificing performance or comfort,” said Indian’s VP Reid Wilson. “The bike’s attention to detail and world-class craftsmanship is second-to-none, while its extreme exclusivity makes it something truly special to own and ride.”
Indian decks out the premium bagger with a seven-inch Ride Command infotainment system paired to a 400-watt PowerBand sound system. A power windshield, 18-gallon storage capacity, and spacious footboards provide all the creature comfort the heart desires. The Chieftain Elite pulls out all the stops with tire pressure monitoring, remote locking saddlebags, and full LED lighting.
An Elite Indian wouldn’t be complete without a special livery and the limited-run Chieftain delivers. The Carbon Crystal lays a glossy base coat while the Thunder Black Vivid Crystal proves that everything that glitters isn’t gold. Aligning with Indian’s 120th birthday, the brand will produce 120 units worldwide. The 2021 Chieftain Elite retails for $34,999 ($42,999 CAD) and is currently available at Indian Motorcycle dealers.