These days, cruisers, like most other motorcycles, have evolved to favor performance over a laid-back style. We've seen it in Harley's lineup with the introduction of the Sportster S, as well as in the addition of sporty and powerful cruisers from the likes of Honda, with the Rebel 1100, and Ducati, with the Diavel V4. For 2023, Indian has joined the party with what could possibly be the sportiest version of the Chief to date.
The famous Indian Chief's most aggressive edition, the 2023 Indian Sport Chief, has been launched and, according to the company, raises the standard for American V-twin performance cruisers with the use of high-end, performance-oriented componentry. In the brand's cruiser range for 2023, the new Sport Chief will join the Chief, Chief Bobber, and Super Chief.
At first glance, it is very easy to understand how the Sport Chief came to be. Most people's attention will be drawn to the sleek quarter fairing in front, which significantly transforms the Chief's appearance and gives the model more aggressive lines and a purposeful posture. The new handlebars on six-inch risers that are located right behind them further enhance this effect. That said, the updates certainly aren't just skin-deep. Indeed, designers gave the Sport Chief a variety of high-end parts to make sure it has the performance to back up its aggressive styling.
To start with, the Sport Chief maintains the mechanical style of the Indian Chief with a straightforward steel-tube frame. The Sport Chief stands out from the rest of the Indian Chief portfolio thanks to a blacked-out Thunderstroke 116 motor that produces 113.4 foot-pounds of torque. With a total displacement of 1,890cc, the Thunderstroke 116 motor has become quite a hallmark of Indian technology, and is featured in models such as the Springfield Dark Horse, Chieftain, Chieftain Dark Horse, Chieftain Limited, Chieftain Elite, Roadmaster and Roadmaster Dark Horse.
The 43mm KYB inverted forks have a narrower 4.4 inch trail and are positioned at a sharper 28 degree angle for enhanced handling. While they give five inches of suspension travel, they are completely unadjustable. At the rear, two piggyback Fox shocks with four inches of travel and preload adjustment have also been added. The Sport Chief's upgraded Brembo braking system, though, is another noteworthy upgrade. It now has dual discs with four-piston, semi-floating calipers up front and a single 300mm disc in the rear, all mounted on cast rims shod in Pirelli Night Dragon rubber.
The class-leading 101 mm touchscreen driven by Ride Command on Indian vehicles is one of the Sport Chief's high-tech features. Depending on the trim level, riders can cycle between a variety of interfaces, including two distinct gauge configurations, bike and ride information, and turn-by-turn navigation, using handlebar controls or the digital touchscreen display. After their phone is paired through Bluetooth or USB while utilizing a wireless helmet communicator, users can also manage their music via the Ride Command system, making for a seamless, completely connected riding experience.
The 2023 Sport Chief will be priced starting at $18,999 USD and come in Black Smoke, Ruby Smoke, Stealth Gray, and Spirit Blue Smoke as color options. By March 2023, the Sport Chief will start shipping to Indian dealers in the US and Canada. However, keep in mind that depending on where you are from, the price of the new cruiser may vary. We suggest you inquire with your local Indian Motorcycles dealer for additional details on price and trim options in your area, since the bike is also expected to appear in Europe this year. For information, visit Indian Motorcycles' official website in the source links below.