Tag Archives: Indian Challenger

Gloves off in Harley Vs Indian rivalry

Indian Motorcycle has always been diplomatic about their rivalry with Harley-Davidson, but a brazen new video showing their new Challenger and a Road Glide Special towing a taco van has sparked an online bitter feud.

The YouTube video shows both frame-mounted-fairing baggers having a go at towing the taco van to prove that the new Challenger can “smoke” the Road Glide Special.

The Challenger is powered by a new 1770cc Powerplus liquid-cooled engine with 122hp (91kW) and 173Nm (128lb-ft) of torque at the crank.

By comparison Harley’s Road Glide Milwaukee Eight 114 (1868cc) has 80.71hp (60kW) and 153Nm (113.63lb-ft) of torque.

rivalryChallenger pulls taco van while Road Glide Special looks on

Sales rivalry

Harley hasn’t readily identified Indian as a threat even though it has been taking minuscule chunks out of the cruiser, bagger and tourer market since its modern revival in 2013.

Around the world and in Australia, Harley sales have been sliding over the past few years.

However, they still sell substantially more than Indian.

Indian doesn’t say how many motorcycles they sell worldwide, but Australian figures show Indian sold 803 bikes last year (down 3.9%) compared with Harley’s 6462 (down 7.9%).

If this is an indication of global sales proportions then Indian probably sold about 26,000 bikes globally while Harley sold some 218.273 last year.

That’s about 12%, which isn’t a lot, but it’s obviously starting to get under Harley’s skin.

Their marketing department has bitten back over the YouTube video with this very clever ad with a not-too-subtle dig at the brand’s Polaris ownership.

If you can’t read the small print it states:

We’ve been building riders (not gimmicks) for over 115 years. With 700+ US dealer partners and category defining motorcycles, there’s never been a better time to join the tribe. Tow challenge accepted – we’ve been carrying your weight for a long time.

Ouch!

That’s what you get when you poke the sleeping bear.

So now that the gloves are off, we can expect to see more direct comparison in this rivalry and a lot of fun and interesting videos and ads!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

2020 vision: Bikes you most want to ride

There is a host of exciting motorcycles being released in 2020 that have caught the attention of our more than 300,000 readers a month.

We have gone over the reader statistics for our motorcycle stories, assessing multiple entries about particular bikes and also considered your comments.

The statistical analysis arrives at what we think are the bikes you would most like to ride in 2020.

We apologise if this list does not reflect your particular interest. It certainly doesn’t reflect my choice!

After all, it’s just a statistical analysis and a bit of fun for your New Year reading.

2020 vision

So here are the top five bikes possibly coming in 2020 … according to you!

1 BMW R 18 cruiser

BMW Concept R8 cruiser r 18 heritage
First R 18 concept

BMW said it would never build another cruiser after the R 1200 C. A few years ago they altered their tune, saying “never say never”.

Now they are building one!

BMW R 18/2 cruiser
BMW R 18 second concept model

We are still unsure what the R 18 will look like, although there have been some concepts and spy photos.

2020 BMW R 18 \
BMW R 18 spy photo

Even so, it hasn’t stopped BMW from launching a dedicated order site and even taking deposits from excited fans. 

2 Indian Challenger

Indian Challenger
Challenger Limited

Our spy photos of the Indian Challenger rated very highly, but the actual images of the production version not as much.

2020 liquid Indian Challenger spy bagger
Spy photo of a 2020 Indian Challenger

We’re not sure if that means you are not happy with how they look, but you certainly are interested in this challenger to Harley’s bagger dominance.  

3 Harley Bronx Streetfighter

Harley-Davidson Revolution Max platform Bronx Streetfighter
Harley-Davidson Revolution Max platform Bronx Streetfighter

Speaking of which, Harley-Davidson will release an abundance of unusual products in 2020, including the Bronx Streetfighter range, electric bicycles and motorcycles, and their first big-bore adventure bike, the Pan America.

While our articles on all these bikes scored highly with our readers, the macho Streetfighter won this title bout. 

4 Savic electric motorcycle

2019 Savic electric motorcycle prototype orders
Denis Savic with his Aussie electric motorcycle

While opinions about the coming wave of electric motorcycles continue to divide the Motorbike Writer community, there was a lot of interest in the first Aussie full-sized electric road motorcycle from Savic.

We wish founder Denis Savic the best of luck with his motorcycle and are looking forward to the promised test ride. Stay tuned!

5 Suzuki Hayabusa

Suzuki Hayabusa 1440cc
Hayabusa engine patent filing

The Suzuki Hayabusa no longer meets stringent Euro5 conditions that kick in from 1 January 2020.

And we don’t exactly know what Suzuki will do to replace it or even if they will!

However, our articles about patent filings for an updated Hayabusa have sparked a lot of interest, especially the possibility it could be powered by a 1440cc engine. 

Other 2020 contenders

Ducati EICMA Streetfighter V4 vote
Ducati Streetfighter V4 wins most beautiful bike at EICMA

It’s difficult to set out the other contenders, but there has been a lot of interest shown in the Ducati Streetfighter V4 and the MV Agusta Superveloce 800.

MV Agusta Superveloce Serie Oro model design
MV Agusta Superveloce Serie Oro

They also rated highly in your votes for the most beautiful bikes of the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan.

As for current bikes, our tests of two very different motorcycles were highly rated: The CFMoto 650NK learner and the Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special tourer. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian Challenger arrives early 2020 from $39,595

Indian Challenger Dark Horse – $39,595
Indian Challenger Limited – $39,995

Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Limited

Indian claim to have redefined the bagger with their new Indian Challenger platform. 

Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger Dark Horse

Powered by the recently revealed Indian PowerPlus engine, Indian’s first liquid-cooled large displacement motor (1769 cc/108 cubic-inch, 60-degree, four-valve, overhead-cam V-twin) packs a best-in-class 122 horsepower and 178 Nm of torque at 3800 rpm.

Indian Challenger Limited
New Indian PowerPlus engine boasts 178 Nm of torque at 3800 rpm

The new powertrain also features a six-speed transmission with true overdrive and an assist clutch to reduce clutch effort. Hydraulic valve lash adjusters and camshaft chain tensioners lower maintenance costs. 

Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger Dark Horse

The Challenger features all the premium touring amenities riders expect from Indian Motorcycle, including electronic cruise control, full LED lighting, a long-haul seat, ABS, keyless ignition, and weatherproof saddlebags with over 68 litres of storage space.

Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Limited

In addition, a modern and aggressively styled chassis-mounted fairing sits over the Challenger’s inverted front suspension.

Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Limited

A cast aluminium frame and hydraulically adjustable Fox rear shock give the rear end a reasonable 114 mm of travel.

Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Limited

High-spec radially-mounted Brembo brakes provide the stopping power to haul up the Challenger which in Dark Horse form weighs in at 361 kg dry, while the Limited registers 365 kg on the scales. 

Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger Dark Horse

Challenger’s chassis-mounted fairing features an adjustable windscreen with nearly three inches of travel and adjustable air vents – delivering unprecedented rider protection from all elements.

Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Limited

LED running lights, a central headlamp, and a redesigned and modernised Indian Motorcycle head-dress adorn its front fender.

Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Limited

Reid Wilson – Vice President of Indian Motorcycle

“The Indian Challenger delivers a new level of performance for riders who understand that the seemingly small details make a huge difference. Our mindset was to leave no stone unturned and deliver a bagger that exceeds the standards in categories like power, handling, comfort, and technology.”

Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger Dark Horse

Challenger Limited and Challenger Dark Horse are equipped with a Bosch IMU to add cornering pre-control to the dynamic traction control and ABS, as well as Drag Torque Control.

Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Limited

These models also feature Indian RideCommand, the largest touch-screen info-tainment system on two wheels.

Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Limited

The Challenger’s seven-inch Ride Command system features weather and traffic overlays, key vehicle information, Bluetooth and USB mobile pairing, and an all-new quad-core processor for faster response. In standard form the system boasts 100 watts of power.

Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger Dark Horse

Riders can customise the bike’s throttle mapping by selecting one of three ride modes, including Rain, Standard and Sport – resulting in one motorcycle with three distinct performance personalities.

Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger Dark Horse

Each ride mode has been engineered with its own distinct traction control setting to align with each mode’s specific throttle mapping.

Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Limited

The 2020 Indian Challenger Dark Horse is available in Thunder Black Smoke, Sandstone Smoke, and White Smoke. The Indian Challenger Limited is available in Thunder Black Pearl, Deepwater Metallic, and Ruby Metallic.

Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Limited

For its inaugural year, the Challenger lineup is accompanied by a variety of Indian Motorcycle Authentic Accessories that allow riders to upgrade their ride based on their preferences. With the Indian Challenger Rogue Collection, riders can and add premium blacked-out styling with a gloss black mid-rise handlebar, a tinted curved windshield and gloss black front highway bars.

For an added measure of comfort over longer hauls there’s the Indian Challenger Tour Collection, including a 406 mm (16-inch) windshield, quick release passenger sissy bar, passenger backrest and passenger floorboards, an extended reach seat, rider backrest pad, infinite highway pegs and pinnacle heel shifter. Riders can also upgrade the Indian Challenger’s audio experience with the PowerBand Audio Plus system, which delivers exceptional sound and clarity from high-output fairing and saddlebag speakers that are 50 per cent louder than the Challenger’s stock audio system.


Indian Challenger Introduction Promo Video


Indian Challenger Specifications

  • Engine Type – 60˚ V-twin
  • Transmission 6-speed/constant mesh/foot shift
  • Bore x Stroke 108 mm x 96.5 mm
  • Charging System 55 amp max output
  • Clutch Wet, multi-plate with assist
  • Compression Ratio 11.0 : 1
  • Cooling System Water
  • Displacement 1768 cc
  • Exhaust Split dual exhaust with resonator
  • Final Drive Belt drive, 152 tooth
  • Fuel Capacity 22.7 ltr
  • Fuel System EFI, closed loop/52 mm dual bore
  • Oil Capacity 4.73 ltr
  • Primary Drive Gear drive wet clutch
  • Torque 178 Nm at 3800 rpm
  • Horsepower 122 hp
  • Front Suspension Telescopic fork, 43 mm, 130 mm travel
  • Rear Suspension Single shock 114 mm travel, hydraulic adjustable
  • Dry Weight 361 kg (Challenger Limited 365 kg)
  • Ground Clearance 137 mm
  • GVWR 628 kg
  • Length 2501 mm
  • Rake/Trail 25° / 150 mm
  • Seat Height 672 mm
  • Wheelbase 1668 mm
  • Front Braking System Dual 320 mm floating rotor with 4-piston calipers
  • Rear Braking System Single 298 mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper
  • Front Tyre Metzeler Cruisetec, 130/60B19 66H
  • Front Wheel Cast 19″ x 3.5″ with tyre pressure monitoring
  • Rear Tyre Metzeler Cruisetec, 180/60R16 80H
  • Rear Wheel Cast 16″ x 5.0″ with tyre pressure monitoring
  • Indian Challenger Dark Horse $39,595 Ride Away
  • Indian Challenger Limited $39,995 Ride Away

Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Limited
Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger Dark Horse

Source: MCNews.com.au

Indian Challenger touring range unveiled

The Indian Challenger fixed-fairing touring range powered by the new liquid-cooled 1770cc Powerplus engine has finally been unveiled.

Neither has been much of a secret with leaks and spy photos for months.

The Challenger looks like an Indian version of the Harley-Davidson Road Glide with its frame-mounted fairing providing more stability with light steering and agility.

Features include LED headlight, 19-inch cast front wheel and 16-inch rear 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, cruise control and keyless ignition.

There are three colour options, black, blue and red.

Handling is aided by upside-down 43mm forks and a hydraulically adjustable Fox rear shock.

The Challenger has a lightweight cast-aluminium frame, Metzeler Cruisetec tires and stopping power is provided by race-spec, radially-mounted Brembo brakes.Indian Challenger

It will come in three models: Challenger ($US21,499), a blacked-out Challenger Dark Horse ($US27,999) and flagship Challenger Limited ($US27,999).

The Limited has Smart Lean Technology with 6-axis Bosch IMU, Dynamic traction control, ABS with cornering control, and Drag Torque Control.

There is no word yet from Indian Motorcycle Australia on arrival and pricing but those prices are similar to the Springfield which retails here for $A35,495 (ride away).

Powerplus power

As we reported back in April, the liquid-cooled, DOHC 1770cc V-twin engine produces 91kW of power (122hp) and 178Nm of torque.

It is believed the quad-valve Powerplus was originally developed as the Victory Freedom V2 before Polaris axed the brand in 2017.

The new liquid cooled Powerplus powered motorcycle range are smaller than the current 111-cube Thunderstroke V-twin that powers the Chief and Roadmaster models.

Click here for more details on the engine and watch and listen to it in action below.

Indian Challenger (2020) 
Power 91kW (122hp)
Torque 178Nm at 3800rpm
Type V-Twin PowerPlus
Bore and Stroke 52mm dual bore
Displacement 1769cc
Fuelling Closed loop fuel injection
Length 2500.7mm
Width 990.2m
Height 1427.5mm
Wheelbase 1667.8m
Clearance 137.3mm
Seat 672mm
Weight (wet) 377kg
Fuel Tank Capacity  22.7L
Transmission 6-speed
Clutch Type Gear Drive Wet Clutch
Indian Challenger
Challenger
Indian Challenger
7-inch screen
Indian Challenger
Challenger Limited
Challenger dark Horse
Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Challenger
Challenger
Indian Challenger
Challenger Limited

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian reveals new liquid cooled engine

Indian Motorcycle has unveiled its liquid cooled 1770cc engine with three ride modes called the Powerplus to be fitted to a new line of Challenger motorcycles.

The move was leaked in a video from the company dealer conference in the USA in July and has now been confirmed.

The video was been taken down, but is still available on Motorcycle.com.

Liquid cooled

The video seemed to confirm our tip in April that it would be a 90kW (120hp), liquid-cooled, DOHC 1770cc V-twin engine.

However, it’s slightly more powerful with 91kW (122hp) and 178Nm of torque.

It is believed the quad-valve Powerplus was originally developed as the Victory Freedom V2 before Polaris axed the brand in 2017.

2020 Indian Challenger spy
2020 Indian Challenger spy photo

Liquid cooling should make the engines compliant with the next generation of European emissions targets.

The new liquid cooled Powerplus powered motorcycle range will be smaller than the current 111-cube Thunderstroke V-twin that powers the Chief and Roadmaster models.

Powerplus will be available in chromed and black-out versions.

It is not yet known how many models will be in the range, when they will be released and whether they will replace the Chief and Roadmaster models or be an extra line-up.

2020 liquid Indian Challenger spy bagger
Spy photo of a 2020 Indian Challenger

Here is the official release from Indian:

The PowerPlus will serve as the heart of the new Indian Challenger, an all-new, fixed-fairing bagger that utilises Indian Motorcycle’s state-of-the-art technology to become the highest-performing American V-twin ever developed. The new engine’s name is a nod to Indian Motorcycle’s iconic history, paying homage to the Indian PowerPlus motorcycle produced from 1916 to 1924.

“We challenge our engineers with the notion that anything less than best-in-class design and performance will simply not get it done, and it’s clear with this new engine that they have delivered on that high standard,” said Steve Menneto, Indian Motorcycle President. “Countless hours were spent in design, development and testing to ensure this is the best liquid-cooled V-twin ever developed, and I could not be prouder of our team and this incredible motor.”

The PowerPlus adopts several design and performance features from the liquid-cooled 1,133 cc Indian Scout engine, including an overhead camshaft design utilising four valves per cylinder. But comparisons end there. The PowerPlus was developed with a big-piston, big-torque mindset with an end game of maximum power delivery across the entire curve.

Power Plus Engine – Chrome – Left.

The all-new powertrain features a six-speed transmission with true overdrive, assist clutch to reduce clutch effort, and three ride modes that allow riders to tailor throttle mapping to their riding preferences. Advanced technology also includes hydraulic valve lash adjusters and hydraulic camshaft chain tensioners for ease of maintenance and reliability.

The PowerPlus was tested, refined and proven by one of the industry’s most rigorous development and testing programs, accumulating over one and a half million kilometres of simulated testing, including state-of-the-art dyno testing, and more than 400,000 on-road kilometres.

“You simply cannot deliver the ultimate bagger without an engine that stands head and shoulders above anything else in its class, and that was the motivation behind the PowerPlus,” said John Callahan, Indian Motorcycle Vice President, Engineering. “We developed the most sophisticated V-twin powerplant in the industry, and then we spent month after month, hour upon hour, putting it through the most intense paces to ensure it could take whatever we threw at it. The end result is something truly special.”

Indian Motorcycle PowerPlus Engine Specifications:

  • Engine Displacement: 108 cubic inches (1769 cc)
  • Power: 91kW (122hp) @ 5500rpm
  • Torque: 178Nm @ 3800rpm
  • Maximum Engine Speed: 6500rpm
  • Architecture: 60-degree V-twin, liquid cooled powerplant
  • Crankcase: Unit design featuring a high capacity semi-dry sump oil system
  • Timing System: Overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder
  • Fuel System: Electronic fuel injection. 52mm dual bore throttle bodies
  • Compression Ratio: 11:1
  • Transmission: Six-speed with true overdrive, constant mesh
  • Clutch: Assist clutch

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian Challenger powered by 1770cc Powerplus

Indian Motorcycle is about to unveil a new line of Challenger motorcycles powered by a liquid-cooled 1770cc engine called the Powerplus.

The move was leaked in a video from the company dealer conference in the USA.

The video has now been taken down, but is still available on Motorcycle.com.

Powerplus V-twin

The video confirms our tip in April that it would be a 90kW (120hp), liquid-cooled, DOHC 1770cc V-twin engine.

It is believed the quad-valve Powerplus was originally developed as the Victory Freedom V2 before Polaris axed the brand in 2017.

The new Powerplus powered motorcycle range will be smaller than the current 111-cube Thunderstroke V-twin that powers the Chief and Roadmaster models.

It is not yet known how many models will be in the range and whether they will replace the Chief and Roadmaster models or be an extra line-up.

But wait, there could be more.

Indian trademarked the name Challenger in April.

But the company also trademarked the name Raven in December and Renegade in January.

And in April a photo was leaked of a Raptor tourer with a big fixed fairing to challenge the Harley-Davidson Road Glide. 

Indian apollo raptor
Spy photo

You can see it is powered by the Powerplus engine. It also features LED “bracket-shaped lights as in the above video.

The same month a brochure was leaked that showed several new Apollo variants of its popular FTR 1200 and dark MiniBall versions of its Scout range.

2020 Indian Raptor Apollo
Part of the Indian brochure

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian trademarks Challenger name

Challenger is the third new model name Indian Motorcycle has trademarked since last December when they trademarked Raven and January when they added Renegade.

The trademark filings in the US and Europe have got the industry buzzing about a possible model assault from a company which has been fairly steady in its lineup for a few years.

This is in stark contrast to their American colleagues, Harley-Davidson, who are on a plan to release 100 new models in 10 years, including electric bikes and an adventure bike.

All of which begs the question, could the Raven, Renegade or Challenger be electric or something totally out of the box like Harley’s Pan America adventure bike?

2020 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 clutch challenger
Harley Pan America

The trademarks are for the names Indian raven, Indian Renegade and Indian Challenger for use on “motorcycles and structural parts therefor” plus “clothing namely shirts, jackets, hats and gloves”.

The use of the name “Indian Challenger” is probably to avoid any trademark infringement on the Dodge Challenger pony car.

Dodge Challenger
Dodge Challenger

Challenger name

With absolutely nothing else to go on, we have made a few stabs at what we think these models could be.

Apart from the reference to the Dodge muscle car, the name Challenger still has unfortunate ties to the 1986 space shuttle disaster.

Challenger space shuttle explodes 76 seconds after lift off
Challenger space shuttle explodes 76 seconds after lift off

We’re not sure how Americans would take to a motorcycle with the same name.

That disaster aside, the name has two connotations for us: a drag-race and an obstacle course.

So they could be producing a drag-style bike like Harley’s V-Rod or the new Softail FXDR, which seems to have been a bit of a sales flop.

Or they could be doing an adventure bike like Harley.

But all that assumes they would follow Harley’s lead. That’s not a wise thing given the current sales troubles of the Milwaukee icon.

Renegade name

A Renegade is “a person who deserts and betrays an organisation, country, or set of principles”, so it could be a whole new model.

Jeep has a Renegade model, so maybe the Indian Renegade will be their adventure bike, or even a trendy scrambler.

Or perhaps it’s a smaller capacity bike for young rebels.

That would fit into our Learner-Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) and be a huge leg up for Indian Motorcycle Australia as the learner sector continues to thrive in a slow market.

Renegade could also be a variation of the FTR 1200 which arrives in the next couple of months.

Indian FTR 1200 adds accessories renegade
Indian FTR 1200

However, they already have the base model, S and S Race-Replica.

Ride away prices for the FTR 1200 are:

  • FTR 1200 (Thunder Black) from $20,995;
  • FTR 1200 S (Indian Motorcycle Red over Steel Gray, Titanium Metallic over Thunder Black Pearl) from $22,995;
  • FTR 1200 S Race-Replica from $23,995.

Raven name

Raven would be a useful designation for blacked-out models.

However, Indian already uses “Dark Horse” for blacked-out versions of their Chief, Springfield and Roadmaster models.

2018 Indian Springfield Dark Horse - scout bobber pricing halogen machine renegade
2018 Indian Springfield Dark Horse

So maybe, Raven could be used to differentiate blacked-out versions of their FTR 1200 street tracker and Scout models from their cruisers/tourers.

Either way, it looks like being another big year for Indian Motorcycle which last year recorded 8.7% sales growth.

This was the highest growth rate of any motorcycle companies in Australia and one of only three to record any growth.

Click here for the full 2018 sales results.

2018 Motorcycle Slump renegade
Total motorcycle, scooter, and ATV sales

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com