Tag Archives: Thunderstroke

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity

Indian Motorcycle has increased engine capacity to up the ante over Harley-Davidson with select Thunderstroke models now having a 116 engine, replacing the 111 (1818cc).

Actually it’s 115ci (1884cc), but it’s still a 20% power boost over the 111.

The “116” was previously an aftermarket upgrade big bore kit, but is now standard in the Springfield Dark Horse, plus all Chieftain and Roadmaster models.

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
2020 Chieftain Elite

It features a new high-flow cylinder head with 168Nm of torque.

The engine capacity move leapfrogs Harley-Davidson’s Milwaukee-Eight 114 (1868cc) engine which is available in select models, such as the new Low Rider S. (We will road test it at the Australian media launch in Sydney next week, attended by Harley boss Matt Levatich.)

However, it’s still short of Harley’s CVO models with the Milwaukee Eight 117-cube (1923cc).

There is no word on the rumoured Indian Challenger models powered by a new liquid-cooled 1770cc engine called the Powerplus.

Aussie rideaway pricing

Model 2020 price 2019 price
Scout Bobber $19,995.00 $19,995.00
Scout Bobber Twenty $21,995.00
Scout $19,995-$20,995 $19,995.00
Scout 100th Ann $22,995.00
Chief Classic Dark Horse (111ci) $30,995.00 $29,995.00
Chief Vintage (111ci) $32,995-$33,995 $32,995.00
Springfield (111ci) $34,995.00 $35,495.00
Springfield Dark Horse (116ci) $36,995.00
Chieftain Limited (116ci) $38,995.00 $37,995.00
Chieftain Dark Horse (116ci) $38,995.00 $37,495.00
Chieftain Elite (116ci) $49,995.00
Roadmaster (116ci) $41,995-$43,995 $40,995.00
Roadmaster Dark Horse (116ci) $41,995.00

Indian Motorcycle Australia and New Zealand marketing manager Chris Gale says the price difference for the same model in the table above is for two-tone or metallic paint options over the single or standard paint.

Engine capacity upgrade

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
2020 Chieftain Elite

The engine upgrade follows the recent announcement of Scout upgrades and two new models, the Bobber Twenty and limited-edition 100th Anniversary.

The Thunder Stroke 116 features rear-cylinder deactivation to keep riders cooler when sitting for long spells at the traffic lights.

Harley had the feature some time ago but dropped it.

RideCommand update

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
2020 Roadmaster Dark Horse RideCommand Infotainment system

Indian has also revamped their very comprehensive RideCommand infotainment system and app.

It now features a quad-core processor which they claim will make it faster to load and respond.

New features include “Google-like” predictive destination search capabilities and customisable 18cm touchscreen.

Roadmaster Dark Horse

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
Roadmaster Dark Horse

The Roadmaster Dark Horse features a streamlined fairing, slammed saddlebags, 19-inch front wheel with an open fender, an extended reach Rogue gunfighter seat, blacked-out engine and matte paint.

Springfield Dark Horse

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
Springfield Dark Horse

This is similar in style to the 2020 Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Springfield Dark Horse launched at Daytona Bike Week.

It features slammed saddlebags, Rogue seat, 12-inch mini apes and blacked-out finishes.

Chieftain Elite

Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
2020 Chieftain Elite

The big tourer gets a streamlined fairing, slammed saddlebags and PowerBand Audio Plus system.

It comes in a two-tone Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Wildfire Candy paint with matching motor highlights and badging, Precision Machined Elite wheels, Pinnacle Mirrors, Select Rider Floorboards, and a Flare Windshield.


Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
Chief Dark Horse

Even though they don’t get the engine capacity upgrade, Chief Dark Horse and Chief Vintage now have the same chassis as the Springfield and Springfield Dark Horse to improve handling.

They also now have adjustable rear suspension and a 17-inch front wheel.


Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity

Indian says the 2020 Roadmaster is lighter but don’t quote figures.

The top box has also been redesigned.


  • Chief Dark Horse: Thunder Black Smoke
  • Chief Vintage: Thunder Black; Willow Green over Ivory Cream
  • Springfield: Thunder Black; Burgundy Metallic over Titanium Metallic
  • Springfield Dark Horse: Thunder Black Smoke; Sagebrush Smoke; White Smoke
  • Chieftain Dark Horse: Thunder Black Smoke; Ruby Smoke; Titanium Smoke
Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
Chieftain Dark Horse
  • Chieftain Limited: Thunder Black Pearl; Radar Blue; Thunder Black Pearl with graphics package
  • Chieftain Elite: Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Wildfire Red Candy
  • Roadmaster: Thunder Black; Burgundy Metallic; Pearl White over Titanium Metallic with black Pinstripe; Titanium Smoke over Thunder Black Smoke with silver pinstripe
  • Roadmaster Dark Horse: Thunder Black Smoke; White Smoke; Ruby Smoke
Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
Chieftain Limited


  • Stage 1 Slip-On Exhaust in black or chrome;
  • Stage 1 Oval Slip-On Muffler Kit and Stage 1 Performance Air Intake (4 power increase on 111 and 8% on 116);
  • Stage 2 Performance Cams (13% horsepower increase on 111);
  • Thunder Stroke 116 Stage 2 Performance Kit includes cams, higher flowing fuel injectors and throttle body (17% horsepower boost when paired with both Stage 1 accessories);
  • Thunder Stroke 116 Stage 3 Big Bore Kit (20% more horsepower);
  • Headdress Passenger Floorboards;
  • Headdress Rider Floorboards;
  • 12” Quick Release Passenger Sissy Bar;
  • Passenger Backrest Pad; and
  • 12-inch Ape Hanger Handlebars for Chief and Springfield models.

    Indian Motorcycle increases engine capacity
    2020 Springfield

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian planning VVT Thunderstroke?

Indian Motorcycle is not only building a new engine, but also seems to be updating its current Thunderstroke 111 with variable valve timing or VVT.

Last month, images surfaced of a heavily disguised Indian tourer, possibly called the Raptor, with a fixed fairing and a different engine, believed to be quad-valved and water-cooled.

2020 Indian Raptor Apollo VVT
Is this the upcoming Indian Raptor? (Image from a leaked brochure) 

It is thought the engine was originally developed as the Victory Freedom V2 engine before Polaris axed the brand.

So what’s happening with the current air/oil-cooled Thunderstroke in the Chief, Roadmaster and Springfield models?

According to the latest patent filings in the US, the Thunderstroke will be updated with variable valve timing, most likely to meet stringent Euro 5 emissions targets being introduced from January 2020.

Indian VVT
Indian VVT engine patent drawings

VVT spreads

Variable valve timing has been around for ages in cars and is known as VVT-i and VVTL-i in Toyota, MIVEC in Mitsubishi, VVL in Nissan and VANOS by Ford, BMW, Ferrari and Lamborghini.

Honda was the first to introduce it to motorcycles and it is now being progressively introduced to other Japanese and European motorcycles such as BMW, Ducati, Suzuki and Yamaha.

BMW R 1250 GS and RT VVT
BMW’s 1250cc Shiftcam Boxer engine with variable valve timing

We expect many others to follow suit to try to meet the tough Euro 5 emissions regulations.

Already many of our popular motorcycle models have been axed because they can’t meet the Euro 4 requirements and more are likely to be axed next year under Euro 5.

One of the solutions to the tighter emissions laws could be variable valve timing which makes the engine more flexible in different conditions, resulting in increased fuel economy, lower emissions and improved performance, particularly torque.

If Indian is planning on VVT, we can also expect compatriot Harley-Davidson to be developing something similar.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com