Indian Chief Dark Horse 2016

Any company that builds cruisers and has a brain for business knows that you get all the expensive hard-parts development done and let that platform ride, filling out the model niches with styling and/or ergonomic changes.

With that in mind, meet the 2016 Indian Motorcycle Dark Horse, your basic Chief Classic that’s been blacked-out from warbonnet to rear fender. Even the Thunder Stroke 111 air/oil-cooled 49-degree V-twin and its six-speed transmission have had their chrome acreage drastically reduced.

The Dark Horse is now the lightest Chief by virtue of elimination of parts and by use of cast wheels (in the same dimensions and with the same Dunlop tires). But in the grand scheme, it’s not exactly light, tipping the scales with claimed dry weight of 751 pounds. The standard 2015 Chief is 778 pounds dry.

One of the most notable parts deletions is the passenger seat: Dark Horsemen will roll solo on that black 26-inch-high seat, which, by the way, is vinyl to help lower MSRP (passenger accommodations are available as an accessory).The bike retains remote keyfob ignition, cruise control, and ABS brakes, but drops the analog fuel gauge, oil-cooler, and «driving» lights.

«We are targeting a younger guy with this bike», says Indian Motorcycle Sr. Product Manager Ben Lindaman. «We’re targeted more around the 40-year-old instead of the 55-year-old. We’re doing that with the look and with the pricing so that we have a more entry-level bike for heavyweight Indian.»

Lindaman adds that there are about 40 accessories designed with the bike. Most obvious in the photos are the black ape-hanger bars and airfilter. There is also a blacked-out exhaust/heat shield available.

MSRP for the 2016 Indian Dark Horse is $16,999. For comparison, the 2015 base-model Indian Chief in gloss black is $18,999.


2016 Indian Chief Dark Horse
Msrp $16,999
Engine 49˚ V-Twin
Transmission six-speed constant mesh
Battery 12 volts/18 amp/hour, 310 CCA
Bore x Stroke 101.0 x 113.0mm
Charging system 42 a max output
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Compression ratio 9.5:1
Cooling system Air/Oil
Displacement 1811cc
Exhaust Split dual exhaust with crossover
Final drive Belt drive, 152 tooth
Fuel capacity 5.5 gal.
Fuel system Electronic fuel injection, closed loop/54 mm bore, w/ cruise control
Oil capacity 5.5 qts.
Primary drive Gear drive wet clutch
Torque (claimed) 119.2 pound-feet @ 3000 rpm
Front suspension Telescopic fork, 46mm diameter, 4.7 in. travel
Rear suspension Single shock 3.7 in. travel, adjustable preload
Dry weight (claimed) 751 lb.
Ground clearance 5.5 in.
Gvwr 1260 lb.
Length 103.5 in.
Rake/trail 29°/6.1 in.
Seat height 26.0 in.
Wheelbase 68.1 in.
Brake system type Individual front and rear control with ABS
Front brake system Dual 300mm floating rotor with four-piston calipers
Rear brake system Single 300mm floating rotor with two-piston caliper
Front tire Dunlop American Elite 130/90B16 73H
Front wheel Cast 16 x 3.5 in.
Rear tire Dunlop American Elite 180/65B16 81H
Rear wheel Cast 16 x 5.0 in.
Color Thunder Black Smoke, By Mark Hoyer 

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