Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Kingman Arizona
Test rode the Indian Challenger
Even though we prefer talking about and discussing Road Glide issues, there has been some interest by many here on forum,including myself, about this new and probably only real competitor to the Road Glide called the Challenger by Indian. Iím usually a Harley only guy but Iím open to checking out other bikes,especially if theyíre American. Not knocking foreign bikes but prefer riding and owning American and choices are very limited. Iím familiar with Polaris bikes since I own a Victory Highball along side my RG and been very happy with it overall. My first impression with the Challenger is that itís a good size bike and being 6í5, I felt pretty comfortable on it in stock form compared to the RG. A few mods had to be done to my RG to make it feel perfect for my size. Indian offers an extended reach seat which would be only thing I would probably change. Bars move up and down for different size riders and were moved upward a bit and felt good and comfortable to me. I like the motorized windshield for different positions and had good wind protection. Indian also offers a taller windshield if needed. Inner fairing and instrumentation layout was nice with good size screen that was easy to use. The 2 gauges were above the screen unlike on RG,which are below. There are fairing vents that open and close and fairing compartments are similar to Harley but seem deeper. Weight of bike is similar to the RG but doesnít feel as top heavy and feels very nice and balanced when riding. Floor boards are nice and roomy for feet but wish the dark horse model had a crash bar to install hwy pegs which is something offered to add yourself. Top model has it though. Suspension is much better compared to the RG for sure. Motor,which is liquid cooled, sounded ok but definitely need some good pipes. The thing that stood out mostly was the power. Wow! Iíve never ridden any stock Harley with that power and torque. Iím sure the bigger M8s feel great though. This bike would be perfect for those who complain their RGs are not powerful enough and lack all the tech gadgets. This bike has many features like different throttle response settings and smart lean technology with traction control and much more. Iím not a big tech fan and would prefer the entry level model which has some less features. I think overall,Indian did a great job with this bike and could be a great competitor to the RG. Would I trade my RG in for this bike? Probably not but wouldnít mind adding this bike to my stable. The RG may have some room for improvements and this new Indian may have a couple things I like better,but overall the RG is hard to beat with its unique sound and feel. I still prefer the air cooled V twin but the liquid cooled motor is going to be the future for these American bikes for sure. Harley is also in the game with their new liquid cooled motor being released soon in the new street bike and adv bike with rumors of 145 hp! Good competition is not a bad thing and Harley will not sit idly by. I believe already next year youíll see major improvements with the RG with new frame and better suspension,which is well needed. Indian has never really been much of a threat to Harley in recent years and probably never will be. But I think this new model will be a game changer and help the company to be stronger. Would like to see this American company succeed!
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