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I just came back from a test ride of the 2014 Indian Chief Classic. There were a LOT of people there in Charlotte, and they came on Wings, Valkaries, Harleys, BMW and more.

This was the standard cruiser without luggage. I really liked the engine. It has a wonderful, burbling rumble. At the same time, it didn't feel like the bike was misfiring or about to die, which is the feeling I get from Harley-Davidson big twins. There was plenty of torque for cruising around in the city, or out on the back roads. Neutral was easy to find and the bike did great in second gear at parking lot speeds. Engine heat was fine, till I stopped moving.

On the other hand, I don't generally like the cruiser seating position, and didn't like it on this bike either. Maybe with a driver's backrest it would've been okay, but I felt very stretched out, like I was hanging onto a window ledge. The seat was comfortable--at least for short rides. The rubber covered floorboards just felt squishy. Steering was cruiser slow, and the reach to the bars was just too much for me.

I asked if the Cheftain had a shorter reach to the bars and a sales woman said, "Yes, the steering angle is 25-degrees on the Chieftain, but 30-degrees on the other two bikes." I asked if the seat and bars were the same on all three. "Yes, exactly the same." O-Kay then. So, I'm thinking the Chieftain is NOT a serious touring bike. It is a nice cruiser-based bagger with a wonderful engine.

If you want it for day trips or short commutes, or if you are tall and need a cruise, or just like that stretched out riding position, you might like this bike. I LOVED the engine. But overall, it was not something I would buy for me. The lead bike was a Victory Cross Country Tour that looked like a much better match.

PS

I also think Indian left some goodwill points on the table by shuffling people on and off bikes without getting feedback, pictures, literature and questions answered after each test ride. I am greatfull they allowed me to test the bike, and I understand there was a lot of interest in the new machines, but there wasn't much care or personal attention, or even a polite sales pitch, before or after the test rides.
 

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It would be interesting to know the extent to which, if any, Indian picks off any of the die-hard Harley types who think water-cooling a v-twin is both a sacrilege and proof positive that HD is going down the porcelain facility. Such people do exist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There were a lot if Harley riders there, and they were smiling. :doorag:
 

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Indian won't make a dent in HD sales as they don't have the production capability. Nice niche bike, though. Also, I've been reading that the 2014 HD are sold before they're even off the truck.
That's because the production line is purposely kept behind the orders to help keep prices artificially higher than justified. I asked them when I was up there for an anti theft display showing all the investigators and evidence techs where the hidden VINs were and a few other goodies why the line was starting and stopping and workers were just kind of screwing off ( since at that time my Lt. at work was waiting for about 2 months already for HIS HD to be built) Response was we don't want to build them as fast as could ,,prices would drop
 

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That's because the production line is purposely kept behind the orders to help keep prices artificially higher than justified. I asked them when I was up there for an anti theft display showing all the investigators and evidence techs where the hidden VINs were and a few other goodies why the line was starting and stopping and workers were just kind of screwing off ( since at that time my Lt. at work was waiting for about 2 months already for HIS HD to be built) Response was we don't want to build them as fast as could ,,prices would drop
How much is "higher than justified"? That statement confuses me. Who are you/we to decided what price is "justified"?? Sounds as tho HD is selling them as fast as they can unload them off of the trucks, so apparently the asking price isn't out of line.

The days of ordering your bike and then waiting six months or more are long gone. The ONLY bikes that are built to order now, are the LEO/FF/Shriner Special Edition bikes. I waited roughly 45 days for mine.
 

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How much is "higher than justified"? That statement confuses me. Who are you/we to decided what price is "justified"?? Sounds as tho HD is selling them as fast as they can unload them off of the trucks, so apparently the asking price isn't out of line.

The days of ordering your bike and then waiting six months or more are long gone. The ONLY bikes that are built to order now, are the LEO/FF/Shriner Special Edition bikes. I waited roughly 45 days for mine.
They just really make use of the supply vs demand rule and play it hard.. I am not picking a price point here for HDs.. After my first two experiences with the AMF bowling balls in the 70s I will never return to that brand,, but that just me ,, burned twice not a third time Thank you. I was just handing out some little known info about why they are not fully stocked and available since they are mostly American made and should have all the imports beat ref. that problem Sir,
 

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i just came back from a test ride of the 2014 indian chief classic. There were a lot of people there in charlotte, and they came on wings, valkaries, harleys, bmw and more.

This was the standard cruiser without luggage. I really liked the engine. It has a wonderful, burbling rumble. At the same time, it didn't feel like the bike was misfiring or about to die, which is the feeling i get from harley-davidson big twins. There was plenty of torque for cruising around in the city, or out on the back roads. Neutral was easy to find and the bike did great in second gear at parking lot speeds. Engine heat was fine, till i stopped moving.

On the other hand, i don't generally like the cruiser seating position, and didn't like it on this bike either. Maybe with a driver's backrest it would've been okay, but i felt very stretched out, like i was hanging onto a window ledge. The seat was comfortable--at least for short rides. The rubber covered floorboards just felt squishy. Steering was cruiser slow, and the reach to the bars was just too much for me.

I asked if the cheftain had a shorter reach to the bars and a sales woman said, "yes, the steering angle is 25-degrees on the chieftain, but 30-degrees on the other two bikes." i asked if the seat and bars were the same on all three. "yes, exactly the same." o-kay then. So, i'm thinking the chieftain is not a serious touring bike. It is a nice cruiser-based bagger with a wonderful engine.

If you want it for day trips or short commutes, or if you are tall and need a cruise, or just like that stretched out riding position, you might like this bike. I loved the engine. But overall, it was not something i would buy for me. The lead bike was a victory cross country tour that looked like a much better match.

Ps

i also think indian left some goodwill points on the table by shuffling people on and off bikes without getting feedback, pictures, literature and questions answered after each test ride. I am greatfull they allowed me to test the bike, and i understand there was a lot of interest in the new machines, but there wasn't much care or personal attention, or even a polite sales pitch, before or after the test rides.
belt drive??
 

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I also think Indian left some goodwill points on the table by shuffling people on and off bikes without getting feedback, pictures, literature and questions answered after each test ride.
They weren't being pushy... that's a good thing. I figure if their not pushing it maybe they have nothing to hide.

I am greatfull they allowed me to test the bike, and I understand there was a lot of interest in the new machines, but there wasn't much care or personal attention, or even a polite sales pitch, before or after the test rides.
I would think the test ride would be enough of a sales pitch. All you do after that is ask any questions you have about the bike.
 

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They just really make use of the supply vs demand rule and play it hard.. I am not picking a price point here for HDs.. After my first two experiences with the AMF bowling balls in the 70s I will never return to that brand,, but that just me ,, burned twice not a third time Thank you.
I know how you feel. I owned a 74 Ford Pinto. There is no possible way that Ford could have improved their products over the past 40 years, so I refuse to even test drive a new one.
 

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Actually, Polaris DOES have the capacity and finances to produce those numbers... if ever justified. If you think HD is doing so well here they don't have to look for new markets, then you haven't read about their venture in India and other future far-east plans.


Indian won't make a dent in HD sales as they don't have the production capability. Nice niche bike, though. Also, I've been reading that the 2014 HD are sold before they're even off the truck.
 

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That's because the production line is purposely kept behind the orders to help keep prices artificially higher than justified. I asked them when I was up there for an anti theft display showing all the investigators and evidence techs where the hidden VINs were and a few other goodies why the line was starting and stopping and workers were just kind of screwing off ( since at that time my Lt. at work was waiting for about 2 months already for HIS HD to be built) Response was we don't want to build them as fast as could ,,prices would drop
I think he was pulling your chain. I don't know of any company WANTING their employees to do nothing and get paid for it. I had read that HD has already released 25,000 2014 model bikes. I don't know how many are water cooled but 25,000 sounds like production is running full out.
 

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Thanks fir the write up. Think I'll stick with what I got.:thumbup:
 

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I've been reading that the 2014 HD are sold before they're even off the truck.
This is a yearly event when the "top dogs" re-establish bragging rights and protruding chests take place at the local riding stops.
 

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Marketing is marketing. Trust that both Polaris and HD know exactly what they are doing in terms of product, customer demographics and expected sales. There was a healthy rivalry between Indian and HD for 5 decades but no one expects Indian to go head-to-head with HD. Here is an interesting perspective from Polaris....just imagine the "dent" Indian will make in the Japanese HD Knock-off market by resurrecting an American icon with a state of the art, American made V Twin with more displacement and more torque than HD's SVOs and at a very reasonable price point. Lets see...do I order a new $40K Harley water cooled SVO with maybe 100 lbs/ft of torque OR do I order a new Chieftain that outpowers it and weighs almost 200 pounds less for $23K and have almost enough left over to buy a new 2014 Water cooled BMW RT? Now that I've thought about it, I'll get the new 600 pound BMW with 125 hp, state of the art electronics, adjust on-the-fly front and rear suspension, and use the difference to buy more HD stock. I'll make money, I won't have to dress like an biker cowboy/pirate, and I won't have to get an "Indian" or "HD" tatoo.
 

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thanks for write up. The 1800 fits me well, I like it. I have always wondered about the taller guys on the 1800. I am 5 foot 7.868745 inches tall with out heels. 30 inch inseam... although I wear 32 inch pants on the bikes, they cover the boots better

I've riden with oldguy locally, he is 6 foot 4 inches tall as I recall. He uses a special seat

I hope Indian sells the whiz outta the new bikes
 

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This is a yearly event when the "top dogs" re-establish bragging rights and protruding chests take place at the local riding stops.
I would say they could brag a little. This past Tues late in the afternoon the local dealer here received seven 2014 HD's one of which was the Tri Glide Ultra. With the exception of the Tri Glide, the other six were sold in the ten minutes it took to roll them off the semi. The Tri Glide was out the door today. That's a total of $191,363.00 worth of 2014 motorcycles sold in five days. Also, all their remaining 2013 baggers/tourers were sold earlier in the week. Two of the 13's were Road Glide Ultra's at $23,389.00 each.

They have another shipment of 2014's coming in next week and they were going to have a 2014 demo day ride next Saturday. They cancelled the 2014 demo ride day because every one of the 2014's coming next week have been spoken for. I would say that is an enviable position to be in. :doorag:
 

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I would say they could brag a little. This past Tues late in the afternoon the local dealer here received seven 2014 HD's one of which was the Tri Glide Ultra. With the exception of the Tri Glide, the other six were sold in the ten minutes it took to roll them off the semi. The Tri Glide was out the door today. That's a total of $191,363.00 worth of 2014 motorcycles sold in five days. Also, all their remaining 2013 baggers/tourers were sold earlier in the week. Two of the 13's were Road Glide Ultra's at $23,389.00 each.
Always amazing what people will spend and do just to fit into society. Barry
 

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Always amazing what people will spend and do just to fit into society. Barry
That's not fair, there is no way all HD customers buy their motorcycles to fit into some society.

My brother owns one and he certainly is no pirate.
 

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Always amazing what people will spend and do just to fit into society. Barry
That's not fair, there is no way all HD customers buy their motorcycles to fit into some society.

My brother owns one and he certainly is no pirate.
The kid's got a Glide and he's quite normal, well-adjusted, very successful, likes to ride (all kinds of bikes) and doesn't look like a pirate. What is it with Goldwing old farts that make them so dissonant and hold onto these stereotypes?
 
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