If you are on an open dual carriage highway, early in the morning, with a little nip in the air, the Indian Chief Dark Horse feels heavenly. The ride is confident, if a bit noisy; the throttle is light, if a bit snatchy; and the seating comfort is simply outstanding, if a bit outstretched. The Chief Dark Horse glides over bumpy roads and one rarely needs to slow down for stuff. The light throttle means you aren’t going to be struggling with a sore wrist even after long hours of riding. And the seating with that cushy seat and a handlebar that reaches out to you makes for recliner rivaling comfort levels.
The Chief Dark Horse also has a mammoth of an engine. It’s all about low and mid range torque than free revving performance. So, every time the throttle is opened with even the slightest hint of aggression, the rider quickly turns into a passenger; like being walked by a Great Dane in a hurry. Moreover, all you need to overtake the world is less than 3,000rpm. I rarely went over; one, because it’s pointless (maximum torque arrives at this point), and two, the Indian just gets louder and vibier with no perceivable benefit.
Bottom line: The Chief Indian Dark Horse is an outstanding cruiser, a motorcycle I’d love to have on a Mumbai-Delhi ride, but would totally avoid riding to Goa on, on NH17.
And, if like me, you get introduced to the Chief Dark Horse within city confines during rush hour traffic – unless you survive on protein shakes and live in the gym – you too will need a dark visor. The fear of tipping this 350kg hulk of metal is omnipresent at slow speeds. Then of course there’s the absolute horror of having to pick it up…if you bin it. Plus, there’s the heat from the cylinder heads threatening to barbeque your thighs. And if that’s not bad enough, there’s this whole bunch of silly motorists trying their best to crash into you while trying to get a closer look at the bike; a bike that’s so large you can probably see it from space.