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Indian Chief Dark Horse [2019-2020]

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Key specs
  • Displacement1,811 cc
  • Transmission6 Speed Manual
  • Kerb Weight357 kg

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 20,37,523

Indian Chief Dark Horse [2019-2020] is now discontinued in India.

Discontinued
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  • 1 ColourSee Colour
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Indian Chief Dark Horse [2019-2020] Summary

Chief Dark Horse [2019-2020] key highlights

Engine Capacity 1,811 cc
Transmission 6 Speed Manual
Kerb Weight 357 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 20.8 litres
Seat Height 660 mm

About Chief Dark Horse [2019-2020]

The Chief Dark Horse is the latest addition to the Indian Motorcycles line-up in the country. Based on the Chief platform, the Dark Horse is the blacked-out version of the Chief Classic. Unlike the rest of the Chief family, the Dark Horse loses out on the chrome and that makes this bike look beautiful.

The tank design of the Dark Horse is quite unique and the distinctive monochrome Warbonnet graphics is seen only on the Indian Chief Dark Horse. Just like the rest of the Chief range, the Dark Horse features the iconic warbonnet on the front fender in the blacked-out frame. While the Dark Horse looks like a perfect example of classic era, it also features some of  the latest gadgets like keyless ignition, anti-lock braking system) and cruise control. The dual exhaust system looks good and cancels out high-pitched sounds to give out a thundering rumble.

The Chief Dark Horse is built around the same Indian Chief platform and is powered by the traditional 111cc or 1811cc ‘Thunder-Stroke’ engine. The air-cooled 49-degree V-twin engine is rated at 139Nm of torque and comes mated to a six-speed transmission.

The Indian Dark Horse is sold in India as a completely built-up (CBU) unit and is available at the Gurgaon and the Bengaluru showroom.
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Indian Chief Dark Horse [2019-2020] Expert Opinion

  • Good Things

    • Profoundly comfortable ergonomics
    • Abundance of low and mid range torque
    • Oodles of road presence
  • Could be Better

    • Difficult to ride in traffic
    • Excessive engine heating
    • Clutch pull requires effort

BikeWale's Take

The Chief Dark Horse has all the qualities one would expect from an Indian motorcycle. This includes an engine with a jaw-dropping amount of torque, comfortable ergonomics for long distance and thumping exhaust note. But what sets this bike apart is the stealthy dark theme it maintains across its gigantic body work which seeks all the attention on the road.

Indian Chief Dark Horse [2019-2020] Review

Thank god for tinted visors! How else can you still look cool, almost demigod like, while sweating profusely and holding the damsel-in-distress expression of ‘help me!’ inside that helmet. Welcome to my yesterday when I picked up this near 350kg motorcycle with a wheelbase that can shame cars at a time when the Mumbai traffic is at its worst. Welcome to the Indian Dark Horse; a motorcycle launched early this year but somehow we have only just managed to get our hands on it.

What is it?

Thank god for tinted visors! How else can you still look cool, almost demigod like, while sweating profusely and holding the damsel-in-distress expression of ‘help me!’ inside that helmet. Welcome to my yesterday when I picked up this near 350kg motorcycle with a wheelbase that can shame cars at a time when the Mumbai traffic is at its worst. Welcome to the Indian Chief Dark Horse; a motorcycle launched early this year but somehow we have only just managed to get our hands on it.

The Chief Dark Horse is the non-chromed, alloy rimmed, single seater twin of the Indian Vintage. It’s also lighter, tubeless tyred and cooler than both the Vintage and the big daddy which is the Indian Chieftain. The Chief Dark Horse uses the same near 140Nm, 1811cc, V-twin engine that powers the Chieftain; uses the same five piece chassis; and like its siblings gets a 6-speed clunky gearbox that drives the rear wheel via a belt.

How does it ride?

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.

Anything else I should know?

…apart from the fact that the Chief Dark Horse is long, heavy, and a pain to park? Yes. It also has an unnecessary heavy clutch. It has brakes that lack both feel and bite. And, even though our test bike had only done 7,000km or thereabouts, it was rattling all over.

But, there’s good news too. Rattles or not, the Indian is one of the finest finished and built motorcycles in its class. The attention to detail is great. And, it is loaded with features. The Chief Dark Horse gets a trip computer, cruise control and ABS. And like cars, it has keyless start with a throbbing red ‘power on’ switch. It’s also great at changing directions helped by a sharper rake compared to its siblings.

Lest I forget, the Indian Dark Horse doesn’t come with a pillion seat…or pillion footpegs…or that fancy exhaust pipe you see here…or even the chrome crash guard; these are all optional extras.

Should I buy one?

This isn’t a rational purchase like say buying a washing machine or a car or even a large capacity adventure bike. OK, the last one isn’t either. But the thing is, you buy the Indian Chief Dark Horse, because you WANT a large, look-at-me, quintessential American cruiser. And if you want one, you MUST have one. That’s that, so what if it costs over Rs 25 lakh on the road in Mumbai and can’t even carry a pillion.

Where does it fit in?

According to Indian Motorcycles, the Chief Dark Horse has no equal. But, that’s not entirely true. It does compete with the Harley Davidson Fat Boy in terms of stance, riding experience and price. And, there’s the Suzuki Intruder M1800 as well. The Suzuki might lack the same snob value as the Indian but when it comes to road presence or the riding experience, the Suzuki is right up there.

 

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Indian Chief Dark Horse [2019-2020] Colours

Chief Dark Horse [2019-2020]

Specifications

  • Power & PerformancePower & Performance

    Fuel Type Petrol

    Max Power --

    Max Torque 139 Nm @ 2,600 rpm

    Cooling System Air Cooled

    Transmission 6 Speed Manual

    Transmission Type Belt Drive

    Emission Standard BS-IV

    Displacement 1,811 cc

    Cylinders --

    Bore 101 mm

    Stroke 113 mm

    Valves Per Cylinder --

    Compression Ratio 9.5:1

    Ignition Electronic Ignition

    Spark Plugs --

    Clutch Wet Multiplate

    Fuel Delivery System Closed Loop fuel injection

    Fuel Tank Capacity 20.8 litres

    Reserve Fuel Capacity --

    Riding Range Maximum distance a petrol bike can travel on a full fuel tank and an electric bike can travel on a full charge --

    Mileage - ARAI --

    Mileage - Owner Reported BikeWale collects mileage information from bike owners to provide you with the actual mileage that you might get. --

    Top Speed --

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  • Brakes, Wheels & SuspensionBrakes, Wheels & Suspension

    Braking System CBS, IBS, SBT, UBS, HBS - Combined braking of both front and rear wheel | ABS - Anti-lock braking system which can be just for front wheel (single channel) or both wheels (dual channel) or can be switched off (switchable) | E-ABS - Electronic assisted braking system | Standard - Cable operated Dual Channel ABS

    Front Brake Type Disc

    Front Brake Size 300 mm

    Rear Tyre Size AMERICAN ELITE 180/65B16 81H

    Tyre Type Tubeless

    Radial Tyres Yes

    Rear Brake Type Disc

    Rear Brake Size 300 mm

    Calliper Type Four-piston front, two-piston rear

    Wheel Type Alloy

    Front Wheel Size 16 inch

    Rear Wheel Size 16 inch

    Front Tyre Size ELITE 3 130/90B16 73H

    Front Tyre Pressure (Rider) --

    Rear Tyre Pressure (Rider) --

    Front Tyre Pressure (Rider & Pillion) --

    Rear Tyre Pressure (Rider & Pillion) --

    Front Suspension TELESCOPIC FORK/4.7 IN (119 MM) - 46MM CARTRIDGE F

    Rear Suspension SINGLE SHOCK / 3.7 IN MECHANICAL PRELOAD (94 MM ME

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  • Dimensions & ChassisDimensions & Chassis

    Kerb Weight 357 kg

    Overall Length 2,630 mm

    Overall Width 1,025 mm

    Wheelbase 1,730 mm

    Ground Clearance 140 mm

    Seat Height 660 mm

    Overall Height 1,176 mm

    Chassis Type --

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Features

Odometer Digital

DRLs (Daytime running lights) --

Mobile App Connectivity --

Pillion BackrestNo

Pillion GrabrailNo

Pillion SeatNo

GPS & Navigation --

USB charging port --

Front storage box --

Under seat storage --

AHO (Automatic Headlight On) --

Speedometer Analogue

Fuel Guage Yes

Tachometer --

Stand Alarm Yes

Stepped Seat No

No. of Tripmeters 2

Tripmeter Type Digital

Low Fuel Indicator Yes

Low Oil Indicator Yes

Low Battery Indicator Yes

Pillion FootrestNo

Digital Fuel GuageYes

Start TypeElectric Start

Shift LightYes

KillswitchYes

ClockYes

Electric System12V DC

Battery--

Headlight TypeHalogen And Bulb Type

Headlight Bulb Type--

Brake/Tail LightLED Tail Lamp

Turn SignalYes

Pass LightYes

Additional features--

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