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Indian Chieftain Dark Horse

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Key specs
  • Displacement1,811 cc
  • Transmission6 Speed Manual
  • Kerb Weight377 kg

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 31,52,891

Indian Chieftain Dark Horse is now discontinued in India.

Discontinued
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  • 1 ColourSee Colour
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Indian Chieftain Dark Horse Summary

Chieftain Dark Horse key highlights

Engine Capacity 1,811 cc
Transmission 6 Speed Manual
Kerb Weight 377 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 20.8 litres
Seat Height 660 mm

About Chieftain Dark Horse

The Indian Chieftain Dark Horse is a heavyweight bagger targeted at touring enthusiasts. Based on the Chief platform, the Chieftain Dark Horse adopts dark undertones which give it a sinister look.

While we have come to associate Indian cruisers with chrome, the Chieftain Dark Horse is quite the opposite. The fuel tank, chassis, engine, forks, fenders and the fairing are painted in matte black, and only a few bits like the exhaust and wheels are finished in chrome.  It gets a massive fairing with an adjustable fairing to improve wind deflection. The elegant fenders and the illuminated ‘war bonnet’ on the fender are inspired by the Indian motorcycles of the 1940s. The tank-mounted console gets a digital display. It also gets a Bluetooth audio system. The hard saddlebags are mounted on quick release anchors and feature remote locking and integrate additional 100W speakers.

The Chieftain Dark Horse is powered by the traditional 1811 cc ‘Thunder-Stroke’ V-twin engine. Delivering 139 Nm of torque, this engine is mated to a six-speed transmission. Indian offers an optional Big Sucker air intake and a slip-on exhaust system to improve performance and the exhaust note.

The Indian Chieftain Dark Horse is offered with a host of optional accessories. It competes with other cruisers like the Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special, Moto Guzzi MGX-21 and the Honda Gold Wing GL1800.
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Indian Chieftain Dark Horse Expert Opinion

  • Good Things

    • Profoundly comfortable for long rides
    • Linear torque delivery across rev band
    • Heavily imposing appearance
  • Could be Better

    • Quite a handful to manage in city 
    • Gear shifts require effort
    • Brakes could be better

BikeWale's Take

One look at the Chieftain Dark Horse and you know it’s an attention-seeking behemoth with bulky dimensions and blacked-out treatment across its body work. On top of that, it gets various utility options along with safety and entertainment features. And when you’re out touring on the Chieftain, the torquey motor means overtakes are effortless. 

Indian Chieftain Dark Horse Review

The Chieftain Dark Horse makes little boys go 'wow' loudly, and makes everyone else pull out their camera phones immediately. We find out why.

What is it?

A Chieftain with a matt black paint job, which makes every little boy who sees it go ‘wow’ loudly. The big boys merely queue up with their camera phones. This particular one has a few optional extras as well, like a pillion seat, two back rests, and those awful tassles. Hard luggage that has remote locks is standard, as are a few other things that one wouldn’t usually expect on a motorcycle.

How does it ride?

At rest you can feel every gram of the 370kg kerb weight. The bottom also tends to touch on large speedbreakers, and coupled with the weight, it is a difficult machine to manage at slow speeds and in traffic. Start rolling, however, and it all becomes surprisingly manageable, even feet-up U turns. You wouldn’t want to ride around on this in traffic, though. For one, this particular version of the Thunderstroke 111 engine does not have water cooling, so once it (and you) start cooking, you’ll remain ‘on the boil’ until you get off. It is so wide, you have to view gaps in traffic with a cager’s eye. Oh, and it can’t stop on a dime, even with those large dual discs up front and standard ABS. On the highway it is comfortable, the suspension soaking up all but the harshest of bumps, and its willingness to tip into a corner making a mockery of that kerb weight. Of course, it is a cruiser, so the usual negatives remain: it is great on great roads, and bad on bad roads. 

Special mention needs to be made of the Thunderstroke 111 engine – the vibrations from this 1811cc motor are more than acceptable, it is quiet with the stock exhausts, and the 136Nm of torque seems to be available right off idle. This is a very good thing, because the gearbox needs a firm leg to shift gear – very rarely have we experienced such a heavy shifter in a modern motorcycle. The clutch action is also very light and progressive for that torque figure. More of these moving monuments need to include a reverse gear like the Honda Gold Wing and BMW K1600 GTL do – it is impossible to back up these motorcycles by yourself if you’ve nosed into a parking space facing the curb.

Anything else I should know?

On open roads, it is sublime. Set the cruise control, raise the electrically adjustable windscreen so that you’re out of the wind, and the engine turns over at a lazy 2100rpm at 100kmph. Let the 100 Watt audio system play your favourite tracks over Bluetooth. If you’re running out of juice for your phone, you can use either the 12V power socket or the USB port on the mobile phone holder to charge it. If the sound isn’t right, use the three-band eq to make it sound just so. If you run out of tracks, well, there’s always the radio! In addition, the display in between the analog clocks shows quite a bit of information, including tyre pressure, data on the engine oil, the standard trip computer parameters and the Bluetooth display. It has got ABS, but the momentum of the motorcycle is something that always remains on your mind. You also need to know that the ‘tassle pack’ includes footboards with tassles that hang from them, but they were absent on our test vehicle. 

Why should I buy one?

If you’re the kind of person who appreciates a large cruiser that has everything but the kitchen sink, yes, you should. Just don’t miss the ‘leg’ days at the gym, because you’re going to need those muscles. The optional pillion seat is a good idea – it is one of the most comfortable perches we’ve experienced. India’s love for cruisers knows no bounds, and when presented with a matt black spaceship lookalike like the Indian Chieftain Dark Horse, you’re assured of celebrity status. You’re going to have to beat them off with a stick should you stop in a crowded place. You can also earn bonus adulation points if, like Pratheek, you use the audio system to play your tunes.

Just stay away from the tassles, please. 

Where does it fit in?

It retails for a shade over Rs 33 lakh, ex-showroom, Mumbai. That makes it cheaper than the equivalent Harley-Davidson, the Street Glide Special, but more expensive than the Moto Guzzi MGX-21 and almost the same price as the Honda Gold Wing GL1800.

Photography by Kapil Angane

Gear check

1. Arai Astro-IQ Second in the Arai street models hierarchy, the Astro-IQ is a comfortable, stable helmet at any speed. Price: 50,000 

2. Scorpion Hat Trick Mesh/Textile jacket Although not on sale for a while now, the Hat Trick is a jacket that is protective yet allows decent airflow. The fleece liner keeps you warm enough, and the waterproof liner makes it truly impermeable, even in a Mumbai monsoon. Drying it out takes a while, though. Price: Rs 15600 (Scorpion Phalanx) 

3. Royal Enfield Spiti riding gloves Made for comfortable touring, these short-cuff gloves offer a lot of comfort right from the first ride. Price: Rs 3200

4. Royal Enfield long riding boots With a little inspiration from both off-road boots and touring boots, the RE long riding boots are comfortable and yet protective. Price: Rs 11,000

 

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Indian Chieftain Dark Horse Colours

Chieftain Dark Horse

Specifications

  • Power & PerformancePower & Performance

    Fuel Type Petrol

    Max Power --

    Max Torque 161.6 Nm @ 3,000 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 --

    Gear Shifting Pattern Gear Shifting Pattern --

    Clutch Wet Multiplate

    Fuel Delivery System Electronic 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 80/60R16 80H

    Tyre Type Tubeless

    Radial Tyres Yes

    Rear Brake Type Disc

    Rear Brake Size 300 mm

    Calliper Type --

    Wheel Type Alloy

    Front Wheel Size 16 inch

    Rear Wheel Size 16 inch

    Front Tyre Size 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

    Rear Suspension Single Shock

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  • Dimensions & ChassisDimensions & Chassis

    Kerb Weight 377 kg

    Overall Length 2,571 mm

    Overall Width 1,000 mm

    Wheelbase 1,668 mm

    Ground Clearance 142 mm

    Seat Height 660 mm

    Overall Height 1,388 mm

    Chassis Type --

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  • Manufacturer WarrantyManufacturer Warranty

    Standard Warranty (Year) --

    Standard Warranty (Kilometers) --

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 Digital

Fuel Guage Yes

Tachometer Digital

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 Bulb type

Headlight Bulb Type--

Brake/Tail LightLED Tail Lamp

Turn SignalYes

Pass LightYes

Additional features--

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