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On 15th April 2016 two xBhpians embarked on an India roadtrip on Triumph Motorcycles in search of #100Motorcycles which were unique iconic and rare by searching for them on OLX and the community at large. Motul Lubricants and CEAT Tyres powered their journey along with Wrangler Denims adding to the style quotient. We hope that this will paint a picture of India as a diverse and rich motorcycling nation in the times to come. Know More

BIKE NO.

74Indian Chief Vintage - The Big Twin

1212CC 40BHP 260 KGS

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For anyone who is unaware, the ‘Chief’ isn’t a new model in the Indian’s motorcycle lineup. It is being made since 1922 even though it has been revived in 2014 with an all-new 1811cc V-twin engine under the extremely fruitful ownership of Polaris Industries. This remarkable event occurred in 2011 when the American company, Polaris Industries (renowned for making All-Terrain Vehicles), bought another American company, Indian Motorcycle Company, to revive America’s oldest bike brand. The rest is history.

Running short on budget? Look for your favourite motorcycle on OLX

CEATPirelli_2-Recovered

Now that we have acquainted you with the recent history of the marquee, let’s go a bit deeper into the Chief’s past.

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Indian Chief

Made since 1922, the Chief is one of the two most popular motorcycles built by Indian. The other being Scout. And if we delve a bit deeper, Chief, in essence, is not just one motorcycle, it is a lineup of motorcycle (Chief Classic, Chief Roadmaster, to name a few). This time, we are talking about the bare bone cruiser which is only called – Chief.

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The quintessential cruiser design

A look at the Indian Chief will make you realize that this is the design which has gone to define how a typical cruiser should look like – wide-swept single-piece handlebar, a basic round headlamp, a seamlessly styled fuel tank which is wide at the front and narrow at the opposite end, a seat which rests the whole bum of the rider and lastly, an absolutely circular rear wheel fender to finish off the smooth looks. All this is supported by the spoke wheels. It is a conventional laid-back design offering the without-a-worry-in-the-world riding stance. It’s comfort written all over it.

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A motorcycle like this is meant to be ridden with all the time in the world. It isn’t a speed monster and neither is it meant to take you to your destination in the shortest possible time. That is not the point of the Chief. You ride it when you want to take in the whole atmosphere, every beautiful tree, nook and corner along your journey. It is about being at ease in life. You are not supposed to hurry on it, you don’t.

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Of course, why anyone should get these feelings is not really a rocket science. It is all possible because of the way they are designed to look and deliver the power. The Indian Chief is fondly called the “Big Twin” due to its 1200cc V-twin engine. This old unit churns out around 40 BHP of power which is not much, but then, cruisers are more about effortlessly ticking through the highway. Time is not really a factor to consider.

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But this is all still common to the cruiser category. The Big Twin is a special motorcycle. Indian has always had a unique style statement for their motorcycles with the valanced fenders at front and rear. Then there’s the Indian mascot on the front fender which also acts as a parking light. Lastly, this Indian Chief has a hand shifter and the foot clutch which is popularly called the ‘Suicide clutch’. Why? Because the foot operated clutch was never as smooth as the hand-operated clutch and the motorcycle always had a jerky motion ahead as soon as it was disengaged risking an accident.

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Also, the throttle was on the left side of the handlebar which was another completely opposite arrangement. All this made the bike quite unfriendly to many people and even then, it is considered one of the most popular cruisers ever built by any motorcycle manufacturer.

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For our India in 0 to 100 Motorcycles project, we would like to thank Mr. Desh Deepak, who is the owner of this lovely piece of motorcycling history, for sparing his time for us.

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For our India in 0 to 100 Motorcycles project, we would like to thank Mr. Desh Deepak, who is the owner of this lovely piece of motorcycling history, for sparing his time for us.

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