Take a look at the Indian Roadmaster and tell us what would be the ideal setting for it. Parked on the porch of a palace appears like a perfect backdrop. Consider the setting sun as well and the sunlight kissing gently on the immensely beautiful bodywork of this American flagship. Top it off with the idea that you are the king, the palace belongs to you and so does the motorcycle. Could your life be any better at that moment?
This is how it makes us feel, like a King. The Roadmaster is literally so royal to look at that it deserves to be a King’s ride. And that’s right out of the showroom as it is.
The first thing that anyone will notice about the Roadmaster is its size – it is a big motorcycle! The one we rode wore a dual tone livery of the traditional Indian red along with the Ivory cream with a generous amount of chrome thrown in.
The fit and finish on the Roadmaster is just perfect. Despite such a huge fairing and add-ons like panniers and tail boxes, it was impossible to find any rattling or vibrations anywhere on the bike. A special mention here must be given to the supremely comfortable genuine tan leather rider and pillion seats. There is enough real estate even for the biggest of the riders to make themselves comfortable and ride it nonstop for hours and hours without having to take a butt break. The stitching is also top notch.
Powering this is the same 1811 cc V-Twin Thunder Stroke 111 engine that is used in the entire Chief lineup and it is breathtakingly beautiful. It has been tuned to provide a flatter torque curve though to help its touring nature. It makes around 139 Nm of max torque at around 3000 RPM mark. Sadly, the official bhp figures are not revealed by Indian Motorcycles. However, despite so much bulk, the Roadmaster lunges ahead with the slightest blip of the throttle. The power delivery comes rather smoothly and evenly throughout the rev range.
The Roadmaster is heavy! It weighs around 421 kg dry and a fully loaded one with a pillion could tip the scale at 630 kg plus. But all that weight seems to disappear as soon as the bike gets into motion thanks to the rigid cast aluminium chassis and a sorted suspension aided by tons of low-end torque. Also, the fueling is perfect even at the lowest of RPMs making it a doddle to ride even at low speeds.
This entire setup makes the handling of this huge machine rather effortless. It feels planted on straight line high speed runs as well as on the corners. And as we said, the suspension feels pretty sorted to support the 400+ kg mass and the bike seemed to take on the potholes and minor bumps on the road rather easily. Braking is absolutely reassuring as well due to the 300 mm dual disc up front and a single 300 mm at the rear aided by ABS.
In terms of goodies, you have electronically adjustable windscreen, which you can adjust as per your height to control the air flow around you while riding. Then you have heated grips and pillion and rider seats for that extra bit of comfort while riding in extremely cold conditions. Cruise control is there for effortless riding on open highways. Plus, you get keyless ignition and remote luggage locking facility. You also get 3 power sockets to charge all your gadgets on the go. Also, there is a 200 W output audio system installed, which has AM/FM and can be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth or AUX. The storage space in the trunk, as well as the saddle bag, seems generous and there is a total of 142 L of storage space available, which is capable of carrying more than a weekend’s worth of luggage.
This thing is like a living room giving you all the comfort of your home!
And we believe this is what the Roadmaster is all about, the comfort and the feel at a grand scale. It is not about numbers, well no cruiser has ever been, but the Roadmaster oozes grandeur. It is so well finished that you’d hate the slightest amount of dirt on it. Every single thing and piece that makes this motorcycle is flawlessly finished and a piece of art.
However, such royalty is never cheap, in fact, unaffordable is a better word for the Roadmaster and that is how it should be. A major part of experiencing something royal is that it is actually out of reach of many people. Even if we suggest you to try OLX we wouldn’t be sure of how affordable it would be as a second-hand ride, but one can always try his or her luck.
For us, though, spending a day riding the Roadmaster was like spending a day in one of the finest luxury hotels in the country. The best part is, being a motorcycle, it enhances a biker’s lifestyle so much that very few motorcycles in the world can manage to do.
Thank you, Indian Motorcycles. We do wish that you were really Indian. Oh, what an irony!