Indian's Chieftain Dark Horse - Matte Black With A Flicker Of Chrome

For riders who like their motorcycles like their Cajun food, blackened, Indian has a special treat, its new blacked-out hard bagger, the Chieftain Dark Horse.

The latest offering in the iconic line-up is not only ready for the long, open road but also waiting to be accessorized and made uniquely personal. Indian Motorcycles aren’t exaggerating when they describe this new ride as blacked-out, from the black-on-black on its fairing to the powerful Thunder Stroke 111 engine, the Chieftain Dark Horse lives up to its name.

Best of all, this latest Indian adds another choice to riders looking for that bagger experience.

‘A bagger with undeniable presence, the 2016 Chieftain Dark Horse offers a ton of matte black, a flicker of chrome, and a wealth of features to roll as one of the most bad-ass American-made V-twin touring bikes on the market,’ the press release evocatively notes, ‘By all but eliminating chrome from the motorcycle, the Dark Horse conveys an aggressive attitude that demands attention for all the right reasons.’

“The Indian Chieftain Dark Horse’s blacked-out styling and powerful Thunder Stroke 111 engine will elevate our rider to the top of the pack,” says Indian Motorcycle Marketing Director Reid Wilson. “Starting with the award-winning Chieftain platform, the Dark Horse series signature matte black paint and raw attitude is an open canvas for customization that makes it the perfect bike for riders who are ready to ‘Be Legendary’.”


2016 Chieftain Dark Horse - Source Indian Motorcycles

Before moving onto the powerhouse and performance, a quick look at the models claim to fame, that of his dark demeanor.

To amplify the Dark Horse family attributes, not only are the fenders, fairing, fuel tank and bags blacked out, the iconic Indian Motorcycle headdress, forks, mirrors, handlebars and switch cubes, turn signals, tank console, engine and airbox cover, lower controls, floorboards and taillight housing are also blacked out.

The darkness is accentuated by the sparse use of chrome seen on the motorcycle’s rims, front fender, pipes and a few latches. These touches certainly stand out against the matte black finish of the bike.

As if to further the brooding biker who may be found on the latest Indian motorcycle, it only seats one, with the Chieftain Dark Horse riding off the showroom floor equipped with a solo seat.

Powered by the celebrated Thunder Stroke 111 engine, the Chieftain Dark Horse enjoys 119 ft-lbs of torque. According to Indian Motorcycles, the engine produces a rich exhaust note from the true dual exhaust, which was acoustically engineered to eliminate high-pitched sounds leaving what’s described as ‘Indian Motorcycle’ thunder’.

This darker model uses the same chassis and suspension as the Indian Chieftain but the short, tinted power windscreen found on the Dark Horse helps strike a different profile to its bagger brother. Other shared features include spacious, lockable hard bags, ABS, electronic cruise control, integrated premium audio system and remote key fob with keyless ignition.


2016 Chieftain Dark Horse - Source Indian Motorcycles

While baggers may harken back to a vintage time of riding where riders equipped their motorcycles in whatever way allowed them to lay down more miles away from home, the 2016 Chieftain Dark Horse enjoys some of the latest two-wheeled technologies.

Keyless starting allows a rider to firing up his motorcycle before getting anywhere near the Chieftain Dark Horse. This feature may leave some wondering what happens if the key fob is lost. In that situation, riders can use the individual security code pre-programmed into the ignition while the fob is found.

Another modern feature, ABS is standard as is the electronic cruise control, something made for those long, empty roads.

Speaking of electronics, the Chieftain Dark Horse’s fairing mounted instrument cluster features a laundry list of keeping a rider in touch with everything on the motorcycle;

  • Electronic speedometer
  • Tachometer
  • Fuel gauge with odometer
  • Dual tripmeters with distance and time
  • Instantaneous and average fuel economy
  • Fuel range
  • Real-time clock
  • Ambient air temperature
  • Gear position display
  • Front and rear tire pressure
  • Engine hours of operation
  • Engine oil life percentage
  • Average speed
  • Battery voltage
  • Radio information display
  • Heated grip level (if optional heated grips installed)

This list doesn’t include the 15 LED telltale indicators letting the rider know about: cruise control enabled, cruise control set, neutral, high beam, turn signal, ABS, check engine, low tire pressure, battery, low fuel, security system, low engine oil pressure and MPH or km/h unit designation.


2016 Chieftain Dark Horse - Source Indian Motorcycles

We mentioned a variety of accessories for bikers to make the Chieftain Dark Horse uniquely their own.

To enhance the already powerful performance, improve throttle response and add a rich and throaty exhaust note rides can install a performance package of a Stage 1 Exhaust, a Thunder Stroke High Flow Air Cleaner and Stage 2 Performance Cams.

This performance can enjoy a touch of style with Fish Tail or Six Shooter exhaust tips

Some will say Ape Hangers are coming back while others would say they never went out of fashion. Either way, the Dark Horse enjoys a black Ape Hanger Handlebar Kit.

New owners of the Chieftain Dark Horse can pass the ride away with tunes through optional Premium Saddlebag Audio featuring 100 watt speakers. Combine this with the Matte Black Saddlebag Audio Lids and those quiet back roads will be introduced to some rocking playlists.

Finally, if the stock black-out features aren’t dark enough, Indian offers optional all-black Floorboards, black Fender Trim and Saddlebag Trim which replaces the few stock chrome pieces. The black Front Highway Bar adds black custom style, tip-over protection, and a comfortable perch for rider’s feet when cruising.

It’s at this point Clutch and Chrome should inform our readers, riding down this road of accessorizing will add to the Indian Chieftain Dark Horse’s MSRP of $21,999.

But it will look sharp.


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