My Ferrari Ke Sawari
The term ‘dark horse’ is given to someone who isn’t well known, but ultimately turns out to be the unexpected winner of a competition. Indian took its Chief Classic, and named it the Indian Chief Dark Horse, so the American manufacturer must think of the motorcycle on similar terms. Why else would anyone take a beautiful classic motorcycle and name it so?
Indian has removed almost all of the chrome from the Chief Classic, and has replaced it with an all-black finish. This has given the Chief a mildly understated look. Despite that, it manages to look ever so graceful. In fact, the long, low-slung profile makes the Dark Horse look like motorcycling royalty.
Features which gave the Classic its distinctive look have been retained. The front and rear fenders cover most of the wheels, the front cowl houses the headlamp, front fork top mounts and the handlebar mounts. The large teardrop-shaped tank has the instrument cluster mounted up top, and the seat is well contoured and leather made.
Okay, let’s be fair, all cruisers have to have a little chrome here and there – it’s almost an unsaid rule. Indian Motorcycles seems to agree with it too, and strips of chrome on the front and rear fenders have been nicely placed. Even the long exhaust pipes have a chrome finish.
Turn on the ignition and the ‘war bonnet’ on the front fender lights up. This reminds me of the Spirit of Ecstasy, and I felt like I was riding the Rolls Royce of motorcycles.
The massive Thunder Stroke 111, 1,811cc engine has keyless start. You do have a computer-like ignition button on the tank, but don’t really need to press it. All you need to do is keep the key on your person, and press the starter button on the sublime switchgear. The 49-degree V-Twin, coupled with the proportionally designed exhaust pipes, roars to life. You could forgive a child with an imagination, when they tell you the big Indian’s exhaust note sounds like a galloping horse’s hooves.