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2019 Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Limited | Bike Tests

Youngy took time out after the FTR 1200 S launch in the Hollywood hills to try out something a little less him

Straight up mates, big-arse baggers just ain’t my bag — nothing against bags.
I bloody love bags. I’ve got loads. But to me, like so many things American, baggers just seem a bit, well, wrong. Like driving on the right, and turning right through a red light, and stop signs at roundabouts. And, like, without even a greasy whiff of irony, naming fast food ‘restaurants’ the likes of Fatburger (yes, really), and In and Out Burger (yes, really really). And, like, saying ‘like’ far too much. Just stop it.
But now, after a week getting intimate with Indian’s chief captain of fancy baggers, the Chieftain Limited, I do get it. And, I even have to admit to liking it, somewhat ironically, in an ironic and therefore thoroughly un-American way. Like, I ended up loving it.

The Chieftain was full of surprises; almost all of them positive. Firstly, the Chieftain doesn’t ride as heavy as it looks, and is. The trick to building
a well-mannered yet ludicrously enormous and ostentatious motorcycle is to hide the lard in the right places. This means keeping the fat low and central, while keeping the phat all up in your face. Once rolling, the Chieftain gives the sensation of the heavy bits being stowed a great distance south of its Tropic of Axles, which is quite an achievement for a bike taking up so much strata title. That low-set mass, plus its leverage-plenteous handlebar, added up to agility beyond my dreams of what this barge-come-bike would be capable of. It’s the Chieftain development team’s single most impressive and worthwhile achievement. A showbike for riding. Including corners. Tick.

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