So I got a hair up my ass to ride up to Michigan and test the Indians at Dick's in Livonia today. For the hell of it, I popped the O2 sensors off beforehand. I have bellyached before about how I don't really notice any difference in power one way or the other, but my gas mileage seems much worse. I'm going to have to revise that theory because I made it 198 miles at 70+ mph and topped off the tank with 4.1 gallons making for a whopping 48.3 mpg with my barn door windscreen punching thru the morning air usually around 80 mph. On the way back the mileage was not quite as good, but I couldn't top the tank off with the crappy dispenser so I don't know how much different, but it wasn't much.
Oh yeah, and then there was the matter of the Injun. I rode the Chief:
1. I got there as the first batch were leaving. If you were blindfolded, you'd never know it wasn't a bunch of Harleys exiting.
2. It has a cutesy button that brings the electrics on and to standby. Once there, hitting the starter button awakens the beast. Same sounds as a Vic as it wakes up, also, nice and smooth idle like a Vic.
3. Taking off, I noticed the steering felt heavier than my XR. It wasn't clumsy, just heavier.
4. Out on the road, the engine feels built to Robvision's liking. Lot of bottom end grunt. Feels kinda winded at the top. I don't think it would take a Vic cruiser on the low end or my bike on the top, but it pulls real nice around 3k rpm.
5. Didn't have a chance to plant it in a corner, but from what I was able to notice was that the steering seemed perfectly light and lively once at speed.
6. Suspension felt nice if a little bit stiffer than the XR. Could be newness.
7. Front brake is the real deal. Maybe they sourced these things from Brembo? Anti-lock is a must with these as unlike the XR front binders, these will bring the bike down in a big hurry. Oddly, the rear brake was not as good as the one on my XR.
8. Until I started reading these cruiser boards, I probably would have overlooked a lot of things (and probably still did), but now I do notice a lot of details that make the Indian more refined in the styling dept. The seat was one area I could tell was much nicer than normal from the pics. Unfortunately, it looks much less cool after a few riders leave their scent on it. (Notice how the leather bunches up at the top.
9. It put out a ton more heat than my XR and focused it on my right hamstring. Fortunately, I wore riding pants as rain was in the forecast and it was more annoying than painful, but it wasn't all that hot out either.
10. When we returned to the dealer lot, people had check engine lights on. Apparently, when you hit the rev limiter it throws a code and they have to take it into the shop to reset it.
11. The gages worked like the Vic allowing you to scroll thru them with a forefinger. They were embedded in the tank which looks very stylistic from a bar stool, but works less well than our over the handlebar units.
12. It was a little over 230 miles up there and I felt fine when I got there. Within a mile, I was feeling hot spots from the Indian seat. Surely, the morning ride made me a little more susceptible, but still.
13. Bike fit me pretty good except the seat was too low and had my knees riding above my hips. My short legs placed my feet hanging over the front end of the floorboards. Okay for lil old me, but not so great for the tall people.
14. Transmission is quieter than the XR, but the effort and throws feel about the same.
In short, nice bike, but my expectations were higher. My XR is just so damn good that I know it's hard to do much except marginally improve it, but still I want to believe. Vic did another outstanding job, it's just not in the areas the (save the front braking) that impress me.
I have a feeling, the XR and I are headed for a long term relationship...