My buddy bought a chieftain today from Chesapeake cycle in Annapolis. Rode the indian and a Victory XC. He gave the edge to the XC for comfort, but said the smoothness of engine and transmission and handling went to the Indian...no contest.
I test rode a Chief Vintage. To me it felt like a Victory with a crappy seat and poor leg ergonomics. It felt like it had more low end power, but hit the rev limiter time and again, just as the party was getting started.
I read about the tranny being more Asian, but it felt like the same tractor gear box on mine to me.
It blew a lot of heat out on my right leg. My Vic doesn't do that.
It weighs more, has lesser suspension components, and is far less efficient.
Low speed handling is more clumsy and requires considerably more effort than my XR.
It runs tube tires.
Unless additional chromed parts, keyless ignition, and electronic bag locks are high on one's list of priorities, I don't see the attraction.
Corbin does make nice looking seats for them. I might like it better with one of those.
I hope our brand doesn't succumb to a lesser bike with a more popular name. But if it does, KTM has put out a something that makes me smile.