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2015 Indian Chief Roadmaster Rumored

Indian is planning the return of the Chief Roadmaster, rumor has it. The Roadmaster name was reportedly spotted on a list of 2015 model year bikes which have apparently passed emissions tests in the US, visordown claims. This might mean that Indian is expanding the model line-up with at least one bike for the next season.
2010 Indian Chief Roadmaster 3 photos
2010 Indian Chief Roadmaster1947 Indian Chief Roadmaster in "naked" trim
Now, the Roadmaster is anything but a new kid on the block. This road-touring bike was introduced back in 1947 and the last model year surfaced in 2010 (pictured above). The initial model was low and long, with leather saddlebags and a solo seat, and was powered by a 40hp air-cooled 1,212cc v-twin. It was also an influential model as far as the classic, deeply-valanced fenders are concerned, with the Kawasaki Drifter being probably the best impersonation of the old Roadmaster character.

The rumored 2015 Chief Roadmaster will most likely be based on the new platform developed by Indian and Polaris for the brand’s comeback, with no mechanical or engineering differences over the current Chief Classic, Chief Vintage or Chieftain models. This means the new Thunder Stroke 111 1,811cc v-twin, delivering 102+ lb-ft (138+ Nm) of torque and in excess of 90 hp, mounted in the same frame, leaving the “superstructure” as the new thing.

The old Roadmaster was a touring bike, with saddlebags and a windscreen, and it is expected that the new iteration will follow in its steps, as well. However, the current Indian line-up already has two bikes equipped with saddlebags, the Chief Vintage, with leather ones, and the Chieftain with hard cases, so we might just get to see the Roadmaster taking things one step further into the battle with Harley-Davidson and go for an Electra Glide rival.

This could mean that the Roadmaster will be derived from the Chieftain, maintaining the big front fairing and the hard saddlebags, but adding an audio system, a trunk and obviously, premium seating for both the rider and the passenger. Other optional features such as satellite navigation, heated seats, tire pressure monitor sensors and pretty much anything a heavyweight tourer bike can receive are also expected.

Even though Indian is playing a very strong hand with its constant referrals to the historic models, the Polaris-managed manufacturer understood that inertia is exceedingly dangerous in today’s industry, and modern approaches integrated with the century-old heritage are key selling points. For a more detailed story about the future of Indian motorcycles, check out the dedicated autoevolution story.

Also follow the link for a huge photo gallery of 2015 Indian bikes.

 
 
 
 
 

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