More often than not, once you have decided to go down this road there's no turning back. Buying your first motorcycle can be a tricky process, as you might not fully understand the type of rider you are.
You might discover that a sports bike is just too uncomfortable or obnoxious if you're all about cross-country adventures. Or you might feel that a big cruiser isn't exciting enough for what you had in mind.
But you need to go out there and put some miles on whatever it is that you've chosen to discover yourself. Once you'll reach that point, finding your next motorcycle will be a lot easier. These days companies will give you a large array of options to choose from, so once your budget is sorted you're good to go.
But once you're 30+ years old and you find yourself enjoying longer trips on roads that aren't quite cut up for aggressive riding, you realize that a sports bike is just overdoing it.
During 2022 I've been paying close attention to Indian Motorcycle, as I've been reporting on Tyler O'Hara's quest of winning the King of the Baggers. I've never ridden a bike as big as the Indian Challenger, and I don't know if I'm quite ready to make that step yet.
But other options in Indian's lineup could sway me away from the world of sport-touring motorcycles. The FTR and the Scout are pretty cool, to say the least, but the American manufacturer has just unveiled another interesting option today.
Since Indian relaunched the Chief in 2021, it has paid close attention to feedback coming from customers across the world. Currently, this bike already has four different configurations to choose from: the Chief, the Chief Dark Horse, the Chief Bobber, and the Chief Bobber Dark Horse.
But the new Sport Chief brings even more diversity to the range, catering to a specific group of riders who felt the need for the next level of performance and excitement. The Sport Chief uses KYB inverted front forks that are also seen on the Indian Challenger. Piggyback rear FOX shocks have increased travel to four inches, while the lean angle is now up to 29.5 degrees.
The Sport Chief is powered by a Thunderstroke 116 ci (1,890 cc) air-cooled motor which we've also seen on the Chief Dark Horse. With about 122 hp and 120 lb-ft (162 Nm) of torque on tap, it's a good thing that the Sport Chief uses dual-disc, four-piston, semi-floating caliper, radial-mounted Brembo brakes to help you safely slow down when you want to.
With that in mind, it's also a bit heavier than the Chief, at 665 lbs (302 kg) versus 647 lbs (294 kg). We'll try to test-ride both bikes this year so that we can provide you with a more extensive review of the differences between them.
The good news is that the new Sport Chief will be making its way into dealerships across the U.S. and Canada in March 2023. You will be able to choose from four different colors: Black Smoke, Ruby Smoke, Stealth Gray, and Spirit Blue Smoke.
Starting MSRP ranges from $18,999 to $19,999 depending on your preferred color, and then there's the selection of accessories provided by Indian to customize your Sport Chief. So, it will require a bigger budget than the Scout or FTR, but it will still be more accessible than some of the bigger bikes on offer.