That means last year the nameplate celebrated its 100th anniversary, and it did so in style. As it’s customary, the bike maker properly marked the occasion with the introduction of the current generation of the Chief. That happened back in 2021, and the model is presently one of the most important for the brand, selling in no fewer than six variants – going from the standard, entry-level Chief all the way to the top-of-the-range Super Chief Limited bagger.
Remember how in 1923 Hendee became Indian? It basically meant that from that moment onward, Chiefs wore the Indian name, and that essentially translates into one more reason to celebrate a centenary in 2023 as well. And the Minnesota-based company wasted no time in getting something ready for the occasion, in the form of the seventh model to join the family.
2023 Indian Sport Chief is the bike's official name. It was shown a few hours ago, at the time of writing, and riders across America will gain access to it as soon as this March, when the model becomes available on dealers’ lots in the U.S. and Canada. But beware, this one is not something to be taken lightly.
Unique touches start at the front. The bike wraps its face inside a new quarter fairing, designed in such a way as to bring retro vibes to mind. It floats not far from the front fender, holding an LED headlight in its center and a small windscreen on the upper end. Further setting this bike apart from the rest of the range up there are the new mono-style bars and six-inch risers.
The front wheel, just like the one at the back, is a cast piece wearing Pirelli Night Dragon tires and is supported in place by a KYB inverted fork. If the fork looks familiar, it probably is, given how Indian uses the same piece of hardware on Challengers.
Behind the fairing comes the rather massive fuel tank Chiefs have gotten us used to. In this application, it’s large enough to hold four gallons (15 liters) of fuel.
The rear of the machine, boasting a bobber-style fender, rests on Fox shocks, but they don’t come with the same traits as on other bikes of the family. In the case of the Sport, they provide four inches (10 cm) more travel and a lean angle increased to 29.5 degrees.
The 2023 Indian Sport Chief packs all the technologies that go into a modern-day motorcycle, some of them available only on Indians. We’re talking here, of course, about the 4-inch touchscreen used to run the company’s Ride Command system, keyless ignition, and the choice of three riding modes, namely Sport, Standard, and Tour.
As for the colors the bike will come in, the American company spared no expense in making as many hues as possible available – in all, four of them will be on the table, namely Black Smoke, Ruby Smoke, Stealth Gray, and Spirit Blue Smoke.
To give you an idea of what that means, keep in mind the entry-level Chief presently goes for $14,999. It is sold alongside the Dark Horse, Bobber, and Bobber Dark Horse as part of Indian’s Cruiser family of two-wheelers, with the latter being the most expensive of the bunch, at $19,499.
Two more examples of this nameplate, namely the Super Chief and Super Chief Limited, fall into the bagger category, and the most expensive one wears a sticker reading $21,499.