Indian shows new Thunder Stroke motor

Will this new Indian powerplant be replaced by a battery pack in the future?
The new 111-cubic-inch motor is what Indian is staking their future on.
The new 111-cubic-inch motor is what Indian is staking their future on.

Polaris-owned Indian has been teasing their all-new motor for months now; this past weekend, they finally unveiled it.

Those who were hoping for a throwback to Indian’s straight-four history, or maybe something modern and water-cooled, were all disappointed. The new Thunder Stroke motor is an air-and-oil cooled 49-degree 1818 cc V-twin, making more than 115 of torque. It’s true, though, that it takes a lot of engineering just to get a motor like this past EPA and other government regulatory bodies these days.

Fuel comes from electronic sequential port fuel injection and electronic throttle control. There’s three camshafts and a forged crankshaft, pushrods, and two valves per cylinder with hydraulic valve lifters to reduce maintenance. Compression ratio is 9:5, and the transmission is a six-speed constant mesh unit with helical gearbox.


  1. Better looking than the Victory engines, which I would have to agree with some other comments I’ve read is just too tall to look good in a cruiser type bike. Pushrods keep the head size down, and should be more than adequate for the kind of RPMs that an 1,800 cc narrow-angle V-Twin is likely to spin to, as well as making hydraulic lifters easy to implement (hopefully). Not that I’m likely to be buying an Indian, but I think I have some understanding of what’s important to the cruiser crowd.

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