Rumour has it Indian is working on a new liquid-cooled touring bike, and spy shots seem to back up that idea.
There are two separate sets of images which seem to tip details on a new Indian touring bike. First, there is a set of patent drawings published on Motorcycle.com, which show a liquid-cooled big-bore V-twin engine, with four-valve heads. The patent specifically deals with the concept of an easy-access camshaft, which can be removed without taking out the valve train, says that article.
Then, there’s another photo floating around, showing what appears to be an Indian touring bike with frame-mounted fairing, and an engine similar to the ones in the patent drawings.
The fairing is covered with a wrap in the shot, presumably because the bike is still in prototype stage, but you get the idea. Reportedly, Polaris is going to great lengths to get this image off the Internet, but it’s floating around the webscape still, and you can find them by using a little Google-Fu.
If you look carefully at the photo of the faired bike, you can see what appears to be a cellphone-toting bystander taking the snap, reflected in the chrome exhaust.
The takeaway here is that this appears to be a legit spy shot, shot by someone who happened to be in the right place at the right time.
It’s not one of the carefully-composed images that usually runs under the title of “spy shot,” but looks awfully similar to professional marketing work set up by a factory. You can draw your own conclusions as to how those images are constantly, mysteriously leaked, but in this case, it looks like the real thing.
MotorbikeWriter reckons the new liquid-cooled V-twin was originally a Victory project, which makes sense. When Victory went bust, its big-bore bikes all ran air-cooled engines, which just wouldn’t do for a company that was allegedly pushing into a performance-oriented future.
Due to emissions regulations, there’s no doubt that liquid cooling is the future for large-capacity motorcycles, and it’s surprising Indian’s still selling its big touring bikes with the air-cooled 111 Thunderstroke motor at this point.
Check out all the pics that go with this story!
No big surprise as I just bought a 2018 Roadmaster, so of course they’re changing it. But really, Indian is becoming popular in Europe where they are moving to their Euro-5 emissions standard which I understand could only be reasonably met with a liquid-cooled motor.
VTX, old Vulcan…..? What a Vision.
Why bother blocking out the logos on the engine covers but leave the Indian head on the front fender ?
As you suggest, maybe its a carryover Victory project being rebranded ?
Curiouser and curiouser…
Hard to say what’s going on. Could all be a clever hoax, too, although I suspect the patent drawings are real enough.