Ultra-rare, ultra-pricey: The 2021 Indian Chieftain Elite

Photo: Indian

In case you’ve been sitting on $43,000, and you just aren’t quite sure what to do with it, Indian Motorcycles has the answer: The 2021 Indian Chieftain Elite.

The Elite is Indian’s latest limited-edition machine, released in a production run of 120 bikes. Indian says it has “unmatched power,” but in reality, this machine uses the exact same Thunderstroke 116 engine that Indian uses in other machines, with 126 lb-ft of torque. Indian’s press release says “Riders looking for performance accessories can explore Indian Motorcycle’s Thunderstroke 116 Stage 1 and Stage 2 offerings,” so it sounds like the bike’s engine is bog-standard with the rest of the 116 lineup. It does have rear cylinder deactivation, for sensible city riding, and comes with three ride modes to adjust throttle response.

The presser also mentions “bold, custom-inspired styling,” and the Chieftain Elite certainly has that. The Elite has a special hand-applied Slate Smoke finish, with gunmetal flake that takes the painters 24 hours to finish. With a streamlined fairing, aluminum floorboards, tinted windshield, slammed saddlebags, lowered suspension and a 19-inch front wheel, you’re getting a trick-looking bagger.

It’s all very much in line with Indian’s previous excursions into the factory custom scene, and it comes with high-end electronic features like Indian’s cornering-sensitive Pathfinder LED light system, keyless ignition, remote-locking saddlebags, tire pressure monitoring, and a 7-inch TFT screen that controls the integrated 400-watt PowerBand audio system. Apple CarPlay comes standard.

And now, for the price tag: You’re looking at a $42,999 MSRP in Canada, and that’s before taxes and fees. For full specs and a selection of accessories and other upgrades, see Indian’s website.

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