Looks like this year’s crop of new cruisers is going to include a whole lot of club bike styling. For 2023, Indian just announced the Sport Chief, a trimmed-down machine with upgraded suspension for better handling.
Taking a quick look, at first glance we see a high-ride handlebar tucked in behind a quarter-fairing. Uh, might just be us, but it sure looks a lot like the bikes from a popular TV show whose name rhymes with “Buns of Blanarchy.” Whether that West Coast/Thug Bike/Club Bike style is for you, or whether it isn’t, you don’t have to spend too long on the cool kids’ Instagram pages to see that this is the current fad for young and hip cruiser riders. Right now, IG is filled with pictures of Dynas done up in this style, and the industry is finally catching up and building models with the same aesthetic.
The engine itself is Indian’s trusty air/oil-cooled Thunderstroke 116, blatting out 120 lb-ft of torque, the company says. In this application, it’s got a blacked-out finish.
As for the chassis, you get the same old steel tube frame as other Chief models, but Indian went with a trick new set of Fox shocks, which are supposed to improve lean angle (29.5 degrees, the marketeers say) and also offer 4 inches of travel along with preload adjustability. Up front, you get a KYB fork with 5.1 inches of travel, the same fork as used on the Challenger model.
Radial-mount Brembo calipers pair with dual brake discs up front. The Sport Chief comes with a 19-inch front wheel and 16-inch rear, wearing Pirelli Night Dragon rubber.
Although the windshield on this bike is minimalist, Indian did include a small, round screen for navigation purposes.
In Canada, your colour choices are Black Smoke ($22,999), Ruby Smoke ($23,699) Stealth Grey ($23,699) or Spirit Blue Smoke ($24,399). Dealerships should start receiving the bikes in March, 2023. More deets and photos at Indian’s website here.