It’s back again, for 2023—the odd marketing deal between Indian and Jack Daniel’s. With Daytona Bike Week underway, we see this year’s Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse.
That’s a mouthful of a name; maybe that’s to make sure you don’t forget that this is a special-edition machine. Indian says it is only making 177 of these bikes for the global market. Indian built this machine in conjunction with Klock Werks Custom Cycles, and it’s the seventh such collaboration between Jack Daniel’s and Indian.
So what sets it apart, aside from an absurdly long name and a limited production run? It’s supposed to commemorate Jack Daniel’s famous Old No. 7 whiskey with the following customization:
“With a mean attitude and old-school muscle, the 2023 Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse features several design elements that make this bike truly exclusive. Jack Daniel’s branding will be found throughout the bike including the front and rear fenders, stamped on its solo seat, and on a Montana Silversmiths Badge with each bike’s unique serial number. For ultimate exclusivity, Jack Daniel’s signature can be found on the rear fender and etched into the exhaust. The 2023 Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse touts a tank with a single Indian Motorcycle Script “I” along both sides. The Thunderstroke 116 engine features non-machined highlighted cylinders and heads, Cloud Silver painted rockers and pushrod tubes – giving it a throwback style that delivers a raw metal look.
“The limited-edition motorcycle also features white center rims, a solo-saddle seat, a tinted Klock Werks Flared Deflector, a Pathfinder 5 ¼ Adaptive LED Headlight, which monitors the bike’s lean angle to maximize nighttime illumination, three ride modes, and a four-inch touchscreen powered by RIDE COMMAND with Bluetooth®, weather and traffic overlays, turn-by-turn navigation, and more.”
In other words: It’s basically some paint and bling. Some riders will get very excited about this, and others will utter a big, fat “Meh!”. And it’s no wonder; with these special-editions coming out every year now, it’s starting to seem like it’s really barely that special at all. This year, Indian says Jack Daniel’s whiskey was mixed into the paint, but so what? Are you going to lick your paint to get a buzz on?
It might sound like we’re being kind of snarky here, but there’s just so much weirdness about this collaboration, especially when you consider that mixing liquor and motorcycles is pretty much universally considered a bad idea, as far as serious and experienced riders are concerned. Even the beer-at-lunch crowd generally stays away from the hard stuff while riding. To be clear, Indian and Jack Daniel’s marketing does not promote impaired riding—the description for the YouTube video above says “Bottles and throttles don’t mix. Never drink and ride.”
But considering that, doesn’t this sound like a weird team-up to start with? What’s next, a co-branding with cannabis edibles? “Never chew these gummies while riding, kids! This model only available in Canada, and in US states where recreational cannabis is legal!” …
Should you need to know more about this bike, check out Indian’s website here.