Even younger riders will dig the Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse

A modern twist on the classic image of big American bikes
by Matthew Galang | Jul 24, 2021
PHOTO: Indian

The bikes produced by Indian Motorcycles are distinct from those sold by its competitor, Harley-Davidson. Where Harley has mostly focused on chrome bits, bright and shiny paint, and a more mature rider base, Indian has gone down a darker (literally) route by preferring less flashy paint jobs, a mix of gloss and matte-finished parts, and younger clientele.

One bike on offer from the cruiser marque is the Chief Bobber Dark Horse. This motorcycle in particular is a good example of how Indian has put a modern twist on the classic image of big American bikes. With younger styling that’s subdued but still badass, modern features and tech, and a growl characteristic of big-bore V-twins, it’s definitely not your typical cruiser.

If you’ve got a thing for American muscle bikes, but you think the usual options don’t look modern enough, this might be the ride for you. To help you decide, here are five reasons the 2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse is a good choice for younger riders.

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1) The looks

2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse

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The Chief Bobber Dark Horse comes in three colors: Black Smoke, Titanium Smoke, and Sagebrush Smoke, all of which are cool in an understated way. Dark colors and blacked-out details ensure that the bike can match a wide array of outfits—not just leather vests. The engine itself, while already looking badass by virtue of being a big V-twin, has been painted black for maximum effect. Adding to the bobber’s big-bike stance are fat Pirelli Night Dragon tires.

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2) The engine

2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse

The powerplant here, designated the Thunderstroke 116, is a full-fat cruiser mill with a matching head-turning rumble. This 1,890cc air-cooled V-twin pumps out 91hp at 5,000rpm, which is capable but not exactly fast, though bikes like this were never meant for speed. What’s impressive is the 162.6Nm of torque available at 2,900rpm. With this much grunt found so low in the rev range, you won’t have any trouble overtaking on the highway despite the bike’s 315kg curb weight.

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3) The creature comforts

2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse

Historically, bobbers were cut-down cruisers with no rear suspension, no fenders, minimal features, and a generally uncomfortable riding experience. This ‘bobber’ however, is fully-equipped with front and rear fenders for both style and function, cleverly integrated rear suspension that soaks up bumps while preserving the hardtail look, and a whole host of modern amenities that make the bike comfier and easier to ride than its dedicated custom predecessors.

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4) The tech

2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse analog gauge

What looks like a classic analog gauge is actually a four-inch multifunction touchscreen. This pod can display the usual info like speed, gear position, and engine revolutions, but also allows for luxuries like turn-by-turn navigation and Bluetooth pairing. You can also switch between three riding modes: Tour, Standard, and Sport. Other convenient features include keyless ignition, cruise control, and a USB charging port.

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5) The riding position

2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse

Most bikes in the cruiser category are good for long rides, and the Chief Bobber Dark Horse is no different. The low 26-inch seat height means even shorter riders won’t have any trouble straddling the bike in traffic. Forward controls make for comfortable legs even on long stretches of highway, and a mini ape hanger handlebar lets you look cool while still giving you a good amount of control over the steering.

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NOTE: This article first appeared on . Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: Indian
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