Some motorcycles are practically made to be upgraded. Much like the Honda Civic in the auto world, bikes such as the Triumph Bonneville are just begging for you to pimp out the headlamp, turn signals, mirrors, handlebars and more. On the other end of the spectrum, though, is Indian’s latest release: the Challenger. This all-new American bagger is easily one of the most feature-laden stock bikes money can buy.
Along with all the amenities we’ve come to expect from a top-line touring bike — think electronic cruise control, full LED lighting, ABS, keyless ignition and spacious weatherproof saddlebags — the new Challenger is jammed with outstanding features that have us stoked to give it a test ride.
First, the bike features the all-new Indian PowerPlus engine, the brand’s first liquid-cooled large-displacement motor. This 1,800cc, 60-degree V-twin delivers 122 horsepower and 128 ft-lbs of torque. The six-speed transmission boasts a true overdrive, three ride modes (Rain, Standard and Sport) that customize the bike’s throttle mapping, as well as clutch assist to make shifting a breeze.
Second, the Challenger’s Ride Command display is the biggest we’ve seen. (Looking at the promo video, we’re surprised the rider isn’t using it to catch up on Succession.) The seven-inch touchscreen comes complete with glove-touch tech, a speedy quad-core processor, Bluetooth pairing, turn-by-turn navigation and two years of connected services covering weather and traffic overlays. We’ve had issues with Ride Command’s navigation in the past, but we’re optimistic some of the kinks have been resolved for this ambitious release.
Third, two variants of the base model, the Limited and the Dark Horse, boast the brand’s intuitive Smart Lean Technology. This system teams a Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit with dynamic traction control, ABS and drag torque control to help you keep the rubber down and the shiny side up.
Indian offers loads of options for all three variants of the Challenger, but even at the standard levels, the aforementioned features make for a state-of-the-art bagger right out of the box. Factor in the alluringly clean lines and eye-popping interplay of paint, leather and chrome, and most buyers won’t be itching to change a damn thing.
Pricing for the base 2020 Indian Challenger, available in Titanium Metallic paint, starts at $21,999. The Challenger Dark Horse, available in Thunder Black Smoke, Sandstone Smoke and White Smoke, starts at $27,499. And the Challenger Limited, available in Thunder Black Pearl, Deepwater Metallic, and Ruby Metallic, starts at $27,999.
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