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Basem Wasef

This Torquey Air-Cooled V-Twin Will Power the 2014 Indian Motorcycles Lineup

By March 13, 2013

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Indian Engine

Wondering what will power Indian Motorcycles when their all-new bikes debut later this year? Wonder no more and behold the Thunder Stroke 111 V-Twin, an air-cooled motor that appears to target (and slightly exceed) the specs of Harley-Davidson's biggest engine, the Twin Cam 110 found in H-D's CVO lineup.

Indian says the air-cooled and fuel-injected 49 degree twin accumulated over 1 million miles of dynamometer and on-road testing, and that the development process also involved reviewing historical documentation, dissecting classic Indians, and riding a slew of old bikes. This 111 cubic inch (1,811cc) two valve-per-cylinder, pushrod-actuated engine's specs are robust: it produces more than 115 lb-ft of torque (versus Harley's 112 lb-ft figure) while running a 9.5:1 compression ratio on premium fuel. A wet clutch manages power to a 6-speed transmission with overdrive, and final drive comes courtesy a carbon fiber reinforced belt.

Indian Spirit of Munro

This Burt Munro tribute streamliner was commissioned commissioned by Indian and built by Jeb's Metal and Speed Shop to showcase the mill, another signal that Polaris, Indian's corporate parents, are putting a concerted effort into hyping the upcoming Indian lineup.

But as with most things bike-related, the final analysis won't come until we've laid eyes on, thrown a leg over, and ridden what will essentially become the only American motorcycle manufacturer to challenge Harley-Davidson. Can Indian steal a big enough slice of the pie to make a dent against the Motor Company? Wait and see; I'm looking forward to reporting more on this upcoming battle of the two-wheeled titans.


Photos Indian; click to enlarge

March 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm
(1) Franklin says:

Awesome! Looks vintage. I have a 2011 Victory Vegas Jackpot that I wouldn’t give up fro anything…until I saw this engine. I WANT ONE!

March 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm
(2) Scottie says:

Great looking engine. I know these bikes are expensive, but this motor is beautiful.

March 13, 2013 at 4:14 pm
(3) Joe says:

I agree, cool looking motor. Problem with Indian is price, not many can afford $40k for a bike.

March 13, 2013 at 6:53 pm
(4) Mike Hannan says:

Sorry, it’s hard to get excited with a push-rod, air cooled engine. Especially when they have gone out of their way to make it look like a flat-head. At face value this is just another contender in the nostalgia niche. In the long run it will be a trip to nowhere.

I have a ’19 Powerplus and a ’44 Chief so I get the original bikes. But, this is 2013. Why make the engine look like a model last produced in 1954?

Maybe I’m just getting old.


March 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm
(5) FrankG says:

I have to agree with you Mike…
And if I want to buy American i would get a Buell for that price or even the new Motus and still have a little change in my pocket…
Getting tired of all this vintage look thing…

March 13, 2013 at 7:42 pm
(6) P Ridgway says:

I’m a lottery winner i’m going to buy two ! and a moto Guzzi and a Ducati and few others Yee Haw !!!

March 13, 2013 at 8:30 pm
(7) AL-G says:

Harley has been too greedy for many years.
They even forced their own dealers to expand more than they could afford to, causing some of those dealers to go out of business.If they did go under…. I surely wouldn’t miss their overpriced $35.00 T-shirts!

Anyway…..I think it’s time for Indian to take it’s place!

March 14, 2013 at 4:17 am
(8) Willie says:

Makes me wonder why we aren’t riding horses any more. I suppose it’s because we can’t paint and chrome them :-)

March 14, 2013 at 10:12 am
(9) Pete says:

AL…I believe it was Joe who comments the Indian is $40k…and you said H-D is greedy?!
Sure…the nostlagia meter is off the charts visually, but $40 grand for a design that was outdated 20 years ago??!!
Not a chance…and that would include a lottery win.

March 14, 2013 at 11:45 am
(10) Rider says:

YOU KNOW, I don`t agree with Joe toooo muck—But $40,000, is a bit toooo much. I can get two or three good bikes for that price. They are going to price their self out of business.

March 18, 2013 at 9:58 am
(11) dabber says:

I’ve had HD and Victory’s, I would love to see something not retro nostalgic going forward. HD had a chance with the V rod motor to do something fantastic, but instead made it a bar hopper. Now Indian with this. Victory is more modern cruiser. Don’t like the missed opportunity. But to each his own. Someone out there thinks this is a home run!!

March 30, 2013 at 9:32 am
(12) Todd says:

Hey, nice S&S Wedge Motor ;(

May 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm
(13) Jake says:

People, have you read up at all on what Polaris plans to do with the Indian brand? Obviously not! They are coming out with all new models, new looks, new dealers and requirements. I think they have the right idea and the pricing will most likely fall right in line with HD and Victory! Indian finally has the backing, technology, staffing etc … to succeed. I think you will all be surprised by what’s to come! Just my 2 cents

May 10, 2013 at 10:10 am
(14) Jim Morrison says:

When bikes are costing more than cars I think were crazy for buying
them in the first place. As for polaris I wish them best. Thanks for
giving us more american options.

May 15, 2013 at 3:04 pm
(15) Monk Doug says:

Buy stock in Polaris. This is a long term deal and in the future you will see much sportier Indian bikes. I agree that the moter design is for nostalgia only and yes it is a remodeld S and S moter nothing new their. I had a 47 cheif and a 43 Scout I choped both of them back in the early 70′s and the Cheif stock or choped was the worst handeling motorcycel I ever had. But as good as Polaris is at makeing motor cycels I think that this will be a go just keep old Arlin Ness’s hands off of this Monk Doug

May 15, 2013 at 10:16 pm
(16) Rider says:


July 5, 2013 at 11:44 pm
(17) K.Carpenter says:

I just saw the video about the 2014 Chief. According to Indian the bike will start at $18,999.00. I guess we will have to wait and see.

July 31, 2013 at 5:29 pm
(18) ole fat white guy says:

I own a victory veags with a set of stage ones on its a bad ass bike I owned 5 different Harleys I think there great but there comes a time when you don’t feel like following the crowd (a ride home from work in summer and you see as many as 40 Harleys) all I can say about it is go indian give us more choices

August 7, 2013 at 11:23 am
(19) Breeze says:

I like it. I would like to see them come out a Dyna style bike though

August 7, 2013 at 11:33 am
(20) Barry Curtis says:

The new ndian is not $40,000 but $20,000. They have three models with one about 18,000 and the most expensive model starting at $22,000. those prices are competive with most other large displacement bikes out there.

February 17, 2014 at 8:53 am
(21) Vince says:

Polaris will do just fine as far as nostalgia that sells otherwise Harley would never make it. I have never owned a Harley and would never buy one. I have always owned honda but just purchased an indian because that is the bike I have been waiting for nostalgia meets technology. Do I think they could have done more yes but you can’t do everything in two years. No offense to anyonebike or bikers but there isn’t that many victories riding otherwise Polaris wouldn’t have bought indian.

March 18, 2014 at 7:38 pm
(22) wreny says:

wow a lot of knockers only time will tell love indians old and new own a couple with a gilroy chief and absolutely fantastic bike in australia any indian is a head turner wont sell my 2002 chief but prob will update later at first was not that excited but after looking at the final polaris product a nice looking machine well done polaris all the best rather push my indian than ride a jap cruiser

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