The new for 2018 top-of-the-line Roadmaster Elite has a $37,000 starting price that might make you wonder if it’s painted with gold — and in fact, it is. We’ve already looked at (and happily ridden) the 2018 Indian Scout Bobber, a stripped-down, blacked-out version of the famed Scout that’s new for this model year. The other new 2018 Indian motorcycles include the Springfield Dark Horse model and the new Chieftain Classic.
We’ve included below all the information you need to choose one of the standard 2018 Indian motorcycles; the full lineup will be in dealership showrooms in September. But keep in mind that Indian loves limited edition special models. The company has done exceedingly well with limited edition models like its Jack Daniels collaborative editions, limited edition Chieftains, and Scout FTR750 flat track racing bikes.
Indian Vice President of Motorcycles Kevin Reilly told Digital Trends in early July that more limited-edition bikes definitely will be offered in the 2018 model year. Keep in mind the 50th anniversary of Burt Munro’s unbroken 1967 land speed record — Indian calls it the Spirit of Munro — we won’t be surprised to see a limited Munro Edition Scout. Indian’s continued success in the American Flat Track 2017 season might also inspire special editions. As mentioned in an update below, Indian showed a custom Scout FTR1200 at the world’s largest motorcycle show in Milan, possibly as a precursor to a special edition in 2018 or a 2019 production model.
News and Updates
Indian introduced a custom Scout FTR1200 at the EICMA 2017 event in Milan, Italy in November. The one-off bike will be shown at events worldwide through the end of 2018 to honor the Indian factory team’s sweep of the 2017 American Flat Track season. Indian Motorcycle also wants to judge public reaction to a potential street-legal version of the FTR750 track-only motorcycle ridden by Mees, Baker, and Smith.
Since Polaris bought and revived the Indian brand in 2013, the focus has been all about cruisers, baggers, and touring bikes. The incredibly strong opening season in flat track racing may give the company an earlier than expected chance to extend the brand to on-off road performance bikes, whether powered by 750cc engines or the Scout 1133cc engine already used with the Indian Scout and Scout Bobber.
Indian Motorcycle’s re-entry in American Flat Track Racing ended in a season sweep. The company not only tied up the Manufacturer’s Award for the 2017 season in August, but the Indian factory team also took top honors for the season. Jared Mees, Bryan Smith, and Brad Baker, aka the “Indian Wrecking Crew,” won 14 of the 18 races.
The trio took all three top spots on the winner’s podium in six races and captured 37 out of the total 54 podium spots in the season. Jared Mees, who placed first in 10 races and was on the podium 17 times, secured his fourth Grand National Championship. Smith and Baker came in second and third, respectively for the 2017 season.
Indian’s first AFT season in 63 years was an impressive comeback. The big season was also a nod to company founders George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom, two bicycle racers who in 1901 formed the company that became Indian Motorcycles specifically to create reliable racing motorcycles.
Indian Motorcycle Engines
All Indians are powered by what most consider large to huge V-twin engines. The smallest engine on what Indian refers to as its “mid-size” motorcycles is the Scout Sixty’s 61-cubic inch (999cc) 78 horsepower motor. The Indian Scout and Scout Bobber share a 69-cubic inch (1,133cc) 100 hp engine. Maximum torque hits at 65 lb-ft @ 5,800 RPM on the Scout Sixty and 72 lb-ft at 6,000 RPM on the Scout and Bobber.
The three Scout mid-size bikes have liquid cooling. The Scout Sixty engine has an 11.1:1 compression ratio and the Scout and Scout Bobber’s larger motor has a 10.7:1 ratio. Therefore it’s not surprising Indian recommends 91 octane fuel in the 3.3-gallon fuel tanks.
The remaining 2018 models use Indian’s Thunder Stroke 111-cubic inch (1,811cc) engine, air cooled for all Chieftain and Roadmaster models, which use a combination of air and oil cooling. Indian doesn’t release horsepower data for the big engine, but its maximum 119-pound-feet of torque is available at a low 3,000 RPM, which means full pulling power is available with a slight throttle twist. The big engine has a 9.5:1 compression ratio which might lead you to think 87-octane regular gas is fine, but the 2017 Indian owners manual still recommends 91-octane premium unleaded gas for the 5.5-gallon fuel tank.
Teched-up and blacked-out
Indian’s blacked-out Dark Horse models are obviously gaining traction: The lineup now includes Dark Horse Chief, Springfield, and Chieftain variants. There’s no Dark Horse Roadmaster yet, but the blacked-out Scout Bobber fits the description without the label.
Six 2018 Indian motorcycle models come standard with the latest version of the company’s Ride Command Infotainment System. This system is so far unparalleled on other motorcycles, although Harley-Davidson’s Boom! Box Infotainment system comes the closest. The Ride Command system has a 7-inch, high resolution, multitouch, squeezable interface screen with a fast 10-second-from-key-on response time. Other infotainment features include a unique split screen display, turn-by-turn GPS navigation with up to 100 way points for custom routes, and a premium audio system.
The Indian Chieftain Classic, Chieftain Dark Horse, Chieftain Limited, and Roadmaster Classic have 100-watt audio integrated with the Ride Command system with AM/FM, Bluetooth, and USB input. The Roadmaster bumps the power up to 200 watts and the Roadmaster Elite pumps 300-watts of sound.
2018 Indian mid-size bikes
The three Scout versions share most physical and mechanical features except for their engines and transmissions. The Scout variants’ 999cc and 1,133cc engines are small for Indian, but high-middle or top of the range for other brands. The Scout Sixty uses the 999cc engine with a 5-speed transmission. The Scout and Scout Bobber share the 1,133cc engine and 6-speed transmission.
Indian Scout Sixty
The new Scout Sixty is mechanically identical to the 2017 model. There are two new colors, Polished Bronze and Thunder Black over Titanium Metallic. ABS is available only with specific colors, as with the Scout and Scout Bobber. Here’s the Scout Sixty breakdown: Without ABS, Thunder Black ($9,000) and Polished Bronze ($9,500). With ABS, Scout Sixty’s are available in Indian Motorcycle Red ($10,000) and Thunder Black over Titanium Metallic ($10,500).
The 2018 Scout has new performance, functional, and style features. The Scout now comes with standard cartridge fork front suspension, Pirelli tires, a leather passenger pillion seat, and foot pegs, and it comes in two new colors: Metallic Jade and Willow Green over Ivory Cream. The Scout has a $200 starting price increase this year. Color and ABS combinations include Thunder Black with no ABS ($11,500), Metallic Jade without ABS ($12,000), Burgundy Metallic with ABS ($12,500), Willow Green over Ivory Cream with ABS ($13,000), and Brilliant Blue over White with ABS ($13,000).
Indian Scout Bobber
The 2018 Indian Scout Bobber is a new entry this year, bringing a blacked-out, stripped down look with rider foot pegs moved back 1.5-inches from Indian’s usual more cruiser-style forward placement. The Bobber has tracker handlebars, blacked out wheels, knobby tires, and a 1-inch lowered suspension. The Bobber is available without ABS in four colors: Thunder Black ($11,500), Star Silver Smoke ($12,000), Bronze Smoke ($12,000), and Indian Motorcycle Red ($12,000). If you want a Bobber with ABS, it only comes in Thunder Black Smoke ($12,500). “Smoke” for Indian Motorcycles means a matte, unglossy finish.
|Model||Scout Sixty||Scout||Scout Bobber|
|Displacement||60ci / 999cc||69ci / 1,133cc||69ci / 1,133cc|
|Max horsepower||78@7,200 RPM||100@8,100 RPM||100@8,100 RPM|
|Max torque (lb-ft)||65 @5,800 RPM||72@6,000 RPM||72@6,000 RPM|
|ABS brakes||Optional with color choice||Optional with color choice||Optional with color choice|
|Seat height (inches, laden)||25.3||25.3||25.6|
|Wheels front/rear (inches)||16/16||16/16||16/16|
|Dry weight (pounds)||524||528||533|
2018 Indian cruisers
Indian’s three cruiser bikes are full-sized motorcycles indistinguishable from the seven the company identifies as “baggers,” with one difference: the cruisers don’t come standard with saddlebags or panniers. The cruisers, like the baggers and touring bikes, share the Thunder Stroke 111 49-degree V-twin engine and six-speed transmission. All Chiefs have ABS brakes, regardless of the bike’s color. If you wish you can outfit your Chief with bags and a windshield, but they aren’t included as standard equipment.
Indian Chief Dark Horse
The Indian Chief Dark Horse comes in one color — matte-black — with a $17,500 starting price. The Dark Horse has a keyless ignition and blacked out detailing throughout, with bare touches of chrome accents. Like all Chiefs, the Dark Horse has valanced front and rear fenders. The Chief Dark Horse has what Indian describes as a “sinister” look.
The standard 2018 Indian Chief comes in Steel Gray only for $18,500, or $1,000 more than the Chief Dark Horse. The regular Chief has more chrome than the Dark Horse version and adds cruise control, otherwise, they are identical. Like the Dark Horse, the Chief has 16-inch cast wheels.
Indian Chief Classic
The 2018 Indian Chief Classic at $19,500 is $1,000 more than the 2017 version. The Chief Classic is differentiated from the Classic and Dark Horse with white wall tires, wire wheels, and chrome hand controls. The Chief Classic looks a little more retro than the other cruisers, but its handsome Burgundy Metallic paint contrasts well with the massive chromed components.
|Model||Chief Dark Horse||Chief||Chief Classic|
|Displacement||111ci / 1,811cc||111ci / 1,811cc||111ci / 1,811cc|
|Max torque (lb-ft)||119@3,000 RPM||119@3,000 RPM||119@3,000 RPM|
|Seat height (inches, laden)||26||26||26|
|Wheels front/rear (inches)||16/16||16/16||16/16|
|Dry weight (pounds)||745||745||758|
2018 Indian baggers
Indian has more motorcycles that it calls “baggers” in its 2018 lineup than in any other category. The defining feature is the presence of saddle bags, either leather — with or without fringe — or hardcase double rear storage compartments. Three design families are represented in Indian’s bagger lineup: one Chief, two Springfields, and four Chieftains.
Indian Chief Vintage
The 2018 Indian Chief Vintage, unlike the other Chief models, has standard leather seats and saddlebags and a quick-release windshield. The Vintage has whitewall tires and spoked wheels. If you want both an around town cruiser and a highway-ready touring bike, the Chief Vintage changes its look significantly by adding or removing the windshield. The Chief Vintage is available in Thunder Black for $20,000. For $21,000 you can choose between Sky Blue over Pearl White, Star Silver over Thunder Black, or Willow Green over Ivory Cream.
With its $21,000 starting price unchanged from 2017, the Indian Springfield has new colors this year. The Springfield has quick-release remote-locking hard-side saddlebags, a quick release windshield, highway bar, keyless ignition, tire-pressure monitoring, and ABS. Color choices are Thunder Black ($21,000), Metallic Jade over Thunder Black ($22,100), and Steel Gray over Burgundy Metallic ($22,100).
Indian Springfield Dark Horse
The Springfield Dark Horse, in matte black with black gloss detailing, is a new model for 2018 with the same $21,000 starting price as the Springfield. Unlike the Springfield, which has a valanced front fender over a 16-inch cast wheel, the Dark Horse version has an open fender with a 19-inch, ten-spoke front wheel. The Dark Horse’s standard features include quick-release windshield and remote-locking hard saddlebags, tire pressure monitoring, keyless ignition, cruise control, and a highway bar. If you like the Springfield look but prefer a more blacked-out look, stop here.
Last year’s Indian Chieftain started at $24,000, but for 2018 the opening price is $21, 500 in one color, Steel Gray. Last year’s valanced front fender and 16-inch wheel are gone, replaced by a 19-inch wheel and an open fender. The Chieftain has a power windshield with driving lights, ABS, cruise control, keyless ignition, highway bar, hard-sided saddlebags, and standard 7-inch “glove-compatible” infotainment system with 100-watt audio, AM/FM, Bluetooth and USB input, and loads of screens for vehicle data. Navigation isn’t included but you can upgrade to the Ride Command System that’s included on the other Chieftains and the Roadmaster models.
Indian Chieftain Dark Horse
For 2018 the Indian Chieftain Dark Horse has a $2,000 price increase, with its starting cost now $24,000. The new Dark Horse model now comes standard with the fully loaded Ride Command infotainment system that includes turn-by-turn directions and a maximum 100 customizable way points to set up your own routes. The 2018 model’s new open front fender and 19-inch ten-spoke blacked out wheel complete the new model year upgrade.
Indian Chieftain Classic
Priced the same as the Chieftain Dark Horse at $24,000, the Chieftain Classic in Thunder Black has a more traditional look with a valanced front fender, 16-inch wheels, and a leather seat with fringe. Otherwise, the Chieftain Classic’s equipment list is the same as the Dark Horse, including the Ride Command infotainment system.
Indian Chieftain Limited
At the top of the Chieftain model line up, the Chieftain Limited starts at $24,500 in Thunder Black. The biggest differences between the Chieftain Classic and Limited models are the Limited’s contrast cut 19-inch front wheel with an open front fender. The Chieftain Limited is also available in White Smoke or Brilliant Blue for a $25, 000 starting price or Thunder Black Pearl with Graphics or Bronze Smoke with Graphics with a starting price of $25,700.
|Model||Chief Vintage||Springfield Dark Horse||Springfield||Chieftain||Chieftain Dark Horse||Chieftain Classic||Chieftain Limited|
|Displacement||111ci / 1,811cc||111ci / 1,811cc||111ci / 1,811cc||111ci / 1,811cc||111ci / 1,811cc||111ci / 1,811cc||111ci / 1,811cc|
|Max torque (lb-ft)||119@3,000 RPM||119@3,000 RPM||119@3,000 RPM||119@3,000 RPM||119@3,000 RPM||119@3,000 RPM||119@3,000 RPM|
|Seat height (inches, laden)||26||26||26||26||26||26||26|
|Wheels front/rear (inches)||16/16||19/16||16/16||19/16||19/16||16/16||19/16|
|Dry weight (pounds)||818||794||818||785||802||820||802|
2018 Indian touring bikes
No one will every mistake a 2018 Indian Roadmaster model for an around-town cruiser. With its large rear trunk, in either leather or hard-side, rider and passenger floorboards, and a high passenger seat with backrest, it’s clear the Roadmasters are ready for long, open road trips.
Indian Roadmaster Classic
The Indian Roadmaster Classic may be the motorcycle most people associate with the brand on looks alone. The Roadmaster Classic is the least expensive version of the big, heavy touring bikes with loads of fringe flying from the tan leather saddlebags and matching but un-fringed leather trunk and seat. If you want to go there, a fringed seat is available.
Less obvious to onlookers, but more appreciated by riders and passengers, all Roadmasters come standard with heated rider and passenger seats and heated hand grips. The Classic has the fully equipped Ride Command Infotainment system with a 100-watt premium audio setup. This year the Roadmaster is available in Indian Motorcycle Red at a $27,000 starting price and Willow Green over Ivory Cream for a $28,000 starting price. Both colors come with tan leather seats, saddlebags, and trunk.
The 2018 Roadmaster looks like a modern version of the Roadmaster Classic. The remote-locking saddlebags and trunk are hard-sided. Otherwise, the equipment list is the same as the Classic, except for a bumped up 200-watt premium audio system. Starting prices for the 2018 Roadmaster depend on the colors. Thunder Black starts at $29,000, Burgundy Metallic at $29,600, and either Polished Bronze over Thunder Black or Pearl White over Star Silver begin at $30,400.
Indian Roadmaster Elite
Remember the gold-paint? Here we go. The new ultra-premium 2018 Roadmaster Elite starts at $37,000 and comes in one color combination, Cobalt Candy over Black Crystal, but we’ll get to the paint job in a minute.
In addition to everything else that comes standard on the Roadmaster, the Elite version packs the Ride Command infotainment system with a 300-watt premium audio setup, passenger armrests, billet aluminum passenger and driver floorboards, pinnacle style mirrors, and a premium touring console with gauges and controls on the top center of the gas tank.
The two-tone candy paint job is individually hand-finished and requires more than 30 hours of work. Real 23K gold leaf badging is hand applied to the tank and lower engine components.
|Model||Roadmaster Classic||Roadmaster||Roadmaster Elite|
|Max torque (lb-ft)||119@3,000 RPM||119@3,000 RPM||119@3,000 RPM|
|Seat height (inches, laden)||26.5||26.5||26.5|
|Wheels front/rear (inches)||16/16||16/16||16/16|
|Dry weight (pounds)||861||897||921|
Updated with information about the custom Scout FTR1200 launched at EICMA 2017 in Milan in November 2017.