2014 Indian "Thunder Stroke" 111 V-Twin

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Hughlysses, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. tree88

    tree88 Been here awhile

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    I bought my vintage in November, It now has 5700 miles on it. I began having issues with the engine at around 4000 miles. The valvetrain always a bit "talkative"- but nothing I would consider excessive, think EVO sportster. At 4K, when the engine would get hot, the rear exhaust rocker arm started getting louder and louder. The front joined the party at around 4300 miles. I dropped it off at the dealer a couple times, but the tech couldn't reproduce the condition (usually takes about 30 miles or so at highway speeds- pretty good chunk of time). Volume of the valvetrain seemed to increase daily. It also began to run really hot at idle- hot enough that the pipes glow if it sits still running for more than three minutes. Both the exhaust heat shields have the chrome heavily discolored because of this. It also began to misfire and idle really low when hot (less than 600 rpm). After I got the 5k service done (and being admittedly frustrated when they told me they couldn't reproduce the condition), I rode it in there hot, and rapping away. The tech stopped what he was doing to take it out, and asked that I leave it- which I did. He said he had heard it, and it was definitely not normal- so he filed an "ask polaris" case.

    Fast forward two weeks- The tech finally gets an answer- basically that it hasn't failed or locked up so if I want it fixed, it will be on my dime unless I can prove that any component is defective. The polaris tech then went on to chide the service tech and myself stating that (i am paraphrasing) "V twin engines produce heat and noise" and that "he was unable to change those characteristics"- as if neither the dealer tech, nor myself had any experience with motorcycles. I have been riding on V twins for decades. This thing is louder than a shovelhead with bad rockers when its hot. It does not sound like a 20k motorcycle, it sounds like an impending failure. The thought of the motor losing power on my daily commute (40 miles, one way on the interstate in heavy, fast moving traffic) or locking up is not a pleasant one (and possibly could be a terminal one). This is not what I consider good customer service from polaris.

    I spoke with the owner of the dealership Saturday, he agrees with his tech and myself that the noise is not normal. He said he is going to attempt to go another route to get a polaris tech out to listen to my bike, and if need be, fix it out of his own pocket. Like I said, the dealership I purchased it from has been great to work with, but other dealers may not be as accommodating. So while I can (and do) wholeheartedly endorse Indian of Fort Hood, I cannot say the same for polaris at this point. A warranty is worthless if they put the the burden of proving a mechanical failure on the customer's dime. The noise, heat, and misfiring should be an indication that there is something amiss- I should not be required to ride it until it completely fails (see also; the scene of the crash) before they are willing to stand behind their product.

    With all of that being said- If you're planning on a purchase, ride several, buy the quietest one. I have two friends who also ride Indians- both their bikes were MUCH quieter than mine ever was, so it isn't all of them. Get to know your dealer, as they may be the only ones willing to stand behind the product.
  2. Gas Hog

    Gas Hog Two Wheel Fanatic

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    I have a bunch of pics from their spread at Bike Week, just not processed yet. This will have to tide you over.
    MariusD likes this.
  3. ARiderX

    ARiderX Long timer

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    That must be the ugliest, tackiest thing on three wheels I have ever seen. Hello 80's theme custom paint! :)
  4. Gas Hog

    Gas Hog Two Wheel Fanatic

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    Ugly..tacky.. you need to come on down to Bike Week we can redefine your boundary's..:photog
  5. MooMoo

    MooMoo Been here awhile

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    Hey tree88,
    Man I hope that dealer takes care of you.
    Are you in the Army? I was at Ft. Hood in '88-'89. I worked at West Ft. Hood in the 1st Cav, 227 Aviation Battalion. I believe West Ft. Hood is a community airport now.

    Chris
  6. New Mexico Boondocker

    New Mexico Boondocker Roaming Super Supporter

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    I hope you get it sorted out. I read about the "ticking" over on the Indian forum from several users. I will keep watching the thread to see how yours turns out. By the way, I really like the Vintage - power, looks, pure motorcycling experience. What I don't like is the spoked wheels are tubed and I don't think the bike looks right without the spoked wheels. I like to ride solo and want to self rescue whenever possible. Having a flat on that beast means a tow even if I have the tube. That is my biggest hangup with the bike unless I pulled the wheels and had them sealed.

    Good luck with the engine. Keep us posted.
  7. alekkas

    alekkas Long timer

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    Maybe - ok, certainly. But, I bet, in person, you could spend a lot of time checking out the detail and marveling at the work (if, of course, it is well done). I also bet, If I saw that parked, I'd have a conversation with the owner. Meet lots of nice folks that way.
  8. tree88

    tree88 Been here awhile

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    Got medically retired, decided to stay. Robert Gray airfield/ Killeen airport are indeed one and the same, although west fort hood remains a military installation. I do too, would hate to end up with a 20k lawn ornament.
  9. TheHeretic

    TheHeretic Been here awhile

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    Tree88, that seems to unfortunately be Polaris' MO when it comes to warranty issues. I own 2 Polaris ATV's and spend a lot of time on the ATV forums. I've not had any issues but many have and got the same song and dance you are getting. Makes me hesitant to consider one of their street motorcycles.
    quint7 likes this.
  10. MariusD

    MariusD Long timer

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    Victory Owners report the same kind of run around when they have issues. It's all one company under one regime with all the same mentality across their brands.

    And it's sad... because I love both Indian and Victory motorcycles, but it does make me pause to think before dropping top dollar for a new bike.

    Thank goodness my Vic has been stone reliable thus far, which is also a very common Victory owners experience, and of course a great thing!
    quint7 likes this.
  11. vicster

    vicster Long timer

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    Sorry to hear about your issue, Tree88, but can't say I'm surprised with the difficulty you're facing with Polaris.
    I've remarked on this site and others that as a long time Victory owner I was going to be interested in how Polaris was going to treat their Indian customers. In my case it's like I said to my Victory dealer when we were trying (unsuccessfully) to get a correctly functioning gas gauge on my XCT - I went into it knowing once I bought the bike Victory corporate was an enemy.
    I certainly hope your case is an isolated one and that Polaris learns their penny pinching combative ways aren't the way to successfully market a premium product long term.
    quint7 likes this.
  12. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    Hey guys. Y'all being too tough on Polaris. After all, how is Polaris going to meet their profit goals if they have to mess with all these warranty issues?

    :rolleyes


    :D
  13. tree88

    tree88 Been here awhile

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    lol, funny. In my mind it makes more financial sense to fix your issues, and retain a customer- than it does to run off market share (for bikes, parts, accessories, and apparel) in the name of saving a couple hundred bucks.
  14. 2tallnwide

    2tallnwide Long timer

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    Just curious if you've posted this issue on IMRG, or heard of any others with this problem?
  15. tree88

    tree88 Been here awhile

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    I have it on the indian motorcycle forum, quite a few over there with noise complaints, but I seem to be the only one with a bike attempting a chernobyl impression. I am of the mind that it was just a bad day in the wigwam when my motor was built, as the others I have heard were no noisier than an evo- and none ran as hot.
  16. 2tallnwide

    2tallnwide Long timer

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    Thanks for the reply, I have a couple of friends with new Indians, one of them is on that board all the time. When I was contemplating trading the '13 RGU for a Roadmaster several of the road tests said it was a scorcher as well. One even said it felt like riding a lit Webber grill down the road. As it turned out Harley released the '16 RGU last year, I took a test ride, and got it instead.

    Hope they make the bike right for you, been down that road a couple of times too. Honda ended up making it right, Suzuki failed miserably. :baldy

    .
  17. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be Supporter

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    Hope it all works out for you in the end. The warranty on my Indian has been incredible. They have replaced things that I just questioned with out asking it to be covered. I have 7,500 on mine so far and all is well and quite. I have had the dealer do all the performance upgrades with the exception of the air cleaner. Runs strong and is a pleasure to ride.

    I really hope you issue is taken care of, that is unacceptable to be concerned with engine troubles in this day and age of technology. Keep us upto date on how it turns out.
  18. TannerLdJ123

    TannerLdJ123 Been here awhile

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    Not if the CEO intends to collect his bonus and leave the company before the impact of dissatisfied customers is felt. It is a tried-and-true strategy in the corp world
  19. Scooterdoodler

    Scooterdoodler Long timer

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    I'm on my second Indian in ten months, the first was a 2015 red Chief Classic that I rode for 6700 miles before trading it in for a 2016 Vintage about two weeks ago.

    Due to a spat of wintery weather here recently, I don't have more than 150 miles on the new bike, but experienced only one minor glitch with the 2015 early on with the ignition fob. I prefer my bikes without fairings or windshields or anything else that blocks airflow and have never felt anything I would call excessive heat from their engines, nor any unusual noises.
  20. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    " Not if the CEO intends to collect his bonus and leave the company before the impact of dissatisfied customers is felt. It is a tried-and-true strategy in the corp world."



    A delayed bonus plan helps to avoid this ploy. In other words, your first two years are bonus free, then on the completion of your third year you are Performance Reviewed on the IMPACT of your first year, or three years ago. It continues onward annually in the same fashion.

    After all, CEO's are supposed to focus on the long term growth and stability of the organization, not the day-to-day running of it. Others are paid to do that. When / if the CEO leaves the company, the Bonus - under the same guidelines - continues on for three years as a severence package.