To celebrate its 120-year legacy, Indian Motorcycle is rolling out a new limited-edition bike.  The new machine is called the Chieftain Elite.  Indian says their newest elite machine is an “ultra-premium” bike.   Making the bike more exclusive is its limited production run of only 120 bikes.

Chieftain Elite standard equipment

The list of standard equipment on the Chieftain Elite is significant.  Each machine sports a wide variety of “premium amenities including full Pathfinder LED lighting, a tinted flare windshield with push-button power, aluminum select floorboards, and an integrated 400-watt PowerBand audio system.  Standard features include ABS, keyless ignition, tire pressure monitoring, as well as weatherproof and remote-locking saddlebags with more than 18 gallons of storage.

Chieftain Elite

Some of the Chieftain Elite’s premium finishes and appointments.

The bike has what Indian says is easy to use technology.  Each bike features a seven-inch “Ride Command” infotainment system.  Using connected services, riders can view weather and traffic overlays.  The system also has Apple CarPlay with “an easier, more customized level of control for music, navigation preferences, and mobile device information.”

According to Vice President of Indian Motorcycle, Reid Wilson, the bike’s craftsmanship is second to none:

“We designed the Chieftain Elite for riders who want to turn heads and stand out without sacrificing performance or comfort.  The bike’s attention to detail and world-class craftsmanship is second-to-none, while its extreme exclusivity makes it something truly special to own and ride.”

Premium paint

Indian says that each Chieftain Elite is painted by hand and undergoes a meticulous paint process.  From start to finish, it takes more than 24 hours to complete.  The extra time and attention to detail are evident.  The bike’s gunmetal flake layered in the paint and the slate smoke engine finishes are premium quality.  Giving the bike a commanding presence is the machine’s streamlined fairing, slammed saddlebags, lowered suspension, and 19-inch machined front wheel with an open front fender.

Chieftain Elite

The 2021 Chieftain Elite is Indian’s Most Exclusive Elite model.

Although the bike is already exclusive, owners can still personalize their Chieftain Elite with other Indian accessories.  Riders will be able to choose from a variety of handlebars, seats, a low profile sissy bar, and backrest pad as well as a color-matched remote locking trunk and color-matched lower fairings with adjustable air vents.

Thunderstroke 116 engine

Of course, the Chieftain Elite comes with Indian’s most powerful engine, the Thunderstroke 116.  It delivers a claimed 126 lb-ft of torque.  You moderate that power using the bike’s three ride modes; Tour, Standard, and Sport.  Indian says that each mode has a specific application in mind, resulting in one motorcycle with three distinct personalities.

And, for those times you are in slow traffic, the engine has a rear cylinder deactivation mode.  Indian says that it improves rider comfort when moving through slower traffic.

But if you want more performance than the stock Thunderstroke 116, Indian offers both a Stage 1 and Stage 2 performance kit.

According to Indian:

Riders looking for performance accessories can explore Indian Motorcycle’s Thunderstroke 116 Stage 1 and Stage 2 offerings.  The Stage 1 slip-on exhaust kit and Stage 1 oval slip on muffler kit deepens the exhaust note while unleashing power.  By pairing the Thunderstroke 1 Stage 1 performance air intake or Thunderstroke high-flow air intake with the exhaust or muffler kits, riders will increase horsepower by 8%.  For the ultimate in Thunderstroke performance, riders can continue their performance enhancements by adding the Thunderstroke Stage 2 performance cams kit.

Another feature of the Thunderstroke 116 is its rear cylinder deactivation mode.  Indian says that it improves rider comfort when moving through slower traffic.


The Indian Chieftain Elite is available now at Indian Motorcycle dealers.  If you want premium attributes and exclusivity, you’re going to have to pay for it.  Pricing for the Chieftain Elite starts at $34,999 ($42,999 in Canada).

All photo credit: Indian Motorcycle

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