Motorcycles

Indian announces rear cylinder deactivation on its Thunder Stroke touring bikes

Indian announces rear cylinder...
2019 Indian Springfield: ride it to places like this
2019 Indian Springfield: ride it to places like this
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2019 Indian Roadmaster: giant touch screen
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2019 Indian Roadmaster: giant touch screen
2019 Indian Roadmaster: turn by turn navigation and entertainment
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2019 Indian Roadmaster: turn by turn navigation and entertainment
2019 Indian Roadmaster: nicely laid out info screen
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2019 Indian Roadmaster: nicely laid out info screen
2019 Indian Roadmaster: options aplenty on the 7-inch touch screen
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2019 Indian Roadmaster: options aplenty on the 7-inch touch screen
2019 Indian Roadmaster: big ol' touring headlights should let you fry eggs at thirty paces
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2019 Indian Roadmaster: big ol' touring headlights should let you fry eggs at thirty paces
2019 Indian Roadmaster: increased airflow to the rider's legs through new adjustable lower fairings
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2019 Indian Roadmaster: increased airflow to the rider's legs through new adjustable lower fairings
2019 Indian Roadmaster: there it is, that classic fender shape
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2019 Indian Roadmaster: there it is, that classic fender shape
2019 Indian Roadmaster: the leatherwork on Indian bikes is next-level
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2019 Indian Roadmaster: the leatherwork on Indian bikes is next-level
2019 Indian Roadmaster: twin exhausts and panniers
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2019 Indian Roadmaster: twin exhausts and panniers
2019 Indian Roadmaster: the Thunder Stroke III motor
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2019 Indian Roadmaster: the Thunder Stroke III motor
2019 Indian Roadmaster: tank detail
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2019 Indian Roadmaster: tank detail
2019 Indian Roadmaster: long-range touring, motorcycle style
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2019 Indian Roadmaster: long-range touring, motorcycle style
2019 Indian Roadmaster
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2019 Indian Roadmaster
2019 Indian Chief Vintage: classic headlights
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2019 Indian Chief Vintage: classic headlights
2019 Indian Chief Vintage: leather saddlebags
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2019 Indian Chief Vintage: leather saddlebags
2019 Indian Chief Vintage: surely there's a social justice movement coming for this logo soon?
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2019 Indian Chief Vintage: surely there's a social justice movement coming for this logo soon?
2019 Indian Chief Vintage: huge front fender
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2019 Indian Chief Vintage: huge front fender
2019 Indian Chief Vintage: a saddle that looks like it'd be at home on a thoroughbred
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2019 Indian Chief Vintage: a saddle that looks like it'd be at home on a thoroughbred
2019 Indian Chief Vintage: there she is, the Thunder Stroke III
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2019 Indian Chief Vintage: there she is, the Thunder Stroke III
2019 Indian Chief Vintage: tank-mounted dash
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2019 Indian Chief Vintage: tank-mounted dash
2019 Indian Chief Vintage: tank detail
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2019 Indian Chief Vintage: tank detail
2019 Indian Chief Vintage: a pretty thing
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2019 Indian Chief Vintage: a pretty thing
2019 Indian Springfield: signature front fender
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2019 Indian Springfield: signature front fender
2019 Indian Springfield: I defy you not to get excited and touchy about this leatherwork
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2019 Indian Springfield: I defy you not to get excited and touchy about this leatherwork
2019 Indian Springfield: Thunder Stroke III engine
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2019 Indian Springfield: Thunder Stroke III engine
2019 Indian Springfield: tank detail
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2019 Indian Springfield: tank detail
2019 Indian Springfield: on the road
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2019 Indian Springfield: on the road
2019 Indian Springfield: off the road
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2019 Indian Springfield: off the road
2019 Indian Springfield: ride it to places like this
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2019 Indian Springfield: ride it to places like this

Indian Motorcycles has announced sweeping upgrades to its touring bike lineup for 2019. Chief and Springfield models will now get three ride modes and rear cylinder deactivation, and Roadmasters get beefed-up stereos and "the largest, fastest, most customizable touch screen infotainment system on two wheels."

Whopping great tourers aren't really my bag at this stage of life, but seeing Indian's bikes in the flesh is always impressive. The level of luxury finish and detail on these things is intoxicating, I can imagine owners getting very intimate with a cleaning cloth around the leathery and chromey areas in particular, they're very pretty things.

And now they're a little bit smarter. Indian has significantly upgraded the whole Thunder Stroke III family for 2019. Thunder Stroke, of course, being the name of the 111 cubic inch (1819 cc), 119 lb-ft (161 Nm), basso profundo v-twin motor they share. It's also what they used to call me back in my college days.

2019 Indian Springfield: Thunder Stroke III engine
2019 Indian Springfield: Thunder Stroke III engine

Thanks to fly-by-wire (coincidentally, the same name as another college trick of mine), the new Thunder Strokes get multiple riding modes. Tour, Standard and Sport, in this case, each with their own throttle mapping as you'd expect.

More interesting is the rear cylinder deactivation system, designed to combat excessive heat in stop-start traffic (after all, lord knows these battleships won't go in between lanes nearly as easily as smaller bikes). If the ol' Thunder Stroke's warmed up, and the ambient temperature is over 59 degrees Fahrenheit (that's 15 Celsius), then every time the bike comes to a standstill, the rear cylinder will cut out, letting the front one keep the motor spinning.

The instant you touch the throttle, the rear cylinder starts to fire again, putting full power at your disposal at all times but keeping heat under control and possibly saving you a bit of gas.

2019 Indian Roadmaster: long-range touring, motorcycle style
2019 Indian Roadmaster: long-range touring, motorcycle style

The new audio system (Roadmaster only) has been well thought out. Tweeters and midrange drivers have been separated for clarity, and a new dynamic equalizer changes the EQ of the sound, as well as the volume, depending on your speed. Effectively, it boosts the frequencies you start losing first as wind, road and the motor's Thunderous Stroking noise picks up. Nice touch!

And speaking of touches, the new Ride Command infotainment system looks like an absolute beast. It's a 7-inch, glove-compatible touchscreen handling navigation, Bluetooth, entertainment and a plethora of vehicle options.

2019 Indian Roadmaster: options aplenty on the 7-inch touch screen
2019 Indian Roadmaster: options aplenty on the 7-inch touch screen

The Thunder Stroke family also comes with some sweet mod-cons: keyless ignition, proper cruise control, ABS. In the case of the Roadmaster, there's now a set of adjustable lower fairings to channel extra airflow your way.

Pricing has also been announced. Here goes: the Chief Dark Horse starts at US$17,999. The Chief Vintage starts at US$19,999. The Springfield starts at US$20,000. The Springfield Dark Horse starts at US$21,499. And you're paying at least US$28,999 for the big daddy Roadmaster. Stroke on!

Source: Indian Motorcycles

2 comments
Lardo
And the best thing about these Indians... they ain't Harleys.
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Maybe motorcycles would make less noise, if they were using rotary engines, instead of piston engines?