Riders in hot climates should appreciate the cool, new Indian Chief.
Indian Motorcycles product manager Gary Gray from the USA told Australian media at the first ride of the bikes in the Tweed Coast that the bike has been tested in their environmental chamber up to 50C as well as down to -40C.
“Heat was a big issue and a lot of research went into this,” he says.
Gary says big V-twin engines pump out a lot of heat on to the rider and they wanted to ensure the bike operated well and was comfortable to ride in hot conditions.
We rode the bikes in moderate temperatures in the high 20s today in slow traffic and on the open road.
While I was impressed by how cool the engine feels on your legs, the rear cylinder head is so close to your crotch it can’t help but make life a bit uncomfortable. The heat remains until you reach speeds over 60km/h.
Measures taken to reduce radiating heat include a ceramic coating on the header pipe, lots of engine cooling fins, double-layer valve covers and locating the oil cooler up front.
“It’s a pretty cool package; excuse the pun,” Gary says.
Harley-Davidson has approached the problem of heat in its 2014 Electra Glide Ultra full dresser by hiding small radiators in the lower shrouds to cool the heads, which are the hottest part.
None of the Chief range has a lower fairing where a radiator can be hidden.
“We thought about liquid-cooling but you have to package a radiator and it adds complexity,” Gary says.
“Customers didn’t want it.”
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