Indian to challenge Harley’s Road Glide?

Indian apollo raptor

Indian Motorcycle looks like it could be throwing down a challenge to Harley-Davidson’s popular Road Glide tourer with a fixed-fairing model.

A reader whose name has been withheld has provided us with these spy photos showing a heavily disguised Indian.

The fairing is quite obviously fixed to the frame, rather than the forks.

On the Road Glide it makes the steering lighter and provides more highway stability with less turbulence-induced weave.

It’s also quite big and ugly!

“I think this is the HD Road Glide killer,” the reader says.

New engine?Indian Challenge

The images also show what looks like a different engine to the current 111ci Thunderstroke.

Our reader who supplied the photos believes it’s a quad-valve water-cooled engine which was originally developed as the Victory Freedom V2 engine before Polaris axed the brand.

“I believe the engine capacity is less than 111ci but has more power/torque,” he says.

“There is a rumour that this bike is smaller and lighter than the Thunderstroke bikes.”

The images also show twin Brembo brakes and an adjustable windshield.

Challenge

The bike to challenge the Road Glide could be called the Challenger which is a name Indian recently trademarked.

The company also trademarked Raven in December and Renegade in January.

The spate of trademark filings in the US and Europe have got the industry buzzing about a possible model assault from a company which has been fairly steady in its lineup for a few years.

This is in stark contrast to their American colleagues, Harley-Davidson, who are on a plan to release 100 new models in 10 years, including electric bikes and an adventure bike.

Could Indian also be considering an electric or something totally out of the box like Harley’s Pan America adventure bike?

2020 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 clutch challenger
Harley Pan America

The trademarks are for the names Indian Raven, Indian Renegade and Indian Challenger for use on “motorcycles and structural parts therefor” plus “clothing namely shirts, jackets, hats and gloves”.

The use of the name “Indian Challenger” is probably to avoid any trademark infringement on the Dodge Challenger pony car.

Dodge Challenger
Dodge Challenger

19 Comments

  1. I loved the 2017 street glide I just traded in on a 2020 challenger but I didn’t love riding it , no rear suspension, strange handling , engine heat , etc. But I love the new challenger too and I love riding it . Awesome front and rear suspension, handling, liquid cooling means more hp from less displacement. Inverted forks, dual throttle bodies,overhead cams , aluminum frame, adjustable windshield, metzeler tires ,brembo brakes, these things are superior and add up to a more enjoyable ride . Especially with the roads around here. These are things Harley needs to do but won’t if everybody keeps buying them the way they are . I still own 2 fxrs and a shovelhead electra glide and love them as well . Indian did an awesome job , can’t deny it

  2. Polaris Victory Indian two badges from one manufacturer. My opinion is the best cruiser bagger touring bike to date is the Victory XC Tour. To bad the marketing geniuses at Polaris think the Indian badge is some sort of motorcycle name holy grail. The last holy grail Indian name manufacturer was so HD clone, if the. Indian and HD badges were removed the only discerning difference was the S&S mill. HD has improved a little over the last 20 years. Only because Polaris Industries Victory brand set the bench mark for American made V-Twins. HD could no longer linger and slack on outdated mold school lack luster leakers. Being the only US bike for so long and Americans dedicated to buying American is how HD lucked out for so long. So again it looks like Polaris has HD worried and because Polaris is manufacturing a fixed faring bike badged Indian. Harley Davidson should just quit whining and step up and improve. Only contenders can become champions.

    1. Nice and realistic comments, however, after riding both bikes, I pulled off a deal from an Indian CHALLENGER just because the dealer did not do a good job trying to sell it, probably thinking they already have nailed the V-Twin American market. Wrong assumption, after I requested my deposit back, I start shopping again for a Road Glide, and I have to say… Polaris is a bit far away getting HD customers to switch to a Indian, as these 2020 Challenger bikes are having too many little issues that are scaring us away.
      This, I just purchased a 2020 Road Glide Special 114ci with RDRS and I am happier than I thought I would be.
      Polaris has to improve their marketing and customer service.
      Cheers.

  3. Sounds like haters feel threatened by it . Harley only bought their name back from AMF in 1983 . Remember the term bowling ball ? I do I still own one 1979 FLH 80 classic

  4. If they put the 111 in it I would be interested. I have a vintage now and I like the engine it is also the smoothest bike I’ve ever rode

  5. I’m all for competition – this is a water cooled engine therefore I would never consider one of these over my Road Glide. No competition and certainly not a Road Glide killer.

  6. Nothin wrong with competition. It’s said imitation is the best form of flattery. What HD should worry about is will
    It be better. No Bagger has ever looked as good as a road glide….. we wait and see….

  7. WOW! Can they not create anything on their own? Do they always have to play off of Harley-Davidson? Obviously, they have NOTHING

    1. Remember Hog is just another name for PIG. Looking forward to it outperforming HD just like their flatrackers do.

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