Monday, 11 December 2017

Ride Report: Indian Chieftain Dark Horse

"We have the Chieftain Dark Horse available at our HQ, would you like to ride it?"

It's fairly obvious what the answer to that proposal was going to be. Thus in due course, on an autumn morning that felt more like a spring day, I found myself on the train to La Garriga, the small town some 40 km (25 mi) north of Barcelona where Polaris, Indian's mother company, has its Spanish HQ. Once I had located the business park, a brief ten-minute walk from the railway station, I had no problems locating Polaris Espa├▒a's premises: the matte-black bagger that was going to be my ride for the next six days was already parked in the street, waiting for me to hop on board and rumble off into the middle distance.

A quick visit to the nearby petrol station and it was time to roll. Fire up the big 1800cc V-twin, switch on the radio (which I managed to do more by luck than by design - by the way, I still haven't worked out how one switches it off!), and hit the dual carriageway that snakes past the Montmel├│ Circuit de Catalunya F1/MotoGP track and on into Barcelona. Getting up to the speed limit, I instantly thumbed the button that controls the electrically adjustable screen and watched as the screen slid back and upwards into its fully-deployed position. That cut down buffeting and wind noise; adopting a slightly more recumbent seating position meant that I was in a pool of quiet air behind the swoopy "batwing" fairing; this was comfortable even with the open-face LS2 Spitfire helmet (read our review here) I was wearing on this mid-November day.