Indian Motorcycle Unveils the Thunder Stroke 111 Engine

The reborn-yet-again Indian Motorcycle, this time under the auspices of Polaris Industries, which acquired the legendary company in 2011, reached a significant milestone over the weekend. At Daytona Beach Bike Week, where Indian was a powerhouse in motorcycle racing in the first half of the 20th century, the company unveiled its all-new Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin engine that will power 2014 models.

Indian Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin (left side)
Indian Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin (left side)

A special unveiling event was held on Saturday, March 9, on Main Street in the heart of Daytona Beach. Special celebrity guest Mike Wolfe, host of History Channel’s “American Pickers” series and diehard Indian Motorcycle fan, was on-hand for the celebration, which was open to the public.

The Thunder Stroke 111 is an air-cooled, 49-degree V-twin that displaces 111 cubic inches (1,811cc) and churns out a claimed 115 lb-ft of torque. The engine is Indian’s first clean-sheet design in seven decades, though it draws inspiration from the V-twin that powered the 1948 Indian Chief. The two cylinders have a bore/stroke of 3.89 x 4.45 inches (101 x 103mm) and a compression ratio of 9.5:1. Its two overhead valves per cylinder are actuated by a three-cam pushrod system with parallel tubes and hydraulic lifters.

Indian Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin (right side)
Indian Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin (right side)

Though vintage in appearance, the engine is fully modern in design, featuring an integrated oil cooler, electronic sequential port fuel injection and electronic throttle control (throttle-by-wire). It has a helical-cut gear primary balancer, 6-speed transmission with overdrive and helical-cut gears, multi-plate wet clutch and carbon fiber-reinforced belt final drive.

The new engine will be built in Osceola, Wisconsin, at the Polaris Industries Engine Assembly Plant, with future full unit motorcycle assembly taking place in Polaris’ state-of-the-art production facility in Spirit Lake, Iowa. For more information, visit



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