Quick Read: 2018 Indian Roadmaster

Indian Roadmaster
2018 Indian Roadmaster. Photos by Kevin Wing.

Editor’s Note: This Quick Read is part of our Luxury Touring Bike Comparison, which you can read here.

Even though we’re only in the fourth model year since Polaris re-launched Indian Motorcycle, it feels like the brand has been going strong for much longer. Polaris’ experience creating the Victory brand from scratch certainly helped it hit the ground running with Indian, leaving a checkered past of restarts for the historic brand far in the rearview mirror. Even though the decision made economic sense, we were disappointed when Victory was shut down early last year. Fortunately, the best of Victory’s DNA—strong V-twins, solid chassis and good handling—lives on in the new-generation Indians.

Indian Roadmaster
Contrast stitching and conchos add a touch of style, and separate rider and passenger seat heating is standard. The voluminous trunk and saddlebags have central locks.

Indian’s air-cooled, 49-degree Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin is a workhorse, churning out a big helping of torque for 13 models in the lineup—every bike without “Scout” in its name, in fact. We’ve been consistently impressed with the Thunder Stroke’s heavily chromed, flathead styling and downward firing exhausts, though it can be loud under hard acceleration and radiates significant engine heat on hot days. The engine sends power to the rear wheel through a 6-speed transmission with a cable-actuated wet clutch and belt final drive, and the non-linked triple-disc brakes are equipped with ABS.

Indian Roadmaster
The Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin is a gleaming work of art that cranks out plenty of torque, but it also radiates a fair amount of heat and has loud intake and exhaust noise.

Standard equipment includes an electrically adjustable windscreen, LED lighting, the Ride Command infotainment system (with a 7-inch color touchscreen, navigation and Bluetooth), heated grips and seats, cruise control, adjustable passenger floorboards, an adjustable brake lever, remote luggage locks, keyless ignition, a tire-pressure monitoring system, a luggage rack, three 12V power outlets and a USB port.

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Indian Roadmaster
The Ride Command infotainment system, which is close to the rider thanks to the handlebar-mounted fairing, has a big screen, vibrant graphics and an intuitive interface.

2018 Indian Roadmaster

Base Price: $28,999
Price as Tested: $30,399 (two-tone paint)
Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles
Website: indianmotorcycle.com

Engine

Type: Air-cooled, transverse 49-degree V-twin
Displacement: 1,811cc (111ci)
Bore x Stroke: 101.0 x 113.0mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Valve Train: OHV, 2 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: NA
Fuel Delivery: ESPFI w/ 54mm throttle body
Lubrication System: Semi-wet sump, 5.5-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: Belt

Electrical

Ignition: Electronic
Charging Output: 710 watts max.
Battery: 12V 18AH

Chassis

Frame: Modular, aluminum backbone w/ cast aluminum swingarm
Wheelbase: 65.7 in.
Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/5.9 in.
Seat Height: 26.5 in.
Suspension, Front: 46mm stanchions, no adj., 4.7-in. travel
Rear: Single shock, air-adj. preload, 4.5-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 300mm floating discs w/ 4-piston opposed calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 300mm floating disc w/ 2-piston pin-slide caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 16 in.
Rear: Cast, 5.00 x 16 in.
Tires, Front: 130/90-B16
Rear: 180/60-R16
Wet Weight: 931 lbs.
Load Capacity: 454 lbs.
GVWR: 1,385 lbs.

Performance

Fuel Capacity: 5.5 gals., last 1.0 gal. warning light on
MPG: 91 PON min. (low/avg/high) 36.0/36.1/36.3
Estimated Range: 199 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 2,250

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