2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special vs. Indian Challenger Limited | Comparison Test Review

Road Glide vs Challenger
This comparo is a fixed-fairing fistfight between an icon — Harley-Davidson’s Road Glide Special — and an upstart — Indian’s all-new Challenger Limited. These are premium V-twin touring cruisers that deliver big-time torque, style and functionality. We put them to the test to find out which is the better bagger. Photos by Kevin Wing.

V-twin baggers are as American as baseball and apple pie. Big, stylish and built for our wide-open highways, they embody the self-expression and freedom that make motorcycles objects of obsession rather than just vehicles. America’s two major bagger manufacturers — Harley-Davidson and  Indian — are well-known brands from coast to coast, even among folks who’ve never ridden one, and their histories and rivalries stretch back more than a century. Being so steeped in tradition, Harley and Indian take great pains to satisfy their base, building motorcycles that conform to the expectations of loyal cruiser riders.

Read our First Look Review of the 2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard here.

Modern baggers must strike a delicate balance. On the outside they need to look a certain way — a big V-twin front and center, a long, low profile and muscular styling with bodywork covered in rich paint. But on the inside they need to meet increasingly stringent emissions, sound and safety standards, provide modern levels of comfort and reliability and deliver an engaging riding experience in terms of performance, technology and features.

Road Glide vs Challenger
Both of these American-made baggers carry the nameplates of legendary brands, and are similar in many ways. But there are key differences between them—the Indian (left) is powered by a liquid-cooled, SOHC V-twin and has a modular cast aluminum frame, while the Harley-Davidson has an air-cooled, OHV V-twin and a tubular-steel double-cradle frame.

These two 2020 baggers, Harley-Davidson’s Road Glide Special and Indian’s Challenger Limited, strike that balance remarkably well. Being the latest incarnation of a model family that’s been in Harley’s lineup for 40 years — starting with the 1980 FLT, then known as the Tour Glide — the Road Glide is the seasoned veteran in this comparison, and its signature feature is a frame-mounted sharknose fairing with dual headlights. Powering the Road Glide Special is the air-cooled, 114ci (1,868cc) version of Harley’s Milwaukee-Eight 45-degree V-twin with pushrod-actuated overhead valves. The Challenger is Indian’s newest model platform and the first to be powered by the PowerPlus 108 (1,768cc), a liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-twin with valves actuated by single overhead cams. Like the Road Glide, the Challenger has a frame-mounted fairing, a first for Indian.

Check out our 2020 Guide to New Street Motorcycles here.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special
Compared to motorcycles with handlebar-mounted fairings, those with frame-mounted fairings like the Road Glide and Challenger have lighter steering.

As head-to-head competitors, the Road Glide Special and Challenger Limited are similar in many ways. Their fixed fairings have bright LED headlights and large vents that bring fresh air into the cockpit, and both have long floorboards and protective highway bars. Their rumbling V-twins have hydraulic valve adjusters, throttle-by-wire and rear-cylinder deactivation, and both send power to their rear wheels through 6-speed transmissions with assist clutches and belt final drive. Both have cruise control, electronic rider aids (cornering ABS, cornering traction control and drag torque slip control — standard on the Indian, optional on the Harley), keyless ignition and touchscreen infotainment systems with audio, navigation, Bluetooth and USB ports. They have low seat heights, 6-gallon fuel tanks, cast wheels with tire pressure monitoring, top-loading lockable saddlebags and a pair of non-locking fairing pockets. Even their as-tested prices are separated by just $45 and their curb weights differ by a single pound—the Road Glide Special costs $28,794 and weighs 847 pounds; the Challenger Limited costs $28,749 and weighs 848 pounds.

Indian Challenger Limited
With about 31 degrees of cornering clearance on each side, both baggers can be leaned over quite a ways before their floorboards start to drag.

Despite so many similarities, these bikes are anything but clones. Specs and features are one thing, style and personality are quite another. With nearly every component bathed in black, a tinted shorty windscreen, minimal badging and foregoing traditional metal flake and gloss in favor of matte Barracuda Silver Denim paint, the Road Glide Special is dark and brooding. (The FLTRXS is available in five other colors, all with gloss finishes.) The Challenger Limited, on the other hand, grabs your attention with Ruby Metallic paint, plenty of chrome and multiple Indian logos visible from every angle. (It’s also available in two other gloss colors, while the Challenger Dark Horse comes in three matte colors.)

More differences between the Harley and Indian emerged after logging hundreds of miles in their saddles. Cruisers are tuned for low-end torque, helping heavy bikes — especially those loaded two-up with full saddlebags — pull away quickly from stops and make brisk passes. These baggers deliver ample torque, sending more than 100 lb-ft to the rear wheel, but they go about it in different ways. The Road Glide has great engine feel, with crisp throttle response, right-now thrust and a deeply satisfying V-twin pulse. The impressive refinement that went into the Milwaukee-Eight V-twin — more power and torque, less heat, less vibration at idle and smoother operation — is why we selected the entire M8-equipped Touring family as our 2017 Motorcycle of the Year. On Jett Tuning’s dyno, the Harley generated smooth power curves with nary a dip or blip, torque rising to 104.5 lb-ft at 2,900 rpm and dropping off thereafter while horsepower increases linearly to 78.5 at 4,800 rpm. Due to its low rev ceiling (5,100 rpm) and narrow torque spread, short shifting the Harley helps it stay in its meaty midrange. 

With its liquid cooling, oversquare bore/stroke and SOHC valve layout, Indian’s PowerPlus generates more output with less displacement and revs higher than the M8. Starting at 2,400 rpm, the Indian’s advantage over the Harley increases steadily, the gap widening to 28 lb-ft of torque and 27 horsepower by the time the Harley’s rev limiter kicks in. The Indian keeps going, hitting a peak of 108 horsepower at 5,600 rpm before finally signing off at 6,300 rpm. With a broader spread of torque — more than 100 lb-ft are on tap from 2,400-5,600 rpm, reaching 113.3 lb-ft at 3,300 rpm — and much higher peak power than the Harley, the Indian likes to be revved. The Challenger has three ride modes that adjust throttle response, with Standard mode being fairly soft (Rain mode is even softer) and Sport mode delivering the goods immediately without abruptness.

Road Glide vs Challenger Dyno
Road Glide vs Challenger Dyno

These heavy machines can be a handful when pushing them around the garage or negotiating parking lots, but they feel well balanced and easy to maneuver at speed. With much of their weight carried low they roll in and out of curves gracefully, and their generous torque propels them out of corners with authority. About 31 degrees of cornering clearance on either side means they can be heeled way over before anything starts to scrape, especially with some extra preload dialed into the rear suspension. Despite having “race-spec” radial-mount Brembo calipers up front, the Indian’s front brake lever feels vague and requires a firm pull to generate full stopping power. In contrast, the Harley’s front brakes have the perfect amount of initial bite and better response at the lever.

If you’re ready to lay down some serious miles, these baggers have nearly everything you need (except heated grips — a curious omission for premium models costing nearly $29,000). But they’re not created equal when it comes to touring comfort. With a lower laden seat height (25.9 inches vs. 26.5 inches on the Indian), you sit deeper in the Harley’s cockpit, with hips rolled back in the dished seat. Because the seat is U-shaped front to back and has a slick finish, it’s difficult to sit farther back; hit one bump and you slide back down.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special
The Harley has an upright riding position with a comfortable reach to the handlebar. The seat locks the rider into place, and those with long legs will ride with their knees above their hips.

Greg’s Gear
Helmet: HJC RPHA 90
Jacket: Aether Divide
Pants: Aether Divide
Boots: Sidi Gavia

And bumps can be a problem on the Harley. Most of the time the Road Glide Special provides a comfortable, compliant ride, but its rear shock, which is firmly damped and allows only 2.1 inches of travel, responds harshly to pavement ripples, cracks and seams. Big bumps and potholes send shock waves right up the spine and can bounce a rider out of the seat. Also, the Harley’s fairing sits much farther forward (it’s a long reach to the infotainment screen), its windscreen offers no adjustment and the two large vents flanking the headlights cannot be closed so a high volume of air always flows into the cockpit. This comparison took place in December, and testers always felt colder and more buffeted by the wind on the Harley than on the Indian.

The Challenger Limited provides a more comfortable and enjoyable riding experience. Its seat is flatter and has more grip and support, its long tank is narrower between the knees and its fairing provides more wind protection. The Indian’s fairing is closer to the rider and its windscreen is electrically adjustable over a 3-inch range — raising the screen all the way up and closing the fairing vents creates a calm, quiet space for the rider. With 5.1 inches of suspension travel in the front and 4.5 inches in the rear — 0.5 inch and 2.4 inches more than the Harley, respectively — and more compliant damping, the Indian is much better at insulating the rider and passenger from rough roads. Even at a sporting pace with riders well over 200 pounds in the saddle, the Indian never bottomed out nor reacted harshly.

Indian Challenger Limited
The Challenger’s fairing is closer to the rider and has an electric windscreen. Its seat also locks the rider in place but is flatter, more supportive and has a taller rear bolster.

Ken’s Gear
Helmet: Shoei RF-1200
Jacket: Tourmaster Transition
Pants: Aerostich Darien
Boots: TCX Evo

The Road Glide Special was clearly Indian’s benchmark for the Challenger Limited. At the press launch last October, Indian provided a side-by-side comparison of their performance and features as well as a Road Glide Special for us to ride. With Indian’s sales being about one-tenth of Harley’s, one way to improve its market share is to offer more bang for the buck on competing models. Indian has done so in terms of performance with an all-new, liquid-cooled engine that makes more power and torque and offers the flexibility of throttle-response modes. It has done so in terms of convenience with a more modern and user-friendly infotainment system with higher audio output (100W vs. 50W on the Harley) as well as extra features like central saddlebag locks and a keyless locking fuel cap. And it has done so in terms of comfort with a more supportive seat, better wind protection and superior ride quality, all in a package that costs and weighs nearly the same.

Healthy competition is good for the industry and good for riders because it provides us with better motorcycles. Since the launch of Project Rushmore for 2014, Harley-Davidson has continuously raised the bar with improvements to its engines, chassis, comfort, convenience and other features. The 2014 model year also happens to be when Indian launched its all-new Thunder Stroke V-twin and Chief lineup, reigniting an old rivalry and spurring a feverish pace of innovation from both companies. The 2020 Road Glide Special is better than ever, but the Challenger Limited surpasses it.

Road Glide vs Challenger
The Harley-Davidson vs. Indian wars are alive and well, and both make gorgeous motorcycles that are desired the world over. Brand preference is the lens through which many will view these bikes, but the Indian wins this battle.

Keep scrolling for more detailed photos after the spec charts….

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Specs

Base Price: $27,299
Price as Tested: $28,794 (RDRS, color)
Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
Website: harley-davidson.com


Type: Air-cooled, transverse 45-degree V-twin
Displacement: 1,868cc (114ci)
Bore x Stroke: 102.0 x 114.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Valve Train: OHV, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: NA (self-adjusting)
Fuel Delivery: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection
Lubrication System: Dry sump, 5.2-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated wet assist-and-slipper clutch
Final Drive: Belt


Ignition: Electronic
Charging Output: 625 watts max.
Battery: 12V 28AH


Frame: Tubular-steel double cradle w/ two-piece backbone & steel swingarm
Wheelbase: 64.0 in.
Rake/Trail: 26 degrees/6.8 in.
Seat Height: 25.9 in. (laden)
Suspension, Front: 49mm stanchions, no adj., 4.6-in. travel
Rear: Dual shocks, adj. preload w/ remote knob, 2.1-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 300mm floating discs w/ opposed 4-piston calipers, fully linked & ABS
Rear: Single 300mm fixed disc w/ opposed 4-piston caliper, fully linked & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 19 in.
Rear: Cast, 5.00 x 18 in.
Tires, Front: 130/60-B19
Rear: 180/55-B18
Wet Weight: 847 lbs. (as tested)
Load Capacity: 513 lbs. (as tested)
GVWR: 1,360 lbs.


Fuel Capacity: 6.0 gals., last 1.0 gal. warning light on
MPG: 91 AKI min. (low/avg/high) 39.3/40.4/42.3
Estimated Range: 242 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 2,200

2020 Indian Challenger Limited Specs

Base Price: $27,999
Price as Tested: $28,749 (color)
Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
Website: indianmotorcycle.com


Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 60-degree V-twin
Displacement: 1,768cc (108ci)
Bore x Stroke: 108.0 x 96.5mm
Compression Ratio: 11.0:1
Valve Train: SOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: NA (self-adjusting)
Fuel Delivery: EFI, 52mm dual bore throttle body x 2
Lubrication System: Semi-wet sump, 5-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated wet assist clutch
Final Drive: Belt


Ignition: Electronic
Charging Output: 803 watts max.
Battery: 12V 18AH


Frame: Modular cast aluminum w/ engine as stressed member & cast aluminum swingarm
Wheelbase: 65.7 in.
Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/5.9 in.
Seat Height: 26.5 in. (laden)
Suspension, Front: 43mm USD fork, no adj., 5.1-in. travel
Rear: Single shock, remote adj. for spring preload, 4.5-in. travel 
Brakes, Front: Dual 320mm floating discs w/ opposed 4-piston radial calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 298mm floating disc w/ 2-piston pin-slide caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 19 in.
Rear: Cast, 5.00 x 16 in. 
Tires, Front: 130/60-B19
Rear: 180/60-R16
Wet Weight: 848 lbs.
Load Capacity: 537 lbs.
GVWR: 1,385 lbs.


Fuel Capacity: 6.0 gals., last 1.0 gal. warning light on
MPG: 91 AKI min. (low/avg/high) 37.7/38.1/38.6
Estimated Range: 228 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 2,500

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special
Harley’s optional Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS) include cornering ABS, cornering traction control and drag torque control.
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special
An American classic, finished in black.
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special
The Harley’s Boom! Box 6.5GT touchscreen infotainment system includes audio and GPS.
Indian Challenger Limited
Smart Lean Technology (cornering ABS and TC and drag torque control) is standard on the Challenger Limited.
Indian Challenger Limited
Indian’s all-new PowerPlus 108 belts out serious horsepower and torque.
Indian Challenger Limited
Indian’s Ride Command is a comprehensive, customizable infotainment system.


    • Harley continues to be in a class by itself they are not just a functioning motorcycle they are a work of art. Their fit and finish and their visceral quality is second to none and always most likely will be unless they decide to build tech bikes.

  1. This is not the Indian my grandfather grew up with, just buying a name does not make these true Indians. And the Harley looks so much better.

    • The Indian is clearly far superior in every category. Looks are subjective and can be argued. I rode the Challenger recently, the whole bike is extremely well thought out everywhere you look. The engine and handling are superb. This will be my next bike.

      • Don’t forget, this is the Road glide special which includes a lowered back and an accompanying seat. If you can. The regular room glad you would have more weird suspension travel and a better seat. Not a fair comparison.

    • Hmmm I could say the same about people that buy HD as it is just a name. As Mr. Herrington stated, looks are subjective and the Indian out performs HD for the same price. HD is notorious for nickel and diming their customers. Indian will force them to actually compete within that market.

    • That Harley is not the Harley your grandfather grew up on either. Harley Davidson has also changed hands a few times over the years. Remember AMF? Yep the bowling alley equipment manufacturer.

    • This is not the Harley your grandfather grew up with either. Parts sourced from all over the world. Some bikes made in other countries. Say what you will, there is only one country that makes Indian Motorcycles…AMERICA.

    • If are honest. Harley is not Harley. They were amf and the new bikes are not what my Grandfather grew up with. And Indian has a better suspension and better performance.

  2. A Harley will always be a Harley, but it’s nice to see Indian in the same arena with a few nicer performance features…Good job for both……..Now which one should I buy? hmmm..

  3. Harley still has the better looking bike! I have been riding with Harley for over 25 years but Indian is really starting to
    look good!

  4. @David Shaw, I’m confused. What makes a bike true to its brand and is it important that it’s connected to its historical legacy? I’m thankful that Triumph isn’t still connected to the engineering and reliability problems of the old Meriden works, but has connected to classic Triumph styling cues. I’m also thankful that an American company decided to resurrect Indian. Based on the market reaction, they seem to have the goods. I also am pretty happy that these bikes are built in Spirit Lake, IA. There is no doubt that Polaris did its learning with Victory and has brought Indian forward in grand style!

    • I have a 2019 Harley Road Glide Special. I love it and has tons of power and it’s smooth as butter for me. Have not ridden the Indian but I still like the way my Harley looks better which sold it for me. Harley on the other hand is a money sucking bitch of a company and they better wake up to how they are treating their customers or they will eventually lose us

  5. I’m still waiting for Indian’s version of the Victory Vision.
    I’ve put 94,000 miles mainly touring on my Vision, and there is no comparison for comfortable touring.
    I’ve ridden this Indian at my local dealership and it does seem more nimble in parking lot conditions than my Vision.
    I’m glad that Indian put an electrically adjustable windscreen on this Custom, because once you have an adjustable windscreen, it’s really hard to go back to a fixed windscreen.
    I was surprised by the lack of heated grips and honestly didn’t notice when test riding.
    That’s another thing that’s a must for me while touring.

  6. I own an RG and like it very much but it rides really rough…..Harley need to address this issue and it probably lie’s in the very old style tube frame….faring is too far forward but no to big a deal….Full bluetooth with out buying a bunch of add on’s would also be nice…Indian has done its home work and this bike is a pleasure….I have not ridden it cause my bank account says NO….Nice write up guys…!

  7. I guess some people pick their ride purely on looks. Personally function is the most important quality with reliability and then looks coming in third place. The function of the Indian with its suspension, power and adjustable windscreen clearly tops the HD product. Harley has done a great job updating its bikes, but Indian has raised the bar regarding function that HD cannot top with it’s current product line.

  8. I just can’t reward Indian, (Polaris) for engineering a knock off Road Glide. Eyes on your own paper guys! I will forever be on a Road Glide! There is no substitute.

    • Harley didnt originate the fixed fairing. Did they copy it from someone else? While the bikes have similarities, they are no where close to being the same bike. Indian is making very good bikes. The technology on them is ahead of Harley. After riding both, I personally think the ergonomics are much better on the Indian. Everyone has a preference and different things that are important to them. If that leads them to Harley, thats fine. If it turns out to be an Indian, thats fine also.

    • It is funny you mention copying.. the road glide was a look alike of the goldwing in the first years…. check me.
      Also, Indian is a better ‘copy’. Its kinda like looking at the other guys sheet and saying nope, your are close but here is the actual right answer.

      • Actually the Harley Tour Glide with fixed fairing came out in 1979 and the first Goldwing with a fairing came out in 1980.

  9. Frankly, Dodge/FCA’s legal department shuld take a look at Indian/Polaris regarding the Challenger name usage.

  10. Both bikes should go on a diet, they are pricey and should feature reverse gears (starter motor driven) and heated grips for the price. Without competition from the Indian brand, HD would have continued without change for another decade.
    I have been riding since 1961 and as I have aged I have owned BMW and now on my 5th I would take the HD because depreciation is the greatest cost in Bike ownership but if all financial things were equal I might be tempted.

  11. I did a lot of research before buying my last bike which turned out to be a 2017 Ultra Limited. I bought it used in early 2019 for about $16k. After about $7k in upgrades, bars, heated seats, removable tourpack, block-up stage V (150HP, 141TQ) I got a 18 month old bike with everything I wanted for $23k. I really liked the Roadmaster, I think it is overall a better bike in many ways and tried a couple of times to buy one but they don’t move much on price $35k is a lot of dough for a bike. There are so many more market options right now for Harleys than Indians and at the time, there was no build on an Indian that could get me near the HP/TQ I ended up with. I probably give up a little comfort and handling on the Ultra vs the Roadmaster but dollar for dollar I got the best deal I could. And there isn’t an Indian bagger made (yet) that can match HP/TQ of my build, let alone for the $.

    I hope Indian continues to grow and force Harley’s hand competitively. They are both great American made bikes (although Indian is actually more American than Harley) and it is good to have options. Polaris makes good stuff and even though they are not the true “Indian” company that started in the early 1900’s, neither is Harley, really.

  12. Funny, 2 weekends ago, while several HD baggers are meeting up in my driveway for a ride, an Indian broke down in front of my house. Only 300 miles on it. Rider stated this is the 2nd time he has broken down and just bought the bike. my Electraglide has 45,000 miles on it with no break downs.

  13. The Harley has much better fit, finish, and far better paint. Polaris is doing much better on the paint with the Indian brand than they did with Victory, but still aren’t up to HD’s standards.

    As far as riding them, my only real peeve about the Indian is that the floorboards are too far forward. With theHD, I also thought the fairing was too far forward, and I liked the Indian having the radio below the gauges. I find those displays somewhat distracting, and I really don’t mind having to “look” at it.

  14. I’ve done two demo rides on the challenger now. Did it because a friend suggested I try it. I was blown away by the suspension, the windshield (which I didn’t think I’d care about) and the ride. Now add the liquid cooled engine,, very nice. I did a demo ride a 2020 road glide special,, it rode like a pig. My bad back felt every bump in the roadway. It would cost me thousands more just to get it to ride like the stock challenger.
    All my bikes have been Harley. Hate to switch but I want to be smart about it too. I dunno. My wife is damn tired of hearing about it though.

  15. A bike that weighs the same, has a smaller engine, but with more HP, More Torque, More tech, better braking, and is nimble to boot. Hardly a copy. It has a fixed fairing.. ooh.. HD guys crying copycat when the first road glides were 100% copies of the goldwings. “Its not a ‘real’ Indian, it is polaris” ok sir. Well, then an off road powersports company just beat you, does that sound better to you? Semantics.. HD is already in trouble, and if indain keeps stealing business, it will be worse.

  16. I kinda chuckle. Been riding for over 50 years. I’m on my 7th bike. Only has 100,000+ miles and still runs great. Taken me through DC, 49 states and all Canadian Provinces and one Territory. 2003 Yamaha Venture; one of best touring bikes out there, very dependable, and for me comfortable. For for me, why worry about resale value??
    So Yamaha decided to drop a great model, and came up with a new V-twin; guess what; I don’t know any Venture riders who have bought the new model. The Indian catches my eye. If I decide to buy one more new bike while I can still ride, I would definitely consider the Indian. I’m hoping they’ll add the liquid cooled engine to the RoadMaster for my touring tastes.

  17. Cant get away from Polaris customer service. It’s awful. And all of us former and current Victory owners will warn you can warn you to watch out for Polaris pulling the rug out from under you.

  18. Lol and to the Fanboys calling out Indian for being Polaris. How about the fact that HD was bought by Kawasaki? Enjoy your Saki Glide folks

  19. HARLEY GUY: “The Indian’s round wheels are clearly a copy of the Harley’s. Harley invented the round wheel and has been using it since 1903, the same year they invented motorcycles, V-twins, and internal combustion.”

  20. I recently bought a Challenger Dark Horse. I figure if your going to shell out that much money you ought to get the best which I think I have done. The Challenge is super smooth, has tons of power and handles great.

  21. Rode two of the Challengers unescorted, the second one because I couldn’t believe the first one’s engine was supposed to be that noisy. As always Indian finds a way to make what should be a upscale bike look cheap with the stupid “stone guards” , bicycle looking passenger pegs, and tank emblem that looks like a 5th grade art project.
    As for the PowerPlusNoise they can keep it. We’ve been asking for a fixed fairing since 2014, but at no time did we ask for a water cooled rattletrap. The red Challenger Limited I rode was over $31K, that’s Road Glide Limited money which gives a tour pack, lowers, passenger floorboards, custom paint, and electronics pkg with heated grips.
    Now if Indian would put the Challenger fairing on a 116 chassis, get rid of the stupid electric windshield for a better looking fixed vented one they might attract even more Harley buyers. Not this one mind you, the Indians don’t have the finish, or the feel of a Harley. They didn’t figure that out in 18 years with Victory, and still don’t have a clue unfortunately.

  22. I’m the proud owner of a 2020 Challenger Limited. I’ve owned an 07 Harley Street Glide and I had to heavily modify the suspension to keep it from wobbling in the turns and to keep my rectum intact. I moved to an 18 Harley Heritage with the 114 and it had decent suspension but I missed the amenities and storage room of a true bagger but still put 27k miles on it before I traded for the Challenger. Ride quality on the Challenger is superb. This bike is such a smooth cruise and the handling is very good as well. The power bone stock stomped a mud hole in my stage 1 Heritage. Are there things I miss? The throttle feels far more like cable operated on the Harley even though it’s ride by wire like the Challenger. The Harley community is also something I miss somewhat. I own a bike to ride it though and subjectively, the Challenger is far superior. The air is cleaner behind the fairing and the sound system is far more powerful.

  23. I have a Harley Road Glide for many years. I have spent tons of money to make it perform pretty much the same as this bike does, power wise, stock. The suspension has never been all that great IMO, but you get used to it. The problem with jacking up the performance on the Harley (aside from the cost), is it will roast your legs with the heat and it rattles and knocks like an ole’ Ford truck. While some of that stuff is somewhat endearing to Harley folks and they wouldn’t get caught dead on a water cooled bike, I am not so sure I would not rather have this bike. I even think it looks good myself, I just am not too enamored with the tank emblem. A bit too much.

  24. I like all bikes (some more than others.) I worked at a dealership when the Indian Challengers first came out. We did a Challenger/Road Glide Challenge. Both Indians had mechanical issues. The first bike only made it 2 miles, before it rolled back into the parking lot pouring smoke off the bike. The second bike got 20 miles on it before it too came back into the service department. Needless to say, there were a lot of pissed off potential riders I had to deal with. The Road Glide (used bike) had no issues. Some of the riders told me that they went to another Indian dealer 2 weeks prior and both bikes there ended up broken. Because of this, I am a bit jaded against Indians. I hope the brand has success, Harley needs to be pushed in competition. The fact that Heated Grips are not standard on either bike is a joke. There are a lot of great bike touring bikes out there. All have pros and cons. The BMW RT and GL1600, Yamaha/Star Eluder, Honda GoldWing are all great options. One must look at what their riding needs are, budget for service and parts, and accessibility to a dealer. Between the two bikes that were tested – yes the Indian did out perform the Road Glide, but I personally don’t like the Indian and the after sale dealer support. Looking at the total package, I would have to give the Road Glide the nod, but not by much. HD – don’t sit back on your heels. That advise it to the whole motorcycle industry as well. The number of new riders in the US is steadily declining, we need to increase the number of new riders. Honda’s DCT is a step in the right direction because most of the potential new riders don’t know how to drive a stick shift yet alone a motorcycle. So to my fellow riders, put aside the “Fanboy” rhetoric and be happy that there are other people riding. The best thing about living in our country is that we have the freedom to ride what we want.

  25. I currently own a 2020 roadglide special blackout edition. I also have never owed a bike that I didn’t modify in some firm or fashion so the gripes about much of the differences between these bikes is moot. Can you get a tinted windscreen for a Challenger or an aftermarket seat that suits etc etc. Im 6’3 the distance to controls meh. that said Harley and Indian are pricing themselves out of a market. who the hell can afford a 30k bike old guys thats who. you go to a rally like Daytona or Sturgis old white guys in black tee shirts as far as the eye can see. new riders want more affordable bikes. this debate is apples and apples. same bike same prices. if Harley wants to continue to grow they better get with it. Indian has got some bold designs. Harley is getting by again on name alone. live my bike but it does hurt if you hit a bump. there are aftermarket shoes easy fix. thats a big plus for Harley getting stuff for your bike to make it your “Own” last bike was CVO Street bent valve at 9k what did i get from my dealer “its under warranty but not extended warranty” fuck you very much. the only reason I got another Harley was trade in value of the CVO to offset this bike. I also keep a 06 vtx 1800 at my home in VA so I don’t have to transport back and forth. It cost 5k it does damm good for so little green. long short if Harley doesn’t step up soon that market share isn’t gonna mean crap as all thier customers end up riding trikes.

  26. My buddy bought a 2020 Challenger I have a 2015 Road Glide CVO When we ride together I am solo he is two up with his wife, he kicks may ass on millage 50 to 35 and I can not keep up with him, taking off from a stop sign he will gradually gain speed when we hit 100mph I back off and he 6 to 7 bikes ahead of me. I love my Harley but he has a kickass bike. Indian has done well. I would not mind owning one.

  27. Great article! My only nit-pick is that the Road Glide vents ARE closeable, both upper and lower. If you reach your hand into the lower vents from the cockpit side, right in the top is where the spring-loaded button resides. I can’t fault you for that, as they put literally zero markings on the bike to show that it’s possible lol. Just thought you’d like to know if you get a chance to ride a RG in the cold again 🙂

  28. I have a road glide special 2020 eagle eye. Looks awesome rides awesome I looked at the Indian and it sounds like a rice burner. The engine winds the Harley roars.

  29. There is really no Indian motorcycle, there are Polaris bikes with Indian stamps all over it. I have been a few times to the Polaris (“Indian”) dealers and in all honesty I feel no connection with the bikes as I feel with Harley. I also feel there are lots of “plastic” on these Polaris bikes compres to the HDs.

    The HDs maintain that traditional look and feel I love with all the new technology goodies…. Polaris tried with Victory, which I thought were nice bikes, the bought the Indian name and slapped on the Victory bikes, and added new models…

    Another bonus point is I can find a H-D dealer wherever I go, and also a wealth of aftermarket parts.

    Yes, the Polaris bikes are nice and definitely a competition to HD…but they will never give the feeling and nostalgia that you get from a Harley.

  30. I bought my Challenger last year and love it, only thing I didn’t like was the soft sound of it. I put Zombie pipes on it and it sounds great now. once the road glides get the 131 kit on them then its a much closer race.


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