2021 Indian Chieftain Elite | First Look Review

2021 Indian Chieftain Elite
The 2021 Indian Chieftain Elite is limited to 120 units globally and starts at $34,999.

Those looking for pure American V-twin opulence will enjoy today’s news: Indian Motorcycle has announced the limited-edition 2021 Indian Chieftain Elite. Starting at $34,999, Indian’s flagship touring rig is decked-out with exclusive paint and features that are a cut above the American brand’s other offerings.

Limited to 120 units globally, the Chieftain Elite is aimed at riders that want to make sure all eyes are on them when they roll on the scene. And that starts with the eye-catching two-tone Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Carbon Crystal paint job. Each Chieftain Elite receives a thorough and meticulous 24-hour paint process, incorporating a stunning gunmetal flake layer, giving it a custom look right off the showroom floor.

2021 Indian Chieftain Elite

The custom V-twin vibes of the Chieftain Elite are only increased with the sleek fairing, slammed bags, lowered suspension and sizeable 19-inch machined front wheel. Those who want to take things a step further can peruse the Indian Motorcycle accessories catalog’s plentiful offerings and opt for a variety of handlebars, seats, and more.

As this is Indian’s premier touring machine, nothing else but the massive air-cooled Thunderstroke 116 V-twin engine will do, and it claims to put down a whopping 126 lb-ft of torque. The Chieftain Elite also features Slate Smoke engine finishes, elevating the visual experience. Three selectable ride modes are available (Tour, Standard and Sport) that adjust throttle response accordingly. 

2021 Indian Chieftain Elite

Features are aplenty aboard the ultra-exclusive Chieftain Elite, including Pathfinder LED lighting, a push-button tinted windscreen, premium aluminum floorboards and a 400-watt PowerBand audio system. But wait, there’s more! ABS, keyless ignition, a tire pressure monitoring system, as well as weatherproof and remote-locking saddlebags that provide 18-gallons of storage are standard.

Indian’s Ride Command infotainment is included, allowing riders to connect their mobile devices and utilize weather, traffic, AppleCarPlay, navigation and much more.

2021 Indian Chieftain Elite

If you’re interested in becoming one of the 120 owners of a 2021 Chieftain Elite, you’d better act fast, because they’re arriving in dealers now. 

For more information about the 2021 Indian Chieftain Elite, visit Indian Motorcycle.

2021 Indian Chieftain Elite Photo Gallery:


  1. Nice writeup and pics, Nic!
    Sadly, too pricey for my budget, but I can still dream. My sights /budget are set on the new Chief lineup. Looking forward to seeing these in person and hopefully riding it home!

  2. Rider mag acting as nothing more than a shill for their advertising client, Polaris. For the extra cash you get, wait for it… Paint, and speakers. For that privilege, you pay over 10k more than the std chieftain.

    I’m leaving Ducati after over 20 years, and these bikes are amazing. The engines, are so awesome. It’s easy to vibe on them after leaving Duc; but the premium model designation of “elite”, for what amounts to just paint and finish is pathetic. I was leaning hard towards Indian; but their pricing model makes a new Harley make sense.

    I can get the exact features I want on an Ultra for substantially less than the “Elite” Chieftain. The “Elite” hits 40k plus when you add just the basics that should already be on a bike billed as “elite”. The Ultra becomes an easy choice.

    Thanks for clearing that up for a new American v-twin buyer there Indian.


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