Using its new Chief platform as a foundation, Indian creates the Chief Bobber Dark Horse. For a more authentic appearance and feel that harkens back to classic home job motorcycles, many Bobbers choose a liberal blackout treatment to give their bikes even more character. Despite the manufacturer’s best efforts to conjure the past, the Thunder Stroke 116 engine and under-the-hood mechanical wizardry claim to help you keep the thing clean-side down the pack in more than enough of the present.
2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse Cruisers – Features and Specs
Like the rest of the new Chief collection, the Bobber Dark Horse aims to evoke the spirit of the post-war motorcycle culture. Still, it does it in a notably homegrown way, with features like its brutally hacked-down fenders, thick blacked laced wheels, and a mini-ape handlebar. The Forties will stare back at you as you step back to get a better look, its fat front end and beer can fork skirts drawing attention to its massive proportions.
If you follow the spine down, you’ll find it attaches to the rear shocks, which, like the first coil-over shocks, can rock a can of beer. Unlike Triumph’s Bobber from the Bonneville line or Harley-Bobber Softail’s from the Iron line, the BDH features an accurate yoke-style swing arm but evokes the appearance of the old inflexible rear ends. Davidson’s, even though it’s just a cheap visual gimmick, and I find it entertaining.
However, the CBDH’s design of a single round instrument panel in front of a round cyclops headlight housing doesn’t tell the whole picture. The headlight has been modernized with LED projectors and daytime running light emitters. The gauges on an Indian motorcycle are hidden beneath a color TFT touchscreen entertainment system called Ride Command.
High-rise hand positions, front controls, and a single seat that’s 26 inches high put the rider in a comfortable windsock position when traveling and offer them enough leverage when stopping, even if they’re on the shorter side. For the finishing touch, the tag holder has been moved low on the left side, show bike-style, so as not to detract from the streamlined profile of the shortened rear panel. The taillights are also equipped with LED illumination.
The Chief Bobber Dark Horse is built on a tubular steel frame designed for this model. Its open steering head and angular design make it seem like the frame was maybe scraped and extended to further reference indigenous American design aesthetics. The rake of 29 degrees, along with a trail of 5.2 inches across a wheelbase of 64 inches, creates the impression that the vehicle is more stable and tracks more accurately when subjected to a crosswind.
The front is suspended by a pair of 46 mm rwu forks with 5.2 inches of travel, while twin-covered shocks support the back with 3 inches of travel and adjustable preload as the only adjustment. Wire wheels with Pirelli Night Dragon tires in 130/90 and 180/65, each measuring 16 inches in diameter, round out the rig’s rolling chassis. All the lights are, of course, painted black.
The engine room is where the magic happens, and the Thunder Stroke 116 powertrain inside is the real deal. First, let’s take a look at the visuals. With its parallel pushrod tube pairs and faux cooling fins molded into the rocker box covers, the TS 116 evokes the design of the classic flatties. The TS 116 uses the tried-and-true V-twin layout of its predecessor. It would be difficult to overstate this setup’s flair, and the maker deserves credit for clearly investing much in making this a reality.
Because of its long-stroke design and 11-to-1 compression ratio, which results in a displacement of 116 cubic inches (1,890 ccs), the engine requires a steady supply of high-octane road fuel to prevent knock, ping, and run-on. The pulse-sharing action of the crossover tube between the two exhaust pipes reduces exhaust limitation and prevents exhaust-gas reversal, ensuring a reliable and efficient operation.
While a single 54 mm throttle body handles induction for both jugs, the Ride Modes feature lets you tailor power delivery to the conditions. To reduce the pilot’s exposure to heat wash, certain vehicles are equipped with a technology called “Back Cylinder Deactivation,” which turns off the rear cylinder whenever the car is in a park while the engine is running.
A gear-type main drive delivers power to the six-speed gearbox through a standard wet clutch pack, giving it one of the deepest torque wells imaginable from a production engine (120 lb-ft available at a low 2,900 rpm). The maximum speed is about 115 miles per hour, which is quite fast for public transit.
2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse Cruisers – Price
There is an indissoluble link between hue and cost. Starting at only $18,999, the base Black Smoke model could be suitable if you want your coffee as dark and robust as mine. Sheet metal in the colors Titanium Smoke (gray) or Sagebrush Smoke (green) will cost you an extra $5.
2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse Cruisers – Technical Specifications
Engine & Drivetrain
|Bore x Stroke||4.063″ x 4.449″ (103.2mm x113mm)|
|Displacement||116 cu in (1,890 ccs)|
|Drive/Driven Clutch||Wet, Multi-Plate|
|Electronic Fuel Injection System||Closed loop fuel injection / 54mm bore|
|Engine Type||Thunderstroke 116|
|Exhaust||Dual Exhaust w/ Crossover|
|Peak Torque||120ft-lbs (162Nm)|
|Peak Torque RPM||2,900RPM|
|Transmission/Final Drive||2.2: 1|
|Transmission/Primary Drive||Gear Drive Wet Clutch|
|Ground Clearance||4.9-inch (125mm)|
|Fuel Capacity||4 gal (15.1 Liters)|
|Overall Length||90-inch (2,286mm)|
|Overall Height||53.1-inch (1,349mm)|
|Overall Width||36-inch (915mm)|
|Rake/Trail||29-degree / 5.2 inches (131.5mm)|
|Seat Height||26 inches (662mm)|
|Wheelbase||64 inches (1,626mm)|
|Front Brakes||Single, 300mm Semi-Floating Rotor, 4 Piston Caliper|
|Rear Brakes||Single, 300mm Floating Rotor, 2 Piston Caliper|
Tires / Wheels
|Front Tires||Pirelli Night Dragon 130/90B16 67H|
|Front Wheel||Wire Spoke 16 inches x 3 inches|
|Rear Tires||Pirelli® Night Dragon 180/65 B16 81H|
|Rear Wheel||Wire Spoke 16 in x 5 in|
|Front Fork Tube Diameter||46mm|
|Front Suspension||Telescopic Fork|
|Front Travel||5.2 inches (132mm)|
|Rear Suspension||Dual Shocks w/adjustable preload|
|Rear Travel||3 inches (75mm)|
|Color / Graphics||Black Smoke, Titanium Smoke, Sagebrush Smoke|
|Factory Warranty||2 Years, Unlimited Miles|
|Gauges||Speedometer, fuel gauge, compass, Tachometer, Odometer, ambient temperature, Gear indicator|
|Infotainment||4 inches Round Ride Command® Display with connected services such as real-time traffic weather & traffic overlay included for a complimentary 1-year trial for related features from the vehicle sales date. Touchscreen display features a real-time clock; ambient air temperature; audio information display; heading; map/navigation including real-time traffic and weather; Bluetooth status for rider’s phone and headset; vehicle status; vehicle info; current ride data; trip meters; ride mode selection; screen brightness & vehicle trouble code readout.|
|Lights||All-new LED Headlight and LED Tail/Brake/Turn Signals|
|Standard Equipment||ABS, Ride Modes, USB charge port, Keyless Ignition, 12V Charge Port, Rear Cylinder Deactivation|
Chief Bobber Dark Horse Cruisers vs. Fat Bob 114
The Fat Bob, a second-generation Soft ail with a post-war look inspired by its rich history like the Indian mount’s but with a faux hardtail rear end for a more modern feel, debuted in the 1980s. The sheet metal is stripped down to the bare minimum, giving it a bobber-like look, and there are enormous donuts in the front and rear to complete the look. The MoCo made a poor decision by installing cast wheels on a vehicle that begs for laced rims.
Milwaukee didn’t skimp on their blackout finish for the Fat Bob, which is nearly as dark as its Indian relative thanks to bronzed and drilled heat shields and brushed metal silencers at the exhaust. H-entry D’s is propelled by a 1,868 cc Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine, which is a little less potent than the 118 pound-foot generated by the Indian. While anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are standard equipment, Harley’s electrical refinements stop short of providing a match for the Indian’s Ride Command and Ride Modes.
If you were counting on the price tag, you might want to reevaluate your position. The Fat Bob 114 can be had for a lowly $18,799 in Vivid Black, with other colorways costing $19,199.