The ultimate tourer? Indian Roadmaster buyer’s guide
What we said then
“The Roadmaster achieves what it sets out to do in out-luxo-ing and outperforming Harley-davidson’s Electra Glide. That said, Indians are currently relatively unproven and the latest Project Rushmore Harleys are a vast improvement, so it’s close.” MCN launch report, November 2014
But what is it like now?
You can’t make a subtle entrance on the Roadmaster. Not only does the 200-Watt multifunction stereo announce your impending arrival from a considerable distance, the bike itself is a head-turner. The tan leather seats (complete with studs), the acres of chrome, the huge 64-litre topbox and panniers, this is a machine that screams ‘look at me!’. And you know what, I love its outrageously, over-the-top nature.
Bonkers as it is, despite its massive street presence the Roadmaster doesn’t feel a huge bike when you are on board because, unlike a stretched-out traditional cruiser, the riding position is quite short and upright. But it is heavy at 418kg and this really shows when paddling around and getting the bike off its sidestand. But , if you want all the creature comforts you have to expect a weight payoff. And the Roadmaster ticks every luxury box! As standard you get ABS, keyless ignition, cruise control, an electric screen, remote locking luggage, tyre pressure monitors, stereo, heated rider and pillion seats, heated grips and more.
Once rolling the low centre of gravity makes the weight disappear and it is surprisingly nimble for such a behemoth. Low-speed control is excellent and once you get up to speed it chugs along completely unflustered while you are cosseted in one of the most relaxing spaces on any motorcycle. It’s not perfect, the gearbox is clunky and the screen isn’t the best, but for watching the miles slip past in comfort the Roadmaster is an absolute joy. As a Harley alternative the Roadmaster can definitely go head-tohead with an Electra Glide.
Any obvious faults?
Showing 13,300 miles on its clocks, this 2015 Roadmaster has been well looked after. The chrome has no scratches or scrapes and everything is immaculate – as you would expect on a £17,495 used machine! According to the dealer, this is a one-owner-from-new bike, which is reassuring when you are paying so much.
Or worthwhile extras?
There isn’t much you can fit to a Roadmaster that isn’t already there, but this bike’s previous owner has added a ‘heel and toe’ gear lever and well as a bizarre mirror that sits on the dash and gives a fish-eye view. This bike is being sold with an alternative twin seat and sissy bar to allow for luggage-less riding, which is a nice touch for when you aren’t wanting to cover huge miles.
The Roadmaster is a great option if you want a full-dress tourer but aren’t keen on taking the traditional Harley route. Indian’s bikes are getting better and better and the level of build quality is extremely high. Tourers such as this aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and they are certainly pricey, but you get what you pay for back in terms of luxury, comfort and equipment.
Thanks to: Krazy Horse for the loan of this Roadmaster. They have a selection of new and used Indians for sale in their Bury St Edmunds shop. Call them on 01284 749645 or visit online at www.krazyhorse.co.uk
It's part Chesterfield sofa, part motorcycle