In­di­ans curry favour with com­fort

Geraldton Guardian - - Motoring - Stu­art Wood­bury and Peter Thoem­ing

In­dian Mo­tor­cy­cle has been mov­ing for­wards at quite a fast rate, con­sid­er­ing that only a cou­ple of years ago they (un­der dif­fer­ent man­age­ment) were hardly to be seen.

Brand new en­gines and plat­forms have been cre­ated and the lat­est re­sult to be re­leased is the stun­ning Spring­field, named af­ter the lo­ca­tion of the orig­i­nal In­dian fac­tory (not af­ter the one that’s home to The Simp­sons, I think).

Stun­ning? Well, you might think it looks just like any of the other In­dian Chief mo­tor­cy­cles, but you’d be wrong. This bike is def­i­nitely spe­cial.

It’s in the fine de­tail that you find the things that set the Spring­field apart from the rest of the range. It also makes it, in my more or less hum­ble opin­ion, the best tourer of the In­dian range.

And that is ex­actly what we got to do on the re­cent launch of the Spring­field — tour.

In­dian Mo­tor­cy­cle Aus­tralia brought along the en­tire tribe of 2016 In­di­ans so we could ride them all back to back. I also got to ride the Scout and new Scout Sixty back to back, but that’s in a sep­a­rate story. An­other good one, too!

Aimed squarely at Har­ley’s Road King, the Spring­field has been sharp­ened up in the chas­sis with less trail, a shorter wheel­base and higher tyre pres­sures when com­pared to the sim­i­lar Chief Vin­tage.

This gives you faster turn in and a more ag­ile mo­tor­cy­cle — some­thing we got to try out hit­ting the Putty Road with its hun­dreds of twists and turns.

The Putty also showed up an­other thing I love about this bike — the ex­cel­lent ground clear­ance.

Cruisers aren’t renowned for their mas­sive lean an­gles, but you can crank the Spring­field over quite a way be­fore touch­ing down the long foot­boards.

To put this into per­spec­tive, I only touched the foot­boards down three times through the tight Six­teen Kay Bends and I wasn’t muck­ing around.

As a tour­ing plat­form, the Spring­field comes stan­dard with a be­spoke quick-re­lease wind­shield, re­mote lock­ing hard bags, ad­justable pas­sen­ger floor­boards, real leather seat­ing, high-res­o­lu­tion anti-lock brakes, tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing, elec­tronic cruise con­trol, a pow­er­ful head­light and dual driv­ing lights, and front and rear high­way bars, which al­low mount­ing of ac­ces­sories and of­fer valu­able pro­tec­tion from tip-overs, as one poor soul (not me) found out dur­ing the launch.

Pow­ered by the highly re­garded Thun­der Stroke 111 en­gine, the In­dian Spring­field of­fers more than 161Nm of torque.

We have rid­den the other mod­els in the In­dian range fit­ted with this en­gine, but not ones equipped with the ac­ces­sory per­for­mance muf­flers and high-flow air in­take, and boy what a dif­fer­ence this makes.

Rather than feel­ing choked, the Thun­der Stroke 111 feels strong and per­forms as you can rea­son­ably ex­pect from such an im­pos­ing pow­er­plant.

But for me, the stand-out fea­ture of the Spring­field is the com­fort.

When­ever you’re think­ing of buy­ing a tour­ing mo­tor­cy­cle, com­fort is def­i­nitely one of the, and prob­a­bly the, most im­por­tant things.

It fea­tures on any po­ten­tial owner’s list and the Spring­field has all-day, and I mean all-day, com­fort. The plush seat (and pil­lion seat), along with the Buck Horn han­dle­bar and long foot­boards (ad­justable for the pil­lion) put you in a po­si­tion that is one of the most com­fort­able on the mar­ket.

I found the re­mov­able wind­screen (5cm shorter than the one on the Vin­tage) to be quite good, but a num­ber of par­tic­i­pants on the launch pre­ferred to have it re­moved.

They were, how can I put this, er, short peo­ple.

The range of ac­ces­sories from In­dian is long and tasty. A num­ber of the bikes on the launch had some of the more pop­u­lar ones fit­ted.

The ex­haust and air in­take I’ve al­ready men­tioned, but one of the other Spring­fields had a pas­sen­ger back­rest which I think would be quite high on many own­ers’ lists of must-haves!

Some say that spring is the sea­son of new life and feel­ing fresh, and this is kind of what you’ll feel rid­ing the In­dian Spring­field. It makes you feel good and that can only bring about the feel­ing of be­ing younger at heart — what more could you want from a mo­tor­cy­cle?

Pic­ture: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

See the world from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.