Indian Motorcycle on Tuesday accidentally offered the first real glimpse of its forthcoming Challenger model, including the not-yet-officially-revealed tourer in press photos for the 2020 Scout line-up.
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Ever since video from a dealership meeting leaked onto YouTube about three weeks ago we’ve known that Indian had at least two big announcements coming our way: a number of Scout-related accessories and special models, and the far more intriguing Indian Challenger.
The Challenger is an all-new touring beast powered by a 1770cc liquid-cooled V-Twin engine called the PowerPlus 108, which is reportedly capable of delivering ~120 horsepower. That’s an impressive number in the world of big-twin touring rigs, and exciting enough that folks have been buzzing about it for months. Spy pics were first seen all the way back in April and have been fuelling scuttlebutt ever since.
I can’t think of too many other times that American bikes have been the victim of the spy shot treatment that seems to spoil the surprise of so many European bikes. Well, except with early images of Indian’s FTR 1200. To that end, one quietly wonders if Indian’s leaks are wholly accidental. Not as blatant as the perfectly framed, multiple angle ‘spy shots’ that tend to precede the reveal of a new Triumph or KTM, but perhaps, maybe, the sort of thing that’s done with a knowing wink from higher ups.
“Oops, we accidentally created internet buzz for our brand. Again.”
Anyhoo, however it happened, Indian managed to scoop itself this week when one of the pictures released to European media to promote the Scout Bobber Twenty featured a new Challenger in the background.
Based on just the look of it, I’d guess this bike has the same chassis as Indian’s other touring bikes, but with a markedly more badass look. Indeed, beyond the engine and that unique fairing, I’d expect the Challenger to look very much like the Chieftain, the Chieftain Dark Horse in particular. Not a bad thing. I expect most people will see a fair bit of the Harley-Davidson Road Glide in Indian’s new fairing but I’d argue that its true spiritual ancestor is the Victory Cross Country.
It’s difficult to work out whether that screen is fixed or electronic but, as I’ve said before, I’ll expect Indian to throw every bell and whistle it has at this thing. And, as I’ve said before, I have no doubt it will be priced far beyond my grasp. A boy can dream, though. And now that the cat is out of the bag, surely it won’t be too much longer before Indian gives us the full reveal. Place your bets on when the Challenger will finally arrive.