The Timeless Indian Motorcycle That Will Always Turn Heads

Motorcycles like the 2023 Honda Rebel 1100T are cruiser bikes that have an ultra-modern aesthetic. Even cruisers from tradition-heavy brands like Harley Davidson – such as its newest iteration of the Street Bob — have a bit of vintage flair, but the matte black highlights and six-spoke wheels are decidedly modern touches that date the bike firmly within this century. The same, however, can not be said about the Indian Chief Vintage. Despite being offered as late as 2021, the Indian looks like it rolled right out of the 1950s and shares a name with the classic Indian bike that's been around for over 100 years. 

Starting from the front of the bike, the ornate front fender borrows heavily from previous iterations of the Chief dating back to right after the end of World War II. Its triple headlight design looks like it would be more at home in a parking lot of Packards and Studebakers and not ultra-modern Teslas and electric vehicles. The tall windshield is an obvious stylistic callback to cruiser bikes that were new when Harry Truman was president and long before huge fairings became the de facto way to deflect wind from the driver's face on long rides. The low, wide seat and leather saddlebags tie together the whole vintage aesthetic of the bike. Put all together, the model is a fairly striking piece of motorcycle history.

Can't beat the classics

Despite looking like it rolled right out of a time machine, it has some modern touches to ensure the driving experience doesn't feel like it's over 70 years old. For example, the bike is equipped with modern electronic and digital gauges. Cruise control, anti-lock brakes, keyless ignition, and an adjustable rear suspension are all standard, which makes it practically a space shuttle compared to its namesake from decades past. 

In addition to creature comforts, all of the turn signals are LEDs, and the big windshield is made out of sturdy Lexan. The bike's heart is a 111 cubic-inch V-Twin that's dubbed the Thunderstroke 111 and is very much a modern powerplant, producing 119 foot-pounds of torque at 3,000 rpm. Behind the wire wheels, huge fenders, and saddlebags is a mostly contemporary bike with a big dash of nostalgic flair. Cars like the Plymouth Prowler and Chrysler PT Cruiser tried and failed miserably to embody classic rides from the past, yet Indian not only made it work but also completely knocked it out of the park.