Indian Motorcycle has been making waves in the cruiser market with its lineup of modern and classic bikes. The brand's flagship model, the Challenger, is a full-size bagger that combines performance, comfort, and technology in a stunning package. The 2023 Indian Challenger is the latest iteration of this impressive machine, and it offers some new features and improvements over the previous versions. Here are some of the highlights of the 2023 Indian Challenger.
The Engine: The Power Plus
The heart of the Challenger is the Power Plus engine, a liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-twin that delivers 122 horsepower and 128 ft-lbs of torque. This engine is exclusive to the Challenger, and it is the most powerful engine in Indian's history. The Power Plus has a smooth and refined character, with a pleasing burble from the split dual exhaust. The engine is paired with a six-speed transmission and a wet, multi-plate clutch with assist function. The Power Plus also features a fully adjustable MaXX Sport ECU, which allows riders to customize the engine performance to their preferences.
The Chassis: The Inverted Fork and Fox Shock
The Challenger has a lightweight cast-aluminum frame that provides a rigid and stable platform for the bike. The front suspension is an inverted telescopic cartridge fork with 43 mm diameter tubes and 5.1 inches of travel. The rear suspension is a Fox single shock with hydraulic adjustment and 4.5 inches of travel. The suspension is tuned for comfort and handling, and it can cope with various road conditions. The Challenger also has race-spec Brembo brakes, with dual 320 mm semi-floating rotors and four-piston radial calipers in the front, and a single 298 mm floating rotor and two-piston caliper in the rear. The brakes are equipped with ABS for enhanced safety.
The Features: The Ride Command and LED Lighting
The Challenger is loaded with features that make it a premium touring bike. One of the most notable features is the Ride Command system, which is Indian's proprietary infotainment system. The Ride Command consists of a 7-inch touchscreen display that shows various information, such as speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, odometer, gear indicator, ambient temperature, heading, audio information, and more. The Ride Command also has selectable ride modes (Rain, Standard, Sport), which adjust the throttle response and traction control settings. The Ride Command can also be paired with a smartphone via Bluetooth or USB, and it can access navigation, music, calls, messages, weather, and more.
The Challenger also has full LED lighting, including headlamp, tail lamp, brake light, and turn signals. The headlamp has an adaptive feature that adjusts the beam angle according to the lean angle of the bike. This provides better visibility in corners and curves. The Challenger also has a power windshield that can be adjusted electronically to suit the rider's preference. The windshield can reduce wind noise and buffeting at high speeds. LED Factory Mart offers a wide range of Indian motorcycle lights
The Style: The Blacked-Out Silhouette
The Challenger has a distinctive style that sets it apart from other baggers. The bike has an aggressive and sleek silhouette, with a chassis-mounted fairing that houses the headlamp and the Ride Command display. The fairing also has adjustable air vents that can regulate the airflow to the rider. The bike has a low seat height of 26.5 inches, which makes it easy to mount and dismount. The bike also has spacious weatherproof saddlebags that can store up to 18 gallons of cargo. The saddlebags have remote locking for convenience.
The Challenger comes in two variants: the standard Challenger and the Challenger Dark Horse. The standard Challenger is available in two colors: Black Metallic and Titanium Smoke. The Dark Horse is available in three colors: Thunder Black Smoke, Ruby Smoke, and White Smoke. The Dark Horse has a more sinister look, with blacked-out components such as wheels, forks, handlebars, exhaust tips, mirrors, levers, gauges, engine covers, and more.
The Verdict: A Smooth Operator
The 2023 Indian Challenger is a smooth operator that can handle long-distance rides with ease. The bike has a powerful and refined engine that delivers exhilarating performance. The bike also has a comfortable and agile chassis that provides precise handling. The bike also has a plethora of features that enhance the riding experience, such as the Ride Command system, the LED lighting, the power windshield, and more. The bike also has a stunning style that attracts attention wherever it goes.
The 2023 Indian Challenger is not without flaws, however. Some of the drawbacks include the controls that are not very intuitive or ergonomic, the screen that can be troublesome to operate or see in certain conditions, and the weight that can be cumbersome in slow-speed maneuvers. Nevertheless, these are minor issues that do not overshadow the overall excellence of the bike.
The 2023 Indian Challenger is a bike that can challenge any other bagger in the market. It is a bike that offers a blend of power, comfort, technology, and style that is hard to beat. It is a bike that is worthy of its name.