While last week we brought you the news that Indian had developed an all-new water-cooled engine – the 121hp/178Nm PowerPlus – for the new Challenger bagger, we had to wait until now to see the new bike in all its glory.
“The Indian Challenger delivers a new level of performance for riders who understand that the seemingly small details make a huge difference,” said Reid Wilson, Vice President of Indian Motorcycle. “Our mindset was to leave no stone unturned and deliver a bagger that exceeds the standards in categories like power, handling, comfort, and technology.”
As we theorised last week, the 2020 Indian Challenger will be available in multiple trim levels including as one of Indian's signature blacked-out Dark Horse line.
As riders have come to expect from premium American Iron, the Challenger features all the premium touring amenities expected for the bagger class, including electronic cruise control, full LED lighting, a long-haul seat, ABS, keyless ignition, and weatherproof saddlebags with over 68 litres of storage space.
Visually, the Challenger boasts a chassis mounted fairing which features an adjustable windscreen with nearly 76mm of travel and adjustable air vents. As is the current trend, the Challenger features LED running lights in addition to a central headlamp, plus a redesigned and modernised Indian Motorcycle headdress adorning its front fender.
Indian says that this, combined with the bike’s lightweight cast aluminium frame and hydraulically adjustable FOX® rear shock, delivers unrivalled handling and rock-solid stability.
Bringing the big bagger to a stop are radially-mounted Brembo brakes matched to Metzeler’s new performance touring Cruisetec® tyres.
The Challenger Limited and Challenger Dark Horse are equipped with Indian Motorcycle’s intuitive Smart Lean Technology™, which should help keep riders confidently grounded by utilising a Bosch IMU to add cornering pre-control to the dynamic traction control and ABS, as well as Drag Torque Control. These models also feature Indian‘s RideCommand infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen. The system features weather and traffic overlays, key vehicle information, Bluetooth® and USB mobile pairing, and an all-new quad-core processor for faster response.
For its inaugural year, the Challenger lineup is accompanied by a variety of Indian Motorcycle Authentic Accessories that allow riders to upgrade their ride based on their preferences. Official accessories range from the ability to add premium blacked-out styling with a gloss black mid-rise handlebar, a tinted curved windshield and gloss black front highway bars to more touring focussed additions including a larger 406mm windshield, quick release passenger sissy bar, passenger backrest and passenger floorboards, an extended reach seat, rider backrest pad, infinite highway pegs and pinnacle heel shifter.
Riders can also upgrade the Indian Challenger’s audio experience with the PowerBand Audio Plus system, which delivers exceptional sound and clarity from high-output fairing and saddlebag speakers that are 50% louder than the Challenger’s stock audio system.
“While we are grounded in our iconic history, we are focused and driven to break new ground and establish a higher standard for riders; and the Challenger is a testament to that,” said Steve Menneto, President of Indian Motorcycle. “The amount of technology and level of detail packed into this bike is incredible, and it’s something we’re extremely proud of.”
On Throttle has reached out to Polaris NZ, the distributors of Indian Motorcycle in NZ, to find out when we’ll likely see the Challenger here and will update this article with their response.