Indian Motorcycle Reveals PowerPlus Engine for New Bagger


If you’re a fan of America’s oldest name in motorcycling, Indian Motorcycle, you’ll be aware that the company has been rumoured to be working on a water-cooled engine for some time now.


After what feels like years of rumours, the company has finally revealed the long-awaited engine to the public and it certainly has the specification to impress.


The new engine’s PowerPlus moniker is a nod to Indian Motorcycle’s iconic history, paying homage to the Indian PowerPlus motorcycle produced from 1916 to 1924.


“We challenge our engineers with the notion that anything less than best-in-class design and performance will simply not get it done, and it’s clear with this new engine that they have delivered on that high standard,” said Steve Menneto, Indian Motorcycle President.

“Countless hours were spent in design, development and testing to ensure this is the best liquid-cooled V-twin ever developed, and I could not be prouder of our team and this incredible motor.”

The PowerPlus takes design and performance inspiration from Indian’s first liquid-cooled engine which debuted in the Indian Scout, including an overhead camshaft design utilising four valves per cylinder, and then goes even further.


The all-new powertrain features a six-speed transmission, assist clutch to reduce clutch effort, and three rider modes which adjust the engine’s throttle mapping.


Reliability was also top of Indian’s mind when developing the new powerplant, and as such the company says the PowerPlus was tested and refined over one million miles of simulated riding, including state-of-the-art dyno testing, and more than 250,000 on-road miles.


Developing a class-leading 121 horsepower (90.1 kW) and 178 Nm of torque from a displacement of 1769cc, the PowerPlus engine is at this stage not going to replace Indian’s ageing-yet-characterful Thunderstroke 111 in the Chief line, which itself recently received an update ahead of 2020's Euro emissions standards coming into force.

Instead, the PowerPlus is destined to be the heart of an all-new bagger for Indian dubbed the Indian Challenger which Indian claims will be the highest-performing American V-twin ever developed.


Going by the fact Indian has shown off both a chrome finished and blacked-out version of the PowerPlus so far, we believe the new Indian Challenger will also be made available in a Dark Horse specification.


No word yet on when we'll actually see the new Indian Challenger for the first time, but we wouldn't bet against the bike making its debut at EICMA in Milan in just a couple of weeks time.


Indian Motorcycle PowerPlus Engine Specifications:

• Engine Displacement: 1769cc (108 ci) • Power: 120.6 hp / 90.1 kW  at 5,500 RPM • Torque: 178 Nm / 131.3 ft-lbs at 3,800 RPM • Maximum Engine Speed: 6,500 RPM • Architecture: 60-degree V-twin, liquid-cooled powerplant • Crankcase: Unit design featuring a high capacity semi-dry sump oil system • Timing System: Overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder • Fuel System: Electronic fuel injection. 52mm dual bore throttle bodies • Compression Ratio: 11:1 • Transmission: Six-speed with true overdrive, constant mesh • Clutch: Assist clutch

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