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Check Out Indian’s New 2021 Chieftain Elite (Celebrating 120 Years Of Greatness)

2021 indian chieftain elite

Limited To 120 Units!

Yeah, you heard that right; there’s a new Chieftain in town, and it’s going to be available in unbelievably low quantities, with a proper pricepoint to back up the limited nature of the motorcycle.

Indian’s Chieftain is at the top of the bagger-ladder when it comes to cruisers that are built to tour. It’s big, powerful, beautiful, packed with features, and premium in every way-shape-and-form (very comparable to Harley-Davidson’s Road/Street Glide bikes). 2021 not only brought us an updated Chieftain for the new model year, but Indian just announced the bikes final form; the Chieftain “Elite” – a motorcycle fit to be the celebration of Indian Motorcycle’s 120 years of service.

This Elite version of the standard chieftain will come in a very special two-tone paint job that Indian touts as being “Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Carbon Crystal”. The result is a spectacularly clean paint job featuring speckles and two-tone striping over all parts of the bike. Indian claims that this special hand-painted work takes their team over 24 hours to apply to the motorcycle.

Beyond the special paint, you can see that the Elite gets a new 19-inch front rim to complete the image, backed up with its lowered suspension when compared to the standard Chieftain.

Everything on this bike is color-matched, and even the accessories that you will be able to pick from to truly customize this limited-run bespoke bagger.

The bike wouldn’t be able to take the cake in naming itself “bagger of the year” without some serious firepower to back it up. The 2021 Chieftain Elite is ready for any flick-of-the-wrist thanks to the inclusion of Indian’s most powerful air-cooled powerplant; the Thunderstroke 116, capable of cranking out 126 ft-lb of torque. If that isn’t enough to rustle your jimmies, customers have access to Indian’s Stage 1 and Stage 2 performance accessory lines that can result in an 8% power increase thanks to new exhaust kits, intake, and a big cam kit if you’re feeling dicey.

“We designed the Chieftain Elite for riders who want to turn heads and stand out without sacrificing performance or comfort,” said Reid Wilson, Vice President of Indian Motorcycle.

“The bike’s attention to detail and world-class craftsmanship is second-to-none, while its extreme exclusivity makes it something truly special to own and ride.”

This special 1 of 120 beast will have a starting cost of $34,999 USD. For context, the standard Chieftain starts at $21,999 USD.


  1. I was into yo-yo back in the early 2010’s (and am slowly returning to it again now). I happened to click randomly on this article from my email, read to the bottom, and saw your name. And then I thought, ‘Nahhh, it couldn’t be. That would be a funny coincidence if that was the CLYW Chase Hadden’. And indeed it is you! What a small world!

    Also, great article, haha.

  2. 120 years of greatness? The original Indian motorcycle company went out of business (permanently) in 1953. Polaris bought the name in 2011. There is no 120 years of greatness or history.

  3. I agree with Biff Lomax, Indian went out of business in 1953. The new Indian is a Polaris and Indian in name only. How about using some integrity when reporting? Polaris may be using some of the original designs but it is still a Polaris and built by Polaris. It actually should be named Polaris Indian or Indian by Polaris as the new Indian is not the Original company.

  4. No thanks! The Chieftan looks like a steel frame with lots of stuff hanging off; plastic in front like a kids splashing pool on its side. I know it’s loud and can’t handle turns: but for all those wanna-be bikers, changing cams, exhaust and other truly customized accessories on a one-a-kind 1/2 ton motorcycle is all folly when out on the highway your ass, upper back and ears hurt so much you must stop at a bar with the other deaf and limping cruiser riders for a stiff-one. Form does follow function. What is this things’ function? To me, it’s ugly and loud.

  5. These baggers, Harleys included, were built for one thing in mind: eating miles on the long-haul touring. As an owner of a mere Dark Horse Chief, even it will eat those miles easily. If you want a faster bike, they are out there. If you are looking for a canyon Carver, look elsewhere. If you are looking for a quarter mile King, not here…
    But if you are looking for a touring machine, that will do 600 miles a day, day after day, in comfort, these bikes will get you there and back with no problems and no fatigue.
    Indians and Harleys are the kings of V-twin touring bikes.

  6. Agree somewhat about Indian. Yes they went out of business after the company support the war effort so much they couldn’t reach the market afterwards like H/D. Indian will also be the first American made motorcycle. It’s name came back several times throughout the years under different companies. H/D also went bankrupt a few times but came back. Polaris Indian is made 100% in America which should mean something to everyone. It means jobs, careers, community, and supportive tax income. These past years, Polaris has proven that their design and marketing has made a great product. Going head to head with a well known competitor like H/D in sales and racing is just friendly competition. Yes perhaps using the 120 years is a stretch as it wasn’t a continuous term. But each time and in between that indian came back, it was well known by many Americans. I own one and I am very happy with its quality. Being proud of owning it, is a honor.

  7. The Indian Motorcycle is truly a pleasure to ride. I’ve owned a
    350 Honda, a 650 BSA completely Chopped, a 920 Yamaha Virago, a HD Electra Glide, an Indian 111 Chief Vintage and currently an Indian 116 Chieftain Elite. I don’t have any ill feeling towards any other Motorcycle co. Ride what you want enjoy the wind in your face. Don’t knock the Indian Motorcycle, give yourself a treat and test drive one of their baggers. I’m sure you want to own one.

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