Is this the new Cadillac of touring motorcycles, the 2016 Indian Roadmaster?
Here’s my take on this luxury touring dresser. It’s basically the same ride as the 2015 model I tested back in December of 2014…here’s a repost for your consideration as you decide whether or not to spend your hard-earned cash on this motorcycle.
My 2-cents right up front. This is one superb, big time bagger.
It’s also one of the sleekest and sexiest full-dressers on the touring market in my humble opinion. An absolute beauty of a bike.
The Roadmaster is Indian’s answer to current market dominator, Harley-Davidson’s best touring machine, the Ultra Glide Limited. And a big answer they came up with. Just look at the beautiful lines and styling of the Roadmaster in the image below.
This is a big motorcycle…near 900 pounds dry weight.
Add a passenger and full cargo and you could be man-handling 1,400 pounds on 2-wheels. But don’t worry. You’ll get plenty of help from the solid/rigid cast aluminum frame. Regardless of payload, the Roadmaster rides smooth and solid over all types of road conditions from what I could tell. Not even San Diego’s pot holes were a match for this big boy of a bagger.
Frame and Suspension…provide real stability and handling confidence.
The frame and suspension felt perfectly in sync. The front telescopic forks provide 4.7 inches of travel and are appropriately stiff to my liking. The rear suspension is controlled by a single shock which offers 4.5 inches of travel. This rear shock is adjustable to your total payload. For me, the Roadmaster’s ride is near perfect. Small road bumps were barely noticeable whether straight up or leaning. The bike simply handles with grace.
Enough storage capacity for any road trip.
This Roadmaster comes with serious storage capacity…almost 38 gallons of weatherproof storage according to Indian’s specs. You can easily fit two full face helmets in the trunk. The hardbags and trunk are secured by quality locks. The keyless remote for the locks is a nice convenience feature.
The Seat: “Spectacular”.
The genuine tan leather is simply luxurious. Nicely padded, stitch design is immaculate. The seats offer superior support.
The Roadmaster seats, both rider and passenger, are heated and come standard with individual controls of high and low settings.
The aftermarket will be hard pressed to do better than this original manufacturer’s stock seat when it comes to the baseplate, foam and leather covering. It is pure quality.
What more can I say? The seats are darn right plush. Best motorcycle touring seat I’ve ever sat on and ridden. It’s an absolute butt pleaser.
The Cockpit…vintage cool.
The Cockpit offers some impressive luxuries. Roadmaster’s power adjusted windshield provides good air flow options for the rider to customize airflow, add to weather protection and even to reduce glare.
Keyless ignition comes with remote locking feature for hassle-free operation and security of a tamper proof ignition.
The sound system, at 200 watts, is amazing. It comes standard with AM, FM, WB, AUX and Bluetooth so that you can connect your iPod/MP3 player. Fairing and trunk speakers are top notch.
Standard options include a tire pressure monitoring system, state-of-the-art cruise control, and more. Click here for a complete listing of the manufacturer’s offering from the cockpit’s electronic gauge.
Sorry, no factory navigation available on the Roadmaster. More on this later in this post.
The Thunder Stroke 111.
Look it! As we serious riders all know, engine power matters. Torque counts!
WOW is all I can say about the Thunder Stroke motor. In fact, let me say double WOW to this engine.
It’s a modernized 49-degree 1811cc V-Twin displacing 111 cubic inches and it unleashes impressive torque power…119 ft.pds of it according to the tech pros at Indian Motorcycles.
The power spreads over the torque curve regardless of RPM level and regardless of which gear you are in it seems. I just love the smooth acceleration and power that comes out of this motor.
The Thunderstroke 111 differentiates itself favorably from Harley’s Ultra Glides which tend to come with 103.1 cubic inches at an estimated 1690cc.
Note: ** I could not find anyone, anywhere, anyhow who would talk to me about the Thunder Stroke’s actual horsepower.
So, let me offer my semi-educated, mechanic gearhead, humble opinion based on my 30+ years around motorcycle engines…I estimate this 1811cc motor is putting out around 90 hp. If you are a SuperFlow or Dynojet Pro, or have insider knowledge from the Indian Motorcycle Company, please let me and my blog fans know about the actual horsepower of the Thunder Stroke 111. Simply post your information in the comments section at the end of this post. “Horsepower” — We gearheads wanna know.
Update: See Comments Section below for horsepower update info sent in from one of my blog’s followers.
The Indian Roadmaster is a stylish and beautiful Dresser.
Roadmaster designers…you lost me at “No GPS”.
Got to admit…I did not expect that the Roadmaster, the newest Cadillac of Dressers, the want-to-be “Master of the Road”, would actually omit a basic factory navigation system from its list of exceptional offerings. How can that be I ask the Indian Motor Company?
That’s right folks. The Roadmaster does not come with GPS? Personally, as an experienced long distance rider, I find this to be a major design oversight and suggest this be addressed for the 2016 – 2017 models.
The Bottom Line.
The 2015 Indian Roadmaster is beautiful machine, a great handling full-dresser. The bike offers a spectacular and comfortable ride, plenty of engine power from every gear and is a clear winner in the design and attention to detail category. Add a state-of-the-art navigation system in 2016 and this big bagger could become the real deal…the true “Master of the Road”.
Ride Safe Out There.
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