The Brain Bucket

Model Overview: 2017 Indian Chieftain® Dark Horse Review and Specs

May 17, 2021 4:36:04 PM / by RumbleOn Road Captain

The 2017 Chieftain® Dark Horse is a no-nonsense Indian motorcycle with a road presence that refuses to be ignored. 

Indian Motorcycle invites riders to “Lead the Pack” with the 2017 Indian Chieftain® Dark Horse, a 49-degree V-Twin bagger with a nonstop attitude and undeniable panache. Weighing in at over 1,000 pounds, this blacked-out full-dress tourer is Indian’s very own resident “bad boy.”

2017 Indian Chieftain Dark Horse Overview

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Powerful and attention-getting, the Chieftain® Dark Horse is propelled by Indian’s Thunder Stroke 111 engine, which according to, features an “entirely new, free-standing design, sharing nothing with previous Indian revivals or Polaris’ existing Victory motorcycle products.” Simply put, the Dark Horse is bursting with potential. 

Video Source: Autoportal YouTube

Indian Chieftain® Dark Horse Features

Over 8-feet long, the 2017 Chieftain® Dark Horse is one lofty son-of-a-gun, and its powertrain doesn’t mess around. Take into account how efficient (and exhilarating) the 111’s power band is—second through sixth gears employ quiet running helicals that “soften the load transfer from tooth to tooth and increase capacity”—and you’ll be hard-pressed to find another dresser with this much capacity.

2017 Indian Chieftain Dark Horse | Photo Source:

Photo Source: Total Motorcycle

The engine produces over 119 ft-lb of torque, which is plenty powerful considering the sheer magnitude of this machine. Turning corners requires caution, which is to be expected on a bagger this size, but Indian makes up for it with the bike’s 25-degree rake, proving how much the brand values responsive handling. A 26-inch solo seat, standard cruise control, and ABS braking give riders the confidence boost they need to conquer the Dark Horse.

And let’s not forget about the Indian Chieftain’s devastatingly good looks: matte black from nose to tail, a short tinted power windscreen, spacious power-locking saddlebags, and more than 450 factory accessories available for further customizing. I’m not sure what more can be said about this bike except that you’ll want to channel your inner Zorro before mounting.

2017 Indian Chieftain Dark Horse | Photo Source:

Photo Source: Total Motorcycle


2017 Indian Chieftain® Dark Horse Specs

  • Engine Type: Thunder Stroke® 111 (1,811cc) air-cooled V-Twin, 4-stroke; 2-cylinder
  • Bore x Stroke: 101 x 113mm
  • Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
  • Fuel System: EFI; closed-loop fuel injection / 54 mm bore
  • Transmission Type: Manual, 6-speed; multi-plate wet clutch
  • Valvetrain: 2 valves per cylinder
  • Valve Configuration: OHV - Pushrod
  • Final Drive: Belt

  • Front Suspension: Telescopic Fork, 46 mm Cartridge Forks with Dual Rate Springs; 4.7 inches of travel
  • Rear Suspension: Single Shock, Pneumatic Adjustment; 4.49 inches of travel

  • Front Brake Type: Dual / Floating Rotor / Four-Piston Calipers Dual Front / 300 MM with ABS
  • Rear Brake Type: Single / Floating Rotor / Two-Piston Caliper / 300 MM with ABS

  • Front Tire: Dunlop® Elite130/90 - 16 73H
  • Rear Tire: Dunlop® Elite180/60 - 16 80H

  • L x W x H: 101.2 in x 40.2 in x 60.2 in
  • Seat height: 26.0 in
  • Ground Clearance: 5.6 in
  • Wheelbase: 65.7 in

  • Wet weight: 1,385*
  • Fuel Capacity: 5.5 gal
    *as reported by the manufacturer

An iconic brand with a mission to deliver unmatched performance and durability, Indian’s marksmanship shines through with this bagger bullseye.


Do you have a favorite full-dress tourer from Indian Motorcycle? Chieftain® Dark Horse strike your fancy? Let me know in a comment!

RumbleOn Road Captain

Written by RumbleOn Road Captain

Your fearless leader in all things to do with motorcycle education. I cover tips and advice for motorcycle riders, motorcycle product reviews, and pretty much anything I think is useful to my fellow bikers.