2018 Motorcycle Previews 2018 Indian Chieftain Elite First Look | Limited Edition Bagger

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite First Look | Limited Edition Bagger

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite First Look Preview

Last year, Indian unveiled the Chieftain Elite, which tweaked the base model with multiple factory accessories, and a larger 19-inch front wheel. Things change slightly for 2018.

Meet the 2018 Indian Chieftain Elite, which is highlighted by not only custom “Black Hills Silver paint” applied entirely by hand, but also, if more elitism is craved, a more powerful engine with the optional Thunder Stroke 116 Stage 3 Big Bore Kit.

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite First Look priceIndian says the 116 Stage 3 Big Bore Kit adds 20 percent more horsepower and 15 percent more torque. With these numbers, the Chieftain Elite should produce around 100 horsepower and 127 ft/lbs of torque.

Additional power is always welcomed, but the highlight is the paint. Inspired by the silver mines in the Black Hills of South Dakota, near Indian Motorcycle’s custom paint facility in Spearfish, S.D., Indian says each Chieftain Elite took nearly 25 hours to complete.

Indian says a team of experts masked the bodywork, laid the graphics, and hand-sprayed each Chieftain Elite. Due to the level of human touch, no two bikes are exactly the same.

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite First Look specs“Whether cruising around the city or touring the country backroads, the 2018 Chieftain Elite delivers on its promise of being the best bagger that money can buy,” said Reid Wilson, Senior Director – Marketing and Product Planning for Indian Motorcycle.

“This bike was born to turn heads and provide an unmatched riding experience with all of the premium amenities included.”

Besides the new specialized paint, all else is reminiscent of the debut 2017 Chieftain Elite, including the 19-inch, 10-spoke, contrast-cut front wheel, 200-Watt premium audio system, Pathfinder LED headlight and driving lights, a push-button power flare windshield, billet aluminum Select Driver and Passenger Floorboards, and genuine leather seats.

New for this year’s Chieftain Elite are pinnacle mirrors and updated, smaller hand controls for improved ergonomics.

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite First Look A host of other features come standard, including Ride Command – the largest, fastest, most customizable infotainment system on two wheels. The seven-inch, glove-compatible touchscreen features turn-by-turn navigation, customizable rider information screens and Bluetooth® compatibility. The Chieftain Elite also features ABS, cruise control, tire pressure monitoring, remote-locking saddlebags and keyless ignition.

Color-matched accessories are also available for riders who want extra protection, style and storage, including a Quick Release Trunk, Hard Lower Fairings and a Valanced Front Fender.

Only a limited number will be produced (number not reported as of this writing), and each 2018 Indian Chieftain Elite’s price will start at $31,499 in the U.S.A ($37,999 in Canada), which are the same as the 2017 model. The bikes are available at all Indian Motorcycle dealers now.

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Specs


  • Type: Thunder Stroke 111 49-degree V-twin
  • Displacement: 116 cubic inches (1811cc)
  • Compression ratio: 9.5:1
  • Fueling: Closed-loop EFI w/ 54mm throttle body
  • Valve train: Triple-cam pushrod, 2vpc
  • Cooling: Air/oil
  • Exhaust: Split dual exhaust w/ crossover
  • Transmission 6-speed, constant mesh
  • Clutch: Wet multi-plate
  • Primary drive: Gear
  • Final Drive: Belt


  • Front Suspension: Non-adjustable 46mm fork; 4.7 inches of travel
  • Rear Suspension: Air-adjustable shock; 4.5 inches of travel
  • Front wheel: 19” x 3.5”
  • Rear wheel: 16” x 5.0”
  • Front tire: 130/60 x 19; Dunlop American Elite
  • Rear tire: 180/60 x 16; Dunlop Elite 3 Multi-Compound
  • Front brakes: 300mm floating rotors w/ 4-piston calipers
  • Rear brake: 300mm floating rotor w/ 2-piston caliper
  • ABS: Standard


  • Wheelbase: 65.7 inches
  • Rake: 25 degrees
  • Trail: 5.9 inches
  • Seat height: 26 inches
  • Fuel capacity 5.5 gallons
  • Dry weight: 823 pounds

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite

  • Black Hills Silver with Marble Accents

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Price:

  • $31,499 MSRP

2018 Indian Chieftain Elite Photo Gallery

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

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