With the Roadmasters handling traditional fully dressed touring duties for Indian, the new 2022 Pursuit takes on the responsibility of adding a bit of sport to the mix of comfort, style, and long-distance capabilities. Basically, an Indian Challenger with a top box, the Pursuit positions itself as a hot-rod luxury tourer propelled by Indian’s liquid-cooled 108ci PowerPlus motor. We grabbed a 2022 Indian Pursuit Dark Horse with the Premium Package and started tallying up the miles, and miles per hour.
It is difficult to focus on any one aspect of the 2022 Indian Pursuit when talking about it. You have the potent 122 horsepower V-twin with 128 ft-lbs of pavement rippling torque matched to the comfortable ergonomics of a fully dressed touring cruiser. The cast aluminum frame is stout and the suspension top-notch, plus there are over 132 liters of storage ready for cross-country touring. Fortunately, all of these features complement each other, rather than conflicting and causing confusion concerning the motorcycle’s mission.
Top on the list of the demands of long-distance riders is comfort, and the Pursuit offers a ride without fatigue. The Pursuit tips its hand when you bring the PowerPlus motor to life. A touch of the start button fires the big twin up, but you barely feel it—it purrs like a kitten. Although vibrations rise as the engine speed increases, you can cruise at over 100 mph without the motor feeling strained. Even at high speeds, the frame-mounted fairing and electronically adjustable windscreen give the rider a cozy cocoon. The wide handlebar sweeps the grips to your hands for a natural feel. The dished seat is not overly soft, and there’s plenty of lower back support. Long floorboards offer the rider a wide range of foot-position choices, while adjustable lower louvers effectively alter airflow.
With a name like Pursuit, performance is promised—and delivered. The PowerPlus engine is delightfully docile at lower speeds, making it easy to ride in traffic. However, when you hit the open road, the only thing limiting you is your concern for your driver’s license. The motor spins up willingly and effortlessly from its sub-1k idle to the 6500-rpm rev limiter, so extra-legal speeds are just a wrist twist away. There’s plenty of roll-on power to pass without downshifting, though clicking down to 5th gear for an overtake makes things happen instantly.
There are three power modes—Sport, Standard, and Rain—though most people will use only two. Sport gives the liveliest throttle response, yet remains smooth—few will switch out of this. The Standard mode noticeably slows down the throttle response, so it feels like the throttle cable is a rubber band—yes, we know it’s ride-by-wire. This gives the PowerPlus motor an unappealing vague feeling. Rain mode is always great to have if the pavement is wet, though drought-ridden Southern California isn’t cooperating for a real-world test of that mode.
The six-speed transmission shifts flawlessly, and the right gear is always available. With a broad powerband, you always have a choice of ratios that will work in any situation. Despite having floorboards, the Pursuit does not have heel/toe shifting, though it is an option from Indian. The clutch has an assist function, which is quite welcome when working through urban traffic and parking lots. There is no reverse, so park wisely. When you’re up in 6th and done shifting, the cruise control is mint, even at impressively high speeds.
Handling is commensurate with the PowerPlus output. No doubt about it, the 2022 Indian Pursuit is a big motorcycle, weighing in at 921 pounds before any humans or cargo are added, but with the six-gallon fuel tank filled. However, thanks to the muscular aluminum frame, it is steady as she goes. If you plan wisely, you can ride it at a good pace in the canyons, and triple-digit sweepers are a piece of cake. The longish travel suspension’s fixed damping minimizes the problems of poor-condition roads, so it’s all about not biting off more than you can chew. The Pursuit, as is always going to be the case with a full dresser, favors stability over agility. It tips into corners with steady confidence, then territorially holds its line.
Metzeler Cruisetec tires are a great choice and far exceed any reasonable cornering demands. The Pursuit has generous cornering clearance, and many riders will never scrape anything. However, even if you do touch the Pursuit down in a corner, it will happen long before the edge grip on the Cruisetec tires is challenged.
Going fast requires serious braking, and the Pursuit has high-quality binders. There are a pair of 320mm discs in the front, and they’re worked on by radially mounted four-piston Brembo calipers. With plenty of weight on the rear wheel, the 298mm rear disc also comes into play—note that the brakes are not linked. As you would expect, the brakes engage gently, so your ride is not jerky. However, as you increase pressure on the lever, the braking increases progressively until deceleration is serious. Regardless, you have to remember that a half-ton (or more) is in motion, and the tire contact patches can only do so much. If you exceed them, ABS will step in to help.
We tested the 2022 Indian Pursuit Dark Horse with the $3000 Premium Package. The Dark Horse part of the equation is the finish, and doesn’t relate to functionality. The Premium Package adds electronically adjustable spring-preload for the Fox shock, an IMU for cornering-aware ABS and (defeatable) traction control, fog lights, and a heated Touring Comfort seat. The spring-preload adjustment is intuitively handled via the Ride Command infotainment display—you input your weight, plus the weight of your passenger and cargo (if applicable), and the preload is electronically set. It’s not easy to test the cornering-aware traction-related functions, but it’s nice to know they’re there. It was too hot to implement the seat’s heating feature, though the Touring Comfort seat lives up to its name.
Indian’s Ride Command software is outstanding. With a seven-inch touchscreen and left handlebar buttons as the interface, it’s easy to get the info or function you’re looking for—something we often can’t say. The Dark Horse upgrades the system to Ride Command+, giving you access to Apple Car Play (though not Android Auto), traffic overlays on the GPS, and weather reports on the map. Bluetooth pairing was virtually instantaneous with an iPhone 12 Mini. The two-speaker sound system is okay around town, but useless at highway speeds—at least with a full-face helmet on.
Cavernous luggage accommodations encourage two-up transcontinental rides. The Pursuit’s side bags are roomy, and the top box is especially large. The total of 132 liters is on par with a Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited and 12 liters more than the Honda Gold Wing Tour. The Pursuit bags lock electronically and are easy to use.
The 2022 Indian Pursuit is a perfectly balanced touring bike for those who want a spicy dash of performance added to the recipe. The Pursuit doesn’t demand that you ride it hard, but it’s there for you if you choose to. It can grind out plenty of miles in absolute comfort, and there are airflow adjustments as demands change due to weather conditions. The styling is contemporary, steering well clear of being oddly futuristic. Adding in the styling accents of the Dark Horse and functional upgrades of the Premium Package results in a great-looking and exciting fully dressed touring motorcycle that is also unceasingly practical.
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!