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2023 Indian Sport Chief Revealed: American V-Twin Performance Cruiser

Add an upgraded suspension, dark styling, and a more powerful engine to an Indian Chief and you get a performance cruiser. The 2023 Indian Sport Chief offers more performance and attitude than its stable mates.

2023 Indian Sport Chief(Photo/Indian)
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Indian Motorcycle is expanding its lineup. The classically styled Chief is getting a variant that leans into performance riding with Brembo brakes, Fox shocks, and a blacked-out V-Twin engine. It’s the 2023 Indian Sport Chief, and the company says it raises the bar for performance cruisers.

“In 2021, we celebrated the 100-year anniversary of Indian Chief with a lineup that pays homage to the glory days of American motorcycling. With Sport Chief, we wanted to maintain the same carefree attitude and American muscle but elevate it even further with componentry that not only delivers a style and attitude that exudes performance but raises the bar entirely for performance cruisers.”

Ola Stenegärd, Director, Industrial Design for Indian Motorcycle

Sport Chief starts with a tube frame and the same mechanical styling as the standard Chief. From there, Indian starts to tweak the formula with sporty styling and new parts.

Indian Motorcycles: More Powerful V-Twin

2023 Indian Sport Chief

A new Thunderstroke 116 V-twin motor gives the Sport Chief 120 pound-feet of torque. That’s 12 pound-feet more than the 111 motor in the standard Chief.

The motor is fully blacked-out and fitted with a black dual exhaust. The dark look adds cool to the Sport Chief as much as the Thunderstroke 116 adds more power.

A new quarter fairing adds to the sportiness of the bike’s looks while helping preserve long-distance comfort and capability. New moto-style bars help elevate the appearance, and machined triple clamps along with six-inch riser help set the Sport Chief apart from the rest of the Chief line.

A special four-gallon fuel tank and a bobbed rear fender finish off the bodywork changes. The bike also has sport cast wheels wrapped in Pirelli Night Dragon tires.

Sport Chief: New Suspension Begs for Corners

2023 Indian Sport Chief suspension

At the front, Indian is using KYB inverted front forks. The forks are the same featured on Indian Challenger models, and the company says they’re using the proven parts to help boost both handling and ride performance.

Fox shocks at the rear increase suspension travel to four inches. They also help increase the lean angle versus the rest of the Chief line. Indian says this encourages more aggressive riding while delivering more rider confidence. Brembo four-piston dual-disc brakes help you get stopped if that confidence gets a little out of hand.

The rear shock can be upgraded to an adjustable unit. The adjustable piggyback rear Fox shock accessory has a 24-click adjustment of rebound and compression damping to help riders tune the bike for their own style.

2023 Indian Sport Chief: Long Accessory List

2023 Indian Sport Chief

A new Chief Pathfinder 5.75-inch headlight accessory helps light the road, even when you’re using that extra lean angle. Patented tech in the adaptive LED light monitors lean angle and adjusts the lights to make sure the road ahead of you is lit up and not the ditch. Indian calls it an industry first, saying it can throw light further down the road and over a wider spread than standard lights.

The Sport Chief will get the company’s Ride Command dashboard. The screen can be controlled by handlebar controls or as a touchscreen, and it offers multiple interfaces, gauge modes, and turn-by-turn navigation. It can also make or receive calls through a Bluetooth-connected phone.

2023 Indian Sport Chief front end

Indian will offer plenty of other cosmetic accessories. The list includes 10-inch handlebar risers, low and tall windscreens, and plenty of bags. Indian will also offer a two-up seat.

The 2023 Indian Sport Chief starts from $18,999 and will be sold in Black Smoke, Ruby Smoke, Stealth Grey, and Spirit Blue Smoke. The motorcycles will start shipping to dealers in March.

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