Indian Motorcycle Just Unveiled The Big Chief Custom. First Factory Custom Indian Chief Showcasing New Accessories.

BigChiefAt the Indian Motorcycle display inside the International Motorcycle Show (IMS) at the Javits Center in New York City, Indian Motorcycle®, America’s first motorcycle company, today revealed a fully customized, Indian Chief Classic conceptualized and designed by Indian Motorcycle’s Industrial Design team. The “Big Chief Custom” is the first custom Indian Chief created around the 2014 models introduced with great fanfare at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this past August.

IndianBigChief2IndianBigChief3Spearheaded by the head of Polaris Industries’ Industrial Design team Greg Brew, a small and dedicated team undertook the task of customizing a stock 2014 Indian Chief Classic.  It features an array of Genuine Indian Motorcycle aftermarket accessories along with a custom paint scheme and billet girder front fork. This Big Chief Custom was designed to spark owners imagination on how to customize, enhance and personalize the 2014 Indian Chiefs.

BigChief6IndianBigChief4One special highlight of the custom build is the billet aluminum girder front end that recalls the early Indian models. Designed, machined and built in-house, the girder fork features fully machined uprights and sand-blasted billet cross members with a custom 23-inch front wheel. The custom front valance fender maintains the classic look of the Indian Chief. A custom shock and headlight complete the front end package. Custom paint was applied in-house by team member Steve Leszinski with a multicolored theme from prior generations of Indian Motorcycles. Another nod to the long history of Indian Motorcycle is the springer style seat, though updated through a cantilevered design. Combined with the standard  single rear shock, the Big Chief Custom promises to be a smooth ride.

The “Pinnacle Series” of Indian Motorcycle accessories on the Big Chief Custom includes the Cam Cover, Primary Cover, Chrome Grips and Beach Bars.  The robust sounding Stage 1 exhaust sports Fish Tail Tips. Other custom accessories include War Bonnet Floorboard Pads, a Heel Shifter and chrome Rear Fender Bumper.

indiancrewThe “Big Chief Custom” will be on display in the Indian Motorcycle exhibit as part of the 2014 International Motorcycle Shows tour. Remaining tour stops include Novi, Michigan; Washington, DC; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Cleveland, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; and Seattle, Washington. The Display features the 2014 line of Indian Chief motorcycles including the Chief Classic, Chief Vintage and the Chieftain — Indians’ first-ever bagger. The display also includes the Spirit of Munro, a custom tribute to the legendary Burt Munro, and a display of vintage Indian motorcycles dubbed “Springfield Row” that will change from show to show. Additional features include an accessory and apparel display, a cut-away Thunder Stroke 111 engine and a rolling chassis that showcases the advanced technology underpinning all Indian Motorcycle models.

46 Responses to “Indian Motorcycle Just Unveiled The Big Chief Custom. First Factory Custom Indian Chief Showcasing New Accessories.”

  1. 1 George Davenport Dec 13th, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Beautiful Chief.

  2. 2 seymour Dec 13th, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Nice effort. I know from experience tho that the girder sticks the front wheel a little too far out there..

  3. 3 cafesportytc Dec 13th, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    nice , it shows that these bikes have potential . very cool

  4. 4 Terence Tory Dec 13th, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    A good effort that is not overdone,tasteful,that will not look ridiculous in tens years time.The spoke wheels look sane and good.

  5. 5 Doug Dec 13th, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Minor correction to this statement: “Indian Motorcycle®, America’s first motorcycle company, …”

    The original (first) company did not have the “r” in the Motorcycle portion of the name.

    Nice work on this custom, but it is Bassett Hound long

  6. 6 mk Dec 13th, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Does the trail still work on this bike?
    There has GOT to be a way to do this and keep the original wheelbase…
    Can you move the rear pivots back?

    Sorry Indian, go back to the drawing board and “really nice” design now.

  7. 7 Devil's Plaything Dec 13th, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Wow, I love it! Way to go Indian!

  8. 8 Fritz Dec 13th, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Is that bike really big or are all those guys really small? Or is the bike way closer to the camera and the guys quite far back, like when you take a picture of something you caught or shot? You know, you hold it closer to the camera than you are so it looks bigger than it really is.


  9. 9 Brutus Dec 13th, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    To my liking.

  10. 10 P. Hamilton Dec 13th, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Well done. Nice 2-tone paint job. Very much Indian.

  11. 11 Nitschke Dec 13th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Fenders aren’t big enough

  12. 12 1550TC Dec 13th, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    somebody PLEASE PHOTOCHOP AND TRIM THE ACCESS off those fenders……rear looks like Tupperware

    to the design team . the less is more concept, is the best styling approach to take on this bikes……why clutter them up with Tupperware-like plastic parts ?

  13. 13 Boots Dec 13th, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    That front fender is too huge for the bike. If this had been a Harley custom there would be 30 negative replies by now!

  14. 14 Iron Horse Dec 13th, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I’ll take one, just please make mine with a fat 18 inch front wheel.

    I really like the girder front end on this and wonder why there are so few used in the industry? Other than some customs, BMW, Confederate and the late John Britton are the few that come to mind as embracing the girder.

    Great looking bike and glad to see that Indian is putting some forward thinking designs out there.

  15. 15 Sheridan Dec 13th, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Great looking bike and that girder front end is a work of art. Still haven’t come up with a solution to the ugly plastic side covers under the seat area though. Hopefully someone out there is working on that to solve the bathtub Triumph look about that back half.

  16. 16 J Dec 13th, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Gorgeous work- nice to see something this sharp from an OEM- makes Harley R&D look pretty lazy…..

  17. 17 Fredp Dec 13th, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    ?????????????????? I am still trying to figure out what Indian was smoking on this design. Burnout help me understand.

  18. 18 rob Dec 14th, 2013 at 12:00 am

    not for me…………

  19. 19 Homer Dec 14th, 2013 at 2:08 am

    I’m personally not really into that paint. Love that front girder, and over all it’s SICK !! Great job !!

  20. 20 D. Martinez Dec 14th, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Looking great.

  21. 21 oldude Dec 14th, 2013 at 7:55 am

    UG !

  22. 22 Highrider Dec 14th, 2013 at 8:41 am

    beautiful, but uh, will they have accessories in the dealerships? Uh where are the dealerships
    Kinda like getting custom accessories for the Victorys, uh yeah, right.

    One off machines are just that, ask OCC ,

    But Nice jesture, looks super

  23. 23 highrpm Dec 14th, 2013 at 8:53 am

    like today’s television commercials: too busy. too many little distractions.

  24. 24 Matt W. Dec 14th, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Well done. Would love to see it in person.

  25. 25 hk Dec 14th, 2013 at 10:56 am

    i like it ,great job indian and polaris

  26. 26 Boomer Dec 14th, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Well done! I want one!

  27. 27 Blackmax Dec 14th, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Great Job !!!
    Tasteful paint
    Not too crazy on the wheels
    Creative use of girder front end
    I’ve ridden all 3 models so I know theydon;t have to do anything to the engine/drivetrain
    A really nice tasetful effort
    This is just the first, you WILL see more in the future
    Get used to it !!!!
    Admirable job by Indian/Polaris

  28. 28 James just another Crazy Kiwi Dec 14th, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    The Crew need to take their shoes off so we can see if they have hairy feet.

    Well hell ! they all look very vertically challenged !!!

    The bike sits better than the standard bike, it now is proud at the front instead of arse up like the standard ones.
    It’s only personal, but I like motor sickles to be higher at the front than the back
    The HD Cross Bones was arse up and it did not look right. to me
    Did not last long either.

    Pretty good effort first up. Hard to start with a very big canvas and minimalize it with out losing the identity of the Chief. so they just added to it….why not ?

  29. 29 Nathan Dec 14th, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    That is rather a long bike.

  30. 30 Bigitch Dec 14th, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Beach bars?!?!?!?

  31. 31 Dale Dec 15th, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    I saw this beauty close up an personal at the IMS in NYC on 12/14/13. It looks even better in person.

  32. 32 Dennis P. Farley Dec 15th, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    It may be a Custom, but it is not nicer than the stock bike. The big front fender looks like hell, that Big Wheel look really only works on bikes with extended hard “Bags”, and Dual Exhaust, this just looks weird.

  33. 33 nicker Dec 16th, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Skinny front wheel doesn’t do it justice


  34. 34 takehikes Dec 16th, 2013 at 10:07 am

    that 23 up front blows the deal, not enough mass in the rim and tire, makes it look off balance. Of course the bagger dudes will think its too small but good design is all about balance.

  35. 35 Homer (the real homer) Dec 16th, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Besides being a big bike, it looks like the first pic was taken with a wide angle lens, exaggerating the length ever more. Overall I think it’s a good composition. I’d have to see that paint job in person to get a read on that. In general, I still think there needs to be some detailing of the area under the seat and the area between the neck/tanks/downtubes. I think they will get this resolved. I was impressed with Polaris’ efforts on the Victorys I saw at the factory. Keep up the good work.

  36. 36 RUB Dec 16th, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    would love to see it in person , it looks like a pretty face that has a big nose …camera angle maybe ?

  37. 37 Drive The Wheels Off Dec 16th, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    @Iron Horse – John Britten used a derivative of the Hossack front-end, which is not a girder

  38. 38 Robert Pandya Dec 16th, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Hello all – thanks for your comments regarding this first (of many) Indian customs to come. I think that this bike best seen in person. It will be on the balance of the IMS tours this season ( and likely will be on display in Daytona. I think you are right in that the photos do not do the bike justice – ours is a very 3-D world.

    We had hoped to spur conversations regarding customizing the new bikes. I can tell you that we have already seen dealers stripping down bikes for winter builds – so I’m sure that spring of 2014 will be an interesting time for Indian Chief customs. I looks forward to seeing what owners start doing to their bikes.

    I had a couple of you guys seek me out at the NY show last weekend – thanks for that – it’s nice to meet those who dig what we are doing, and even those who don’t care for it. As long as you ride- you have a valid opinion in my book. Of course it may be wrong…!

    Special credit goes to our Industrial Design team – the same guys worked on the Nikki Sixx Cross Country, and booked overtime during Thanksgiving and weekends. I tell you guys – even if you don’t care for Indian Motorcycle, we have a great crew of enthusiasts, riders, designers, engineers and staff here. I’m proud to be a small part of the team – and that time will show how dedicated we are to doing it right.

    All the best to you riders over the holiday season – I hope you get some riding, wrenching and customizing in.

    Robert Pandya
    External Relations Manager
    Indian Motorcycle

  39. 39 Iron Horse Dec 16th, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    @Drive The Wheels Off…According to an article in, Britten describes it as, “a girder parallelogram, semi intelligent front suspension.

    Maybe not a girder in the strictest sense of the word, as it has 2 triangulated arms instead of the normal 4 links as on the girders that Indian used, but a girder style non-the-less.

  40. 40 Brett Dec 16th, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    That may have the original wheel base….Chief Vintage & Classics are about 10 inches longer then HD’s….seems many taller riders enjoy a bike not made for someone 5’9″

  41. 41 Terence Tory Dec 17th, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Iron Horse,the Britten thing front end design is more a derivative of Norman Hossacks’s than anything else.Britten’s front end was so “semi-intelligent” that one failed on the IOM and killed the rider.

  42. 42 Iron Horse Dec 17th, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Yeah, Mark Farmer. I’ve read most of what has been written about Mr. Britton. The guy was considerably ahead of his time.

    I’ll give you that the front end is a derivative of the Hossack design, but is still most often referred to as a double wish-bone parallelogram girder.

  43. 43 Steve The Hog Radio Show Producer Dec 19th, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Way cool. Looking forward to seeing this up close when it arives in Seattle.

    We will catch you at the show Robert.


  44. 44 GD Dec 20th, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    yea now your talkin
    slim those fenders up
    put some air under the seat
    show that motor off
    gotta walk before you can run
    almost there Indian

  45. 45 Juan Dec 27th, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    badd ass……..great work……

  46. 46 Billy C Feb 21st, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Sweet Bike;and nice effort.Personally I’d like it a lot more with an updated ’40s-‘ 50s plunger style frame,an updated late ’40s Chief style ‘mono” girder(real steel)w/a 21″,NO visible rear fender braces,Optional 12″ rise apehangers,optional long fenders w/a 2″ valance(updated ’30s style),different paint schemes,& tuned shotgun pipes.Now an Indian like that would REALLY be a BLAST to ride,cross town, cross the continent, Anywhere!!!!Way ta GO Indian!!!you’re gettin’ there Polaris!!

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Cyril Huze