Today’s bite of coolness for lovers of retro motorcycles is called Indian Track Chief. This vintage-looking custom two-wheeler by motorbike tuner Roland Sands Design is actually the outcome of a thorough overhaul which turned the hefty 800-pound 2014 Indian Chieftain into a slender 1930s race-inspired board tracker – and here’s the hows and wherefores behind this motorbiking work of art.
“The inspiration came from a drag bike rendering that Sylvain from Holographic Hammer sent to me,” says Sands, the mastermind behind this cycling masterpiece. “I ended up tweaking it into a boardtracker, adding the single sided element and all the detailing. But we retained the spirit of the tank shape, girder fork and frame.”
Drawing on the design of drag bikes, Indian Track Chief blends the slick board tracker contours, single-sided facet and custom-fabricated tank, girder fork and frame to produce a slender yet powerful road beast unlike any other you’ve seen around town. Roland Sands Design decided to remove all the redundant components found in the 2014 Indian Chieftain and throw in a handful of neat custom-built upgrades, like new wiring with a slim, purpose-built loom, titanium gas tank and exhaust system, internal twist throttle, a fly-by-wire throttle housing located behind the front number plate and much more. Also, 90 percent of Indian Chieftain connectors have been eliminated and the new custom-built components have been carefully calibrated to create a motorcycle of rather slight weight and slick shape which is still capable of delivering outstanding performance on the road.
Quite suitably described as a ‘part board tracker, part dragster and part cafe racer’, RSD Indian Track Chief boasts a new rigid frame made from 4130 chromoly steel and powder-coated for a classy black finish combined with Gregg’s Customs single-sided rear hub and a powerful 111 cubic inch (1811cc) Thunder Stroke engine capable of outputting 119 ft-lbs of torque. The stylish and sturdy frame plays nicely with the Paughco Leaf Spring Fork assembly increasingly popular among fans of vintage-looking two-wheelers and goodness of modern construction. The Fox DHX mountain bike shock is placed near the axle on the left side of the fork and a hand-made titanium tank sits above the frame while the aluminum belly pan is found underneath. Other Track Chief features include a lot of custom-fabricated components, like the custom-built front suspension, hand-built titanium 2-into-2 exhaust system and gas tank, Blunt Air Cleaner with K&N filter and a neat high-flow fitment, RSD Clarity cam cover and outer primary cover and Barnett’s custom clutch pressure plate.
The customized beauty doesn’t stop there, though – the latest RSD road beast also has custom wheels with lightweight 21 x 3.5 inch Del Mar rims and custom bronze finish shod in Dunlop Elite 3 tires (sizing 120/70-21 for different bike builds), Rich at Bitchin Seat Co. handcrafted bull-leather saddle and custom welded riser-free handlebars with RSD traction grips treated with bronze anodized finish. Stopping the RSD beastie is made super simple with Performance Machine calipers and Brembo cylinders, so riding this highway baby is sheer delight and smoothness, with some lazy steering, amazing twisties and meaty throttle response. Painted in the classic Indian red-and-black and topped off by a gold leaf logo on the metal tank, the RSD Indian Track Chief is the state-of-the-art pavement-eater that aims to bring you that evergreen taste of classy motorbike oldies, so if you want to go retro bike-wise, make sure you check it out.
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