First look: Indian Motorcycle’s 2020 Thunder Stroke
New engine, new connectivity, and new accessories make for a better brawler.
This article originally featured on Motorcyclist.
Indian Motorcycle released its 2020 Thunder Stroke models with a host of new connected Ride Command features, an all-new Roadmaster Dark Horse, redesigned Springfield Dark Horse, Chieftain Elite, and the announcement that several models will come standard with a 116ci engine.
The updated Ride Command infotainment system maintains its original rider-friendly features like a 7-inch glove-touch screen but is now backed by a new quad-core processor to speed up access to the system. New connected services include traffic and weather overlays right on the map so riders can easily see what they’re heading toward and avoid it if possible. Intuitive destination search capabilities make programming the GPS easier, while improved customizable screen options let riders fine-tune the Ride Command display to their specific needs.
Indian’s torquey Thunder Stroke powertrain has become well-loved by riders over the years, and for 2020, Indian offers more of it by way of increased displacement. The Springfield Dark Horse, Chieftain, Chieftain Dark Horse, Chieftain Limited, Chieftain Elite, Roadmaster, and Roadmaster Dark Horse all get treated to a new 116ci air-cooled V-twin that puts out 126 pound-feet of torque, thanks in part to new high-flow cylinder heads.
New for 2020 is that Indian’s long-hauler Roadmaster gets the blacked-out Dark Horse treatment, which also includes a number of sportier components over the standard Roadmaster. A 19-inch front wheel, open front fender, and extended-reach gunfighter seat mated with a blacked-out powertrain and matte color options offer a new twist on the Roadmaster platform. Standard touring amenities include the new 116ci Thunder Stroke engine, heated grips, and a mid-adjustable windscreen.
The classic Springfield Dark Horse also receives some updates based on fan feedback from the Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition launched at Daytona Bike Week earlier this year. The now-standard 116ci Thunder Stroke engine is joined by a sporty Rogue seat and 12-inch mini-ape handlebar.
Indian’s premium motorcycle lineup gets a new edition by way of a Chieftain Elite which packs all the styling goodies of the other Elite models in the Chieftain platform. A PowerBand Audio Plus system with saddlebag and fairing speakers is 50-percent louder than the standard audio system. Other styling features include a two-tone Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Wildfire Candy paint scheme with matching motor highlights and badging, precision machined elite wheels, pinnacle mirrors, select rider floorboards, and a flare windshield.
Additional changes to the Thunder Stroke family of motorcycles were also announced with the 2020 lineup. The Chief Dark Horse and Chief Vintage are getting treated to the Springfield chassis, which will provide improved handling and adjustable rear suspension. The Chief Dark Horse as well as the Springfield will also come standard with a 17-inch front wheel for improved stability. The Roadmaster gets a redesigned, lighter trunk rack which lowers the bike’s center of gravity and improves rider confidence.
Indian also announced a host of new accessories available for 2020 that include performance components that produce up to 20-percent more horsepower than the stock Thunder Stroke 111. New passenger accessories are also available like low-vibration floorboard pads and a sissy bar.