Despite its massive street presence the Roadmaster doesn't feel a huge bike when you are onboard because, unlike a stretched out traditional cruiser, the riding position is quite short and upright. But it is heavy at 418kg and this really shows when paddling around and getting the bike off its sidestand.
Once rolling the low centre of gravity makes the weight disappear and it is surprisingly nimble for such a behemoth. Low-speed control is excellent and once you get up to speed it chugs along completely unflustered while you are cosseted in one of the most relaxing spaces on any motorcycle.
The Thunderstroke III motor ticks all the boxes for this sort of engine, delivering lots of lumpy grunt, shading the Harley in terms of sheer performance and looking great to boot.
For 2019, Indian are also incorperating three riding modes across their range, which can be adjusted on the fly. These consist of Tour, Standard and Sport.
'Tour' mode features a smooth throttle response for relaxed riding, meanwhile the 'Standard' setting offers slightly more poke for quick passing ability, yet remains dosile and predictable at low-speed. 'Sport' mode gives the most imidiate throttle response for a more aggressive power delivery.
Rear cyclinder deactivation
Alongside modes, the bike now also features rear cylinder deactivation, to help keep the rider comfortable at a standstill. Essentially, the bike will drop a cylinder automatically when stationary once up to opperating temperature, with an ambient temperature above 15-degrees.
This will then generate less heat in stop-start traffic. The rear cylinder instantly reactivates when throttle is applied.
Build quality is simply fabulous: paint and chrome you could swim in; the badging and detailing you can’t resist running you fingers over; the whole ‘owning’ experience majestic. Jury’s still out on reliability, though…
Difficult. It’s certainly not cheap, nor even cheaper than the established Harley rival, but it’s also a thing of true wonder and beautifully equipped and finished. We doubt anyone will be dissappointed…
Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.
A whole raft of goodies have been ladled onto the base bike, namely frame-mounted fairing lowers, a vast, 64-litre top box to match the panniers (and incorporating a pillion backrest) and a new 200w multifunction stereo.
On top of those basics are a whole host of detail improvements: those fancy, genuine tan leather seats are updated and included individual heat settings; there are adjustable heated grips (ditto); an improved ‘Horizon’ electrically adjustable screen and improved ergonomics with adjustable pillion footboards. Standard equipment is just as impressive: keyless starting; central locking; tyre pressure monitoring; cruise control, LED lights; ABS, the works.