INDIAN ROADMASTER (2014 - on) Review
- Large full-dress cruiser
- Big, lazy but sophisticated engine
- Major update in 2021
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Indian Roadmaster is a great option if you want a full-dress tourer but aren't keen on taking the traditional Harley route.
Indian's bikes are getting better and better and the level of build quality is extremely high. Tourers such as this aren't everyone's cup of tea, and they are certainly pricey, but you get what you pay for back in terms of luxury, comfort and equipment.
Major update in 2021
The new-for-21 Indian Roadmaster Limited model pictured above represents a fresh redesign of the big cruiser, in line with the more modern take that Indian applied to their Chieftain range a couple of years back. This includes a new-look square front fairing, open front mudguard, new 'slammed' saddlebags and neater finishes without all the chrome and tassels.
There’s some funky tech hiding inside it too, with central locking, ABS, traction control, riding modes, heated grips, cruise control, keyless ignition and tyre pressure monitoring, plus ClimaCommand heated – and cooled – seats.
Because the people at Indian are nice folks, they’ve made a lot of new kit available separately, so the fancy seats fit all bikes with a Thunderstroke engine built since 2014. Smart move. What’s more, Apple CarPlay will also come standard on all 2021 Roadmaster, Chieftain and Challenger models equipped with the Ride Command display system, with navigation – allowing you to select music, take calls and more whilst on the go.
Following on with the mean theme, Indian have also introduced the Vintage Dark Horse, which modernises the Vintage cruiser and, as the name implies, was always the most classic-looking machine in the range. This comes finished in a blacked-out livery, complete with soft black leather bags.
Elsewhere, there’s also a giant 64-litre topbox available for the Challenger, if long distance touring is your goal, as well as a 50% louder speaker kit to go in it if you prefer annoying people instead. If the big box isn’t quite your style but you do regularly take a passenger, there’s also a huge array of sissy bars, backrest pads and even passenger footboards to choose from.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Indian Roadmaster: 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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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…
Our Indian Roadmaster owners' reviews show no prevailing problems to be concerned about.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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…
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.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled V-twin, six gears|
|Frame type||Aluminium trellis|
|Fuel capacity||21 litres|
|Front suspension||46mm telescopic forks, no adjust|
|Rear suspension||Single shock, preload adjust|
|Front brake||2 x 300mm discs, four-piston calipers, ABS|
|Rear brake||300mm disc with twin piston caliper, ABS|
|Front tyre size||130/90 x 16|
|Rear tyre size||180/60 x 16|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||41 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£250|
|Used price||£15,000 - £21,000|
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How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||100 bhp|
|Max torque||102.4 ft-lb|
|Top speed||137 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||226 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2014: Model introduced.
- 2017: Roadmaster Classic launch - The Roadmaster Classic is an odd blend of heritage styling, superb handling, and class-leading electrickery. Full-dress heritage tourers shouldn’t be this effortless, well-spec’d or, such good fun to hustle. If gargantuan leather luggage is your bag, then you’re not going be disappointed by any other part of the Classic package.
- 2019: Roadmaster Elite revealed - A higher-spec version of their existing Roadmaster tourer, the £33,899 machine boasts the latest in the manufacturer’s touring capabilities, alongside classic Indian styling and the iconic black and red livery, complete with 24-karat gold leaf badging.
- 2021: Roadmaster Limited unveiled - The Limited model represents a fresh redesign of the big cruiser, in line with the more modern take that Indian applied to their Chieftain range a couple of years back. This includes a new-look square front fairing, open front mudguard, new 'slammed' saddlebags and neater finishes without all the chrome and tassels.
MCN Long term test reports
Check out Norway aboard an Indian
Indian are now offering motorcycle hire in Norway thanks to Eagle Rider. When visiting Norway, riders can head to the Twin Thunder dealership in Lyngdal and hire one of three Indian Roadmaster motorcycles that are prepped for summer riding. TOP STORIES An epic adventure re-told by the first British…
Owners' reviews for the INDIAN ROADMASTER (2014 - on)
2 owners have reviewed their INDIAN ROADMASTER (2014 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Best Features: Handles brilliantly for a bike this size. Yes you have to firmly direct it but it has loads of ground clearance and goes where you tell it. Comfortable and well equipped. Downsides: Weight. At slow speeds or pushing it about, scary. The sat nav is awful for the UK. It does not recognise post codes and fails to find many addresses.
Brakes have to work hard with this weight. However on A roads and B roads you can hustle and have a lot of fun with confidence. The suspension copes really well with slightly bumpy roads and as long as you have air in the rear suspension it doesn't touch down.
Power delivery is brilliant. I do change gear more than I expected perhaps.
No issues in two years with corrosion. Looks as good as new. No mechanical problems.
Reasonable mpg. Maybe 50 mpg on a run.
It would be 5 except for the sat nav. Music and speakers are brilliant. I put a 1000 tracks on a memory stick and use that all the time. The sound increases the faster you go automatically. Heated seats and grips excellent. Being 6ft 2 I have the screen at the highest level permanently, only dropping it when its very hot and I am riding slow.
Buying experience: Bought from Krazy Horse at Bury St. Edmunds. Happy with the service I received.
Annual servicing cost: £250
Overall it is excellent. Handles well for a big bike but is a little jittery at very low speeds. Will do approx. 140 miles on a full tank. Screen completely protects you from the wind.
Handles better than expected and stops assuredly. You are issued with a pump to adjust the rear suspension and I like mine quite firm.
As it is air cooled 1800 it can get a bit hot on your legs.The engine delivers smoothly and there is plenty of grunt even when fully laden.
Excellent build quality.No corrosion and no breakdowns I have had the software updated once and I have just received a factory recall but this was initiated after a problem with a Polaris Quad bike.
Adrian Flux insurance limited mileage £450 per year.garaged with ground anchor. All of the comparison sites were quoting £7500 as they do not know what it is.
I have a Garmin satnav which will not pair and support is only for Iphones. Stereo is awesome and the is aux support for mp3 player/usb stick but the control buttons can be awkward. Mirror arms are a bit close to the grips so knuckle protectors on gloves rub.It is definitely worth spending the extra £1000 ish for the slip on exhausts as they make a much more pleasing noise.
Buying experience: Freedom Motorcycles in March are awesome.