A 1.8 litre, mono-perched, naked cruiser, which full of fuel weighs the same as two Yamaha MT-07s, might not everyone’s idea of biking nirvana, especially with such an eye-watering price tag. But as a machine, ridden in the right environment, the new Indian Springfield Dark Horse is quite a thing.
The Springfield (named after the birthplace of Indian motorcycles in 1901) gets a light update for 2019, including selectable throttle maps (Tour, Standard and Sport) and the rear cylinder that cuts at tickover in the heat (when ambient temperature exceeds 15 degrees), to stop it roasting you in traffic.
While the standard Springfield is caked in chrome, has a pillion seat, screen and a 16in front wheel, this Dark Horse version has a blacked-out engine, exhaust and cycle parts, a smaller front ‘fender’ and a snazzy diamond cut 19in front wheel, but there’s no wind protection or room for a pillion.
For lazy cruising it’s hard not to be impressed with Indian’s new Springfield Dark Horse. Styling upgrades and rider modes on this updated model don’t add up to a whole lot, but that big V-twin motor is a gem – smooth and loaded with grunt.
Ride quality is superb, it’s comfortable on the medium haul, has a huge fuel range and handles far better than a behemoth of a machine like this has any right to. It’s well thought out, but the build quality could be better in places and for the price isn’t as well equipped as other models in Indian’s range.