Indian Ride Command system tested

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Indian’s Ride Command infotainment system is now standard equipment on the range-topping Chieftain and Roadmaster models, and is pretty big news.

Ride Command is a touchscreen info and entertainment system of the type now commonplace on most cars and also increasingly popular on bikes, particularly large, fully laden full-dressers.

Harley-Davidson introduced its own, impressive, 6.5-inch infotainment system as parts of its Project Rushmore touring range revamp in 2014. Now Indian has responded with its own version which, it claims, is the ‘largest, most advanced touchscreen system available on two wheels’. And we’re inclined to agree.

The unit combines satnav, 100-watt audio, vehicle info and a Bluetooth smartphone/headset unit into one and then displays pretty much whatever mix of those you want in a variety of easily switchable, dual screen displays. So, you can show satnav on the left, say, and vehicle info on the right, then swipe to an info-cum-audio display, then swipe to Bluetooth and so on. It’s all customizable and completely bang-up-to-date.

Two main things impress. First: the big, full colour display itself, which was always bright, attractive and easy to read whatever the winter sun was doing along our test route. And, second, and perhaps even more significantly, how truly intuitive and idiot-proof it was to use after just a couple of minutes’ instruction.

It’s not 100per cent perfect, of course. There’s no search function on the satnav’s address finder (although Indian insist it’ll come), and the tab buttons to switch pages seem a little small for a gloved hand, although they do actually work just fine.

Overall, it gives Indian another high-tech string to its bow, and betters the best that arch-rivals Harley have to offer. And that’s something Indian is starting to make a habit of.