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2020 Indian Challenger engine details revealed

Published: 22 October 2019

Updated: 22 October 2019

Indian have revealed details of their new PowerPlus V-twin engine - a motor that will appear in the 2020 Challenger.

This 1769cc lump generates 119bhp and 131ft-lb of torque, but apparently pays homage to the PowerPlus bike the company built between 1916 and 1924.

It'll arrive coupled with a six-speed gearbox featuring what the firm calls 'true overdrive', a clutch that's easy to slip and three rider modes to tweak throttle response.

You can also expect hydraulic valve lash adjusters and cam chain tensioners, along with the overhead cam, four-valve-per-cylinder design from the Scout engine.

As ever, MCN will be among the first to test the new PowerPlus engine. Keep an eye out for the full 2020 Indian Challenger review coming soon...


Dealer video reveals 2020 Indian Challenger

First published 30/07/19

A video emerged, and then was quickly deleted, showing the 2020 Indian Challenger, ahead of an expected unveiling later in 2019 - perhaps as soon as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this coming weekend. MCN managed to capture screenshots of the important details in the 42-second film.

Powerplus 108 engine

Posted by dealer Indian Motorcycle of Metro Milwaukee, USA, the film shows a bike we previously referred to as Raptor - Indian's internal codename for the project. It shows a water-cooled "Powerplus 108" engine, and if the number refers to displacement, means this is an 1800cc motorcycle. It's also a game of literal one-upmanship over Harley-Davidson, whose well-known Milwaukee-eight displaces 107 cubic inches.

MCN will update this page when more information becomes available, but read on for what we know about the project so far...


Indian's new bagger has bite

First reported April 24, 2019, by Jordan Gibbons

Spyshots have emerged of a new Indian tourer being tested with a water-cooled engine, fixed fairing and performance focused parts – all firsts for the brand’s touring range.

Indian Challenger spy shot

Based on recent IP filings we believe the bike is called the Raptor and will be a brand new model in Indian’s range, effectively picking up where defunct sister brand Victory left off. Up front is a fixed fairing, clearly aimed at the Harley-Davidson Road Glide.

Sitting in the middle of the machine is a brand new water-cooled engine, which we believe will complement rather than replace the existing air-cooled Thunderstroke 111. It’s likely to have a similar displacement (around 1800cc) so that it keeps all that torque but there’s a good chance it will make more power, too.

Given that the Thunderstroke recently got a power boost to 82bhp, despite tighter emissions regulations, we’d expect the new engine to make in excess of 100bhp.

It will likely move the electronics on again (the latest bikes already have power modes) with traction control a distinct possibility as well as cornering ABS and other touring comforts like hill hold braking.

Arguably more important is the front end. Look closely and you’ll notice a pair of hefty looking USD forks and a pair of Brembo monoblocs. While this doesn’t guarantee the final spec, it suggests that Indian want to focus on performance and handling, as well as looks.

Indian Raptor: What we predict

  • The engine was likely destined for a Victory model before Polaris decided to focus on Indian
  • It’s expected to take on Euro rivals, so the Raptor will likely get an IMU and associated electronics
  • The engine patent is for easily removable camshafts, suggesting there may be various ‘Stages’ of power upgrade
  • The Raptor will be designed to stop BMW stealing US sales with their new Boxer cruiser

Until recently, Indian have mostly focused on heritage models, leaving the performance machines for Victory, but the FTR1200 heralded a new direction – one in which their usual rivals have traditionally struggled.

This move will be important for Indian as European brands look to muscle in on their turf with high-tech offerings.

There’s no official word from Indian but we expect them to unveil it at the Sturgis motorcycle rally in the US, August 2-11, as a 2020 model.

Indian Challenger spy shot

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