Some motorcycles are put together sparsely, making you want to go out and swap out some new parts as soon as you get them. Others are meant to be perfect as they arrive. The 2020 Indian Challenger belongs in that latter group.
Packed to the brim with every bell and whistle imaginable, the bagger is arguably the most well-stocked bike you can pick up without opting for any of the available upgrades. From the engine and the electronics to the external faring, it just feels like one of those bikes where the stock version feels utterly complete.
The 2020 Indian Challenger starts off with a cast aluminum frame, which is a big deal for a bagger, to host the outfit’s new 1800cc PowerPlus engine, the biggest liquid-cooled powerplant the badge ever built. Putting out 122 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque, this engine delivers some serious V-twin power, ensuring it can send cruising at high speeds even with a good load of cargo on your bike. This engine is mated to a six-speed transmission with true overdrive and assist clutch for smoother gear changes, complete with the ability to customize throttle mappings and traction control to your personal riding preferences.
Joining the aluminum frame is an inverted telescopic fork and a hydraulically-adjustable Fox rear shock, giving the heavy bike the much-need stability it needs, especially when carving corners at high speeds. If you step up to two variants of the bike (Limited or Dark Horse), they also throw in the “Smart Lean Technology” package, which adds inertial measurement as input for traction control and ABS, allowing the bike to provide better electronic assistance when taking those sharp turns at corners, all while adding Drag Torque Control, which adjusts torque delivery to the rear wheel to keep it from locking up during downshifts.
The 2020 Indian Challenger is, of course, a bagger, so it gets waterproof and lockable hard-shelled saddlebags on the rear, with room to hold over 18 gallons of storage, all while a burly chassis-mounted fairing sits out front, complete with a power-adjustable windscreen to keep the wind out of your face for more comfortable cruising and adjustable air vents, in case you want some of that wind to cool you down. Designed for riding long distances, the bike ensures your comfort with a long-haul seat, all-LED lighting, keyless ignition, race-spec Brembo brakes for serious stopping power, performance touring Metzeler Cruisetec tires, and all the electronic assistance your heart desires. Want to play loud music when riding on empty cross-country roads? They threw in a 100-watt speaker setup into the bike (with onboard radio and Bluetooth for pairing with a phone), allowing you to turn it into a speeding speaker if you want to.
There’s an instrument cluster mounted on the fairing with analog speedometer and tachometer, along with 14 LED indicators for various elements, including cruise control, ABS, tire pressure, battery, fuel level, oil pressure, and more. Below the cluster sits a 7-inch touchscreen display for the onboard infotainment.
The 2020 Indian Challenger is available now, with price starting at $21,999.