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Common Tread

2022 Indian Challenger Elite and Chieftain Elite first look

Jun 07, 2022

Any self-respecting bagger built in the United States needs a top-of-the-line variant with exclusive paintwork. For Indian, that would be the Elite trim models, and for 2022, the Challenger and Chieftain both get the treatment.

Indian’s Elite bikes are more like Harley-Davidson’s Big Twin Specials than the ne plus ultra CVO lineup. Then again, the two new Elite paint schemes from Indian are flashier than the Specials, if that’s what you’re into.

“From factory-custom details to premium amenities, and advanced ride-enhancing technology, we left no stone unturned when designing our new Elite baggers,” said Aaron Jax, Vice President of Indian Motorcycle. “Whether you prefer the liquid-cooled power and performance of the Indian Challenger, or the more organic growl and unmatched air-cooled power of the Chieftain, these two Elites elevate both platforms with gorgeous custom-inspired design elements straight from the factory.”

Aside from the upspec paint and options, the Elite models are functionally like the standard versions. Here's what you get if you go Elite.

Indian Challenger Elite
The Indian Challenger Elite gets a dark, sports-inspired paint scheme. Indian photo.

2022 Indian Challenger Elite

Indian’s liquid-cooled bagger gets “muscle car-inspired styling” in Black Metallic and Indy Red. The seat stitching and badges are specially matched to the Elite paint.

Indian Challenger Elite
The Challenger Elite gets Indian's top-shelf paint and options. Indian photo.

The Challenger Elite also gets a slew of options from Indian’s catalog, like fancy electronic rear suspension preload adjustment, adaptive lighting, heated grips, and a 400-watt PowerBand audio system.

Indian Chieftain Elite
Say hello to the Indian Chieftain Elite. Indian photo.

2022 Indian Chieftain Elite

The new Chieftain Elite gets a special bronze finish on its primary cover, airbox, luggage latches, dash, and tank headdresses. The bronze theme continues to the Thunderstroke 116’s pushrod tubes and cam cover with Heavy Metal Smoke paint on the rest of the motorcycle.

Indian Chieftain dash
Both Elite models get fully optioned dashes. Here's the Chieftain's. Indian photo.

The 10-spoke machined wheels found on previous Chieftain Elites return for 2022. Indian also grabs LED saddlebag lights, adaptive forward lighting, premium floorboards, the 400-watt audio setup, and a comfort touring seat from the parts catalog for the Elite model. (No electronic rear preload adjustment on the Chieftain.)

Indian Chieftain Elite
Would an Indian Elite model pass the "look back" test for you? Indian photo.

With only 150 Chieftain Elites ($32,999 base) and 200 Challenger Elites ($34,999 base) available worldwide, these motorcycles won't be easy to come by. 2022 Elite models arrive in dealerships later this month.