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Friday, 1 November 2019

Indian Motorcycle

Indian Confirms PowerPlus 108 Powered 'Challenger' - Its Biggest of Big Twins

Indian Motorcycle has finally confirmed the 'Challenger' Big Twin as an additional new 2020 model. The bike had been one of the most widely teased open secrets of the year, having been in the planning at Indian for some time under the 'Raptor' codename, and especially following patent and trade mark filings, its debut at the company's August dealer meeting in Las Vegas, and a not so subtle 'ghost' appearance behind a picture of the new anniversary edition Scout in its MY 2020 photography.

There are three models of Challenger, this is the Dark Horse.
The 'Challenger' sees a return for the PowerPlus engine name - one first used as early as 1916. The name was brought back by 'Gilroy' Indian for what became colloquially known as its 'bottletop' engine and subsequently refined by the Stephen Julius/Stellican owned King's Mountain, NC, Indian iteration that Polaris bought in 2011.
Polaris/Indian retired the engine and the name straight away, in favour of the now familiar 'Thunder Stroke'. The new PowerPlus engine is a last hurrah for work that had been done at the Osceola, Wisconsin facility for future Victory Motorcycle models. It was a design that had apparently been intended for a new Victory Cross Country model.
When the decision to close Victory was taken, the engine, or at least the name and then design concept, was inherited by the Indian Motorcycle team under the 'Legend' codename. 

Indian now offers four Dark Horse Big Twins - left to right: Challenger, Springfield, Chief and Chieftain.

At 108 ci (1,770 cc) it is the largest and most powerful stock engine yet offered by Indian Motorcycle, producing a claimed 122 horsepower and 128 ft-lbs of torque. A DOHC, 60-degree water-cooled V-twin, the engine will be produced at Osceola, Wisconsin, with final assembly of the 'Challenger' at the present Indian Motorcycle assembly facility at Spirit Lake, Iowa.
Said to "establish a dramatically new standard for V-twin performance," the PowerPlus will "serve as the heart of the new Indian Challenger, an all-new, fixed-fairing bagger that utilizes Indian Motorcycle's state-of-the-art technology to become the highest performing American V-twin ever developed. The new engine's name is a nod to Indian Motorcycle's iconic history, paying homage to the Indian PowerPlus motorcycle" (produced from 1916 to 1924). 


"We challenge our engineers with the notion that anything less than best-in-class design and performance will simply not get it done, and it's clear with this new engine they have delivered on that high standard," said Steve Menneto, Indian Motorcycle President. "Countless hours were spent in design, development and testing to ensure this is the best liquid-cooled V-twin ever developed, and I could not be prouder of our team and this incredible motor."  

Challenger Limited

Indian says that the PowerPlus adopts several design and performance features from the liquid-cooled 1,133 cc Indian Scout engine, including an overhead camshaft design utilizing four valves per cylinder. "But comparisons end there. The PowerPlus was developed with a big-piston, big-torque mindset with an end game of maximum power delivery across the entire curve." 

PowerPlus 108 ci DOHC 60 degree water-cooled V-twin

The all-new powertrain features a six-speed transmission with "true overdrive", assist clutch to reduce clutch effort, and three ride modes that allow riders to tailor throttle mapping to their riding preferences. Advanced technology also includes hydraulic valve lash adjusters and hydraulic camshaft chain tensioners for ease of maintenance and reliability.  

"The PowerPlus was tested, refined and proven by one of the industry's most rigorous development and testing programs, accumulating nearly one million miles of simulated testing, including state-of-the-art dyno testing, and more than 250,000 on-road miles." 
"You simply cannot deliver the ultimate bagger without an engine that stands head and shoulders above anything else in its class, and that was the motivation behind the PowerPlus," said John Callahan, Indian Motorcycle Vice President, Engineering. "We developed the most sophisticated V-twin powerplant in the industry, and then we spent month after month, hour upon hour, putting it through the most intense paces to ensure it could take whatever we threw at it. The end result is something truly special."

Indian Motorcycle PowerPlus Engine Specifications
  • Engine Displacement: 108 cubic inches (1,769 cc)
  • Power: 122 hp at 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 128 ft-lbs at 3,800 rpm
  • Maximum Engine Speed: 6,500 rpm
  • Architecture: 60-degree V-twin, liquid-cooled powerplant
  • Crankcase: Unit design featuring a high capacity semi-dry sump oil system
  • Timing System: Overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder
  • Fuel System: Electronic fuel injection, 52 mm dual bore throttle bodies
  • Compression Ratio: 11:1
  • Transmission: Six-speed with true overdrive, constant mesh
  • Clutch: Assist clutch