We were the first to break news of a new 2016 Indian Chief Dark Horse named in California Air Resources Board documents, and now Polaris Industries has officially confirmed the new model, releasing an open invitation to a group ride through Chicago.
The Dark Horse Challenge Ride will take place at 4 p.m. Central time on Feb. 13, traveling 5 miles through the downtown Chicago and down Michigan Avenue to the official launch party at Kaiser Tiger. The procession will be led by a fleet of Indian Dark Horse models.
No specific information about the new model were provided, except for a look at the Indian head front fender, painted a matte black, which fits the name Dark Horse. We know from the CARB documents that it will be powered by the Thunder Stroke 111 engine, and the name suggests a variation on the Chief.
The timing and location of the event is interesting. Chicago was just slammed with a huge blizzard dumping 19 inches of snow, and as of this writing, AccuWeather.com is predicting a high of 31 degrees on Feb. 13, just a smidge below freezing. Perhaps that’s why it’s called a “Challenge Ride”.
Indian must be pretty confident in the Dark Horse to hold a big public launch event in potentially adverse weather conditions that are more likely to see a new Polaris snowmobile than a motorcycle. Indian Marketing Director Scott Meek says the Dark Horse will be the company’s “toughest” model, so perhaps it will be up to the task.
“We know die-hard Chicagoland riders are itching to fire up their bikes, so we’re issuing a challenge for the toughest riders out there to come join us for an exhilarating ride down Michigan Avenue as we commemorate the debut of the toughest Indian Motorcycle on the market,” says Meek. “The Dark Horse is a bike that will separate its riders from the rest of the pack, and we think the Dark Horse Challenge will do the same.”
Registrations for the Dark Horse Challenge Ride are now open at http://polaris.formstack.com/forms/darkhorsechallenge.