As my fingers glided over the sleek, sparkling Rye paint of the Indian Motorcycle with gold and green accents, thoughts of 1980s metal crossed my mind.
The first reason was not a throwback to the glamorous ’80s paint schemes. Rather, it was this famous Jack Daniel logo with its serif font that rekindled memories of Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Slash, his frizzy black hair still staying in perfect position as he took a sip from his 750ml square bottle of JD Old No. 7.
The bonds became strong once the idea of Slash sipping whiskey invaded my mind. Here is one of America’s oldest motorcycle brands united with one of America’s most iconic whiskeys – yes, the “e” belongs there for JD – bringing back memories of one of America’s greatest guitarists. America, whatever her singer’s passion for spandex shorts that hug the private parts. .
Meet the limited-edition Jack Daniel’s 2022 Indian, built on the completely legitimate Challenger Dark Horse bagger.
Completely legitimate? I can confirm this feeling after riding a Dark Horse Challenger the nearly 1,200 miles in two days from my home in northeastern Pennsylvania to Jack Daniel’s home in Lynchburg, Tennessee (more on that later) . I headed to Southeast Tennessee for the unveiling of the new JD Indian at Jack Daniel’s legendary BBQ Hill. There, representatives of Indian and Jack Daniel’s, and bike designer Brian Klock of Klock Werks Kustom Cycles, unveiled the # 001 of 107 bike available globally.
This is the sixth year of the partnership between these three mega-brands. Each year, customs are inspired by one of the whiskeys in production. The design of this year’s Challenger nodded to my second favorite JD whiskey, Tennessee Rye, which would compare to a peppery Shiraz in the wine world. My first? Old No. 7, of course, from my musical days when whiskey was just alcohol. These days, I really enjoy the taste rather than the drunkenness.
While the engine performance is exactly the same as a base Challenger Dark Horse, the attention to custom detail on this bike is pure daring, that is, subtle daring.
The custom paint – colors match the Tennessee Rye bottle label – provides immediate emotions towards a custom build. However, most know that there really is no ‘factory custom’, something I discussed with a few Indian staff.
The parts that really strike some custom emotions are the Montana Silversmiths badge on the air filter, which features detailed metal parts, and barrel aged rye lettering and unique construction number.
The other two standout features are the custom stitched black leather seat covered with that iconic JD logo, and the rider and passenger footboards engraved with three silver rye stems. The JD Indian is built on a Challenger Dark Horse platform with all the best upgrades including Pathfinder adaptive LED headlight and Pathfinder S LED driving lights, Fox rear suspension with electronically adjustable spring preload, Powerband Audio , a flared windshield and lower bars.
Along with two other journalists, over 200 Indian Motorcycle riders, along with some of their key “ambassadors”, attended the BBQ Hill unveiling. Approximately one hour’s transportation north to Franklin to the event was provided by buses as the event highlighted its main adage adorning the unveiled rear fender of the bike: “Ride Responsibly : bottles and gases do not mix ”.
Indian had the JD Challenger installed for personalized photos for these Indian fanatics arriving from all parts of the United States. And yes, the bike almost tipped over several times during the photoshoots as the whiskey flowed gracefully.
And like the other five Jack Daniel’s Indians built by Klock: the 2020 Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse with a nod to Gentleman Jack, the 2019 Indian Springfield Dark Horse, the 2018 Indian Bobber, the 2017 Indian Chieftain, as well as as the 2016 Indian Chief and Springfield models to commemorate JD’s 150th anniversary.
I headed to the Jack Daniel’s facility in 2017 for the unveiling of Jack Daniel’s Chieftain. This time I was able to ride the real JD bike, but not this time.
My first driving thoughts would have been basically the same if I drove the Rye-inspired model built by Klock, as nothing had changed in terms of performance except for the Pathfinder lighting, rear suspension and sound. stronger. In fact, after typing that, I take it back. The ride would have enjoyed much more.
Not that I had to complain about the Challenger Dark Horse I rode.
When I fled Pennsylvania, I had planned to spend a lot of time on winding roads through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky. I had the Challenger’s Ride Command – by far the best and easiest interface to use on a modern bagger – ready to guide me. I had planned to hop on back roads and take directions from the seven-inch screen which presents an image comparable to my last MacBook.
But things didn’t change from a meteorological standpoint until about 75 miles into my run, and quite quickly. Due to intermittent tumultuous thunderstorms, I decided to forgo the mountains and take Interstate 81 straight to I-40. The bike provided endless comfort for nearly 600 miles that day, with the fairing protecting me well while the traction control, ABS and Metzeler Cruistec tires did their job. And the 122 horsepower of the 108 cubic inch PowerPlus engine felt immediately available at any rpm.
I arrived at my unscheduled hotel in Bristol, Tenn., In just over seven hours. If only the factory hadn’t set this thing up with a speed limit of 110 mph. Even in some showers I felt safe in control.
The next day’s ride was a copy of the weather conditions. But this time, as I drove the I-40 through Crossville, I encountered an hour-long storm that caused four-lane flashes and speeds below 50mph. I later found out that a tornado warning had passed while I was there.
The only problem I had? Not being able to change the driving mode from Sport to Rain. Hell, I couldn’t even change it to Standard because the dashboard was so wet, with my gloves on, it couldn’t recognize my touch. And I tried every possible way to change it via manual controls, but with no luck.
Fortunately, the grooves for securely connecting an accelerator to the connections are wired into my brain. All those long journeys during the day without traction control may have saved my life!
We have a popular Indian Challenger Dark Horse review here. Yet all I know is that the bike provided endless comfort and safety for nearly 1,200 miles of riding – two days that ended up being 13 hours of siege and a more lively ride of about 120 miles from the Franklin Hotel to the Jack Daniel’s facility in Lynchburg.
Do I own one? Yes. But the bike must be configured with Stage 2 or better accessories. A Challenger owner told me he saw 142 mph with a Challenger tuned. Uh, go ahead!
The only thing that would improve the property is to catch Jack Daniel’s limited edition Indian Dark Horse Challenger, although you’ll pay $ 36,999, which is a bounty of $ 9,000 over the base Challenger Dark Horse.
Again, you can cross out that thought. All 107 JD Challenger Dark Horse motorcycles go on sale this month. If it follows the sales history of other JD models, the model will be sold out within an hour. Pity. But that leaves $ 9,000 more for some tires as you’ll need them often and, of course, Jack Daniel’s whiskey. Old n ° 7, preferably.
Jack Daniel’s 2022 Dark Horse Indian Challenger Photo Gallery