When Indian Motorcycle announced the imminent arrival of the Pursuit in February, it caught everyone by surprise.
This great touring bike was designed on the Challenger platform with a 1,768cc liquid-cooled PowerPlus twin-cylinder engine to deliver supreme comfort, premium features, and impressive performance.
The Pursuit's chassis is built around a cast aluminum frame with inverted front forks (UPSD) and a new Fox® single shock rear suspension that can be adjusted electronically from the dash. These features guarantee that the bike holds the road and handles remarkably well, giving a smooth and very safe ride, backed up by powerful radial Brembo caliper brakes with ABS and Metzeler® Cruisetec® tires.
The Pursuit is powered by Indian Motorcycle’s PowerPlus engine that delivers 90 kW (121 hp) and 178 Nm (131 ft-lbs) of torque, elevating it to the top tier of its class. What’s more, it has low-maintenance hydraulic clutch assist, valve lash adjustment and belt tensioning.
The calibration of the V-twin engine enables very good handling even at low speeds. Engine mapping can be customized to suit individual riding styles or conditions, with three modes to choose from: Standard, Rain and Sport. Within each mode there’s a very wide range of parameters, including traction control, which enhances rider safety thanks to Bosch’s intuitive Smart Lean technology using IMU® (Inertial Measurement Unit sensors).
Both versions – the Pursuit Dark Horse and the Pursuit Limited – feature a frame-mounted fairing that gives a lightness to the steering, alongside ample protection. The windshield is electrically adjustable, the lower fairings are ventilated with flaps, a powerful LED headlight dominates the front end, and a heated seat and grips are fitted as standard. Side saddlebags and a very roomy remote-lockable rear trunk provide over 133 liters of storage space. The instrument panel features an ultra-comprehensive and fully customizable seven-inch Ride Command touchscreen with all the real-time data, settings, indicators to monitor the bike’s systems, a GPS, an Apple CarPlay® interface, Bluetooth for smartphones and a headset intercom.
Indian Motorcycle held a press launch in the French Alps in May, inviting several dozen journalists from specialist magazines across 17 European countries to Chamonix to see this new beast and try it out for themselves.
This mountain region is very popular for motorbike touring, and Indian Motorcycle wanted to demonstrate how the Pursuit more than ticks the boxes in the Grand Touring category.
A route had been planned to take the journalists down 180 km of extremely varied roads. There were urban streets, highways, secondary roads, expressways, motorways, winding roads, switchbacks, mountain passes – the works. From Chamonix the route led them down to Saint Gervais, on to Megève, then Val d'Arly, before branching off to start climbing again towards the La Clusaz resort and on up to the Aravis pass. Throughout this epic ride through glorious alpine scenery, the majestic Mont Blanc was always there in the background of the panorama. At lunchtime the riders headed back down the mountains to Annecy for a break. Their homeward journey took them around the beautiful southern banks of Lake Annecy and then back up into the mountains via Ugine, Flumet and the Val d'Arly again, through Mégève and finally back to Chamonix.
Over this varied circuit, the assembled reporters were able to give the Pursuit a comprehensive once-over from their specialist perspective, measuring and analyzing every aspect of it: how it behaved on the road, how comfortable it was, riding position, road handling and ease of control, responsiveness, acceleration and braking, torque, suspension, speed... nothing escaped their eagle eyes.
At the end of the day they all sat down to compare notes over a beer, and the consensus was that there’s a strong European influence in the Pursuit’s design, given the ease, performance, and positive qualities it displayed during their outing.
British journalist Michel Neeves of Motorcycle News sums up his experience behind the handlebars of the Pursuit very well:
“Indian held the press launch of this 416kg tourer in the French Alps, where it’s all switchback after switchback and not a motorway in sight. That may seem a daft thing to do on a bike made to trample big distances in supreme comfort – something we know it does brilliantly after we rode its Challenger sister in California a few years ago. But Indian wanted to prove it also has a surprising appetite for corners. That might not be a concern for riders who’d traditionally buy an American V-twin tourer like this, but if you’re coming from something sporty, you’re in for a treat.”