iMotorsports Motorcycles
HomeFor SaleMillion Mile Powertrain WarrantyContact Us

Chicago Northwest Ride -  2021 Indian Challenger

Illinois Destinations: Lake Villa, Antioch, Fox Lake
Author: iMotorsports / Route 66 Indian Motorcycle of Illinois

It took a while before we were able to bring out the Indian Challenger on a two day test ride. We had warm weather early this spring in Chicago but the demand for new motorcycles has been so high that we have sold almost every bike before it even hits the floor. So, while we have had the itch to ride a combination of short supply and a crazy pace at the dealership resulted in our waiting until recently to enjoy the Challenger.

We started on a Saturday morning when the temperature for the day was projected to hit 65 degrees, perfect riding weather! The morning was chilly and it seemed the perfect time to break out a new leather Indian motorcycle riding jacket and the one of choice is horsehide with a removable liner.  Its a beautiful, beefy jacket with lots of protection and that leather smell that never goes out of style.  The bags on the Challenger have lots of room, but on this day we packed a minimal few snack bars and a couple of bottles of water. We didn't even need our power brick because our motorcycle has a built in USB Charging Port. Besides, we want every riding destination in 2021 to include food stops at great places.

2021 Indian Challenger

Indian Challenger Specifications

Bore x Stroke4.251 in x 3.799 in (108 mm x 96.5 mm)
Compression Ratio11.0:1
Displacement108 cu in (1768 cc)
Drive/Driven ClutchWet, Multi-Plate, Assist
Electronic Fuel Injection SystemClosed loop fuel Injection / 52mm dual bore
Engine Type: PowerPlus
Horsepower 122 HP
Peak Torque 128 ft-lbs
Fuel Capacity: 6.0 gal (22.7 L)
Seat Height: 26.5 in (672 mm)
Weight: (Empty Tank / Full of Fuel)796 lb (361 kg)/831 lb (377 kg)

One of the nice things about having the largest motorcycle service center in Chicago, the iMotorsports mechanics have everything ready to go. Full fuel, tire pressure checked and nothing left to do but ride. The morning started out crisp and cool but the Indian Challenger's fairing is a remarkable piece of engineering. We were well protected from the wind and the ride was very comfortable. With three available ride modes:

  • Rain
  • Standard
  • Sport
We are ready to go in any condition. The Challenger is a smooth ride with more power then we normally feel from a Harley Road Glide. Easing out from the dealership in Elmhurst, Illinois (just west of Chicago) we quickly move out to the 290 Interstate and head north towards Schaumburg. Schaumburg is one of the largest of Chicago's suburbs and has some great places to visit, but today we want to connect to the 90 Interstate and take that highway to 31 and head north to McHenry, Illinois.

Without a doubt, the ease with which we are able to plan our route using Indian's RideCommand system has taken out the hassle of navigation. More than just a GPS, the RideCommand allows a user to load their Indian Challenger into a virtual garage.  There you can load rides, track rides and manager your motorcycle's maintenance. The huge 7" color touch screen clearly displays all of the functions. No more looking at your phone trying to figure out where the next turn should be. The sound? Incredible. The Indian Challenger has 100 watts of audio with high output speakers. You can clearly listen to music while riding the roads.

Indian Challenger Fairing System

Gauges: Fairing-mounted instrument cluster featuring analog speedometer and tachometer with fuel gauge, range, odometer and current gear
15 LED telltale indicators; cruise control enabled, cruise control set, neutral, high beam, turn signal, ABS, check engine, battery, low fuel, security system, low engine oil pressure and MHP or km/h unit designation
Infotainment: 7" Touchscreen Display with real-time clock; ambient air temperature; heading; audio information display; 100 Watt Audio System with AM/FM, Bluetooth®, USB, Smartphone Compatible Input, and Weather-band
Lights: LED lighting including Pathfinder LED Headlamp
Chassis Mounted Fairing: Adjustable Fairing Air Flow Vents; Power Windshield: Adjustable Air Vents; 12V Charging Port

McHenry, Illinois

The ride up to McHenry was a beautiful start to what we hope are many great motorcycle rides in 2021. Moving easily up 31 highway we passed Crystal Lake, another great town to visit if you are riding in the area. As noon approached it was lunchtime just as we entered McHenry. McHenry is surrounded by lakes, rolling hills, natural lakes and peat bogs. On its east side the Fox River passes through the town. Close by is Morraine Hills State Park and there are many places to fish.

Today though, we are interested in something with sustenance. Epic Deli is famous for their sandwich selection and it has been a while since the last visit. Our Indian Challenger is rumbling and so is our stomachs as we head up 31 towards the Fox River and Richmond Road. The Challenger's GPS clearly shows the way as we glide smoothly through traffic experiencing the power and comfort that this motorcycle brings to the road. Once there the decision is made, and The Crawford is ordered. Sliced Oven Roasted Chicken Breast Covered in Buffalo Hot Sauce, Ranch Cream Cheese Spread, and Mac and Cheese! Served Pressed in Between a Pepper Jack, Cheddar Cheese, and Bacon Quesadilla. Needless to say our 2021 Indian Challenger seems to sit an inch lower when we mount up to continue our ride to Lake Villa.

Lake Villa, Illinois

Indian Motorcycles in Lake Villa

The afternoon is satisfying and the temperature has risen to where we need to remove the lining from our leather Indian motorcycle jacket. We make the ride up 12 highway past Fox Lake and stop briefly to look out at the early season boaters going fishing. Fox Lake is a major destination for Chicago area boaters as well as people just across the state line in Wisconsin. Eventually we steer our Indian motorcycle onto Grand Avenue in Lake Villa. The Indian Challenger has a couple of major features that make it stand out above the crowd. The Brembo brakes combined with a Inverted Telescopic Cartridge Fork in the front and a Fox Single Shock (adjustable) in the rear help the Indian Challenger easily navigate the bumps and holes in Grand Avenue.

There are many places to explore in both Lake Villa and the surrounding area. We look forward to not only bringing back our Challenger, but the Indian Scout, Indian Roadmaster, Indian FTR and Indian Chieftain models as soon as we can.

End of Day 1