Two Wheels

Indian motorcycles get rear cylinder deactivation and ride modes

The rear cylinder can be put to sleep in standstill traffic

Indian has introduced some interesting new technology for its 2019 Chief, Springfield and Roadmaster motorcycles, as well as design changes and audio improvements.

The motorcycles now come with selectable ride modes, to suit different riders and different traffic situations. With selectable throttle maps on the ECU, Indian says a single motorcycle can have "three distinct personalities." Starting with "Standard," the throttle response gives predictable handling for slower speeds. "Tour" makes the response even smoother for highway cruising. And "Sport" is aimed for those riding situations when instant response and agile acceleration is needed the most.

Another feature on the bikes is rear cylinder deactivation, available on Indian's "Thunder Stroke" 111 cubic inch V-twin models. This helps with lessening engine heat in slow-moving or completely stopped traffic, where airflow doesn't properly cool the powertrain or the rider. Cylinder deactivation only happens when the bike is at standstill and the engine has reached operating temperature, with ambient temperature at 59°F or higher. When throttle is applied, the rear cylinder comes alive again.

Speaking of airflow, the 2019 Roadmaster's lower fairings have been redesigned to keep the rider cooler and more comfortable. The airflow vent on the bike can be adjusted depending of the rider's needs and the weather conditions, and the new fairings can also be fitted on older bikes to improve ride comfort. Another improvement involves the bikes' audio systems: Upgraded setups include a dynamic equalizer that adjusts specific audio frequencies to compensate for road, wind and engine noise.

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