Indian Pursuit Limited 2022 First Ride Review: Tech On Tour

There’s nothing more American than a slice of hot apple pie. The only way to improve such a classic dish is to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. After nearly a hundred miles of meandering through California’s Temecula Valley wine country, this heartwarming combination re-energized our road-worn group for the second leg of the day. Adding a refreshing twist to something irrefutably familiar usually has that effect.

At least that’s what Indian Motorcycle is banking on with the 2022 Indian Pursuit Limited. Grand touring motorcycles are at home on the United States interstate highway system. Loaded with luxury and outfitted with front fascias, roomy saddlebags and spacious top cases, flagship travelers roam from California to the New York Isles like buffalo across the plains.

American OEMs have mostly relied on air-cooled big-bore V-twins to power these off-road tourers in the past, but Indian spiced up that recipe when it introduced liquid-cooled, 60-degree, 108-cubic-inch (1,769 cc) PowerPlus V-Twin. With 121 ponies and 131 lb-ft of torque, the PowerPlus lived up to its name when it made its debut in the 2020 Indian Challenger. For 2022, the Minnesota-based automaker is bringing this brawny mill to the grand touring segment with the brand new Pursuit.

Building on the Challenger platform, Indian surrounds the PowerPlus engine with an electronically adjustable Fox shock, lower fairings and a top case. The 2022 Indian Pursuit Limited certainly adds a twist to the grand touring formula, but can the tech-rich newcomer hold its own against the heavyweights in the category?

In pursuit

When Indian introduced the PowerPlus in 2019, the V-twin produced more power than any American-made engine in the grand touring class. Indian engineers didn’t sacrifice torque for power, though. Inside the 2022 Pursuit Limited, the PowerPlus’ 11.0:1 compression ratio and 6,500 rpm redline certainly set the factory liquid-cooled apart. The same goes for its peak horsepower rating of 122 (at 5,500 rpm) and peak torque of 128 lb-ft (at 3,800 rpm). Boasting such distinct specifications compared to its pushrod actuated counterparts, it’s only natural that the Pursuit also has a very different engine character.

Unlike its air-cooled, 45-degree V-twin competition, the PowerPlus doesn’t cut corners on its power at low revs. The Pursuit is actually quite smooth and responsive below 3,000 rpm. It’s a completely different story from 4,000 rpm and above, however. The PowerPlus shines in the midrange, with predictable yet punchy power that keeps the rider engaged. Passing power is best in this range, but I found 5,000 rpm to be the sweet spot for the V-twin.

At this mark, there is a slight increase in power when upshifting. Yet the motor remains virtually vibration-free when held at 5,000 rpm, which is suitable for both multi-mile adventures and spirited canyon races. Cruising at this engine rpm also resulted in the most direct roll response, with each stroke of the throttle forcing the rear end to squat and the fork legs to extend. The effect made me laugh into my headphones. If that’s not the mark of an engaging engine, I don’t know what is.

Unlike its air-cooled rivals, the PowerPlus V-twin only gets better the higher the tachometer needle rises. The engine may not offer the same low, tractor-like tug associated with most big-bore V-twins, but it makes up for it in the upper register, delivering powerful pull all the way to the rev limiter 6750 rpm. . When most pushrod V-twins die out in the midrange or rattle the rider’s teeth, the PowerPlus comes into its own. It’s this blend of performance and functionality that makes the Pursuit such an intriguing entry into the touring space, and so it’s a better long-distance companion.

spring forward

Indian’s 43mm USD front already pushes the Pursuit into the performance realm, but the spring-preload adjustable Fox rear shock takes the technology into new territory. The system allows users to easily dial in preload settings through the Ride Command-powered infotainment system. Whether you’re a solo traveler or riding two with loaded luggage, the Limited trim puts the hidden shock at the rider’s fingertips.

Fresh out of the box, the suspension is ultra-plush, with 5.1 inches of travel damping the front and 4.5 inches of travel sustaining the rear. This comfortable ride suits life on the highway, but once the road twists and turns, the soft settings don’t make for a fast ride. The front still tilts easily without suspension tweaks, but the rear shock isn’t keen on doing the same. The Pursuit’s tracking accuracy suffers, with the tourer sometimes deviating slightly from its set line. When it encountered a bump at the lean, the bouncing action from the rear end frequently sent the Pursuit dancing through the curve’s path.

2022 Indian Pursuit Limited - Left turn
2022 Indian Pursuit Limited - Turn Right

However, fine-tuning the rear shock preload completely solved both issues. Using the 7-inch touch screen, the user can adjust the weight of the pilot and the mass of the luggage. The Fox shock takes over from there, adapting the preload position to the given load. This adjustment transformed the chassis, improving lean response and support without sacrificing straight-line comfort.

Canyon roads overlooking San Diego County’s Heneshaw Lake showcase the Pursuit’s agility. The grand tourer swept through the esses with fleet feet, going side to side with a speed that should elude a 912-pound motorcycle. That nimble character is undisturbed in fast, flowing sections, but strong cornering braking approaches revealed the limitations of the Pursuit’s front master cylinder.

Indian Pursuit Limited 2022 - Front brakes

Twin four-piston Brembo calipers squeeze to twin 320mm discs up front, but the axially mounted master cylinder provides a wood-like feel and feedback at the lever. Judging the braking rate becomes a difficult task for this reason. Initial bite and overall stopping force are also surprisingly light despite the Brembo binders. Judging stopping distances is especially difficult when heading into a hairpin after a long straight or when navigating downhill turns.

As a result, a heavy dose of rear brake is a necessary addition, and the two-pot Brembo clamp and 298mm floating rotor help slow down the load. The Pursuit Limited’s chassis is more than adequate for highway trips and spirited canyons, but understanding the suspension strengths and braking system stresses is key to getting the most out of the top-level tourer.

Practical comfort

2022 Indian Pursuit Limited - Front Fairing

The Indian Challenger has over 18 gallons (81.8 liters) of storage, but the Pursuit’s new top box nearly doubles the capacity to 35.8 gallons (162.75 liters). As one day press launches go, I only stowed a few personal items such as a hat and a microfiber cloth in the side bag, but the cavernous cases should hold enough personal items to long car journeys. However, my mid-size Arai Regent-X helmet only fits into the top case at a side angle, which doesn’t leave enough room for a second cover.

On the move, new lower leg fairings, passenger footboards and taller windscreen make the cockpit a haven of comfort. Even in the lowest position, the windshield sent oncoming air floating above the crown of my helmet. The electronically adjustable shield created a full bubble in the highest setting, with minimal airflow entering the fortress of the fairings. This nearly impenetrable wind protection greatly reduced fatigue on the highway, but with temperatures approaching 90 degrees (F), the high windshield and lower fairings did not promote sufficient ventilation when cruising around town. .

2022 Indian Pursuit Limited - Luggage
2022 Indian Pursuit Limited - Seats

Given the hot conditions, I never reached for the heated seat during my time with the Pursuit, but a saddle-mounted switch makes it easy to activate the feature. Heated grips, on the other hand, require the user to navigate the menu screen of the 7-inch TFT to use the multi-level function. Along with the settings submenu, the color touchscreen dash also offers navigation, Apple CarPlay integration and Bluetooth connectivity with Indian’s Ride Command interface.

Connecting a Bluetooth-enabled device to the system is simple and intuitive, and the Pursuit automatically reconnects each time it starts up. Controls on the left-side gear allow drivers to stay focused on the road without missing a beat of their favorite tunes. The stereo system sounds full and rich, but without the volume automatically adjusting to vehicle speed and engine noise, it’s not easy to set an appropriate level for the highway and cityscape.

The pursuit of supremacy

2022 Indian Pursuit Limited - Side, Right

With lunch (and dessert) dutifully devoured and our final photo stop in the rearview mirror, the Pursuit’s navigation system paved the way back to base. Unbeknownst to us, the maps in the system needed an update, so we ended up in the correct town, but just a few neighborhoods away. After a quick refreshment, we arrived safe and sound at the Temecula south coast winery.

That seemed to be the story for the 2022 Indian Pursuit Limited. The advanced technology worked well from the start, but it truly lives up to its potential with rider input. In the American-made V-twin touring class, the Pursuit stands out thanks to its liquid-cooled mill and electronically adjustable rear shock. With a smooth engine character and technology that promotes long days in the saddle, the Indian Pursuit shows you can have your cake – or apple pie and ice cream – and eat it too.

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