INDIAN has announced a new big-bore motor to power its upcoming fixed-fairing bagger, the Indian Challenger.

The new 108 cubic inch (1770cc) ‘PowerPlus’ engine is the company’s most powerful yet, with a claimed 122 horsepower and 178Nm of torque.

And while the sports bike crowd might guffaw at a measley 122 ponies, we reckon it’s all about the torque, and that the new donk will push a Very Large Motorcycle like the new Challenger at a rapid clip. We rode Indian’s Roadmaster Classic a couple of years ago (see our report here) and it was like a freight train on the highway. We later learned the big Indian produced less than 75hp — so 122 is going to feel like a very serious motor on the open road.

CAPTION: Sneaky peek .. the bike in front is an Indian Scout. The one behind is understood to be the not-yet-released Challenger.
The new PowerPlus engine…


… and the old one.


Here’s the full blurb from Indian headquarters:

Liquid-Cooled 108 Cubic Inch Motor delivering 122 Horsepower and 178 Nm of Torque to Power New Indian Challenger

MELBOURNE (OCTOBER 23, 2019) – Indian Motorcycle, America’s First Motorcycle Company, raised the bar for American motorcycles today with the announcement of its most powerful engine to date, the PowerPlus. The all-new 108 cubic inch, liquid-cooled, V-twin engine delivers a class-leading 122 horsepower and 178 Nm torque and establishes a dramatically new standard for V-twin performance.

The PowerPlus will serve as the heart of the new Indian Challenger, an all-new, fixed-fairing bagger that utilises Indian Motorcycle’s state-of-the-art technology to become the highest-performing American V-twin ever developed. The new engine’s name is a nod to Indian Motorcycle’s iconic history, paying homage to the Indian PowerPlus motorcycle produced from 1916 to 1924.

“We challenge our engineers with the notion that anything less than best-in-class design and performance will simply not get it done, and it’s clear with this new engine that they have delivered on that high standard,” said Steve Menneto, Indian Motorcycle President. “Countless hours were spent in design, development and testing to ensure this is the best liquid-cooled V-twin ever developed, and I could not be prouder of our team and this incredible motor.”

The PowerPlus adopts several design and performance features from the liquid-cooled 1,133 cc Indian Scout engine, including an overhead camshaft design utilising four valves per cylinder. But comparisons end there. The PowerPlus was developed with a big-piston, big-torque mindset with an end game of maximum power delivery across the entire curve.

The all-new powertrain features a six-speed transmission with true overdrive, assist clutch to reduce clutch effort, and three ride modes that allow riders to tailor throttle mapping to their riding preferences. Advanced technology also includes hydraulic valve lash adjusters and hydraulic camshaft chain tensioners for ease of maintenance and reliability.

The PowerPlus was tested, refined and proven by one of the industry’s most rigorous development and testing programs, accumulating over one and a half million kilometers of simulated testing, including state-of-the-art dyno testing, and more than 400,000 on-road kilometers.

“You simply cannot deliver the ultimate bagger without an engine that stands head and shoulders above anything else in its class, and that was the motivation behind the PowerPlus,” said John Callahan, Indian Motorcycle Vice President, Engineering. “We developed the most sophisticated V-twin powerplant in the industry, and then we spent month after month, hour upon hour, putting it through the most intense paces to ensure it could take whatever we threw at it. The end result is something truly special.”

Indian Motorcycle PowerPlus Engine Specifications:

  • Engine Displacement: 108 cubic inches (1,769 cc)
  • Power: 122 hp at 5,500 RPM
  • Torque: 178 Nm at 3,800 RPM
  • Maximum Engine Speed: 6,500 RPM
  • Architecture: 60-degree V-twin, liquid-cooled powerplant
  • Crankcase: Unit design featuring a high capacity semi-dry sump oil system
  • Timing System: Overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder
  • Fuel System: Electronic fuel injection. 52mm dual bore throttle bodies
  • Compression Ratio: 11:1
  • Transmission: Six-speed with true overdrive, constant mesh
  • Clutch: Assist clutch


The Postman