CHIEFTAIN TO GTLE - BMW Luxury Touring Community
  • 1 Post By rswade
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 3 Old Mar 12th, 2016, 10:02 am Thread Starter
Junior Member
rswade's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 1

In response to the question, Why did you sell your 2015 Chieftain?.

I bought an Indian Chieftain last year after several years of not riding. I narrowed my search down to the BMW R1200 GS Adventure, Honda Goldwing and the Indian Vintage. I tested all of them but the Goldwing had way too many bells and whistles and the handling seemed a little clumsy/boat-like. I wanted to look at the Indian Chieftain and Roadmaster before taking a second look at BMW. I was interested in the blue and white Chieftain, but there were none available in the Pacific Northwest. I had set up another test ride for the BMW R1200 and I had been advised by a coworker to take a look at the GTL K1600 while at the dealership. On my way to the BMW dealership, I stopped off to look at a new blue and white Chieftain in Auburn WA that I found on Craig's List the night before.

After arriving at the Indian dealership early, I was first in line and I bought the Chieftain on sight. I joined the Indian Rider's Group and had many exciting runs with this wonder group of riders. I had a great time getting my riding groove back. I also took a lot of solo rides and decided I wanted to do some long distance/cross-country rides (Alaska, California, Florida, Maine etc.) when I retired . I recently decided to retire next year and figured I should get the motorcycle situation set up for cross country touring. I checked out some touring bikes (BMW GTL, Roadmaster, Goldwing, Victory, Harley etc.) and narrowed it down to the Indian Roadmaster and BMW GTL Exclusive.

After a long test ride on the GTL, it won hands down. The handling is fantastic at any speed outside the parking lot. The technology is Star Wars (adaptive headlight, integrated anti-lock brakes, suspension, drive shaft, switchgear handlebar controls.) It is state-of-the art in all categories. By the way, this dang bike is FAST!!!. The 1600cc inline 6 is a hi-torque, hi-rpm power plant that is freaky smooth and vibration free: a totally unique riding experience.

So far, and it might be my lack of skills on the GTL, the Indian Chieftain handles better at low speeds, parking lots, parades etc. Other than that, the BMW GTL E is way better for me on long distance rides. The Indian brand is VERY popular in WA State. While the GTL is an extraordinary looking machine, I give the crowd appeal award to the Indian Chieftain. I still see an Indian bike in my future. At some point (5 years or so), I will stop taking long distance solo rides and will just do parades, rallies and show/shine stuff. I will definitely take a serious look at the 2020 Indian line up.

In summary, Indian Motorcycles seem like they are designed and built by engineers who love motorcycles. BMWs seem like they are designed and built by engineers who ride motorcycles as their only mode of transportation.
Whiskey likes this.
rswade is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 Old Mar 12th, 2016, 10:59 am
Senior Member
Whiskey's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 671

Thanks for the great write up. If say a good comparison between the two.

2000 R1100RT
Whiskey is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old Mar 13th, 2016, 9:43 am
Senior Member
Lynn_Keen's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: North East Florida, FL, USA
Posts: 2,243

Congratulations on the new ride. I'm sure you'll enjoy the 1600. It is an amazing machine but way more bike than this old man needs. I do however love my R1200RT.

Lynn Keen
North East Florida
MSF #28271 Retired
'99 Canyon Red RETIRED AT 93,000 MI
'05 GRAPHITE METALLIC retired at 87,000 MI
'01 R1150 GS- totaled
'02 R1150 GS sold
'85 K100/EML sidecar sold
'11 R1200RT currently being enjoyed
Lynn_Keen is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the BMW Luxury Touring Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Drove a 2014 Indian Chieftain JK75RT Bike Talk 32 Jan 10th, 2015 2:31 pm

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome