Featured Demo Days: Indians In The Desert

Discussion in 'Other Bikes' started by Sandi T, Dec 10, 2021.

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  1. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    #1 Sandi T, Dec 10, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2021
    Recently I received an e-mail, a text, and a flyer in the mail all in the space of about week and designed to inform me that Indian Motorcycles of Tucson was hosting Demo Days and encouraging folks to come do some test rides. Well, it doesn't take much encouragement for me to test ride so I made plans to attend and try out a few bikes. Mr. Sandi opted to stay home with Ellie, the Boxer, and to practice his guitar. But I'm ALWAYS up for a ride and I'm REALLY up for doing test rides. My usual test riding buddy, Russ, was out of town tending to a family emergency. So I geared up and made the 2.1 mile trek to the dealership this past Saturday. Yep, 2.1 miles on the nose. It's definitely the closest dealership to our home.

    When I rode into the parking lot, this was the very first thing that caught my attention! Two Thruxton R's and a Royal Enfield Int650.:heart_eyes: Definitely NOT what I expected to see parked all in a row right in front of the dealership. The three owners were all out on a test ride when I pulled in. I chatted briefly with the two Thruxton owners when they were ready to leave. I'd met the guy on the silver bike previously as we'd run across each other a few times back when I still owned my 2016 Thruxton R. I have to say, I really loved the paint job on the green bike. Isn't that green the same color as your Thruxton, @Wessa?
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    The weather was absolutely perfect for test riding today and for hanging out when not on a bike.
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    There were about a dozen demo bikes in the fleet but typically no more than 8 riders went out on each test ride including the ride captain and the sweep. Interestingly, the woman who was the ride captain and the man who was the sweep swapped out bikes regularly. I guess they were checking out the various models, too! Altogether I think Pat, the organizer and semi driver, set up and sent out ten or so rides altogether the day that I was there.
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    The Indian dealership is beautiful inside and they'd done some lovely decorating for Christmas. These two women were doing the check-in's for those who wanted to do test rides.
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    When I arrived at the dealership around 10AM, it was very quiet. The majority of the demo bikes were gone and there weren't very bikes in the parking lot of people milling about inside the dealership. At first I even thought that perhaps I'd read the date wrong! It did, however, get busier as the day wore on. I was at a Demo Days event at Indian of Tucson last April and it was much busier--and much hotter! :cool::sun: Today's choice for my big 2 mile ride to the dealership was my Low Rider S. I received some nice compliments on it and one guy loved the seat so much I actually let him sit on my bike. :eek::joy:
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    There weren't any Indian models that absolutely had to ride. That was actually nice because I wound up being more flexible and trying a couple of bikes that I'd not considered test riding at previous Demo Days events.

    With the turnout being sparse today, I wound up meeting some people which was fun. And I also wound up riding four bikes....also fun! :) I could easily have ridden more if I wanted to because there were at least four or five bikes left unridden during any one test ride. Heck, if anyone had wanted to, he or she could have tested out nearly all the bikes had they gone out on every ride!

    I'm not going to do reviews of each bike I rode but will basically report whether I liked it enough to buy it and take it home. There were a couple of those. But only if I won the lottery and had a bigger garage. If I had to trade any of my current three bikes for any of the four Indians that I test rode, I'd say thanks but no thanks.

    The first bike I rode was the FTR S. This is Indian's flat track style bike. I rode this when it first came out a few years ago and liked it "just ok". I was curious whether I'd feel differently this time or whether they'd made any significant changes to it. The answer to both of those things was "no". Pat said that they did lower it a couple of inches and that was definitely better for me.
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    They did something new this time around which was to put a sticker on the tank like the one in the picture below that displayed the name of the model, a bit about the engine and some specs. I suspect the guys who run Demo Days got tired of answering "Which bike is this?"
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    The chaperoned test ride route was mostly right through the city with the exception of about a 1-2 mile stretch of Interstate 10 where we could cut loose a little bit. ;):grinning: Yes, the route looks boring. And it rather is. But when your'e testing a bike that's unfamiliar, it's a terrific route. It wasn't very long at all but it was long enough to get a sense of the bike you were on and whether you liked it or not.

    Next up for me was the Chief Dark Horse. I'd ridden it back in April at the spring dealership and, like with the FTR, was curious about what changes might have been made to the model. I liked it much better in April that this go-round because clutch and throttle were screwed up! That did not endear the bike to me plus it was quite distracting.
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    Continued in next post.......
     
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  2. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    #2 Sandi T, Dec 10, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2021
    A tent with table and chairs was set up in the parking lot to provide a place to sit down and hang out while waiting for a test ride group to return.
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    I skipped two rides to walk a half a block up the street to get a bagel and coffee at Einstein's Bagels since I'd skipped breakfast. I have to admit, it was sort of nice going to Demo Days myself for a change (although I missed you, Mr. Sandi and Russ!) because I could ride as much or little as I wanted to and sit out a ride or two to do something like eat a bagel.
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    Funny enough, as soon as I had finished my bagel, Pat made an announcement that everyone was going to break for lunch. I shoulda waited to get my bagel! ;):joy: But the half hour lunch break did afford me the opportunity to go inside the dealership and have a look around.
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    After the break I test rode two more bikes. And it was these two that I liked well enough that I'd have them in my garage. But only if I didn't have to trade one of my current bikes in for it. This Super Chief Limited was my favorite bike on the day. It's a direct competitor to Harley-Davidson's Heritage Classic. I still prefer the Heritage....but it's darn close.
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    And finally, here's the last bike that I rode today, the Scout. It was the smallest of the bunch but it was great fun to ride. Again, I'd buy a bike like this if it was a "+1" and didn't have to replace one of the bikes I currently own.
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    After my test ride on the Scout, I said my thank you's to Pat and my goodbyes to the other riders I'd met. Then I headed home on my trusty and much-loved (and preferred) H-D Low Rider S---the long way home, of course! :):heart:

    A last footnote:
    After I arrived home, parked my bike, and put away my riding gear, I realized I still had on the wrist band given to me when I signed up to test ride. I'm hoping that the "Passenger" designation was just an oversight on the part of the nice ladies who checked me in and NOT an assumption that I must be riding as a passenger because I'm a woman! :p:eek:
     
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  3. joe mc donald

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    Sandi T.
    Great pictures and you are terrific. I do like the Indian they just look so good and meaty.
    Joe.
     
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  4. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Thanks, Joe! :) It was fun to ride them. I really like the looks of some of them but some I'm not quite as keen on. I do love your description of them looking "good and meaty". o_O:joy:
     
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  5. DCS900

    DCS900 Careful, man! There’s a beverage here!
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    Cheers Sandi, I like the way the scout sits, not convinced about the colour...
     
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  6. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Thanks, @DCS900. I'd have said the same thing about the Scout paint color if I'd not seen it in person. I'm not typically keen on white motorcycles. But in this case, seeing it in the sun, it really worked for me. That said, I'd be inclined to choose a different color were I to buy one. I checked the Indian Motorcycles web site and that particular Scout model is available in a half a dozen colors. I'm partial to the two-tone orange one myself. But I also like the black and the maroon. What would you pick??

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  7. Octoberon

    Octoberon Crème de la Crème
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    Another in a long line of excellent posts about your travels, Sandi. :)

    I like the Indian FTR S and intend to get a test ride when the weather picks up. They changed the colours this year though, and I prefer the look of the FTR R, but I don't think I want that model. More test riding required, then. India are opening a couple of new dealerships closer to me next year, which is handy.

    A friend of ours has a Scout. She loves it and it is a beautiful looking bike. I'm not in to cruisers particularly but I'd be happy to make a bit of room in the garage for one of those.
     
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  8. stollydriver

    stollydriver Elite Member
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    Great Post - wish they did more like that in UK...
     
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  9. Octoberon

    Octoberon Crème de la Crème
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    Harley Davidson in Leeds had an open day a month or two ago. Maybe we should be asking more dealers. If they think there’s a demand…
     
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  10. Winglad

    Winglad Crème de la Crème
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    Stick with HD, Sandi.
    It does not get very much better... ❤️
     
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  11. Dartplayer

    Dartplayer Crème de la Crème

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    Thanks @Sandi T another interesting day :sun: I like the front wheel on the Scout and the stance and would go Maroon. I have seen them in Black and it does set of off the detailed heads, but my old standard of black on black has changed since it become trendy.
     
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  12. Vulpes

    Vulpes Confused Member
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    Nice to see you back, mate.
     
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  13. DCS900

    DCS900 Careful, man! There’s a beverage here!
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    We don’t seem to have the colour range here as the US???
    That orange scheme reminds me too much of the old Harley XR’s but I’m colour blind, so what do I know? I’d probably be like @Dartplayer and go maroon, but I’d rather see one in the flesh (and ride it too)
     
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  14. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    @Winglad
    So great to see you back on the forum, Daniel! And yes, THIS is still your planet. :) Welcome home. :kissing_heart:
     
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  15. Markus

    Markus Noble Member
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    @Sandi T
    Thank you for your great report and the beautiful photos!
    So as always it is incredible how the prices change upwards when US motorcycles come to Europe. All bikes cost us at least the $ price in EURO you showed and then have a price addition of at least +$2,000.
     
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  16. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    Lovely write-up and photos, Sandi. What a lucky lady you are, with the roads, the weather and the dealerships at your disposal!

    Anyway, those Indians are really motorised works of art, but I think the Scout is the only one I'd ever be likely to own. I must try to test ride one myself at some point.
     
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