Before you ride your Indian Vintage or model year 2020 and older Chief, perform the pre-ride inspection as described in your Owner’s Manual. Read, understand and follow all of the instructions, warnings and safety precautions in the Owner’s Manual and on all product labels. Failure to follow these instructions, warnings and safety precautions could result in serious injury or death.
During your pre-ride inspection, do the following:
1. Visually inspect the vehicle, looking for debris, leaks and worn components that may impair the vehicle’s operation.
2. Check the condition of the tires, looking for any sign of punctures or damage and verify proper tread depth.
3. Check the tire pressures and verify that they are to specification. The tire pressure for the front tire should be 36 psi (248 kPa). The rear tire should be 40 psi (276 kPa).
4. Inspect the front suspension for leaks, debris and damage.
5. Inspect the brake pads and rotors, looking for leaks, corrosion, nicks and burrs.
6. Inspect the rear drive belt for wear or damage.
7. Inspect the intake system for blockage or debris and clean as needed. Notice: DO NOT spray water directly into the intake system, as this can result in water intrusion to the engine.
8. Remove the left side panel and inspect the rear suspension for leaks, debris and damage.
9. Reinstall the left side panel into the chassis grommets.
10. Make sure the saddlebags are properly installed and that the lids are closed securely.
11. Next we will inspect the fluid levels. Ensure the bike is level and in a well-ventilated area.
- Inspect the front and rear brake reservoirs for proper fluid levels. Tip: Use a flashlight to illuminate the brake fluid reservoir.
12. Next, we need to inspect the engine oil level.
- To do this, start the engine and allow it to idle for 1 to 2 minutes. Stop the engine.
- Using an assistant, hold the bike in an upright and level position.
- Clean the area around the dipstick.
- Remove the oil dipstick and wipe it with a clean shop towel.
- Reinstall the oil dipstick fully and remove it to inspect the oil level.
- Note the engine oil level may vary, depending on engine temperature and run time. Ensure the level is between the add and full marks. It’s not necessary for the level to be up to the full mark. Caution: Operating with insufficient, deteriorated or contaminated engine oil will cause accelerated wear and may result in engine or transmission seizure, which could result in loss of control and serious injury or death.
- Add oil as needed. Caution: Do not overfill. Overfilling can result in loss of engine performance and an oil-saturated air filter. Use a suction device to remove excess oil if overfilled.
- Reinstall the dipstick and clean up any residual oil.
13. Ensure the key fob is in range and power on the bike. Inspect the headlight high beam, low beam and passing lamp. Then check the operation of tail light, brake lights and license plate light.
14. Operate the turn signals and hazard warning flashers.
15. Verify that the horn operates properly.
16. Check the operation of the handlebars while sitting on the vehicle. They should turn smoothly from full left to full right.
17. Verify proper pedal and lever movement.
18. Operate the throttle, brake and clutch levers, taking note of any binding or sticking.
19. Place the transmission in neutral and verify the neutral indicator illuminates in the instrument cluster.
20. Start the engine and verify the low oil pressure light is not illuminated.
21. With the engine running, move the run/stop/start switch to the STOP position and ensure the engine stops.
22. Operate the side stand and verify smooth operation. Ensure the side stand indicator on the instrument cluster, if equipped, is functioning properly. Caution: An improperly retracted side stand could contact the ground and cause a loss of control, resulting in serious injury or death. Always retract the side stand fully before operating the motorcycle.
For more information, see your authorized Indian Motorcycle Dealer. Find a dealer near you with the Dealer Locator.
Maintenance tips, procedures and specifications can be found in your Owner's Manual.
To find diagrams and replacement part numbers, use the online parts catalog.