The Indian Chieftain Custom Contest: The Winners!

The Best Custom Indian Chieftain Builds Ever!

Updated August 20, 2018

Here we have the winning entrees from the Indian Chieftain custom contest. Ten Indian dealerships across North America took part, and the winners have just been announced. The competition began back in October 2016, with a completion deadline for January 2017. The ten dealerships were tasked with building the most formidable Indian Chieftain baggers that they could, whilst sticking to a budget and including a minimum of three genuine Indian accessories into the build.

Custom Indian Chieftain 1

The entrants were whittled down to a series of finalists via an online public vote, with the top three bikes being unveiled at the Indian VIP Party at the Daytona Bike Week. Now that we know who has claimed the top honors, we can show you their efforts. But before we do, here’s what Indian Motorcycle’s Product Director, Gary Gray, had to say about the event: “The collection of unbelievable customs that were produced for ‘Project Chieftain’ are a powerful testament to the significant customization capabilities of the Chieftain platform. It’s always such a pleasure to see the creativity and craftsmanship of our dealers, while showcasing for the rider how far one can go to make our bikes more personal to them.”

3rd Place: The Indian Chieftain “Barnstorm”

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The third place honors for the custom competition were awarded to Indian Motorcycles of Central Massachusetts. Their awesome “Barnstorm” custom rolled into third place thanks to the innovative use of parts and its striking appearance. Here’s what the team had to say about their effort:

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“Our goal was to elevate the aspects of the Chieftain performance platform. Because this particular model was already well known for its handling and ergonomics, the challenge was exciting and interesting. Increasing power output with the Indian Motorcycle performance cams, intake and a handmade stainless exhaust was a key step. This, paired with aggressive styling, stunt-inspired bars and controls, bring the bike to an unprecedented level of comfort, ability & aesthetics”

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2nd Place: The Indian Chieftain “America Proud”

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Second place was awarded to Coastal Indian Motorcycle’s “America Proud” custom. This custom Indian Chieftain ticks all the right boxes for die hard patriots, and incorporates some interest features. Obviously, the flag paintwork stole the show, but it also comes with a custom front wheel and a cool custom seat. Here’s what Coastal Indian Motorcycle had to say:

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“Our Custom Chieftain will mesh history with the present. First, we want to honor the American men and women that created Indian back in 1901 while recognizing the awesome team that brought it back to us. Another Special Thanks to all the Service men and women that make what we do possible. This bike is designed to Honor or our past and our future….AMERICA PROUD.”

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1st Place: The Indian Chieftain “Tequila Sunset”

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Hollister Powersports from California clinched the first place trophy though, with their “Tequila Sunset” custom Indian Chieftain. It’s actually quite a subtle entrant, compared against the others, but its classic look obviously appealed to the judges. Despite its simplicity, it’s actually had a lot of work done to it. Hollister Powersports explained their work:

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“This bike features a 23″ custom front wheel, stretched front fender, raked triple trees, custom gold metallic paint, custom made side covers, custom made air cleaner, and frenched in turn signals in the saddle bags.”

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The prizes were as follows: for first place, the winners received $20,000. For second, $10,000. And for third, $5,000. And of course, the top three bikes were also positioned in pride of place throughout Daytona Bike Week. Although these were the top three, let’s have a look at a few others that deserve recognition…

The Best Of The Rest Custom Indian Chieftain Machines:

Indian Motorcycle of Montreal – “The Holeshot”

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Sin City Indian Motorcycle – “The Sin City King”

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Sawtooth Indian Motorcycle – “Don’t Tread On Me”

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Head Indian Motorcycle – “Classic Elegance”

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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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