Indian completely revamped its Chief lineup in February, 2021. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the iconic model, the brand opted for a stripped-back, old-school aesthetic. The Chief’s ape hangers, wire-spoked wheels, and the steel-tube frame all speak to that bygone era. While the minimalist approach brings the model back to its roots, Indian also wants customers to make the cruiser their own.
To illustrate the versatility of the platform, the brand is assembling America’s top Indian builders for the 2022 Chief Custom Program. Anyone familiar with the Discovery’s Biker Build-Off series from the early aughts will remember legendary builder Indian Larry. Though Larry passed away in 2004, his apprentices Paul Cox and Keino Sasaki moved on to establish their own garages and individual styles. The Chief Custom competition will reunite the pair for the first time since Indian Larry’s death.
“Keino and I have stayed in touch over the years, continuing to work in our own individual styles,” noted Cox. “We both bring unique skills to this project, and it will be interesting to collaborate again.”
While Sasaki and Cox will provide the East Coast Choppers flare, Bratstyle’s Go Takamine will deliver his own blend of vintage cool. Merging elements from dirt trackers, scramblers, and old-school choppers, Brat Style pairs timeless design with the charm of aged finishes and we can’t wait to see what he does with the 2022 Indian Chief.
“Indian Motorcycle has been at the heart of my work for many years, and I have great admiration for the company,” Takamine said. “The new Indian Chief is ideal for customization with its classic steel tube frame and air-cooled motor, and I’m excited by the possibilities of what I can do with it.”
Still within the West Coast cruiser scene, but on the opposite end of the styling spectrum, Carey Hart will build another bespoke Indian Chief for the Custom program. Hart’s projects typically lean toward performance, and his Club Style Chief accompanied the model’s initial launch. For Indian’s custom campaign, Hart will go back to the grindstone for a new interpretation of the big twin cruiser.
Indian hasn’t announced the competition’s end date, but we look forward to seeing three very different Chief customs in the future.