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Can You Ride an Indian Motorcycle Offroad?

Have you ever wondered if those street machines from Indian Motorcycles can actually handle going off the beaten path?

It does seem on the surface that all that beauty shouldn’t be ruined, but sometimes you don’t have a choice. Perhaps you live on a property without sealed roads.

Indian Motorcycles can be ridden on unsealed dirt roads, though cannot handle bumpy terrain or typical dirt bike riding environments. They are designed to be ridden on the bitumen and their heavy weights don’t lend themselves well to riding in any other environment.

These bikes belong on long stretches of highway or cruising along the esplanade on a Sunday afternoon. While you can take them on to a dirt road to reach a destination, we’d be taking it slowly as you don’t want the back end to slide out.

Indian Motorcycles Offroad

If you happen to be looking at a capable motorcycle that can be used for very comfortable and ergonomic cruising on the streets with an incredible look, yet with some mild capabilities offroad, then we can think of motorcycles way better than the Indians. For example, the 850GS and 1200GS editions from BMW lend themselves well to being a highway cruiser with some potential to be taking along a dirt track.

Now – don’t get us wrong. Here at Frontaer, we absolutely love the Indian Motorcycles and they have a solid reputation in the cruiser world. For a country-wide tour on the black top, there’s no better bike to get the job done well.

However, there are times that you find a great spot on the map but it’s, unfortunately, an unsealed road. There is then the question of risking the bike or risking the opportunity of not seeing the landmark. Tough choice!

Should you find yourself in this situation, you’ll be wishing you had bought a more capable bike for offroad use. Indian Motorcycles are heavy to handle at lower speeds, and on dirt roads, you’ll certainly be traveling at these lower speeds as you’ll be worried about scratching the undercarriage with rocks and debris.

Better Choices

We wouldn’t advise you at all to sell your Indian motorcycle. Most riders keep these for life, or at the least, only upgrade every 10 years or so.

So if you did want to ride offroad, you could either get yourself a dual-sport or adventure-orientated motorcycle for some company in the stable at home. There is nothing wrong with having 2 motorcycles, provided the accountant agrees! Some great choices include the ever-popular models from BMW or even a Royal Enfield which make excellent adventures, both on the bitumen and away from the crowds.

Likewise, you might want to consider a registered dirt bike that can be ridden to and from the local trails. These bikes aren’t really adventure-happy but are light and nimble, and even someone in their 50’s and 60’s can throw these around on any track.

It’s Possible

Now – don’t get us wrong. It’s still possible to ride your Indian offroad and indeed thousands of riders have done it. This can hurt your resale value and your insurance may not cover you in the event of an accident, depending on where you are riding that is.

The main issue is the heavier weights and the rocks flying up and scratching the paintwork. Then there’s the big job of cleaning your motorcycle afterwards which could take hours. This is time that you could otherwise be spending riding!

So you’ve got to make the ultimate choice. Do you risk your existing bike or do you buy an additional bike to stock in the garage? We’d take the later every single day.

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