Shortly after Indian Motorcycle unveiled the revamped 2022 Chief lineup, the brand also announced a custom build-off series. Featuring renowned builders Paul Cox, Keino Sasaki, and Go Takamine, the competition displayed the Chief’s full custom possibilities.
While Cox and Sasaki’s East Coast Chopper build and Takamine’s vintage-inspired Indian exhibited the new platform’s versatility, Carey Hart’s rendition brings some West Coast flavor to the contest. Building his 2022 Indian Chief for The Walking Dead actor Jon Bernthal, Hart adapted his style to the client’s wishes.
“I wanted it to be humble but elegant,” revealed Bernthal. “I didn’t want the bike to draw too much attention to itself but when you looked at it a little bit closer you realized how special it is.”
For that reason, Hart’s custom Chief rocks an understated satin graphite paint base with gloss black panels and red accents. The livery may not turn heads on the road, but at a stop, enthusiasts can really appreciate the details. Aside from the trick paint job, Hart and team also equipped the Chief’s Thunder Stroke 116 with a Fab 28 2-into-1 stainless exhaust.
“I love performance, I love going fast, turning fast, and braking hard,” Carey noted. “I don’t sacrifice anything on my bikes that are going to jeopardize their handling, how it performs, or my safety.”
With the big-bore V-Twin now benefitting from a new exhaust and tune, it was time to upgrade the Chief’s stock braking system. Hart doesn’t spare any expense either, opting for a top-of-the-line Beringer front brake master cylinder along with Beringer front and rear calipers. Galfer wave rotors and front brake lines complete the system, delivering the utmost braking feel and feedback. Hart raises the rear end by one inch with Fox piggyback shocks and finishes off the chassis with San Diego Customs cast wheels shod in Dunlop tires.
To adjust the Chief’s ergonomics to Bernthal’s frame, Hart installed Kraus bar clamps and risers mated to ODI handlebars. A Saddlemen Hart Luck seat positions the rider in a more upright position while the San Diego Customs shift and brake pegs encourage high-performance riding. Luckily, both Bernthal and Hart are happy with the end result.
“I think it’s beautiful,” added Bernthal. “I can’t imagine a more perfect bike.”