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CarPlay on a motorbike? Indian Motorcycle touts 7-inch display for Apple’s iPhone infotainment feature

We’ve been fans of CarPlay at 9to5Mac since 2014, and I started riding motorcycles in my free time last summer. So it’s an understatement to say I was intrigued when news of a new model of Indian Motorcycle with Apple CarPlay crossed the wire.

Indian Motorcycle’s new 2021 Chieftain Elite isn’t the first motorbike with CarPlay, but Apple’s infotainment feature is certainly less common on bikes than four-wheeled modes of transportation.

The Chieftain Elite ($34,999) is a limited run of only 120 bikes produced worldwide to celebrate Indian Motorcycle’s 120 years in business, and it features a 7-inch built-in display that works with CarPlay:

Indian Motorcycle’s easy-to-use, state-of-the-art technology found throughout the 2021 Chieftain Elite delivers a next-level riding experience. Taking center stage is Indian Motorcycle’s industry-leading, seven-inch Ride Command infotainment system. With connected services riders can view weather and traffic overlays, while Apple CarPlay delivers an easier, more customized level of control for music, navigation preferences, and mobile device information.

Fortunately CarPlay isn’t just limited to the special edition Elite machine. Indian Motorcycle supports CarPlay on a number of 2020 and 2021 models including standard Chieftain, Roadmaster, and Indian Challenger bikes.

So how does CarPlay work on a motorcycle, and could it possibly be safe?

While wireless would be ideal, Indian Motorcycle supports CarPlay as part of its Ride Command infotainment system. These bikes support CarPlay over a Lightning cable and feature stowaway compartments for storing your connected iPhone.

For controlling the CarPlay experience, Indian Motorcycle uses navigation controllers positioned on the handlebars for ergonomic use that doesn’t require taking your hands off your bike.

See a demonstration in action below:


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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.