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Discussion Starter #1
Indian’s 2015 Scout is a powerful, well-conceived, well-executed entry in the cruiser market.

STURGIS, S.D. – The carnival atmosphere of Sturgis was an appropriate setting for the new Indian Motorcycle Co. to introduce its all-new Scout. Indian is so confident in the performance of its hot-off-the-presses midsize cruiser that it even ran the bike on a Wall of Death – a 1920s circus stunt that has riders circling the 15-foot walls of a wooden cylinder snatching bills from spectators’ hands.

The original Indian Scout was the bike of choice for the Wall of Death back in the day. Revived for 2015, the new Scout is even more adept, though most riders will opt to keep things horizontal.

This is the second year Indian has used the legendary motorcycle rally to stage an assault on Harley-Davidson with a bike that attempts to pick the heavyweight’s lock on the cruiser market. With its new Scout, Indian is gunning for Harley’s bestselling Sportster.

Like 111-year-old Harley-Davidson, the 113-year-old Indian nameplate has a wealth of heritage to pull from and push forward with new technology. Brought back to life by the powersports powerhouse Polaris, Indian is backed with deep pockets, and it shows.

Exceptionally well-conceived, the Scout is even more well-executed. Its fit and finish are above and beyond, starting with the crown jewel of any self-respecting cruiser – the engine. Unlike the air-cooled Chief and Chieftain models Indian introduced last year, the 1,133 cc Scout makes more power per cubic centimeter and, as a result, more heat, so it is liquid-cooled. That negates the need for cooling fins on the cylinders, which, on the Scout, are flat-faced and matte black and fronted with a rectangular radiator that actually looks elegant instead of awkward nestled at the front of a thick cast aluminum frame.
There is no white space in the frame’s triangle. It’s a streamlined and solid wall of power train, uncluttered by anything but decorative Indian iconography – just the components that make it move.

Framing it is a rigid triangle, designed with similar ergonomics to the 94-year-old original. But the hard tail look is merely an illusion. The back end rides on a pair of mono tube gas shocks housed in retro exposed metal coils to soak up the realities of modern roads.
The original Scout was introduced by the original Indian Motorcycle in 1920. Built as an antidote to bikes that, even at that time, were becoming oversized and heavy, the Scout was smaller, lighter and more nimble than many bikes of its era. Its horsepower was a humble 14, but that, too, was considered an achievement for its time, especially from such a small engine.

For the 2015 model year, Indian replicates that recipe with a compact 60-degree V-twin that makes an impressive 100 horsepower. Still, it’s the torque curve that’s most impressive. From a dead stop, it wants to take off simply from letting out the clutch. It doesn’t even need a roll of the throttle to get going. It is that frisky.
Riding it around the Black Hills of South Dakota for 200-plus miles in a single day, it amazed on so many levels. The engine’s power was instantly accessible upon takeoff and incredibly smooth at speed. Its gears were tall enough that I wasn’t constantly shifting, nor did I ever feel that I had run out of its six gears. That’s what happens when you have a lot of power but no windscreen.

There was no discernible vibration whatsoever. The suspension was extremely adept. Indian is obviously American, but its riding character – and its price – is more Japanese. The Indian Scout offers a lot of engineering and craftsmanship for $10,999.

There are nods to the vintage version of the bike in little details throughout the new Scout. Its single gauge is nestled in the crook of the pullback handlebars, its analog speedometer ringed in antique white. A small digital display is inlaid at its center; a switch on the left grip toggles between revs, the odometer and engine temperature, but there is no gear indicator or gas gauge. As some of my colleagues discovered when they ran out of gas, there’s only a light that shows when the 91 octane is running low. There isn’t a reverse tripometer ticking off the miles to empty.

The cursive tank badges were lifted from the 1930s Sport version of the original. The slightly flared front fender is a form pulled from history. So is the bucket shape of the solo seat, which is trimmed in Indian’s iconic brown leather. The brown leather was especially pretty against the silver smoke paint of my test bike, but it seems to go with everything. It also pops against the other two colors Indian is offering – red and black – and serves as instant shorthand that this stripped-down cruiser isn’t a Harley.

The seat on the new Scout is the lowest in the midsize class. Laden, it sits just 25.3 inches off the ground, which made it extremely easy to handle. Stock, it’s sized for riders 5-foot-4 to 6-feet tall, but Indian is offering accessories to help it fit an even broader range of riders – from 5 feet to 6-foot-4.
Because the seat is so low, the foot pegs are forward controls. If they were centered, as they are on Harley’s new entry-level machine, the Street, it would bend the legs at an angle that for many riders would place their knees in their armpits. Placed forward, they allow the legs of most folk to stretch out.
One third of the midsize market is new riders with less than a year of experience on two motorized wheels, according to Indian, which has crafted its Scout to fit the bill. Available in December, the Scout not only has the heritage, but the style, performance and price to warrant serious consideration.

Indian Motorcycle renews assault on Harley - The Orange County Register
 

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I wonder how much the victory judge there is in the scout. I have ridden a judge extensively and I hope to be able to ride a scout at Tytlers Indian demo ride next week the 15th and 16th of august. I thought the Judge was a lot of fun by the way. 'l bet the Scout is s well.
 

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I get a electronic version from Cycle World along with the monthy rag I pay for. Here's a link to a favorable review on the Scout that I got today 8/7/14. Certainly looks like the Indian wizards are doing their research on what riders want as an alternative to the HD bikes.

Two great quotes from this article directly aimed at the Sportster are:

1-The Scout goes its own way at interpreting the evolution of the American V-twin, not following the lead of the Indian Chief. It gives a modern answer rather than the popular Luddite imitation of outdated technology. If that offends you, maybe you should go get a dial phone or move to an Amish farm.

2-We now know where the “sport” in Sportster disappeared to; it’s in the Scout. If you like motorcycles at all, the $10,999 Scout is the “it” bike of today.

2015 Indian Scout- Cruiser Motorcycle First Ride Review- Photos- Pricing
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That is great!

Polaris actually does a LOT of research with their current owners as well as peruses the forum-sphere for unabashed feedback on their products. They get it, and this is why this plaque hangs in their R&D facility.

 

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I agree, Polaris creates an outstanding product and I'm grateful they take the riding experience so seriously. Please, oh please, for the love of all that is holy make a larger tank for the scout. Just another gallon...that's all. Otherwise, to me, it just seems like a dysfunctional bike. Coming in at only 3.3 gallons doesn't seem a lot like performance and excellence above the competition...rather, it's more like a serious hindrance. I hope Polaris is open to constructive feedback, because I'm not trying to be negative...hell, I really want to buy this work of art and modern heritage. I'm just struggling with the concept that Indian knocked this bike out of the park in every other regards EXCEPT the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think they will offer a larger tank in the future. This is just the first run out of the gate. They have to have room for improvement right?!

You can get a 4.5 gallon thank on the Sporty in the aftermarket if you want it, so I don't doubt that something will be available in the coming months and even a year or two. This is a whole new power plant, so the accessories will be coming in the aftermarket shortly.
 

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@NickJ, I sure hope so, because this is without a doubt "the" bike I want to own...just not with a 3.3 tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The tank on my Bonnie isn't much larger. Around 3.5 gallons of fuel each fill up. I don't really mind that size, as I don't ride long distances on it. I do however use it as a daily commuter so it doesn't bother me to throw a couple gallons in it every week.
 

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I'm just not convinced with the current 3.3 gallon tank. What can we reasonably expect for mpg: 40-45 on average? Let's say best case scenario is 45mpg, that only gives you approximately 148.5 miles until bone dry. Now, let's be honest about the bike, this isn't/wasn't designed for an all out cross country tour like the bigger machines. However, I'd like to be able to run around 120miles without wondering if I'm going to start coasting, begin sweating for a gas station to dawn the horizon, or carry extra cans of fuel on those long rides. Looking at other bikes and their gallon tanks: Bonneville T100 @ 4.2, Star Bolt @ 3.2, HD Sportster @ 4.5, HD Iron 883 @ 3.3, and HD Custom 1200 @ 4.5...even my Kawasaki W650 has a 4 gallon tank! All I'm saying is, I can't for the life of me understand why they couldn't add .7 gallons to the tank to make it 4 gallons. It just seems like they took a short cut and didn't live up to the Indian name or expectation of class leading performance. Making it 4 gallons would, in my opinion, not even be noticeable aesthetically. So, again...why the shortcut/shortfall?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A Reviewer That We Don't Speak Of said:
While the Scout won’t be competing with any tourers when it comes to tank-draining stints, our day’s ride yielded an average of 45.1 mpg – with lots of time spent at elevated rpm in lower gears, flexing the engine’s muscles. So, a 150-mile range or slightly higher is a reasonable expectation.
I don't know why they opted for the smaller tank, but I am sure there was good reason. Perhaps to keep the lines as pretty as they could. I dunno. Hopefully they will come up with an option for those looking for a little longer range.

Remember that this is just the first motorcycle with this motor. :) I have heard the designers allude to this motor being a great "baseline." That means that they will be releasing some new stuff in the near future.
 

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My Sportster only gets about 80 miles on a tank at best. I usually fill up at 60 miles just to stay safe. So the 150 mile range on the Scout sounds great to me :)

 

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No they went for style and at 3.3 that was the most pleasing to the eye, also weight might have been a factor. I am not privy to how the design team came up with their target, so all we can do is guess. And as far HD goes, if Indian becomes a real threat they will change what they build and the faithful will buy it ! I think the only HD people that are buying Indian are the ones they have pissed off some way or another. Frankly I never could understand what the mystique is. There have been so many flops when it comes to companies trying to go for that segment of the market, Excelsior Henderson and previous itirrations of Indian come to mind, they all were very flawed. heir logic must have been slap something together with a vtwin and people will buy it. So far all HD has done is ressurrect an old model with a few changes and call it new. I am sure one of the first customers of the Scout will be HD for their R&D dept. They can park it next to the chieftain and vintage they already have there. Indian will have to keep improving to win them over it's not going to happen overnight. I read in Cycleword or Motorcyclist that Indian is only after10% of HD business, which would be only abut 25k units. Smart thinking on their part, that way they never will have unsold inventory and there will be constant demand, so they can get top dollar. Make sense ?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am sure one of the first customers of the Scout will be HD for their R&D dept. They can park it next to the chieftain and vintage they already have there.

Indian will have to keep improving to win them over it's not going to happen overnight. I read in Cycleword or Motorcyclist that Indian is only after10% of HD business, which would be only abut 25k units. Smart thinking on their part, that way they never will have unsold inventory and there will be constant demand, so they can get top dollar. Make sense ?
HD would be silly to not have a few Scouts on the premises. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

I agree with you on every stance that you have taken here. Indian is not after the whole market right off. I think they will want to make sure that the brand is exclusive for a minute. They continually tout that Indian is a "luxury brand," providing a higher level product.

As you said, it is not an overnight battle. Gaining market share will take some time. A 10% market share goal for a company within the first two years might not sound like a lot, but it is a lofty goal when you are up against someone like HD.
 

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There will be plenty of options in the future. The lines of the bike have to be just right on the first introduction model.
 

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What is all the fuss over the tank size??? My Road-glide has a larger tank but i still need to stop every 120 miles for fill up! I put 50,000 miles on it in 3 years. More miles then 99% of the owners out there will ever do. After 2 hours in the saddle, on any bike it becomes a endurance contest!! Unless your trying to set some iron Butt Record your not going to need any more fuel between stops. Stops are important to freshen up! Eat, drink, show off the bike, meet new people, check out the new surroundings. If you wanna see how much pain your butt can take I'm sure someone will come out with a larger tank.. Or tow a trailer full of gas...
 

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My ass must be numb, My wife and I have only get 2 weeks to travel, last year we went 8200 miles in 15 days and went trough 17 states. My 6 gallon tank goes 230 miles before I need to fill, and we do ride tank to tank, 4 hrs, give or take a little. Only thing, after sitting for 4 hrs., you do tend to walk like frankenstein the first few steps... YeeeeHaaaaa
 

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What is all the fuss over the tank size??? My Road-glide has a larger tank but i still need to stop every 120 miles for fill up! I put 50,000 miles on it in 3 years. More miles then 99% of the owners out there will ever do. After 2 hours in the saddle, on any bike it becomes a endurance contest!! Unless your trying to set some iron Butt Record your not going to need any more fuel between stops. Stops are important to freshen up! Eat, drink, show off the bike, meet new people, check out the new surroundings. If you wanna see how much pain your butt can take I'm sure someone will come out with a larger tank.. Or tow a trailer full of gas...
HuskyD... Either you have never found the right seat, or you have never ridden with the beemer crowd, or both. There was a time I would have agreed with you. Then I bought a beemer boxer oilhead, joined the local MOA, and they changed my mind. These guys, first thing they do is buy a Russel Day-Long or a Corbin or Sargent. It's not that beemer seats come any better; it's that beemeristas won't settle for what comes stock. They'll throw a leg over, suck a tank dry, fill up quick as a card swipe, throw a leg over, and fetch up in Indiana, just like that. Opened my mind. My longest distance bike has actually been the KLR stock seat, with a 7 1/2 gallon tank doing 57 mpg. I try to ride the BRP 3 or 4 times a year. I'll set out down Rt 1 across Conowingo, up thru Jarretsville and Mexico, left and Westminster, catch 340 in Frederick, be in Waynesboro VA 300 miles away six-seven hours later, pump gas, catch a sub, and I'm ready to do 178 miles down the BRP to my fave first camp site near Meadows of Dan. She has a comfy stock seat, is the deal. But useful stock seats are far and away the exception. One of just two comfy stock seats I've ever owned. A big thick slab of foam, and your legs are stretched down relaxed. Had an R1100R with one of those big flap eared DayLongs that was the same way -- ride forever, no prob. Only thing there, your legs are folded under. Got the knee kinks. The CLC, I have to slap an AirHawk on that one to do a day. It won't go but a buck and a half between fillups anyways. The long uninterrupted ride on the right bike with a seat that feels good -- what that does is it gets you in the zone. Once you are in the zone, time flies. Good chance to catch up on your thinking. Other comfy stock seat was an R1200C leather seat similar to the Scout seat. Bought her in Louisville, rode her home. Two quick fillups, pulled into the driveway, and I felt hungry... that's when I realized I forgot to stop and eat. Walking straight, too, up that drive. I ride up to Lake Conesus every May for a m/c wrench session. I can take the CLC and gas twice; or I can take the KLR non-stop. My butt will feel better when I arrive non-stop on the KLR.

I think you just have not found the right seat.
Many miles as you put on, you ought to spend the bucks and find one.
 

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Well webmost, you do it your way, and I'll do it mine. Personally, I like to take my time, see the scenery, enjoy the ride, and stop every 70-100 miles just to get off, walk around, stretch my legs and take a little rest from the road.....
Not long, maybe 5 minutes or so....It doesn't add much time to the trip, and I'll guarantee that at the end of a 12-14 hour day in the saddle, I will be less tired or road weary than you.
Possibly you can see the sense of climbing on a machine with a p bottle strapped to your leg and a camelback to keep yourself hydrated.....but that sure ain't my idea of a good time.
 
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