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Launch: Indian Motorcycle Scout – Motorcycle news, reviews & riding tips - bikesales.com.au

Fittingly, Indian Motorcycle chose New Zealand -- the home of brand legend Burt Munro -- to launch its all-new Scout. And with plenty of power and spunk it's done the name badge proud

If Indian Motorcycle hasn’t already got enough momentum with its current flock of bikes, let me introduce the Scout. In a nutshell, it’s a wonderful cruiser which successfully blends early Scout heritage (fender, headlamp, leather solo seat, tank badge, etc) with the functionality of a modern motorcycle. It has a retro vibe with a contemporary beat, which makes it a satisfying machine across a number of levels. It’s small, light (253kg fully fuelled) and manoeuvrable as well – just what Indian Motorcycle had in its visionary sights when it released the original Sport Scout in 1934.

The engine in the new Scout is an example of its modern-day thinking. Polaris, the parent company of Indian Motorcycle, could have easily followed the same old air-cooled path to power the new Scout, but it chose not to as the engine’s “a stepping stone for the future” according to Ross Clifford, the Polaris motorcycle director for Asia-Pacific. “We wanted to move the game along with the Scout, and that’s what we have done.”

Of course, there’s a practical reason as well: Polaris wanted to manufacture a cruiser engine with some serious firepower, and a water-cooled setup does a better job of dispersing all the heat generated from that frenetic activity better than air-cooling.




We’ll definitely be seeing a more models powered by this 60-degree V-twin in years to come, in what could become a real niche zone for Indian Motorcycle.

That’s because at 1133cc it basically stands alone in cruiser land, certainly way below the capacity of the bike that Indian Motorcycle is targeting – the 1202cc air-cooled Harley-Davidson 1200 Custom. And the Scout is that adept, you could even throw the 1250cc Harley-Davidson V-Road in as a potential competitor as well. And let’s not forget the 942cc Yamaha Bolt, cruiser/roadster, which is the closest Japanese opposition.

The Scout’s engine not only takes a prominent visual role -- the function of being such a simple bike in some many ways – but it is massively resourceful as well, perfectly content to perform its ‘cruiser-like’ low-end torque workhorse duties, but also happy to rev as well – all the way to the 9000rpm soft-action limiter. The flywheel is light as well, which adds to the sharpness. The powerplant is definitely the bike’s pièce de résistance – with the low seat height and aesthetics not too far behind -- so much so that it almost forces you to brush aside some of the other areas where the Scout is probably a little underdone, such as the brakes and suspension.

The engine produces a claimed 100hp at 8100rpm, and 98Nm at 5900rpm, but I wasn’t even skirting those numbers when the launch began, content to short-shift at about 3000rpm which was more than satisfying. At the basement, the crisp throttle response was evident, but I was still a little surprised when I really opened up the soft-action throttle after lunch – it really does leap from a slow burn to frenetic in an instant, and at around 6000rpm you can see why the ‘performance cruiser’ moniker makes a lot of sense. And with some nice engine braking thrown into the mix, it is simply a lot of sporting fun.

You’ll only feel a few vibes at a higher rpm as well, but with the intensity and enjoyment factor going through the roof it’s just something’s that’s noted, rather than an annoyance.

There’s a six-speed transmission – again, Polaris could have followed the five-speed path, but chose not to as it would have flown in the face of current expectations – and the gearing is quite tall, with the bike ticking over at about 3300rpm in sixth at 100km/h. Even though the gearing is tall, it doesn’t stifle the Scout’s intent. Acceleration is always crisp – no lugging or labouring for this baby. With the tallish gearing, third gear became my cog of choice on twisty roads, and you can even get by in fourth at highway speeds – not that sixth is a burden, as at 3300rpm the Scout can still boogie and passing other vehicles certainly isn’t a problem.

Meanwhile, there wasn’t a missed or false neutral gear all day as we explored some great roads south of Auckland, battling strong winds and intermittent rain along most of the 190km journey. The gear changes are positive and slick, even when the transmission is under plenty of strain at higher revs. The clutch is a little on the heavy-ish side, which could become a little tiring in start-stop traffic.

At 172cm, the Scout is a comfortable package for a man of my means (or lack thereof…), including the positioning of the handlebars and the forward controls, which aren’t extreme and still allow some bend in the knees. I did, however, start to feel a little uncomfortable on the solo leather seat after about an hour, but it never got to the stage where numbness kicked in. The Scout's seat basically locks you into one position, so there’s really nowhere to move.

The Scout’s not a massive sit-in type of bike like a lot of other cruisers, and that’s a part of its performance appeal. That hit me the first time I sat on it, as well as the sheer lightness of the bike. Undoubtedly, the light weight helps to generate such a beautifully neutral-handling machine, which tracks on chunky 16-inch rubber that is perfectly capable in the dry but provided a few hairy moments on wet roads. Low-speed manoverabilty is also a breeze, with the low seat height of 642mm making it a machine for all sizes.

The wheels are attached to what is orthodox suspension: 41mm forks and twin monotube, gas-filled coil-over shocks with a really acute rake, which is a throwback to the early Scouts. The shocks are mounted on the swingarm and the seat frame, and provide a comfortable ride despite very little rebound effect. When the pace rises that lack of damping and short stroke are certainly evident, but I managed to stay clear of those nasty squared-edged potholes which can really produce a back-jarring thud.

At a medium pace, there’s not an issue with ground clearance on the Scout. Of course, some extra enthusiasm will see the pegs drag -- which is the bike’s fault, with such a delectable top end and all… There are no warning lugs on the bottom of the rubber-mounted pegs, which is probably an oversight.

The Scout’s brakes are serviceable, with single 298mm discs at both ends, gripped by twin-piston (front) and single-piston calipers. The front is serviceable, although the lever nearly hits the grip with a firm squeeze, but the rear doesn’t really add a lot to the package. The Scout, like its Indian brethren, is a little hamstrung by a US law that doesn’t allow the throttle and brakes to be activated at the same time. Well, you can try it, but all that does is cut fuel to the engine. I’ve always trailed the back brake through turns and roundabouts to help the bike remain settled, but it’s not possible on the Scout. Similarly, gently resting fingers on the front brake lever in town will activate the brake light and also cut the power. A little frustrating, but I’m sure those with knowledge of electrical circuits could probably find a way around it… Our test bikes had anti-lock braking, which will be standard on Australian models.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the launch was tracking next to another rider, as the Scout is such a sensational looking machine on the fly. The proportions are spot on, with the aesthetics fashioned by the rigid triangle frame design, which links the rear to the front. This also mimics the early Indians, ensuring the new Scout retains family ‘membership’. The tank is also a throwback to last century with its tapered front, and it also looks the part. Another interesting part of the design is how the radiator covers are part of the cast aluminium frame, so there’s certainly not a lot of ‘wastage’ on the Scout. The shrouds look the part, too, and you really have to poke your head in to see the radiator.

The instrumentation on the Scout is as you’d expect, minimalist, with an analogue speedo and digital inset which has the time (permanently), engine temperature, rpm, trip and odometer.

The Scout is available in Thunder Black, Indian Red or Silver Smoke, with accessories including saddlebags, pillion seat, sissy bar, tank pouch, rider backrest, screens and handlebars. To view the full range of accessories, click hereand follow the drop-down menus. At the launch, there was a Scout accessorised with saddle bags, pillion seat, pillion pegs and sissy bar.

The Scout does the family badge proud, and the model’s storied past is evident in the present. It’s free-revving engine is a pearler, and the aura of that alone will probably ensure the newest Indian Motorcycle is a success. It’s also on top of the aesthetics game, handles well and is priced ($17,995 rideaway) to really pique the interest of a wide cross section of riders. It “bridges a lot of gaps” according to Ross Clifford, and he’s probably right – there’s a lot to get enthused about. The bike is pretty difficult to pigeon hole into one particular segment, but we’ll just settle for the Scout reincarnated. Great job Indian Motorcycle.
 

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Lock, can I call you Lock? Thanks for review. Interesting. The link you supplied also has some new pictures for those of us who like the pictures. Sure I read the articles! And don't just look at the pictures.
 

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I thought they removed the throttle cutoff for all 2015 Indian models? Even previous models were given the option of going to the dealer for an ECU reflash to remove that 'feature'.
How are you going to perform slow maneuvers without the rear brake and throttle at the same time?
 

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Launch: Indian Motorcycle Scout – Motorcycle news, reviews & riding tips - bikesales.com.au

Fittingly, Indian Motorcycle chose New Zealand -- the home of brand legend Burt Munro -- to launch its all-new Scout. And with plenty of power and spunk it's done the name badge proud

If Indian Motorcycle hasn’t already got enough momentum with its current flock of bikes, let me introduce the Scout. In a nutshell, it’s a wonderful cruiser which successfully blends early Scout heritage (fender, headlamp, leather solo seat, tank badge, etc) with the functionality of a modern motorcycle. It has a retro vibe with a contemporary beat, which makes it a satisfying machine across a number of levels. It’s small, light (253kg fully fuelled) and manoeuvrable as well – just what Indian Motorcycle had in its visionary sights when it released the original Sport Scout in 1934.

The engine in the new Scout is an example of its modern-day thinking. Polaris, the parent company of Indian Motorcycle, could have easily followed the same old air-cooled path to power the new Scout, but it chose not to as the engine’s “a stepping stone for the future” according to Ross Clifford, the Polaris motorcycle director for Asia-Pacific. “We wanted to move the game along with the Scout, and that’s what we have done.”

Of course, there’s a practical reason as well: Polaris wanted to manufacture a cruiser engine with some serious firepower, and a water-cooled setup does a better job of dispersing all the heat generated from that frenetic activity better than air-cooling.




We’ll definitely be seeing a more models powered by this 60-degree V-twin in years to come, in what could become a real niche zone for Indian Motorcycle.

That’s because at 1133cc it basically stands alone in cruiser land, certainly way below the capacity of the bike that Indian Motorcycle is targeting – the 1202cc air-cooled Harley-Davidson 1200 Custom. And the Scout is that adept, you could even throw the 1250cc Harley-Davidson V-Road in as a potential competitor as well. And let’s not forget the 942cc Yamaha Bolt, cruiser/roadster, which is the closest Japanese opposition.

The Scout’s engine not only takes a prominent visual role -- the function of being such a simple bike in some many ways – but it is massively resourceful as well, perfectly content to perform its ‘cruiser-like’ low-end torque workhorse duties, but also happy to rev as well – all the way to the 9000rpm soft-action limiter. The flywheel is light as well, which adds to the sharpness. The powerplant is definitely the bike’s pièce de résistance – with the low seat height and aesthetics not too far behind -- so much so that it almost forces you to brush aside some of the other areas where the Scout is probably a little underdone, such as the brakes and suspension.

The engine produces a claimed 100hp at 8100rpm, and 98Nm at 5900rpm, but I wasn’t even skirting those numbers when the launch began, content to short-shift at about 3000rpm which was more than satisfying. At the basement, the crisp throttle response was evident, but I was still a little surprised when I really opened up the soft-action throttle after lunch – it really does leap from a slow burn to frenetic in an instant, and at around 6000rpm you can see why the ‘performance cruiser’ moniker makes a lot of sense. And with some nice engine braking thrown into the mix, it is simply a lot of sporting fun.

You’ll only feel a few vibes at a higher rpm as well, but with the intensity and enjoyment factor going through the roof it’s just something’s that’s noted, rather than an annoyance.

There’s a six-speed transmission – again, Polaris could have followed the five-speed path, but chose not to as it would have flown in the face of current expectations – and the gearing is quite tall, with the bike ticking over at about 3300rpm in sixth at 100km/h. Even though the gearing is tall, it doesn’t stifle the Scout’s intent. Acceleration is always crisp – no lugging or labouring for this baby. With the tallish gearing, third gear became my cog of choice on twisty roads, and you can even get by in fourth at highway speeds – not that sixth is a burden, as at 3300rpm the Scout can still boogie and passing other vehicles certainly isn’t a problem.

Meanwhile, there wasn’t a missed or false neutral gear all day as we explored some great roads south of Auckland, battling strong winds and intermittent rain along most of the 190km journey. The gear changes are positive and slick, even when the transmission is under plenty of strain at higher revs. The clutch is a little on the heavy-ish side, which could become a little tiring in start-stop traffic.

At 172cm, the Scout is a comfortable package for a man of my means (or lack thereof…), including the positioning of the handlebars and the forward controls, which aren’t extreme and still allow some bend in the knees. I did, however, start to feel a little uncomfortable on the solo leather seat after about an hour, but it never got to the stage where numbness kicked in. The Scout's seat basically locks you into one position, so there’s really nowhere to move.

The Scout’s not a massive sit-in type of bike like a lot of other cruisers, and that’s a part of its performance appeal. That hit me the first time I sat on it, as well as the sheer lightness of the bike. Undoubtedly, the light weight helps to generate such a beautifully neutral-handling machine, which tracks on chunky 16-inch rubber that is perfectly capable in the dry but provided a few hairy moments on wet roads. Low-speed manoverabilty is also a breeze, with the low seat height of 642mm making it a machine for all sizes.

The wheels are attached to what is orthodox suspension: 41mm forks and twin monotube, gas-filled coil-over shocks with a really acute rake, which is a throwback to the early Scouts. The shocks are mounted on the swingarm and the seat frame, and provide a comfortable ride despite very little rebound effect. When the pace rises that lack of damping and short stroke are certainly evident, but I managed to stay clear of those nasty squared-edged potholes which can really produce a back-jarring thud.

At a medium pace, there’s not an issue with ground clearance on the Scout. Of course, some extra enthusiasm will see the pegs drag -- which is the bike’s fault, with such a delectable top end and all… There are no warning lugs on the bottom of the rubber-mounted pegs, which is probably an oversight.

The Scout’s brakes are serviceable, with single 298mm discs at both ends, gripped by twin-piston (front) and single-piston calipers. The front is serviceable, although the lever nearly hits the grip with a firm squeeze, but the rear doesn’t really add a lot to the package. The Scout, like its Indian brethren, is a little hamstrung by a US law that doesn’t allow the throttle and brakes to be activated at the same time. Well, you can try it, but all that does is cut fuel to the engine. I’ve always trailed the back brake through turns and roundabouts to help the bike remain settled, but it’s not possible on the Scout. Similarly, gently resting fingers on the front brake lever in town will activate the brake light and also cut the power. A little frustrating, but I’m sure those with knowledge of electrical circuits could probably find a way around it… Our test bikes had anti-lock braking, which will be standard on Australian models.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the launch was tracking next to another rider, as the Scout is such a sensational looking machine on the fly. The proportions are spot on, with the aesthetics fashioned by the rigid triangle frame design, which links the rear to the front. This also mimics the early Indians, ensuring the new Scout retains family ‘membership’. The tank is also a throwback to last century with its tapered front, and it also looks the part. Another interesting part of the design is how the radiator covers are part of the cast aluminium frame, so there’s certainly not a lot of ‘wastage’ on the Scout. The shrouds look the part, too, and you really have to poke your head in to see the radiator.

The instrumentation on the Scout is as you’d expect, minimalist, with an analogue speedo and digital inset which has the time (permanently), engine temperature, rpm, trip and odometer.

The Scout is available in Thunder Black, Indian Red or Silver Smoke, with accessories including saddlebags, pillion seat, sissy bar, tank pouch, rider backrest, screens and handlebars. To view the full range of accessories, click hereand follow the drop-down menus. At the launch, there was a Scout accessorised with saddle bags, pillion seat, pillion pegs and sissy bar.

The Scout does the family badge proud, and the model’s storied past is evident in the present. It’s free-revving engine is a pearler, and the aura of that alone will probably ensure the newest Indian Motorcycle is a success. It’s also on top of the aesthetics game, handles well and is priced ($17,995 rideaway) to really pique the interest of a wide cross section of riders. It “bridges a lot of gaps” according to Ross Clifford, and he’s probably right – there’s a lot to get enthused about. The bike is pretty difficult to pigeon hole into one particular segment, but we’ll just settle for the Scout reincarnated. Great job Indian Motorcycle.
 

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I have to say this to those in New Zealand and Australia, along with those citizens of the British Isles and Europe who may be reading:

IF there were ever a hard lot to please, next to Harley Owners, it's certainly going to be most all of you who live in the Old World,
Old Country, Land Down Under, Land of Oz, or whichever suites your tastes across the ponds.
Whenever I read articles and reviews and commentaries, regardless the content and subject matter, but particularly that of manufactured
goods, from your regions of this big blue ball, it never fails that I come away with the impression that you are very well versed in
quality craftsmanship and excellence, which afford satisfaction of ownership and will certainly let the reader/listener know what you think
whether the product be good or disasterously awful.

To read/hear what I have been reading/hearing concerning Indian Motorcycle Company (IMC), The Chiefs, and now the Scout, has been
quite positive. And for those professional and consumer opinions to be expressed, thus, I must say that the entire IMC team
must surely be pleased and their own hopes for a successful future must be high, right now.
The aura of positive energy around Spirit Lake and in Minnisota must be quite intoxicating at this time, especially those who
designed the Scout.

We can only imagine and speculate what they may be dreaming up next at Indian. A Four? A Parallel Twin?
To be certain, they know how keep the community guessing.

Anyway, I think that was a great write-up and I am sure that Burt Munro would be pleased, also.
I must say, while there are MANY who have loved and cared for their Indians over the past 60 years since IMC closed
it's doors, and the repeated attempts throughout those years to resurrect the brand, in it's various forms, there is something
to be said about a motorcycle, a model, a brand of company, a heritage filled with fascinating stories, tales and legends
that have kept the midnight oil burning. Burt Munro's story must sit near the mountaintop of them. A man who was so thoroughly
dedicated to his motorcycle and his dream. Never giving up and always pushing ahead...Truly an inspiring individual for many
people. And most certainly, an outstanding example of positive thinking, determination and loyalty.
Which leads to the question: how often do we find a motorcycle which has held it's owner's loyalty for so long, yet expected
to do so much more than it was designed to do? That's an example of true loyalty.
And all those other Indian owners, around the world who were content with their bikes, loved and cherished them, through the
decades whether they were rideable or not, they, too, define true loyalty to a brand that has been out of business for over
60 years.
And today, many long time fans, many of whom, have only read about them, who have dreamed of owning an Indian motorcycle
now have an opportunity do so. They are going to come out of the woodworks.
An incredible story is about to be added to. I think this new installment to the Saga is going to prove to be very interesting
in the coming years.

With that, I thank you L&L for sharing your find. I enjoyed it.
 

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That is a very modest lean angle in your photo. Are the foot pegs fold up or fixed?
 
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