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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My Indian:
2020 Scout Bobber Sixty ABS

Present day:






My History:
I rode downhill for years as a kid (RIP Giant Warp DS1). My father rode a Honda CX500C until I was 4yo when he got into an accident with my sister on the back. No one was hurt, but he had to "turn in" his biker card to my mother after that. Always wanted to ride, but my wife and I tend to be conservative with our finances. I got a pretty big promotion + windfall in 2019 so I decided to pick up a Kawasaki Vulcan S650 at the break of the Midwest riding season.

I loved the Vulcan. It's quick, extremely nimble for a cruiser and it had a sporting character that's really unique for a feet-forward bike. Lightweight frame, thin tires, sportbike controls and a parallel-twin is a really great recipe. Unfortunately it was uncomfortable for rides >45m and I like to take moderate trips frequently. I planned to grab a corbin seat along with some minor cosmetic mods and ride it for a few more years, but come October '19 I got caught in the rain and high-sided through a left turn. I think the rear wheel hit some tar snakes with moderate throttle and lost traction. No injury to me or even my PPE; I was going ~15mph. I shouldn't have called insurance to be frank. They appraised it at 96% of the bike's value and I could have repaired it for $1800 by ignoring some of the cosmetic damage and doing the work myself. Nevertheless if the appraised damage is >90% of the value of the bike I had no path to a salvage rebuild title and was forced to scrap total it.

All winter I thought I'd replace it with another Vulcan. I was happy with it and it's dead cheap used. However, the Scout Bobber was always my "dream" bike and I'd be lying if I said I didn't go to the online configuration to spec it out how I wanted it or looked on cycle trader to size up used bikes. I also had my eyes on the Victory Octane, which was even cheaper used. News of the Scout Bobber Sixty didn't really resonate with me when I first saw it, since I was looking used at 69ci/72ci variants and focused on the value. On the first nice day of the year I test rode the Bobber and Bobber Sixty and came away surprised with the Sixty. In my eyes (and experience level) the Sixty didn't leave anything on the table to the 69ci Bobber that couldn't be easily fixed. The loss of a gear wasn't missed at all. The experience of the power wasn't a compelling argument to get the 69 (especially after reading about the PCV3 tune). The mirrors and lack of headlight nacelle could be fixed, and I actually prefer the blacked-out engine accents. I only wish I could have gotten that white color . Company performance was great in 2019, of which I was credited enough to upgrade from the Vulcan to the Bobber Sixty!


My bike in the shop, 0 miles and wasn't even programmed with its personality yet:


Initial Impressions:
I signed papers on the bike March 20th, just as the severity of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was sinking in here in the US. I'd requested the 1920 Saddle Seat, Pathfinder LED Headlight and bar-end mirror grips from the factory, but decided to ride it home before lockdowns went into effect without the factory upgrades installed. I rode it home March 24th, literally the day (after hours nonetheless) before the dealership was forced to shut down. It was a 45F evening for an hour-long ride so I can't say I had a great first ride. I will say, however, that my bottom and lower back were pretty happy! I felt better after an hour on this bike than I would a half-hour on the Vulcan. Also my fingertips weren't numb from the vibrations.



After riding it around the country to get more familiar, my biggest surprise is how in control of the bike I feel. I feel like I can work my weight and the weight of the bike together to turn more confidently, come to a stop without dropping my feet too quickly and swerve to avoid bumps and obstacles much better than I could on the Vulcan. I'm not sure what exactly I could attribute that to, but it's been a VERY welcome upgrade after my spill last year. It may be a combination of the front geometry communicating to my hands better, my ability to straddle the seat and get my thighs involved and my confidence putting my weight forward onto the pegs. I never could really pull myself up off or reposition myself on the Vulcan's seat like I can on the Bobber; I sat too far back and low into the seat to manipulate the weight of the bike beneath me.

The comfort has also been a welcome surprise. I knew from my test ride that I wasn't getting a downgrade on this metric but I didn't get a sense it'd be this good. I rode for 2 hours one day with only a 15m break in the middle and I didn't feel beat up and exhausted that evening or sore the next day. Now I'm wondering how much I really need to prioritize those Fox shocks. I may instead go for a quick-release windscreen though because this thing doesn't love highways. The Vulcan was surprisingly good - it'd calm down up at 75mph as the engine hit its tuned frequency and the aerodynamics were better. The Bobber feels hectic.

The power of the bike is great. First of all, I love the character of this V-twin. It's smooth and silky off throttle but it'll raucously hammer into the frame when it's torqued down against the traction of the rear wheel. Lower levels of throttle are so well articulated, too. It's an easy companion around town when I just want to puts through the parking lot or cruise the beach. Out on open roads I do wish it were smoother up at the top-end - to me it feels violently buzzy up beyond 6k under load. I know it's got another 2k left (and with the PCV3 to unlock the real torque curve it's worth wringing out that high) but I tend not to want to let it get that high. Nevertheless I still have <500mi on the engine so I don't want to bounce it off the rev limiter. With more experience and warmer weather I'll pry up there a little further to familiarize myself with the engine's character. Another note: It's tough to keep cool at speeds under 25mph. In second gear the coolant temps climb pretty high even in <65F weather.

As for features, I find the ABS is just okay. Better than no ABS, but the Vulcan wouldn't hop on its rear wheel. The brakes on the Scout are MUCH improved over the Vulcan's, by the way. The rear brake in particular. The automatic-cancelling turn signals were a big selling point for me. To be honest they don't work as well as I'd hoped, though. They're more for preventing those times you discover you've left them on 5 miles down the road than for turning off after you've made the turn. People will still notice you forgot to cancel the signal, or may even think you're going to make a turn when you intend to continue straight.



Mods:

2020:
ModCostStatus
1920 Solo Saddle Seat (tan)Installed
Pathfinder LED HeadlightInstalled
Bar-end mirror gripsWaiting to install
Hepco & Becker Crash Bars325.37Backordered
3M matte vinyl tank sides31.93Attempted & Failed
Indian Solo Luggage Rack239.99
5633773-266 NACELLE-HEADLIGHT,BOB, GLOSS BLK226.99
Motogadget m.View Cruise Glassless Bar End Mirror (x2)234
Motogadget m.View Bar End Mirror Adapters79.95
Ends Cuoio Tomahawk right saddlebag (tan)380.00

2021:
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Got the factory parts installed today. I can't speak much about the Pathfinder headlight yet as I haven't ridden in the dark, but against the back of my garage door it's MUCH MUCH brighter than the stock headlight. At least double the light both for low and high beams, a much sharper cutoff and more light distribution off to the sides for peripheral vision. It's also significantly brighter for oncoming traffic. They didn't skimp on the LEDs behind the decorative DRL.

I sat on the 1920 Saddle in the dealership, so I knew what I was getting even if I hadn't ridden on it. It's a much more comfortable seat in general than stock. It raises you up higher and further forward than the stock seat and distributes the weight across your glutes rather than just the center of the pelvis and your groin (a real godsend for men...). After riding on it, I can confirm it does a better job keeping you comfortable at speed on a smooth road. I also like being further forward - I'm not any more cramped than usual because I'm higher up, but I'm leaning forward a little bit to the standard Bobber bars. It feels good against moderate windage. I do have reservations though. For one, there's NO padding. Hard hits at the rear tire go right to your glutes. I bet I could improve that when this lockdown is lifted and I can get back to the squat rack. More concerning though is that I can't grip the bike with my thighs without grabbing the tank. As a consequence I no longer feel as in control of the weight of the bike anymore. I'll give it a while longer but to be frank I'm not sure this is my long-term seat for that reason. Which is too bad because it just oozes good looks. I should also mention that you can't remove the seat to access the battery out on the road anymore. It doesn't install toolless like the factory seat and it doesn't hold the 6mm allen wrench to remove it. Even with the wrench, there are now 9 screws to remove to get at the battery!






 

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Discussion Starter #3
I tried and failed to install some matte black vinyl to my tank sides yesterday. I was inspired by this video:

My first attempt was to install the vinyl around the emblems. While it worked for the first 4 letters, it warped too much by the "A" and "N". I would have either had to fit the vinyl to the letters and have a huge crease down the bottom or I'd have to basically cut new letters while the vinyl was on the tank (obviously not going to do that). Oh well. I'll have to try again after removing the emblems, then reinstall them once the vinyl is in place.



Also, I noticed the paint on my tank is terrible. I saw the tank at the dealer with 0 miles and it didn't have this marking. Took this pic after I cleaned the tank with a little dish soap to remove any product.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Got a 500mi service and the 1901 flysheild installed at the dealer Friday. I was debating either the bobber nacelle or the flysheild but I'm glad I went with the flyshield instead. The bobber nacelle would have been >$320 including brackets and the flyshield was only $204 ($179 after promotions). Plus, it's a bit of a unique look that I appreciate. It doesn't rise up above the handlebars - I don't love the victory octane flyshield for that reason - and it's got a really sporty wedge profile. I almost dropped a jaw when the tech rode the bike back into the shop!

Nice ride the day before:


At the dealership after flyshield installation:


Out in town:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah the paint on mine kinda sucks too. It seems to scratch very very easy.
Well the dealership didn't seem to want to approach that topic. I get the impression they know. WRT scratching the paint, yeah they scratched up the flyshield too. "We'll only clean what we install," they told me after I warned them about touching the paint.

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Discussion Starter #9
Installed an m.view today. Sentiments below. Haven't taken them out into town yet. But they LOOK so good!

Thanks everyone, the m.view mirrors mount up great to the stock mirror mounts! The diameter is a perfect match. The width of the mirror collar is a bit wide for the stock mount, as could be expected as the stock mirror uses a flange instead of a collar. But the outer collar of the stock mount gets nice purchase onto the outside of the mirror and the whole assembly is extremely stable.

Better yet, the size and visibility through the mirror is fantastic! Since getting the solo seat installed I had difficulty seeing out of the perch style mirrors. I have a much better view behind me out of these looking back under my arms. They're not very convex, though, so I'll have to be careful out my sides.


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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Installed the Hepco & Becker crash bars. I prefer the look of these because they have a "broad shoulders" look rather than a "fat bottom" look. Okay that's exaggerating the personification a bit but I do prefer a bar that protrudes up high rather than juts out from the bottom like the Indian factory bars. Also, I don't lean back so highway pegs don't suit my riding; these wouldn't suit highway pegs too well. Overall I like the look a lot. I'd prefer no bars of course, but I'd also prefer no crashes but I can't guarantee the latter. One thing to note is that they're not rock-solid mounted to the frame. They'll protect the bike in a violent rollover, but they have just a bit of "give" if you really torque on them. They're not an extension of the frame. This also leads to a bit of vibes in the pegs right around 3150 RPM, but it's not bothersome to me.

Install was pretty easy. These have a small rubber pad that keeps them taught against the frame. It can make them difficult to locate onto all 3 mounting bolts, but taking time to position and reposition them is enough. Just don't force a bolt into the frame.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Installed the Ends Cuoio Tomahawk bag this morning. My wife ordered the bag, knowing what I wanted, almost two months ago. It's been sitting in her office, box open and just a little bubble wrap peeking out, antagonizing me as I plead unsuccessfully for her to allow me to install it. Further, when I finally was able to open it, it was missing the bracket to install it! 😭

Sezin at EC was really quick to respond to the issue and I got a bracket shipped from IT to my door in less than a week at no cost to me. Going to go grab something from somewhere today on the bike just to be able to use it 😁

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Installed a Screaming Banshee Mini today. Easy installation into the existing bracket. Sounds great! I always worry about aftermarket horns because they tend to be "unique" and therefore really tacky. This sounds like a good boat horn. Loud, for sure, but not so obnoxious you'd feel like an ass using it at an intersection with pedestrians.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Big weekend for this bike. Installed Bassani 3" Slash Cut Slip-ons and tuned it. I'll share a before/after comparison video later.

First, the pipes. Old pipes came off after some wrangling. The new pipes were tough to get on, though. Predominantly because the bike wants to topple over if you push forward too hard and there really is no substitution for forward force during installation. Other than that the installation is super straight forward. Everything fits well, no leaks. They look fantastic. The caps are a tinge off-color but the size and fit of the rest more than makes up for this.

They sound unbelievable. I knew more or less what I was getting as I did as much research as YouTube let me. I got these pipes for their tone. But there are things sadly you can't hear though a mems microphone, digital compression and a dome speaker. In person, you can pretty clearly make out the air rushing past valves at lower RPMs when you dig into the throttle. And it SREEEEEAMMMS up top! I'd liken the sound to something like the flat-plane Shelby GT350 with fewer cylinders. There's a prominent bark on-throttle coinciding with the exhaust strokes, and not much volume coming from resonance in any chambers. Off throttle it's a really tame and deep rumble from an expansion chamber. Perfect.

It is much louder than I was hoping for though. I'm 100% into earplug range with these where I was plenty comfortable without earplugs on stock pipes. I recall reading that there were quiet baffles available for these pipes but no mention of them from whom I bought them. I'm hopeful. Pipes really don't add much power on their own, either. I can feel it's opened up just a tiny bit up top where throttle wants to close, but the bike really just fell on its face after 6,000 RPM anyways so I feel like the gains aren't worth writing home about. It still slows down significantly after 6,000.

The tune is another story though. Installation was actually pretty fun. This is my first tune by a dedicated flashing device - my car uses another version of the MED17 ECU but it's flashed with 4 files on-board and an OBD2 dongle lets me switch between them via Bluetooth on the fly. Anyways I got the cable set up semi permanently underneath the seat, which is helpful because I have the solo seat which can't be taken off so easily (9 bolts, 2 tools!). So now I can pull the cable out right above the rear valve cover, then tuck it away neatly when I don't need it. I've got the hook and loop adhesive set up right beneath the seat so it can't be seen unless you really look for it but I can still mount the PV3 for logging while I'm riding. I also plan on getting some of that hook and loop set up on a pair of jeans or a leg strap or something so that I can look at the PV3 while I'm riding if I need to diagnose some issue.

The tune is something else though. Honestly the power isn't so surprising, to be Frank. The bike is certainly much faster. It just seems like it's running the way it should have coming from the factory without the odd detune for the final 2500 RPM. Super healthy, breathing well, ready to be wrung out and happy to do so! Throttle response is a little bit better, a little bit more consistent and a little bit faster. However throttle sensitivity is down so it's a little bit harder to get the right level of throttle when you want it. If I could change the sensitivity back I would.

It also seems like it vibrates a bit less off idle. Even at something like 2000 RPM it tends to feel smoother and more consistent. Like every power stroke is the same. A little less lopey. I know it's strange to talk about a lopey engine anywhere beyond 2000 RPM but really it does feel much more refined. It doesn't mind sitting at 45mph in 5th at 2400 RPM and accelerating. On the stock tune, the bike would protest, but go. I'd wager in fact that maybe the bike was tuned from the factory to have larger power strokes on the front cylinder versus the back or something the same effect in order to give the user an impression that it is a lopey motor. I much prefer this smoothness though. It loves to be up beyond 6000 RPM. To be honest I didn't love revving this engine out when I first got it but with the tune it really does feel like it was built for its own 8500 RPM redline. In the end, it feels a little bit less fatiguing on the road. At idle however it manages to be just a little bit more shaky. Not sure what to chalk that up to.
 

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I really enjoy your posts. I also have the same bike and your play by play is very helpful in what I want to do to mine as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A couple more notes about the tune. First, it's so much cooler at low speed low rpm. I crawl the beaches around here occasionally and each time worry about the fan kicking on and burning up my calves. I can break even between heating and cooling the motor at about 25mph - above that, the engine cools. Below that, heats up. Of course this is highly dependent on outside temperature, but even at 65F and 15mph the engine heats. Yesterday, crawling at 15mph in 83F air for at least 10m and the engine didn't tick above 186F. So while I can't quantify the difference I can qualitatively confirm that the change is significant.

Next, again at low speeds, the tendency of the motor to surge/oscillate within the slack available in the transmission and belt has reduced significantly. Not gone, but much better. There are a few bumps on roads I frequent at low speeds (bumpy brick roads, typically 15mph or less while dodging bumps) and these bumps consistently induce surging within the drivetrain. I still feel it, but importantly I can't hear it (in the transmission in particular) because the severity of surging is less.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Went on a journey around SW MI today with my father and father in law. Father on an fz1 and FIL a fatboy. Really happy with this setup for cruising long-ish distances on back roads overall. It's a rough ride for sure, but the ergonomics don't promote back problems otherwise. So if I can see bumps coming then I can pretty much avoid major fatigue. That is, under 65. Much more than that and my neck hurts from windage on my helmet.

 

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Clearly you are in love with this bike, as we all are. I really love your posts and have been exploring exhaust options and Bassani & Rienharts are on top of the list. Thank you for all your inputs and posts for this.

Also, regarding the mat finish decal/ wrap on the sides, you can remove the emblem and reinstall it over the vinyl OR you can use a 3M knife-less tape to border it around the emblem with a little cut on each letter to give you precise cuts. Just an idea
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks! I love the Bassani pipes. They have an intoxicating roar up at the higher revs. Makes it tough to ride slow. I have a before and after video planned but haven't yet taken the "after" shots; I'll post here when I finish it.

I will end up removing the emblems some day in order to install the matte vinyl. I doubt the cutter tape would work on those emblems as the corners seem too sharp and some edges are really close to others, but I'm not an expert. If I can figure out a way to put on the emblems exactly as they were then it wouldn't be so hard for me to take the leap and just do it.
 
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