According to Hugo Wilson, the author of “The A-Z of Motorcycles”, the 101 Scout was the Best motorcycle Indian ever made. That comment was published back in 1995 and was also about the original Scout that was produced from 1919 till 1949. Since that comment, its been at least two decades and another seven since the Scout has been updated. This Indian Scout is an all-new product and is as important a product as it was back in the 1920’s. Here’s what we have to say about it.
This bike has a presence. No doubt it has that unmistakable cruiser look but in no way does this bike feel aged. It has a distinct bad boy look that yells, “I care about myself, the rest can go to hell.” That is reiterated by the fact that the Scout has a beautifully designed and comfortable single saddle. The cast aluminum frame in matte black is visible at the neck of the bike and below the seat. The huge radiator is integrated well into the frame and sits at the front of the bike behind the forks. It is meant to make the bike look beefy. The swept tank, bobber style fenders and a single round headlight add a lot to the bikes badass presence too. There is no shortage of chrome on the Scout and the engine, though it is sandblasted black, gets chrome highlights mimicking the push rods and intricate engravings of “I” for Indian. It looks raw and yet has a certain finesse to it. I will say that I do like the looks of the bike a lot. It definitely turns heads.
The Indian Scout is a simple bike in many ways but it is packed with a lot of modern technology. The most obvious advancement is the new motor from Polaris. The Scout gets a 1133cc liquid-cooled 49-degree V-twin that produces 100bhp of power and 98Nm of torque. That is more than enough for anyone to get a move on. Fuel injection and throttle-by-wire monitor the gas delivery and there are six gears in the transmission with a one down and five up sequence.
My first reaction to sitting on the Scout was how low it was. You definitely do not sit in the seat, you sit on it. The low handlebars are easy and comfortable to hold and the seating position is ideal for long distance riding, relaxed and easy-going. The single display unit is conveniently out of view while riding. You have to look down at it if you want to see what it reads, that doesn’t matter though because apart from the low fuel gauge the rest isn’t too important. The handlebar controls are ergonomically placed and can be controlled without any excessive stretching of the fingers etc.
Once you get this bike moving it is surreal. If one was to experience a ride on Aladdin’s magic carpet, the Scout will be the ideal vehicle closest to that feeling. It whooshes down the road and gets the rider intoxicated with its movements.
To sum it up, the re-imagined Indian Scout is a motorcycle that captures the magic of the Indian spirit, filters it through some modern technology and allows for a unique riding experience. If I were in the market for a bike that looks like a cruiser but handles better than one then the Scout would definitely be at the top of my list. I love the looks of this bike, the engine is phenomenal and more than anything I would be buying a brand that has had my attention ever since I sat on two wheels. There is something about the name Indian that really vibes with me.