2016 INDIAN MOTORCYCLE CO SCOUT
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- YEAR : 2016
- MILEAGE : 2143
- EXTERIOR : Black smoke
- ENGINE SIZE : 1133
- transmission : 6 Speed
- warranty : Limited
- title : Clean
Reintroduced for 2015 after over a decade-long hiatus, the Scout from Indian Motorcycles has a long and illustrious heritage dating back to 1920. Bigger than a café racer, but smaller than what I consider a cruiser, the Scout fits into an in-between class that I call a bar-hopper and Indian calls “mid-size.” Fair enough. Spec-wise, the 2018 Scout is essentially a carry-over from last year, which isn’t a bad thing. New in 2016 was the Scout Sixty. Rolling on the same chassis as the Scout, the Sixty has a smaller engine for “a confidence-inspiring ride,” according to the folks at Indian. The Scout and the Scout Sixty have cut-down fenders — unlike most of the Indian lineup with valenced fenders — and lacks the iconic fender-mounted war bonnet. Still, they’re Indian in all the right places. The fat 130-series front tire gives the Scout a great bit dose of American-cruiser styling.
Let’s start with the very cruiser-esque low, low seat height of 25.3 inches. Shorties take note, but for anyone of medium height or taller, though, you might feel a bit clam-shelled with your feet forward and your butt so low. With a low center of gravity, the Scout handles like a dream. It is nimble and quick, easy to lean into the corners and the lean angle lets you get a little aggressive in the curves, so you will really have to work at it if you want to drag a peg. In keeping with the classic look, the speedometer has a decidedly vintage dial and instrumentation is basic. Warning lights are small and hard to see in the daylight, but that is the norm when the sun is bright.
Make no mistake about the Scout’s intended purpose. This is not a commuter bike, though it could be used as such. You ride this bike because you want to spend time with your fists in the wind and have fun with no particular place to go or be. The solo seat says you don’t want company, so don’t even ask. Wait; you do want company? Peruse the accessories catalog and add passenger footpegs, a pillion and cushioned passenger sissy bar in that same gorgeous Desert Tan leather. Complete the look with matching leather-bound hard saddlebags and you and a friend are ready to hit the town.
Indian starts out strong with a steel frame and swingarm, but lightened things up a bit by going the stressed-engine route, thereby reducing the mass of the frame. The 29-degree rake gives the Scout an almost-custom vibe, and coupled with the 4.7-inch trail, keeps the bike fairly stable in the straights and eager in the corners.
The 41 mm, right-side-up front forks fit well with the looks of the bike, and even though inverted forks are arguably better in every way, they would not fit with the retro-vibe Indian was going for. Dual rear coil-over shocks are set at an angle that hints at the rear-end geometry of the old rigid frames, even if the springs give it away. Suspension travel is about average for a bar hopper (may not be an official category, but that’s what it is) at 4.7 up front and 3 inches even in back, but face it, you aren’t supposed to go off-road with this ride.
Cast wheels wrap up the running gear with 16-inchers front and rear, and 298 mm brake discs provide the stopping power. Though it only has a single front brake, it provides a positive feel. Some of the colors come with ABS as a standard feature and others don’t, so if lack of ABS is a deal-breaker, check before you fall in love with a particular color.
The 69 cubic-inch (1,133 c) engine is the real showpiece for the Scout and no less so the 60 cubic-incher for the Scout Sixty. Modern through and through, Indian engineers reached for connections to its roots through a design that hints at the old pushrod engines from back in the day. The liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-twin comes with a sharp looking, chrome-on-black décor, but it is far from an “all show and no go” mill. It puts out 100 ponies and 72.2 pound-feet of torque, but being a short-stroke engine, you have to wind it up to 5,900 rpm to get the full grunt out of it. Still, you get a pretty good roll-on once you are up into the powerband, and the Scout can really be a thrill when you grab a fistful and try to twist it off.
While the design emulates the look of pushrod tubes, they are a lie; the truth hides in the rocker boxes where dual overhead cams actuate four valves per cylinder. A big, 60 mm throttle body with closed-loop fuel injection feeds the beast, and the split dual exhaust carries off waste gasses with a pleasing note. The primary drive uses gears, instead of a chain, to connect engine to clutch, and a six-speed, sliding-mesh tranny sends power to the rear wheel via a fiber-reinforced belt drive.
In addition to the 69 cubic-inch (1,130 cc) engine, Indian also designed a smaller displacement mill to plug into the Scout chassis and presented it as the new-in-2016 Scout Sixty. The factory bumped the displacement down to an even 61 cubic-inches (999.6 cc), a move that allows it to drop the price and open up the mid-size U.S. cruiser market to a wider customer base.
Much like its big brother, the smaller engine uses fuel injection and water cooling to manage the V-twin mill, and follows the same aesthetics with faux pushrod tubes on blackout jugs, heads and cases. Performance numbers are acceptable, and the Sixty engine cranks out 65 pound-feet of torque at 5,800 rpm — not bad for a bike that weighs in around 550 pounds.