2015 Indian Scout First Ride Review

Embracing the spirit of the Scout

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2015 Indian Scout

Editor Score: 86.25%
Engine 18.0/20
Suspension/Handling 12.25/15
Transmission/Clutch 8.75/10
Brakes 8.25/10
Instruments/Controls3.75/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 8.5/10
Appearance/Quality 9.25/10
Desirability 9.0/10
Value 8.5/10
Overall Score86.25/100

In recent years, the cruiser market has been caught up in chasing the perception of authenticity or heritage or history or whatever buzzword you care to use, but regardless of the name attached to it, the result has mostly come in the form of the motorcycle’s styling. While it’s nice to call on the past – and it certainly shouldn’t be ignored – there comes a point where the current retro styling exercises risk crossing over into a caricature of the very thing they’re trying to evoke.

Indian Motorcycle has clearly thought about this with the models it has released since the relaunch of the marque. As Gary Gray, Indian Motorcycle Product Director, said, “Last year was very purposeful, in that, we needed to earn the right to change the brand. So, how do you earn the right? You pay the deepest respects you can for the brand, and you pay honor to the people that came before you, and you build a bike that people clearly will see as an Indian.” With that statement in mind, how does a company with a true historic – not manufactured – lineage pay homage to the equity in its name without becoming mired in the past?

2015 Indian Scout Preview

Small, light and powerful. The Scout checks them all off.

Small, light and powerful. The Scout checks them all off.

Indian has decided that, in order to secure future growth, the company must view itself through the lens of where would it be stylistically and technologically had it remained in production continuously since 1901 instead of being essentially shuttered from 1953–2013. According to Gray, “We see the Scout as our first opportunity to say, ‘Now it’s time to honor the brand in the way only the brand itself can, to take it and evolve it, to make it grow and to bring it forward.’ The Scout is the first step forward in progressing the brand and making it the Indian Motorcycle of today, not the Indian Motorcycle of 1953.”

The Scout stands as the first real example of what we might expect in the future from Indian. Rather than chase the look of one of the Scout models released between 1920s–1940s, Polaris’ engineers and designers focused the development on the essential elements that made the Scout a Scout.

A modern cruiser with an old soul.

A modern cruiser with an old soul.

The Spirit of the Scout

So, what were the key ingredients? The original Scout was built in response to claims that the motorcycles of the day were getting too big and heavy. (Sound familiar?) In short, the essence of the Scout was a small, light, great-handling motorcycle with a powerful engine. The success of this formula is illustrated by the number of years that these bikes were campaigned on racing circuits. For example, the Sport Scout was produced from 1934–1942, amassing over 20 AMA Grand National titles through the famed “Wrecking Crew” and remained competitive in AMA Grand Nationals until the late 1960s. Also, let’s not forget Burt Munro’s land speed records at Bonneville aboard a hand-crafted streamliner based on a 1920 Indian Scout.

Folks who were most surprised by the shift from the physical heritage to a more spiritual one on the 2015 Scout after its unveiling would probably point to the the engine’s liquid-cooling (although some might also reference the modern styling). Polaris set for itself a goal of 100 hp, and the lightest, most efficient way to manage the heat generated by this power delivery is through liquid-cooling. For those who think it’s not necessary, take a look at the power offered by the other V-Twin cruisers in the displacement range (and above, for that matter) of the Scout’s 1133cc engine, and you’ll see what makes the Scout’s mill special.

There’s no mistaking it: This engine ain’t air-cooled.

There’s no mistaking it: This engine ain’t air-cooled.

Utilizing a 60-degree V-Twin configuration, the Scout generates power through a 99mm x 73.6mm bore and stroke fed by dual overhead cams and 4-valves per cylinder. A 60 mm ride-by-wire (RbW) throttle body feeds the combustion chambers. Dual exhausts connected via a crossover mid-stream handle the spent gasses, while a closed loop EFI sniffs out the mixture via an oxygen sensor for each pipe.

Having the radiator shroud be part of the frame feels organic when compared to plastic covers.

Having the radiator shroud be part of the frame feels organic when compared to plastic covers.

To minimize driveline lash, the clutch basket is directly connected to the crankshaft by gears (as is the clutch in its big brother, the Thunderstroke 111), while vibrations are quelled by a counterbalancer. Whereas most cruisers in this class have five speeds, the Scout’s gearbox gives the rider six cogs, dropping the rpm on the highway. Another gearing difference worth noting is the tallness of the ratios which make it possible to cross into triple-digit speeds in third gear yet have the tachometer loafing along at 3,750 rpm at 70 mph in sixth. The engine’s eager personality is enhanced by minimal flywheel effect – though that does mean launches require a little more care with the clutch release.

What this all adds up to is a quick-revving V-Twin with claimed 100 hp at 8,100 rpm and 72 ft.-lb. of torque at 5,900 rpm. Said Motorcycle Product Director Gray in the Scout press briefing, “This is a cruiser; it feels like a cruiser. Your brain will tell you to shift at 5,000 rpm, but the redline is closer to 9,000 rpm than 5,000 rpm. So, keep pushing the rpm up, and you’re going to feel the bike come alive.”

The mechanics of the engine are only part of the story, though. The engine’s style adds to the purposeful, modern look of the Scout. Without a single cooling fin – faux or otherwise – the shape of the engine’s components, like its structural ribbing, according to Rich Christoph, Senior Industrial Designer, reflect the purpose of its underlying structures. Christoph says honesty and simplicity is a core value of Indian and rhetorically asks “Why hide the beautiful mechanical nature of what the engine is?”

That’s the frame, not a pretty cover.

That’s the frame, not a pretty cover.

In an effort to distill the chassis’ components down to their most essential construction, Christoph and his team avoided unnecessary covers, saying they added weight, complexity and cost. All of which leads to details like the radiator shrouds being cast as part of the frame. Similarly, where other manufacturers might cover the supporting architecture of the seat’s mount to the frame, the Scout’s seat rides on top of the frame’s cast plates, as do the top shock mounts which bolt directly to them. The structural components become the covers. “When you’re thinking about the frame and those kind of details,” said Christoph, “you want to showcase each part’s function and its form to emphasize the structural rhythm that travels through the bike.”

This aesthetic plays out in the Scout’s “rigid triangle” that links the rear axle to the steering head and the front axle. The way the shocks connect to the swingarm mimic the lines of the original Scout’s struts, and the lines are carried through the shape of the tank to the steering head and to the front axle, giving the 2015 Scout a modernized family resemblance. Similarly, the contemporary monotube, gas-filled coil-over shocks – though playing a different role – harken to the early Indian’s spring-supported seat.

Indian Scout_Aug2014_Sturgis

Design in Motion

If the lines of the Scout were meant to give it the impression of movement, the balance of the bike and how it carries its weight emphasize lightness. Just lifting the Scout off of its side stand for the first time makes it feel shockingly light. “We set out to build a bike that was really easy to learn how to ride on,” Gray continues, saying that “dripping wet this bike is 558 lb.” Because of this design goal, the balance and the power delivery combine to give confidence to a newer rider.

The Scout carries its weight well, feeling light and maneuverable.

The Scout carries its weight well, feeling light and maneuverable.

The engine’s power delivery was massaged to deliver unintimidating and manageable thrust in the lower revs while still having ample power on tap to be utilized by more experienced riders. Some people have questioned the logic of saying a 100 hp motorcycle was designed for novice riders, but it’s the way the power is delivered, how it is meted out, that supports Indian’s claim of novice-friendly performance. The Scout’s 26.5 in seat height and easy-to-modulate clutch with a reasonably light lever pull make the bike easier to handle for less experienced riders.

Once under way, the bike feels even lighter than 558 lb. Low-speed maneuverability is a breeze – though the turning radius is large enough to make a U-turn on a two-lane road a challenge (but only motojournalists have to perform that task repeatedly). Shifting is quietly positive with none of the clanks or clunks that many cruisers exhibit. Out on the road, the riding position is decidedly cruiserish with the feet forward.

However, the stretch isn’t too long and is quite comfortable for a 32-in. inseam. Riders with substantially longer or shorter limbs can opt for accessory seats, peg relocators and handlebars. With the factory accessories, Indian says it can accommodate riders ranging from 5’ 0” to 6’ 4”. The handlebar, while not so wide as to turn the rider into a sail at highway speeds, is wide enough to give ample leverage for initiating turns. For our average-to-long-waisted 5’ 11” tester, the Scout’s riding position was ideal for riding a sporty, naked cruiser in any situation. A passenger package, which includes a pillion and pegs, is available for those who want to share the ride.

Considering that the preproduction model we rode is still having the fuel mapping finalized, the near flawless throttle response is surprising. The only injection issue we had was having the bike stall twice after an extended highway run with a stoplight at the bottom of the exit.

Considering that the preproduction model we rode is still having the fuel mapping finalized, the near flawless throttle response is surprising. The only injection issue we had was having the bike stall twice after an extended highway run with a stoplight at the bottom of the exit.

In the lower rpm, the engine is exceptionally smooth, rolling on willingly and accepting varied throttle inputs without a hiccup. The tallness of the gearing was a bit surprising, with second gear being a viable option for speeds ranging from about 20 mph up to speeds over the legal limit in most places. For extended cruising, the vibration that begins to creep in around 5,000 rpm and the gas mileage you’ll want to milk out of the small 3.3-gallon tank say that you’ll probably keep the engine in its mid-range. With a torque curve that peaks at 5,900 rpm, the Scout’s acceleration feels like you’d expect a V-Twin engine to feel as it begins to reach top of it rev range. The beginning of the vibration only supports that impression. While many riders may want to shift at this point to continue on in laid-back cruiser mode, in situations where the pilot desires a sporty ride, the Scout can deliver – impressively.

The instrumentation is elemental, delivering all the essential information save the fuel level.

The instrumentation is elemental, delivering all the essential information save the fuel level.

Cranking on the right grip in the healthy mid-range above 5,000 rpm will put a smile on even the most jaded throttle jockey’s face. Power continues to build all the way up to just before the soft rev-limit kicks in somewhere around 9,000 rpm. (It’s difficult to say where because the digital tachometer lags during hard acceleration, and we were having too much fun to tip-toe up to the limiter to get an accurate reading. Sometimes we can’t maintain our professionalism and gather the data. Sorry.) Vibration begins between 5–6k and builds with the rpm numbers, but unless you really want to rev the snot out of the engine, the motivation provided from 6,000 to 8,000 rpm is ample enough to dispatch any slower traffic which insists on going the speed limit (or below, God bless ‘em) without drama.

In those situations, you’ll be glad the single 298mm disc and two-piston caliper provide better braking power than the spec sheet would imply. One would think that hauling 700+ lb. of rider and motorcycle down from elevated speed would require dual discs (and, yes, we’d prefer the duallies), but the reality is that the front brake is powerful enough to make the rubber howl during maximum braking from 70 mph. We’ve ridden cruisers with twin front discs that require more effort to stop than the Scout’s single one. The same can not be said about the similarly sized (though squeezed by a solo piston) rear brake. Part of this comes from the pedal’s need to be pressed far enough down that the rider’s toes are pointing forward and reducing the leverage on the pedal.

Also, we were a little surprised that ABS isn’t yet available on the Scout. Antilock brakes will be fitted to Euro models to meet pending EU regulation when the Scout makes its way across the pond early in 2015, so we expect ABS to eventually be be added as an option in North America.

080514-2015-indian-scout-BJN44833

Tilting at Horizons

Cruisers – particularly those with forward-mounted controls – have a tempestuous relationship with cornering clearance. Fortunately, the Scout is not one that has its performance envelope overly restricted by dragging hard parts. Yes, the pegs will drag when cornering with alacrity, but the small percentage of cruiser riders who like to go that fast already know to feel out the amount of lean available.

That said, the Scout corners quite well, and when the pegs do start to drag, the hard, non-folding parts are still a ways off. When pressed into the speeds that the third and fourth gears are capable of delivering (you do the math) on smooth pavement, the chassis only betrays that its job description is being exceeded by beginning a gentle undulation (where the front and rear tires don’t feel like they’re tracking the same paths) that says the frame and 41mm fork are starting to flex. Rippling pavement lowers the threshold where these symptoms occur.

Folks who live in areas that have pavement as smooth as that around Sturgis need not worry about the rear suspension’s mere 3 in. of travel. Rounded bumps are handled quite well. When we finally stumbled upon some broken pavement that more accurately resembles the environment faced by urban riders, the shortness of travel reveals itself in the form of harshness – particularly on sharp-edged bumps or potholes – that gets transmitted to the rider’s butt and spine. All-in-all, Indian gets decent performance out of three inches.

The Scout’s leather seat is firm but very comfortable.

The Scout’s leather seat is firm but very comfortable.

When the road came up to kick us in the ass was about the only time we noticed just how firm the solo saddle padding is. The shape and location of the seat locks the rider into essentially one position, but the position is a comfortable one for most riders. (Remember, Indian will be happy to help you tune your riding position through the aforementioned bar, peg and seat options.) In a day of riding that ranged from walking pace in rally traffic to interstate drones to cornering shenanigans that are best left unmentioned, the seat proved quite comfy.

The other threes in the spec sheet that raised our collective eyebrows were the 3.3 gallons that the tank is capable of holding. 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.

The Scout’s around town manners are docile – when we wanted them to be.

The Scout’s around town manners are docile – when we wanted them to be.

Our short time with the Scout has only whet our appetite to play with it some more, and judging from the comments in our preview article, we’re not the only ones who are excited. Unfortunately, the 2015 Indian Scout won’t be available until the end of 2014, which will allow for plenty of time for prospective buyers to select their color. While the Indian Motorcycle Red that we rode in South Dakota was nice, the semi-matt finish of the Silver Smoke and Thunder Black Smoke look stunning in three dimensions, and all three of those colors can be had for $11,299. The glossy Thunder Black will be $10,999. Meanwhile, we’ll be figuring out what cruisers to pit against the new kid to see how well it plays with others or whether it simply kicks butts and takes names.

In closing, since Indian released four different models based on the same platform over the past year, we asked Gary Gray the obvious question: Where is this new engine and chassis going to take the company? While he predictably kept his cards pretty close to his chest, we’ll just let him have the last word while we imagine the possibilities:

“As we concepted this vehicle, there are five, 10 other vehicles we can build off of it, but some of them, certainly, as most things do, will go away. We started at the sweet spot with this one, and there’s lots of room to go many directions from where we’re at.”

+ Highs

  • Power way beyond where you’d expect it in a V-Twin cruiser
  • Liquid-cooling!
  • Modern styling with a classic line
- Sighs

  • Engine vibration at high rpm
  • 3.3 gallon tank
  • Not available until the riding season is over

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  • howard kelly

    “All-in-all, Indian gets decent performance out of three inches” Evans always pushes the funny meter forward……… and leaves plenty of room for sophomoric banter to follow. Nice Evans

    • Auphliam

      Amen. As soon as I read that line, my brain immediately dusted off my mental Rolodex of possible one-liners to post in the comments section LOL

  • Ren Doughty

    “Indian has decided that, in order to secure future growth, the company must view itself through the lens of where would it be stylistically and technologically had it remained in production continuously since 1901 instead of being essentially shuttered from 1953–2013.”

    I never imagined that take on it but it makes perfect sense. We don’t want to see what Indian would’ve built in 1953. We want to see what they’d build in 2014 and this is what we get here. Great piece, Evans. I do love this bike. The saddle looks like the coolest factory saddle to come out in years and the motor and the angular gas tank are killer.

    • DickRuble

      Take a look at BMW in 1953 and show me how you would figure out what their 2014 lineup is.

      • Ren Doughty

        I’m sorry, Dick. I don’t think either Evans or I said anything about looking at Indian in 1953 and figuring out what their 2014 lineup would look like. I said I’m glad to see them building the bike they think fits Indian’s character today, and not making this Scout another retro bike.

        “The geniuses at Indian…” You don’t like the folks designing and building Indians today?

        • DickRuble

          I don’t like gobbledygook. Sounds like you’re fond of the “folks” at Indian.

          • Ren Doughty

            I eschew gobbledygook. That doesn’t mean I have a problem with a company stating their philosophy or explaining their vision. I like innovation and intelligent design wherever I find it and I respect it all the more when a company is bucking tradition to execute it.

          • DickRuble

            It’s BS philosophy and BS vision. They may have well said “We went back and looked at what Indian should be through the lenses of our Founding Fathers. We also asked ourselves what George Washington would have wanted to ride in battle.” Of course, lenses were a bit foggy back in the day, so the Scout is what they ended up with. They made an OK bike that still looks like pretty much like any other cruiser and has a few obvious shortcomings.

          • Ser Samsquamsh

            As far as marketing talk goes the team at Indian seems especially cogent and thoughtful. Organizing a huge team around a big manufacturing project like this takes some kind of vision statement and since this bike looks fantastic, I’d say that the philosophy is not BS at all. The flat planes on the sides, cylinder heads and the design details are progressive and that saddle does look fantastic. Way more personality than Victory; coolest looking cruiser I’ve seen in years.

          • mikeb

            I like the bikes looks, I’ve always loved the way the Harley wd45s looked, you know the army bikes with the sidecars?

      • Evans Brasfield

        Ain’t you just a little ray of sunshine, Dick.

        • DickRuble

          At long last someone has seen my virtues.

        • lemieuxmc

          Dick is just stating the obvious… it’s ugly, it’s not much different performance wise than a 1983 Honda Magna, and the only “style” it has is the complete lack of style.
          If it didn’t have the script logo on it, you could paint it orange and call it a KTM, or stick on some Kawasaki Vulcan badges, or V-Star, or Hyosung. Completely generic… iconic or loser?

          • Evans Brasfield

            As I said below, you’re right, it is ugly – to you. To me, however, I find its lines and attention to detail pleasing, making me also right about the Scout’s subjective good looks. Vive la différence!

            Where you veered into Lemieuxmc’s World of Fantasy was talking about Indian’s PR guy not knowing anything about motorcycles. That’s what I find so endearing about the internet, if you say something with enough bravado – no matter how wrong it is – someone’s bound to believe it. So, I salute you, your opinion, free speech and your imaginary world!

          • Old MOron

            Until this thing, or its sporty derivative, is winning AMA Grand Nationals, we’ll never know whether “Polaris’ engineers and designers focused the development on the essential elements that made the Scout a Scout,” or whether it’s just inspired ad copy.

            I want to like this bike, but I’m profoundly disappointed by its ergos, its low-shelf brakes, and its odd-ball wheels and tires.

          • lemieuxmc

            You might think that Indian’s PR guy knows a lot about motorcycles. If you’re right, then I apologize… either way, he doesn’t know shit about style.

          • Evans Brasfield

            It’s ok if you don’t like the style of the Scout. You’re entitled to your opinion. However, you seem to be confusing the fact that you don’t like the style with the bike lacking style or having a bad style. Those are really quite different things.

          • cisco7945

            This idiot lemieux sure is full of great insight! Little turd.

          • lemieuxmc

            Obviously you don’t have much experience, I’m more of a big turd.
            What’s your motivation Cisco, you butt-hurt because I don’t like Polaris/Indians “styling” of the new Scout?
            They’ll either sell and make money or they won’t…

          • Razedbywolvs

            No manufacture has ever made any thing as cool as the original. Comparing the new with the old just doesn’t work any more. I want reliability,comfort,fun,value this scout looks like it has it.

          • sospeedy

            You own a Harley?

          • lemieuxmc

            3 Guzzis, a Norton “Combat” Commando, a BMW /6 with sidecar, a Rickman Zundapp, a Honda CT90, a DR650, and a Yamaha 175 enduro. I would like to get a WLA or U model Harley if I can find one that I can afford.

          • cisco7945

            Moron

          • LogicDude

            I do, for what it’s worth. It’s a 2006 883 Sportster I bought after riding and owning several bikes that are much better on paper, but I love its raw mechanical feel. Buttons pushed! My DL650 V-Strom felt like a really powerful weed whacker, and was certainly my best bike on paper. In the hands of a professional rider it could do really sick things, but I’m not a professional and wouldn’t want to risk that (for myself, my family, or the bike I bought new). For touring on pavement it put me to sleep. Seriously, it was dangerous at times on long rides. Not so my Sporty, which I can enjoy even just droning down the highway at 65 mph. I’ve test ridden probably eight different Victory bikes: very well engineered, beautifully handling, and boring as anything to ride, I’m sorry to say, as I think they really are beautiful bikes. I bought my Sportster as an extra bike, just to experience owning it, and ended up selling the others. I took a 1900 mile tour on it last summer, and loved it. IF the Scout is a fun ride, and really does get good mpg I may go for it, instead of a 1200 Sportster, which is the idea I’ve toyed with most. Hard to beat a Harley as far as customization from bolt-on parts, though.

          • cisco7945

            Speaking of ugly, you attach a picture of yourself?

        • ELGuapo

          Lots of Dicks post on the internet.

  • sgray44444

    Scout Sport, please, with mid-mount pegs, and a little more cornering clearance!

    • Old MOron

      Don’t forget 17-inch wheels, sporty tires, dual front rotors, better suspension. Oh, and maybe the seat closer to the steering stem.

      • DickRuble

        While you’re at it, add more torque down where it matters. I doubt the existing engine can be re-tuned to such a great extent.

    • Craig Hoffman

      Yes, this engine is too good to leave in just this one model. Funny thing is, this engine is already in the “Scout Sport” state of tune. Liking many of the ideas used on this bike, the organic frame design without side covers is cool.

    • Mark D

      Step 1) Acquire Triumph Thunderbird sport

      Step 2) Measure rider triangle, wheelbase, tires

      Step 3) Apply to Scout

      Step 4) Profit!

      http://images.motorcycle-usa.com/PhotoGallerys/triumph_tbirdsport_main.jpg

      • sgray44444

        How did I miss that bike?! Looks PERFECT, although I would prefer cast wheels.

  • rudedog4

    “Why hide the beautiful mechanical nature of what the engine is?” Indeed.

    • lemieuxmc

      That engine looks like an air-compressor… and not even a cool one!

      • Evans Brasfield

        Naturally, you are right!

        Then again, I think the engine is quite attractive, and guess what, I’m right, too. That’s the great things about opinions, we’ve all got them.

        • lemieuxmc

          The magazines thought that the Yamaha Vision 550 was the best thing since sliced bread too.

  • rudedog4

    “As we concepted this vehicle, there are five, 10 other vehicles we can build off of it, but some of them, certainly, as most things do, will go away. We started at the sweet spot with this one, and there’s lots of room to go many directions from where we’re at.” Maybe they’ll do something like the Triumph Bonneville in its various forms: T100, Thruxton, Scrambler, etc. I’d love to see that, especially if any or all of the variants have larger gas tanks.

    • WJM

      Better yet, how about a touring version similar to Star’s 1300 DeLuxe/Tour. Through in the larger fuel tank, mid-controls, duel front disc brakes, more clearance/lean angle, and let that engine and transmission do the rest. Fierce competition indeed!

  • NexSuprene

    Seriously? I don’t like it only has 1 brake that’s dangerous! its liquid cooled, I don’t like the peg placement, I don’t like the colors! Not enough HP!  Enough already, this bike was not built for the toy dog owning male Paris Hilton wannabe`s, Today’s average Harley rider sips wine and plays golf! A Harley is now, the me too-I’m tough, I have a tattoo, a breard and living in suburbia! this bike was not built for you! Or the Sport bike riders that speeds on the street but too afraid for the track, Its for men that will modify the engine, frame and seating to the next level! So, go feed your useless dogs and put your sport bike in the ditch-again! Shine up your clubs and pour your Rose. Tell your overweight wife on the back of your Harley that you can kick “The Rocks” a@$! The Indian motorcycles are built  for the Wolves not the Sheep! Hey its their words!  SGT. AIRBORNE! Nex Superne! (Death from above). Lol!

  • di0genes

    The first Indian scout was a 1920 model, the “Wrecking Crew” was the Harley Davidson factory team. 1934 was the first year for the “Sport Scout” a bigger fatter version, and a model name I am waiting to see how Polaris will use. The most loved and possibly the best Scout was probably the “101″ scout of 1928, the wall of death bike btw. Hopefully Polaris has a better history of Indian than Mr. Brasfield, if so, another model to look forward to

    • Evans Brasfield

      There was an Indian-based Wrecking Crew. Take a look:

      http://www.motorcyclemuseum.org/halloffame/detail.aspx?RacerID=92

      • di0genes

        Shameless rip off :-) http://www.amaproracing.com/ft/news/index.cfm?cid=60068 “The original Wrecking Crew was the official Harley-Davidson factory team
        that dominated motorcycle racing in the early 1920s.”

        • John A. Stockman

          My grandfathers older brother raced on the board tracks before the early 20s, and the team he raced for was the first Wrecking Crew, the Indian factory board track racing team. My family’s motorcycle racing history is well documented with photos and period newspaper write-ups. Board track racing was before the early 20s. He also raced for Excelsior and Harley and with the demise of board track racing, he raced in New Zealand and Australia. He also was a successful Indy 500 competitor through the late 20s up until he died in a testing accident. He was testing the Tucker Indy car entry when he died in 1948.

  • DuckyRider

    I ride a multistrada 1200, and have never owned a cruiser. But I like that Scout! The looks the design, all I like. Better forks and suspension, and I might consider it for my alternate ride.

    • DickRuble

      Careful, the transition from a 150hp/87ft*lb to the girly, non-intimidating ride of the Scout might lead to a reverse head snap.

      • Kenneth

        Not a big fan of females, eh, Dick? Is that part of where this perpetual hostility comes from?

        • DickRuble

          Big fan of women not so much fan of morons. Why don’t you go pound some sand?

          • cisco7945

            Says the moron touting the VN900. Laughable…

  • Grant Merritt

    Maybe there will finally be an American made motorcycle worth owning.
    I have 13 in my collection and they’re all metrics. See: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.569772229727431.1073741881.147411351963523&type=3

  • Michael McMillan

    I’m not much of a cruiser guy. Most of the ones I like fitting that description usually have the word ‘power’ in front of ‘cruiser’. I like the way this bike looks. I like the seat very much. The use of frame components as mounting points for necessaries is well done and looks clean. Evans did a good job of describing the bike’s ride and personality and was gracious in congratulating Indian on what they had managed to accomplish with their minimalistic three inches. The engine has a very interesting look and that’s not easy to do with a v-twin, they’ve been done to death and new and interesting is just that…
    The new Scout is the first cruiser type bike I’ve seen in quite some time that I’d be willing to spend my money on. Those who dislike this bike should really consider finding something else to buy. or even look at since the biggest critic appears not to have seen the motorcycle in person, much less ridden one. I had a demo ride at Sturgis, it was great!

  • Don Falloon

    I ride an ’08 Suzuki M50. Love the ergos, decent enough power, confident handling. Have been looking to upgrade a bit. The M90 and M109R are some great rides and the V-Rod has been on my radar for some time, but the new Scout has really captured my attention. Twice the HP as my M50 and 50 lbs less weight? Yum! I like the angular looks of the Scout and it has just enough retro touches to be cool. The appearance of the engine is a nice break from the ocean of fins visible on most cruisers. And it’s got a competitive price. It definitely deserves a closer look!

  • Gary Blankenship

    I haven’t test ridden one, but I’m going to buy the new Indian Scout for the following reasons:

    1. It’s the ONLY motorcycle to outright claim that it can be ridden by someone 5’0″; [(with swapped-out handlebars, pegs, and seat), I'm 5'5" (and getting shorter EVERY year)].
    2. It’s over 100 pounds lighter, has 25% more horses, has a lower seat height, and cost less than its cruiser competition (Harley Sportster, Honda Sabre, Star 1300, etc.)
    3. It’s built by Polaris.

    As for how it looks, I could care less if it had horns attached to its handlbars and a six foot plastic feather attatched to the back of the seat (you know, Indian Scout) because of 1, 2, and 3 above! For the record, I think it looks a lot better than any of the competitors. Change is good!

  • LogicDude

    I’m quite interested if those efficiency figures pan out. Well, assuming the bike pushes my buttons. Having good mpg, relaxed highway cruising rpm, but 100 hp available if you want it? In such a light bike? Yeah, that is really attractive. Give it a long, flat seat to scoot (scout?) around on for different positions and I’m all for it.

    • LogicDude

      Oh, and I currently ride a 2006 XL883 Sportster, from back when they actually had cornering clearance.

    • SactoDan

      I have an XR1200 and am looking to buy the Scout and sell the Sporty. 100 HP, and a 6th gear!

      • LogicDude

        You’re not in Oklahoma, are you? I’m starting to get the lust for the XRs. That said, I’ll be looking at that Scout pretty closely, though it’s probably not possible in the current budget.

        • SactoDan

          Sorry, not in OK.

  • Randy

    What’s with the tiny phone-sized pictures? Let us see the bike!

  • William Cole

    I have watched this rebirth of Indian. And with Polaris at the helm is building a quality bike. Two of my friends have them and have about 25,000 miles on em. The only issue thus far was electrical wiring that was a fixed by the dealership. I am in hopes that the rumors i’m hearing that the Hanlon Brothers are willing to sell the rights to Excelsior Henderson so that that Great American Motorcycle can be resurrected also.
    Yes I’m a hard core Harley rider, and it would take one hellova bike to win me over. This new Indian has my eye on it.

  • Richard J Francis

    I absolutely love this bike – it’s a real gem of pure design and practical too. Here was I 99% over my mid-life crisis about getting a bike (as the roads in the UK are just terrible) and now look what you’ve done – made me want one again! I think as soon as the initial queues have died down and the bugs have been ironed out – I have to have one of these – I just do – before I get too old and decrepit to have any choice!

  • RedDon

    Two weeks ago I bought a new FZ07 because I wanted something a bit different than my last 27 motorcycles. I thought 689 CC in a twin with some grunt down low and enough top-end to get into trouble would keep me happy for a while. I haven’t even made the first payment and I’m already looking towards having a new Scout. I was just looking a a new Slingshot from Polaris and although it’s not my “cup of tea” I can see a lot of trike owners moving in that direction. Anyone who thinks that Polaris doesn’t know what they are doing will be eating a lot of crow when they see the sales numbers on the new Indians and the Slingshot. I’ve never owned a Polaris anything but I’ll give credit where credit is due.

  • jmmgarza

    This middleweight cruiser is light, has plenty of power and top-notch nostalgic looks. Yes, the brakes are weak and the Scout could use a bigger gas tank. They should sell a ton. This bikevwill probably be the Iowa moto factories top seller. Being patient, I would love to see how version 2 comes out.

  • Glasfunk

    I haven’t owned a bike for more than five years now, but this thing is getting me keen again… I know next to nothing about the brand (apart from knowing of its existence), but damn the new Scout does sound good.