2015 Indian Scout Preview

Embracing Indian's heritage in a more modern way

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When Indian revealed the 2015 Scout, yesterday, the company made a bold move that is sure to frustrate Indian traditionalists and pique the interest of riders who have wanted a smaller, lighter, less-expensive Indian. In the process, the design crew has shown that there is more than one way to interpret history.

Indian Scout engine

Looking at the Scout’s engine, it’s hard to believe that it hails from the same gene pool as the Chiefs or Chieftain of Roadmaster.

Rather than make a cruiser that was tarted up to look like a modern recreation of a vintage bike, Indian’s engineers chose, instead, to focus on the spirit of the Scout as a performance-oriented motorcycle. True to that heritage, the 2015 Scout carries Indian’s second all-new engine in two years. With nary a fin in sight, the liquid-cooled (yes, liquid-cooled) 1133cc 60 degree V-Twin looks nothing like the air/oil-cooled Thunderstroke 111s powering the Chief Classic, the Vintage, the Chieftain, and the Roadmaster. (This is where the past-focused traditionalists will begin to feel their jaw muscles tightening.)

To deliver the performance portion of the equation, each cylinder carries dual overhead cams opening four valves. A ride-by-wire throttle controls the fuel metering in the 60mm throttle body while three way catalyst-equipped two-into-two exhausts handle the spent gasses. All of this combines to produce a claimed 100 hp and 72 ft.-lb. of motivation for the 558 lb. chassis. We can likely expect to see a similar liquid-cooled engine to appear on a new Victory model soon.

2014 Indian Motorcycle Review: Chief Classic, Chief Vintage And Chieftain

According to Indian, the engine’s power builds linearly, giving newer riders less intimidating acceleration in the bottom end while more experienced riders will have the top end power to play with as they move through the six-speed transmission. When it comes time to brake, a single 298 mm disc and a two-piston caliper takes care of the front while a single piston caliper on a similarly sized disk handles the rear. ABS will not be offered on the US model.

Woman on Indian Scout

With a 26. 5 in. seat height, the Scout should find a niche with female riders.

While the lines of the Scout may be inspired by the “classic ’rigid triangle” design that is synonymous with original Scouts,” the construction is thoroughly modern. The cast aluminum frame hangs out in the open – even wrapping around the radiator. The twin shocks connect the swingarm directly to the frame just below the solo saddle. The fat 130/90–16 front tire and 150/80–16 rear give the Scout a purposeful look.

2014 Indian Chief – Reinventing An Icon

With a relatively short 61.5 in. wheelbase and a 26.5 in. seat height, the Scout should be easy to handle for smaller and less experienced riders. However, the rear suspension travel is limited to just 3 in. to keep that low seat. We’ll take special note of how the shocks handle the short travel during our test ride. The fork is a 41mm conventional unit.

Scout Seat

The solo seat appears to be made of the same leather used on the Vintage and Roadmaster.

Indian says the on sale date for the 2015 Scout is late 2014. When the bikes do arrive in showrooms, the base Thunder Black color will retail for $10,999 while the optional colors, Indian Motorcycle Red, Silver Smoke, and Thunder Black Smoke, will raise the MSRP to $11,299.

We will be spending the day riding the Scout in the Black Hills of South Dakota in and around Sturgis. Check back soon for a full review of the 2015 Indian Scout.

indian Scout

2015 Indian Scout Specifications
Engine Type Liquid Cooled V-Twin (60 degrees) DOHC, 4-Valves Per Cylinder, Semi-Dry Sump
Engine Capacity 1133 cc
Bore x Stroke 96 mm x 73.6 mm
Horsepower 100hp at 8100 rpm (claimed)
Torque 72.2 ft-lb. at 5900 rpm (claimed
Compression 10.7 : 1
Fuel System Closed loop fuel injection, 60 mm throttle body
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Transmission 6-speed sliding-mesh
Final Drive 141-tooth Belt
Front Suspension 41 mm telescopic fork, 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension Dual shocks, 3.0 in. travel
Front Brakes Single 298 mm disc, two-piston caliper
Rear Brakes Single 298 mm disc, one-piston caliper
Front Tire 130/90-16 72H
Rear Tire 150/80-16 71H
Seat Height 26.5”
Rake/Trail 29°/4.7”
Wheelbase 61.5”
Ground clearance 5.3”
Wet Weight 558 lbs. (claimed)
Fuel Capacity 3.3 gal.
Colors Thunder Black, Indian Motorcycle Red, Silver Smoke (matte), Thunder Black Smoke (matte)
MSRP $10,999 Thunder Black, $11,299 all other colors

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  • JWaller

    Screw the traditionalists. Wow!

  • john burns

    that’s pretty cool. Most shocking part to me is the price. I expected to read $16 or 17K.

    • http://www.mymotorrad.com/ james lagnese

      Doesn’t shock me. It’s a pretty basic bike, meaning single disk no abs brakes, etc. I think they will sell a lot of them though. I wonder if Victory will use this engine?

      • JWaller

        It’s $1500 dollars less for the Victory Vegas 8 ball, if you go for the thunder black, which sounds like it competes most directly with the 8 ball. Sure, it’s got less displacement and less torque, but weighs 80 lbs less and makes a few more horsepower (8 more claimed). Victory and Indian are both Polaris products and I was expecting Indian to be a more exclusive, boutique manufacturer while Victory would open up their product line to be more of a company for the every man. This thing seems no more basic than the Victory. So I too was shocked by the price.

        Not to say that I’d buy this bike. It’s not for me. I’m not in to cruisers, really. But Indian seems to be serious about making a product that is an affordable alternative spin on the American motorcycle. With that engine and price, it seems to me they expect to sell a ton of these things, and I hope they do. What would really excite me would be if they used the basic platform to make a roadster version with more rational ergonomics. And at least another gallon of gas in the tank.

        I think there are all sorts of possibilities for Indian with this platform. I’d be surprised if the engine was only for this model. Perhaps it will be shared with Victory. If they weren’t planning on putting the engine in multiple products, you’d think they’d have to charge a premium price to re-claim their engineering costs and such. It seems to me that Indian is up to something. America already has two cruiser companies in Harley and Victory and a sport-bike company in EBR. Perhaps Indian is setting itself up to be America’s only full line motorcycle company.

        • john burns

          Sport Scout to come…

          • Old MOron

            Man, I sure hope so. The Griso will eat this Scout’s lunch.
            But a Sport Scout, I can’t wait to read to comparo.

          • Auphliam

            Just the fact that the American motorcycle discussion has just shifted from “can it compete with HD” to “the Griso…” is a huge accomplishment in its own rite. Baby steps :)
            Kudos to Polaris/Indian for changing the arena.

          • DickRuble

            What would make it Sport?

          • john burns

            midmount footpegs, a lower handlebar, flyscreen. 17 in wheels and tires. Bikes like this make me happy to be a Motojournalist.

          • Old MOron

            Well, this one has mid-mount floor boards, anyway.
            http://bangshift.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/indian.jpg

          • DickRuble

            That seat needs to go a couple of inches higher and forward, the front wheel needs some sort of brakes, but it’s almost there. Of course the open pipes are just crap, as is the hard tail (missing shocks, if I can see correctly).

          • Evans Brasfield

            Seemed to work pretty well on the Wall of Death…

          • DickRuble

            Practical indeed. We’ll let you do your riding there..

          • Old MOron

            Agree on all counts.

          • Old MOron

            Well, this one has mid-mount floor boards, anyway.
            http://bangshift.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/indian.jpg

        • http://www.mymotorrad.com/ james lagnese

          That engine is understressed. It should be able to get 115-125hp without too much work and up the displacement a bit and watch out.

  • Kevin

    Evans, the sentence discussing the brakes got chopped, will ABS be available?

    • Evans Brasfield

      Thanks for pointing out the error. It has been fixed. These things happen at 2 AM!

  • DickRuble

    The best looking and probably best performing modern Indian. Too bad they chose the “feet first” riding position instead of the more relaxed and comfortable rider triangle of the original scout.

    • Luke

      Agreed. I was hoping for a more upright bike when this thing came out, but at least they went to the lighter end for bikes of this ilk. Kinda wish their second new engine wasn’t a honking’ huge 1100+cc one. American companies need to get their heads around the fact that gas mileage does matter (particularly when we are negotiating with our significant others…)

      It amuses me how a bike with 100hp thats more than 550lbs. is being called something for “new riders” and women. When just the other day this site listed good starter bikes for women and #1 on the list was a bike with less than 20hp! (TU250X – which is what I ride).

      • DickRuble

        Definitely not a starter bike, and not the bike for me. But in a landscape of ugly, supraponderal, air cooled two-wheeled mowers, this one is the least ugly and relatively svelte. 558lbs (dry weight?) and only one front disc? It’s boggling the mind, the total lack of vision of the executives at these companies. They have time to come up with brain farts such as the throttle lock out, but couldn’t come up with an original looking bike. If you look at all the portfolio of bikes at Polaris (Victory + Indian) you notice that they all look the same, they all share the stupid, uncomfortable, “I have a prostate the size of a watermellon” riding position. They also all look like, you guessed, a Harley. The liquid cooling and a few minor aesthetic touches make the Scout just less repulsive. With a couple thousand $ you can probably rearrange the seat, change the handle bars and make it look close to the original. It would have been nice to get it like that off the floor.

        • Auphliam

          If you looked at a side by side comparison with an older Scout, you’d be surprised how close the riding position is. In fact, the biggest difference is hand height. The hands are higher on this new scout than they are on the older ones. Other than that, nearly identical.

      • Kevin

        I agree with you, but I suggest that to remember the 100 hp doesn’t come in place until 8100 rpm the power delivery from this motor may not be as intimidating to newer riders as one might think: Mostly I think the riding position and lack of front brake make the learning curve on this bike unsuitable for beginners

      • Gferrando

        Guys, displacement doesn’t mean poor gas milage. My 10 year old Buell has a “big honking motor” and averages above 50 mpg.

    • Reid

      I agree with you and everyone else. The feet-forward thing works for some people, but it never ceases to make me feel ill at ease when on a bike. I like my feet under me or slightly behind. That being said, it is light-ish for a cruiser (though it doesn’t make the incredible numbers of my personal favorite in the segment – the VMax) and should be a hoot to ride if cruisers are your thing. I would not crack jokes about somebody on an Indian like I would an HD, and I think this Scout hits the ball out of the park for its market.

      • http://www.facebook.com/evad.eviler Evad Eviler

        I doubt they were interested in making the bike more “rideable”. Instead everything from US makers just has to look like you are part of a gang. No wonder BMW cleans up. Superb machines, light weight, huge gas tanks, excellent experience, quite pipes. A whole different experience than the heavy, bloated, loud, horrid ergonomic stuff from HOG central.

  • Craig Hoffman

    Pricing is at least 20% lower and power is at least 20% higher than I would have guessed. Forget Harley, this bike’s engine seemingly beats the Japanese at their own game. Cruisers need not be grossly overpriced and under powered. I hope they sell lots of these.

    • Max Frisson

      Note that a 1200cc Sportster costs the same, weighs 100 pounds more, has about 30 fewer horsepower, a 5-speed gearbox, less modern suspension, primitive technology. The bikes in this class, the 1200-1300 metric cruisers retail for the same or more; the Honda Fury is $13,000, VStar $11.5K

      If I were in the market for a personal crusier, I would put the Scout at the top of the list.

      And the STREET is crude by comparison – like something made-up of components sourced in India- look at the wiring harness, the foot peg brackets, the swingarm, you’ll see that thing has truly 3rd world fit and finish quality.

      Prediction – 750 Street will be massive market yawn*, the Scout with be Bike of the Year 2015

      Harley will inflate sales numbers by referencing sales for all Streets, 500 & 750 together, but that will not be truly reflective of the market because dealers have gobbled up as many 500cc as they could get to replace the aged Buell Blast Riders Edge/Riding Academy fleet stock.
      [200 dealers with training X average 15 bikes per program = 3000 bikes]

  • colbrownesq .

    I haven’t been this excited about a new bike since the reborn Triumph. This shows a remarkable amount of thought, work, research and care. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to imagine the rekindling of American industrial design? That’s how inspiring this bike is. I’m no fanboy of the brand, but this I do know: people will be talking about the Scout years from now. Congratulations to the crew at Indian. From this distance, it appears they delivered on the promise.

  • Mark D

    An American version of Triumph modern classics, that thrashes the overweight, air-cooled Bonneville? Sign me up! Looks killer, though maybe it needs slightly longer rear springs.

    • rudedog4

      I love my Bonneville, which weighs about 60 pounds less than the Scout, but this Scout looks sweet, and seems like it will handle and perform well. I wish the Bonneville had a 6 speed. The only thing I’m not crazy about is the 3.3 gallon gas tank. My Bonneville only has a 4.2 gallon tank, and I wish it had at least another gallon.

  • VeganLondonMan

    Buying one.

  • Kevin

    Surprised by this intro, but even more shocked to see Victory has chopped their model line from 15 bikes to 9!

    • DickRuble

      I am surprised they keep nine. Five would be too many. Three would be about right.

  • http://www.themotorcycleobsession.com/ Chris Cope

    I am absolutely in love with this bike. And for once I’ll benefit from living in the UK, because it appears our version will have ABS (makes sense — the Scout likely won’t reach us until March, at which point there will be only 9 months before European Union regulation requires anti-lock brakes on every new bike above 125cc). I can’t wait to get my hands on one. I think Indian have really, really hit the mark here. I feel badly for Victory, though: it seems to me it’s being left to whither on the vine.

  • Denny

    Amazing feat for NA motorcycle industry. As a non-cruiser rider I admit I like it to a degree, notably the weight (considering category) and the price. Unfortunately for me to get interested the seat is too low and pegs too far ahead. I ride standard btw.

  • Doug Erickson

    wow, this crushes the harley streets despite a similar weight, and it looks gorgeous.

  • Honest Injun

    Grrr…. that’s what my dog will say when someone attempts to sit on my Indian Scout. I’m 6’4 @ 215lbs when Indian bought the company, I was sent a survey after Polaris bought the rights to Indian from Kings Mt. they sent an email asking my opinion & what my ideal bike should/would be:. My answer was Short, Lightweight(525-550lbs), de-chromed and holding true to its former racing history. It looks like that someone @ Polaris listened. I am signed up for one this coming December (RED) and i’m already planning my mods. A 4.25 gallon tank, ABS would have been nice though as I am a Native American who lives on an Indian Reservation within NAtive America

    • vinagaroon

      I like the bike but like mid foot controls better. That’s what I have on my 03 SuperGlide and I am comfortable even at 6’4″. Cool that you are Native American and will have an Indian. Couple summers ago A friend and I were on the ferry going to Vancouver Island with our Harleys and met a very good looking Native American woman riding her own Indian MC. We talked the whole trip. She was very independent and not afraid to ride by herself anywhere. When I told her I thought it was very cool that she was on an Indian, she smiled and said she gets that all the time.

      • Honest Injun

        Respect and positive vibes by your side…. Maybe I’ll see you on Run for The Wall” ride next May 2015. My Scout would need to stretch its legs from Durango, Colorado to Washington DC.

        • vinagaroon

          That would be great but I rarely get to the Mainland these days. Hate the travel hassle. I live on Maui. Didn’t take my 03 SuperGlide when I rode to BC Canada, but was on a rental. By the way we are the same size 6’4″ 215lbs. Good luck with your Scout. I think you’ll love it.

  • vindog

    I only have one problem- Red or Black? Love this bike! And 100 Ponies! My XL1200C would need $3,000 worth of motor work to get there! And liquid cooled to boot! This will kill Sportster sales as well as sales of the new Bolt- I want one!

  • ChainsawCharlie

    It sure is pretty

  • David Mallette

    Beautiful bike, but no ABS? Not even as an option? Doesn’t every other bike that Polaris makes have ABS? Disappointing.

  • Gferrando

    I suspect this isn’t the only use for this motor/frame, which could easily be adapted to a standard or “cafe” style. Say what you want, but BMW sold out of thier cafe bike before they even hit the showroom, and those are $15k.

  • Auphliam

    Kind of surprised you didn’t take it for a ride, EB.

  • Switchback

    I am not a cruiser guy but I love this one. I would like a more standard riding position though.

  • Ini

    ABS is a must on a cycle like this for Europa

    • cisco7945

      Don’t give a #$# about Europe.

      • Evans Brasfield

        Well, you better get used to it. Bikes are made for the world market, and the US isn’t the largest market.

  • Sal Ribaudo

    Stupid no ABS

  • Sal Ribaudo

    I would buy if offered ABS

  • Michael Krueger

    you have to admit, this is a beautiful bike, and with its good power and handling, and that its an indian, I think its a very desirable bike. I hope it looks as good in person as it does in the pictures. however, the designers at Polaris sometimes loose sight of what makes an indian cool and I question some of the styling decisions. like making the frames look modular and adding water cooling, and I don’t know what that frame part underneath the seat that the shock mounts to is.

  • GPart1234

    I have been directed to the more expensive ‘Victory’ models as opposed to the Indian ‘Scout’…his reasoning…”Indian has too much vibration for long cruises.”
    Is he correct?

  • http://www.facebook.com/evad.eviler Evad Eviler

    3.3 gallons…you have got to be kidding me. Be filling the gas tank constantly. UGH. And why the extra cost for anything but stupid, invisible black.
    Big Daddy in DC was dumb enough to layout $$$ to find out why motorcycists die so frequently. Well, let’s see. Black bike, black pants, black jacket, black helmet, black bags, black boots. In other words, about as invisible as one can possibly be on the highway surrounded by 4 ton SUV’s driven by folks who are so busy doing every but paying attention. Clue to bikers. Get rid of the illegal straight pipes that have ordinary citizens up in arms and find some LOUD colors to wear and you just might be alive instead of dead.