Indian has had quite a run in the years since it restarted production under the Polaris banner. In that short time, Indian has racked up two MO Best Cruiser awards (2014 Indian Chief and 2015 Indian Scout), Readers’ Choice Best Cruiser 2015 (2015 Indian Chief), Readers’ Choice Motorcycle of the Year 2015 (2015 Indian Chief), and Motorcycle of the Year 2015 (Indian Scout). That’s quite a roll. So, what has Indian decided to do next? Downsize.
And that sounds like a good thing.
By partially downsizing the popular, existing Scout and engineering it’s premium fit and finish, comfortable riding position, and amiable character into a slightly smaller displacement, lower priced motorcycle, Indian might just capture some of those fence-sitters on the cusp of buying a cruiser that they missed with the original Scout. Thanks to a raft of similarities and just a few differences, the 2016 Indian Scout Sixty looks like an interesting plan.
For starters, two things are different from the Sixty’s big brother: The displacement and the MSRP. The Sixty gets its name from the 60 cubic inches it displaces. (That’s 999cc for the metrically inclined.) The engine now utilizes a 93 mm x 73.6 mm bore and stroke for its motivating force and sends it out through a new 5-speed transmission – which we hope will be as slick-shifting as its progenitor’s six cogs. While the EFI programing, compression ratio (11:1), and other expected things like valve timing will be different, the Sixty sports essentially the same engine from its liquid-cooling to its DOHC-activated four valves per cylinder to its 60 mm throttle bore. This decrease in displacement may even address the concerns of riders who felt the Scout’s 1133cc displacement was too much for novice riders despite the very benign initial power delivery.
The rest of the Sixty’s features can best be summed up by Indian’s press release, which says the “Scout Sixty model carries over the highly complimented chassis, suspension and braking components from the Scout.” So, based on experience, we expect to wish for more rear suspension travel and wider angle steering lock. We should be happy with its braking power but will still puzzle over the lack of ABS as an option in the US. Perhaps the smaller engine will limit the heat we felt from the rear cylinder will be lessened. However, if the Sixty is identical to its big brother, the sum of its parts will be a formidable combination in its displacement class.
When it comes to styling and build quality, the we’ve typically found very few quibbles with Indian products. The fit and finish of the Scout put it at the premium end of its class while still undercutting six competitive models in our Bout with the Scout Shootout in price – some by thousands of dollars. The Sixty’s MSRP of $8,999 for the Thunder Black model, a $2,000 drop from the Scout, appears to be quite a value for the quality of workmanship typically delivered by the Scout. The extra cost colors, Indian Motorcycle Red and Pearl White, raise the cost to $9,299, while still maintaining the $2,000 price drop from the previous Scout.
By keeping the differences between the Scout and the Scout Sixty minimal, Indian appears to be counting on the economies of scale and simplicity of manufacturing just one set of components for the Scout line to keep the value to cost ratio high. Because of our fondness of both the Scout’s engine and the motorcycle as a whole, the Scout Sixty is one cruiser we’re looking forward to testing as soon as it is available. Stay tuned.