Best Cruiser of the Year Winner: Indian Scout Sixty

Best Cruiser of 2016 Indian Scout Sixty

Okay, get out your pitchforks! Indian’s won Best Cruiser for the second year in a row with a Scout. This year, however, the kid brother, the Scout Sixty, takes home the prize. How could that be? The Sixty is only a sleeved down version of the bigger Scout with less shiny parts, right? Well, that would be half right. The other half is that, for a MSRP of $8,999 (or $300 more for white and red color options), Scout Sixty riders get a motorcycle that twists out 95% of big brother’s torque at a 20% discount. The horsepower curves are quite close to each other up until about 5,000 rpm, in the meat of the torque curve where cruisers spend nearly all of their time.

2016 Indian Scout Sixty First Ride Review

Indian Scout Vs Indian Scout Sixty On The Dyno!

In every other performance category, the Sixty is exactly the same as the Scout. The brakes are the same as the base model Scout – although ABS is now a part of a $1,000 package that includes upgraded paint – but have always worked quite well for us. For better or worse, the same can be said of the Sixty’s suspension, which is competent but lacks the rear travel we’d prefer for a better all-rounder motorcycle. The riding position is identical. In fact, it’s easier to point out what is different between the Scouts than the similarities.

Best Cruiser of 2016 Indian Scout Sixty

The Scout Sixty’s cosmetic differences from its big brother will only be noticed by people who know what to look for.

Next, the styling of the Sixty is only slightly less polished than that of the Scout. Essentially, you get less shiny stuff with the lower price. What the Sixty retains is Indian’s premium-level attention to detail. Close inspection of the Sixty reveals a build quality much higher than you’d expect for a $9,000 price tag. Plus, riders can take the money they save and buy factory accessory items which share the same part numbers of those for the Scout.

The Scout Sixty ranks as MO’s Best Cruiser of 2016 because Indian managed to capture the best characteristics of last year’s Best Cruiser and Motorcycle of the Year while maintaining the company’s high level of fit and finish for a $2,000 reduction in price. The combination of these factors make the Scout Sixty an excellent value for riders looking for a sporty, premium cruiser without, seemingly, having to make any compromises usually required for a bike in this price range.

Honorable Mention: Ducati XDiavel

Honorable Mention Ducati XDiavel

Although it may be quite similar looking, Ducati’s revamp of the original Diavel shares only brake calipers and tires with the new XDiavel. After riding the XDiavel, we feel that Ducati’s second draft of their vision of a cruiser hits all the points that were missed in the original.

2016 Ducati XDiavel S First Ride Review

Starting with the shift to the feet-forward pegs, Ducati embraced the standard cruiser riding position – despite the protests of the more sporting-focused Ducatisti. Yes, it is possible to build a sporty motorcycle that doesn’t tuck the rider’s feet underneath or behind the saddle. Even more improbable is Ducati’s claim of a 40° lean angle while maintaining the relatively low 29.7-in. seat height, which is living proof that feet-forward and good ground clearance are not mutually-exclusive design goals. We were so impressed that we said, the XDiavel’s suspension does a remarkable job of impersonating a sportbike in cruiser’s clothing.

Having ground clearance and capable suspenders is nice, but it wouldn’t mean much if the engine were a dog. No problem here: The Testastretta DVT 1262 features variable valve timing that delivers a heaving amount of useable torque over a broad range of rpm. While the torque peaks around 5,000 rpm, it remains flat all the way to 7,500 rpm. Its class-destroying 145, horsepower takes care of the top-end rush, even if most cruiser riders will rarely use it.

2016 Ducati XDiavel Dyno Tested

So, with useable power, good ground clearance and competent suspension, the only thing left is the styling. You won’t find any conchos or fringe, but the attitude is unmistakably cruiser – with an Italian flair. It makes a strong visual statement unlike any of its feet-forward classmates. These add up to a unique cruiser worthy of the Ducati name and is enough to be MO’s Honorable Mention for Best Cruiser of 2016.

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  • Starmag

    I’d love to buy American and I think I’d love the engine, but the rest? Just no. Do you suppose they sourced the shocks from Wal-mart? Sporty standard please. Polaris/Victory/Indian/Klim/Swissauto/Kraft/Toastmaster, are you listening? Probably not. : 7 (

    • Rex Chaney

      I like the basic bike, but I cannot stand feet forward motorcycles. I agree. More of a standard riding position, vrs. a cruiser.

  • MotoPumps

    You didn’t mention the biggest difference…that perhaps doesn’t matter… 5 speed instead of 6. I will be a buyer when there is a version with mid controls instead of forward…

    • Willy

      My wife has a Sixty and I have the 1133 Scout with the six speed. When I ride mine I use 5th gear a lot. If I ride my wife’s I never miss that gear I just go to high gear, which is the same as my high gear.

  • JMDonald

    I have never felt comfortable with the feet forward set up. The more upright position of a touring bike still feels a little off. A slight forward lean controls underneath or slightly rearward seems more natural. The styling of some cruisers sure does have very real appeal. Both of these machines are beautiful.

  • Buzz

    I test rode the XDiavel a few weeks ago. I’m not a potential buyer though.

    A cruiser should be a good bike to go slow on.

    Blub blub blub look at the scenery. It’s called cruising for a reason.

    • TheMarvelous1310

      I always think of the Diavel as a chopper, not a cruiser.