Indian Motorcycles made a big splash in Sturgis this year with the introduction of its new Scout. The revival of a historic model is newsworthy on its own, but the larger take-away from the emergence of the Scout is that it doesn’t directly compare to any other cruiser.

2015 Indian Scout First Ride Review

Indian’s engineers surely benchmarked the products from the Harley-Davidson juggernaut, specifically the Sportster series. But the contemporary engine architecture (double-overhead cams, four valves per cylinder) of the 1133cc Scout V-Twin churns out a much bigger horsepower number (crank-rated at 100 hp and 72.2 ft-lb of torque) than that of Harley’s air-cooled, two-valve-per-cylinder motors. In addition, the Indian scales in with about 20 pounds less weight than a Sportster 1200, yielding an enviable power-to-weight ratio.

The 1200 Sportster comes in a variety of models: Custom, SuperLow, Forty-Eight, Seventy-Two. For now, there’s only one Scout.

The 1200 Sportster comes in a variety of models: Custom, SuperLow, Forty-Eight, Seventy-Two. For now, there’s only one Scout.

Although we haven’t had the chance to dyno the Scout on our own, we can assume there’ll be, roughly, a 12% reduction in power numbers from the factory’s crankshaft ratings when tested at the rear wheel. This would translate to about 88 horsepower and 65 ft-lb of torque. Given the Scout’s 558-lb curb weight, the bike carries approximately 6.3 lbs per horsepower, a figure that wallops the 8.6 lbs/hp of a 1200 Sportster. The Harley compares more favorably in terms of torque: 8.0 lbs/ft-lb to the Scout’s 8.6 lbs per peak torque.

Yeah, but the M90 has inverted forks and dual front disc brakes. These and more differences we’ll suss out in the upcoming shootout.

Yeah, but the M90 has inverted forks and dual front disc brakes. These and more differences we’ll suss out in the upcoming shootout.

So, let’s step up a class and compare the Scout to some of its bigger, more expensive rivals. For only $200 more, Suzuki’s 1462cc M90 boasts 329 more cubic centimeters, but producing 69 horsepower and weighing 723 pounds – 165 pounds more than the Scout – the M90’s pushing 10.4 pounds per horsepower, or, 4.1 pounds more per hp than the Scout. In the pounds per torque department the M90 is only fractionally better than the scout, 8.4 pounds per ft-lb vs the Scout’s 8.6 lb/ft-lb. A Star V-Star 1300 retails at a $291 premium over the $10,999 Scout, but its 1304cc motor cranks out a relatively paltry 67 hp to its wheel. The Star has a torque advantage (76 ft-lb) but scales in at more than 100 lbs heavier, so there’s no way it can run with the Scout.

At 1312cc, Honda’s Stateline measures only 8cc more displacement than the V-Star, is considerably smaller than the M90, but at $12,150 costs substantially more than both. In fact, the Stateline, at 57 hp, is the lowest horsepower bike here, giving it a lb/hp of 11.7 and lb/ft-lb of 9.2, both of which pale in comparison to the Indian’s figures.

Okay, so let’s go really big and compare the Scout’s second cousin, the Vegas 8-Ball, Victory’s lowest-priced model. With an extra 598cc of chugging motivation, its massive 1731cc motor twists out far more torque than the Scout: 89 ft-lb, but its horsepower output falls about a half-dozen ponies short of the little Indian’s. The Victory’s performance is also muted by carrying around 111 lbs more than the Scout, so its 8.2 lbs/hp pales next to the Scout’s 6.3 number. However, the Vic’s lbs/torque number (7.2) is much more flattering.

The Night Rod’s got it where it counts but is it worth paying $5250 more than the new Scout?

The Night Rod’s got it where it counts but is it worth paying $5250 more than the new Scout?

We’ll make one additional step up the food chain with a comparison to Harley’s V-Rod Night Rod Special (even if Indian reps say it’s not a direct competitor), which retails at a relatively breathtaking $16,249 in its base version. Both share higher-tech, liquid-cooled V-Twins with DOHC and four valves per cylinder. Also common is a 60-degree spread of their cylinders. A key difference is the V-Rod’s more oversquare bore/stroke ratio and an additional 114cc of engine displacement, which add up to peaks of 114 hp and 79 ft-lb of torque. So, in terms of outright power, H-D’s Revolution motor wins hands down. However, the Night Rod has to carry around an extra 108 lbs over the Scout, so its power-to-weight numbers aren’t far off the Scout’s. Torquewise, the Harley’s 8.4 lbs/ft-lb is similar to the Indian’s, but it has a fairly significant hp-to-weight advantage: 5.8 lbs/hp to the Scout’s 6.3.

081814-2015-indian-scout-red-right-side

So, Indian’s impressive new Scout seems to defy direct comparisons. Take a look at the chart below for a broader perspective, then weigh in with your suggestions in the comments section to share your thoughts on which bikes best matchup for comparison.

Indian Scout H-D Sportster 1200 Custom Honda Stateline H-D Night Rod Special Suzuki M90 Star V-Star 1300 Victory Vegas 8-Ball
MSRP $10,999 $10,649 $12,150 $16,249 $11,199 $11,290 $12,499
Engine Capacity 1133cc 1202cc 1312cc 1247cc 1462cc 1304cc 1731cc
Engine Type 60-degree, liquid-cooled, DOHC, V-Twin, 4 valves per cylinder 45-degree, air-cooled, pushrod, V-Twin, 2-valve per cylinder 52-degree, liquid-cooled, SOHC, V-Twin, 3-valves per cylinder 60-degree, liquid-cooled, DOHC, V-Twin, 4-valves per cylinder 54-degree, liquid-cooled, SOHC, V-Twin, 4 valves per cylinder 60-degree, liquid-cooled, SOHC, V-Twin, 4 valves per cylinder 50-degree, air-cooled, SOHC, V-Twin, 4 valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke 99mm x 73.6mm 88.9mm x 96.5mm 89.5mm x 104.3mm 105mm x 72.0mm 96.0mm x 101.0mm 100.0mm x 83.0mm 101mm x 108mm
Compression Ratio 9.5:1 10.0:1 9.2:1 11.5:1 9.5:1 9.5:1 9.4:1
Horsepower 100 (at crank); 88 (est. at rear wheel) 68 57 114 69 67 78
Torque 72.2 (at crank); 64.5 (est. at rear wheel) 73 73 79 87 76 89
lb/hp 6.3 8.6 11.7 5.8 10.4 10.0 8.2
lb/tq 8.6 8 9.2 8.4 8.4 8.8 7.2
Fuel System Electronic closed-loop fuel injection, 60mm throttle bodies Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection PGM-FI with automatic enrichment circuit, one 38mm throttle body, 2 spark plugs per cylinder Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection Electronic Fuel Injection. Dual 42mm throttle bodies Electronic Fuel Injection. Dual 40mm throttle bodies Electronic Fuel Injection. 45mm throttle bodies
Transmission 6-speed, wet clutch 5-speed 5-speed 5-speed 5-speed 5-speed 6-speed
Final Drive Belt Belt Shaft Belt Shaft Belt Belt
Frame Cast aluminum Steel Steel Steel Steel Steel Steel
Front Suspension Telescopic fork. 4.7 inches travel 39mm telescopic fork. 4.12 inches travel. 41mm telescopic fork. 4.0 inches travel. 49mm inverted telescopic fork. 4.1 inches travel. 43mm inverted telescopic KYB fork. 5.1 inches travel 41mm telescopic fork. 5.3 inches travel 43mm telescopic fork. 5.1 inches of travel
Rear Suspension Dual shocks. 3.0 inches travel Dual shocks. 2.12 inches travel. Single shock. 3.9 inches travel. Dual shocks.2.9 inches travel. Single KYB shock. 4.3 inches travel Single shock. 4.3 inches travel Single shock with rising rate linkage. 3.0 inches of travel. Preload adjustable
Front Brakes Single 298mm rotor. 2-piston caliper Single 300mm rotor. 2-piston caliper. ABS optional Single 336mm rotor. 2-piston caliper. ABS optional Dual 300mm rotors. Twin 4-piston calipers. ABS standard Dual 290mm rotors. Dual 2-piston calipers Dual 298mm rotors. 2-piston calipers Single 300mm rotor. 4-piston caliper
Rear Brakes Single 298mm rotor. 1-piston caliper Single 260mm rotor. 2-piston caliper. ABS optional Single 296mm rotor. 1-piston caliper. ABS optional Single 300mm rotor. 4-piston caliper. ABS standard Single 275mm rotor. Single 2-piston caliper Single 298mm rotor. 1-piston caliper Single 300mm rotor. 2-piston caliper
Front Tire 130/90-16 130/90-16 140/80-17 120/70-19 120/70-18 130/90-16 90/90-21
Rear Tire 150/80-16 150/80-16 170/80-15 240/40-18 200/50-17 170/70-16 180/55-18
Seat Height 25.3 in. 28.0 in. 26.7 in. 26.6 in. 28.2 in. 27.2 in. 25.2 in.
Wheelbase 61.5 in. 59.8 in. 70.1 in. 67.1 in. 66.5 in. 66.5 in. 67.1 in.
Rake/Trail 29 degree/4.7 in. 30 degrees/4.2 in. 33 degrees/4.6 in. 34 degrees/5.6 in. 32 degrees/5.08 in. 32.7 degrees/5.7 in. 33.0 degrees/5.0 in.
Curb Weight 558 lbs. 584 lbs. 672 lbs. 666 lbs. 723 lbs. 668 lbs. 667 lbs wet
Fuel Capacity 3.3 gal. 4.5 gal. 4.4 gal. 5.0 gal. 4.7 gal. 4.9 gal. 4.5 gal.

Free Insurance Quote

Enter your ZIP code below to get a free insurance quote.

Harley-Davidson Dealer Price Quote

Get price quotes for Harley-Davidson Sportster from local motorcycle dealers.

Harley-Davidson Communities

Honda Communities

Star Communities

Suzuki Communities

Victory Communities

Yamaha Communities