2015 Indian Scout Preview

Evans Brasfield
by Evans Brasfield

Embracing Indian's heritage in a more modern way

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.

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.

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.

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.

2015 Indian Scout Specifications

Engine TypeLiquid Cooled V-Twin (60 degrees) DOHC, 4-Valves Per Cylinder, Semi-Dry Sump
Engine Capacity1133 cc
Bore x Stroke96 mm x 73.6 mm
Horsepower100hp at 8100 rpm (claimed)
Torque72.2 ft-lb. at 5900 rpm (claimed
Compression10.7 : 1
Fuel SystemClosed loop fuel injection, 60 mm throttle body
ClutchWet, multi-plate
Transmission6-speed sliding-mesh
Final Drive141-tooth Belt
Front Suspension41 mm telescopic fork, 4.7 in. travel
Rear SuspensionDual shocks, 3.0 in. travel
Front BrakesSingle 298 mm disc, two-piston caliper
Rear BrakesSingle 298 mm disc, one-piston caliper
Front Tire130/90-16 72H
Rear Tire150/80-16 71H
Seat Height26.5”
Ground clearance5.3”
Wet Weight558 lbs. (claimed)
Fuel Capacity3.3 gal.
ColorsThunder Black, Indian Motorcycle Red, Silver Smoke (matte), Thunder Black Smoke (matte)
MSRP$10,999 Thunder Black, $11,299 all other colors
Evans Brasfield
Evans Brasfield

Like most of the best happenings in his life, Evans stumbled into his motojournalism career. While on his way to a planned life in academia, he applied for a job at a motorcycle magazine, thinking he’d get the opportunity to write some freelance articles. Instead, he was offered a full-time job in which he discovered he could actually get paid to ride other people’s motorcycles – and he’s never looked back. Over the 25 years he’s been in the motorcycle industry, Evans has written two books, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects and How to Modify Your Metric Cruiser, and has ridden just about every production motorcycle manufactured. Evans has a deep love of motorcycles and believes they are a force for good in the world.

More by Evans Brasfield

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2 of 57 comments
  • GPart1234 GPart1234 on Nov 03, 2014

    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?

  • Evad Eviler Evad Eviler on Nov 09, 2014

    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.