Several weeks ago, the Indian demo truck was in town and appeared at a nearby Victory/Indian dealer. Arlen Ness’ place if you’re curious. We’ve been hungering to get on this bike since Indian first announced they were bringing back the Scout as part of their efforts to rebuild the iconic American brand.
While group demo rides are typically either a big ass cluster or a slow death march kept well within and even below local speed limits…we appreciated that whomever Indian picked to lead this one wasn’t averse to opening up the throttle a bit. Which gave us a chance to at least get a taste for what all of the hub bub was about with regard to this mid-weight cruiser. We weren’t disappointed.
For anyone who rides a full-size cruiser, the first thing you’ll notice is that this bike does feel small. It weighs in around the mid- 500 lb. range which is a good 150 to 200 lbs. lighter than a Harley or Victory cruiser.
Where the big difference comes in is performance. The Indian Scout gets up and moves! That liquid-cooled, 69 cu. in. engine kicks out somewhere close to 100 h.p. and 77 ft.lbs. of torque! Not liter sport bike numbers by any comparison, but as good or better than what you’d get from most cruisers – domestic or foreign. You’ll feel it when you open it up, but it’s not an uneasy feeling if this is the bike you’re looking at as a move up from whatever smaller bike you might be riding now.
Peak torque is at 5900 rpm, but there’s a whole other part of the powerband we’ve heard and read about that we didn’t get to touch on this demo ride. Even so, we rode the Scout with a group of big Indians and the little bike that could definitely did keep up…and then some.
Indian just announced their new 2016 lineup which means they now have a Scout with ABS as an option. This is about the only “frill” you can expect on this bike – so no cruise control, power outlets, or fancy doohickies. You can trick it out with a set of saddlebags and windshields of various heights for longer distance riding.
Tall riders won’t like this bike – at least that’s what our friends over 6 feet who’ve tried it tell us. Even with the forward controls there’s not enough room to stretch out their legs. But some said they’d still buy it for it’s sheer fun factor.
List price comes in at just under $11,000 for the black version; add $300 for grey, red or brushed black. ABS adds another $600. While that might still seem like a lot of money, keep in mind what one of the guys from Arlen Ness said about this bike — “You’ve got a sport bike in a cruiser body.” Performance and comfort – what more could you want?
Here’s what a few Scouts look like with some choice extras.