2016 Indian Scout Review

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It’s probably fair to say that no motorcycle company has a more storied a history than Indian. One of the very first motorbike manufacturers, the company’s zenith came way back in the 1910s, when it was the largest manufacturer in the world.

After disappearing into obscurity for decades, Indian is back – this time with American ATV & snowmobile giant Polaris at the helm. An unlikely pairing at first glance, however under new management Indian are now producing such magnificent machines that their Milwaukee cousins must be getting worried.

Their latest offering is the Indian Scout, a bike so good it claimed motorcycle.com’s Motorcycle Of The Year in 2015. Let’s have a look at what this beast is made of.

The showpiece of the machine is its engine, a liquid-cooled 1133cc V-twin that, more than anything, is just fun to look at. The designers at Indian have put a focus on aesthetics, with cases pressed with the brand’s logo, and enough polished chrome to make a house of mirrors.

But this isn’t a case of form over function. The Scout has more power (75kW) and torque (98Nm @5900rpm) than almost all of its competitors, but manages the bigger numbers so well that it also comes across more refined and more flexible.

Major grunt hits at about 3500 rpm, delivered by a slick six speed transmission. First gear is unusually tall for a cruiser (you’ll find yourself stepping back to it for most city corners) and top gear is rather short, making for a fairly close ratio box. But sixth gear just happens to do its best work at 100-110km/h, making it ideal for cruising Australian highways.

The power-to-weight and gearing of this cruiser means that there’s no real need to get anywhere near the top end of the tacho, unless you’re really late for that appointment. The transmission handles the power with ease, whipping through the cogs effortlessly.

When it comes to comfort and ride, the Indian Scout Cruiser’s cruising claims are almost put into question. There’s no Lay-Z-Boy style reclining going on here, with the rider perched more atop the bike rather than in the bike, in a relatively aggressive riding position (for a cruiser at least). But as long as you’re not expecting a super deep seat, it’s quite a comfortable setup.

There are a range of customisations to ensure that the Scout Cruiser is the perfect fit, with optional seat, handlebar and foot control customisations making the ride perfect for whatever frame you may carry.

Styling is exquisite, with the spirit of Indian continuing to be captured by Polaris’ designers. The stunning exterior is matched by beautiful instrumentation, with a classic analogue speedo accompanied by an LCD screen that tracks most other measurements.

It’s about as mechanically good a cruiser as there is on the market, and it’s all wrapped up in stunning Indian packaging.

Put simply, it’s as complete a bike as a cruiser fan could ask for.

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  • Bromley Preston said:

    Hired it, loved it. After going back to back from 2 days in the iron and switching to the Indian all I can say is I wish I didn’t take the Indian first. So comfortable. So easy to ride. Made me want to go out and buy one… And I just might

    August 17, 2016

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