Indian Motorcycles, now owned by Polaris Industries, has launched the iconic Indian Scout, marking the return of the legendary small American cruiser. The first Indian Scout appeared in 1920. With the addition of the Scout, Indian now offers a stable of six motorcycles: the entry level Indian Scout; two cruisers – the Indian Chief Dark Horse and Indian Chief Classic; two baggers – the Indian Chief Vintage and Indian Chieftain; and a Touring model – the Indian Roadmaster. The big question is…”What would Tonto ride?” The answer is obvious – “Get ‘em up Scout!” For those of you who are too young to know who the heck Tonto is, he was the Lone Ranger’s Indian sidekick. If you don’t know who the Lone Ranger is, I’m sorry.
Visually, the Indian Scout serves up a retro flavor, but with a more modern flair. The chassis is a reflection of what the original 1920 Scout would probably have evolved to over the years to match today’s standards. In the past, there were several models or trim levels of the Scout. Today, this latest iteration Scout is a singular model – no more model 101s of different displacements, or Scout Sports or Scout Military and Military Juniors or even the Scout model 648 Daytona Sport. The last year of production was 1950, offering only the Indian Scout Sport/Super. The new 2015 Indian Scout is liquid-cooled rather than air-cooled, which is a highly visible non-conventional departure from its predecessors, while the suspension is basically conventional fore and aft.
The base Indian Scout is offered with a starting price of $10,999. There is also a Low Fit Scout priced at $11,299 with available Driver support backrest, reduced reach handlebars, a quick release short windshield, reduced reach controls and Tan saddlebags. A two-up Indian Scout is available as well, also base priced at $11,299 with optionally available accessories such as: a chrome driver backrest, chrome highway bars, passenger pegs, a passenger pillion, a quick release mid-height windshield, Tan saddlebags and a Tan tank pouch. Options are priced separately – the Chrome driver back rest is $149.99; reduced reach and extended reach handlebars are $149.99., quick release short and mid-height windshields are $449.99; reduced reach controls are $149.99 as are the extended reach controls; Tan saddlebags run $999.99; an extended reach seat costs $249.99; Stage One Straight exhausts are $799.99; Chrome highway bars run $299.99; passenger pegs are $149.99; a passenger pillion costs $199.99; and a Tan tank pouch is priced at $129.99.
From a personal point of view, the base model Indian Scout best portrays the currently popular retro small cruiser trend – it’s also the most affordable. A fully loaded Scout adds considerably to the bottom line, but will still run just under $15,000.
Motive force for the Scout comes from a 1123cc or 69 cubic inch, first ever liquid-cooled Indian V-Twin with closed loop electronic fuel injection, a 60 mm bore and split dual right side exhaust with a crossover. Claimed horsepower is rated at 100, while the torque generated is 72.2 pound feet at 5,900 rpm. A six-speed sequential manual transmission gears the engine’s output to the rear wheel through a gear drive wet clutch Primary Drive to the final left-side belt drive.
The suspension setup consists of 41mm telescopic forks up front with 4.7-inches of travel and rear dual adjustable coil-over shock absorbers with 3.0-inches of travel, set at an exaggerated rake, paying homage to the 1920 Scout’s hardtail look. The new Scout rolls on Indian 130/90-16 72 H M/C tires in front and 150/80-16 71H M/C tires mounted on Black painted 5-tri-spoke alloy wheels.
My 2015 Indian Scout test bike wore an Indian Red finish on its bodywork, which featured hard edge lines on the fuel tank and front and rear fenders. Other colors include Black, Silver and flat Black. The solo “old school” seat was done in durable, weather-resistant Desert Tan leather. The base price was set at $10,999 with the final sticker coming to $13,249. Dealer handling and prep may vary.
SUMMARY: The reaction to viewing the Indian Scout for the first time in person, was that it’s relatively small. It sits low and displays a rather austere retro image. There are no faux cooling fins on the engine, but rather ribbing that is structural that matches other aluminum-toned accents.
The new Scout comes as a solo bike, adding to its early heritage. Foot controls are set forward and the handlebars are well positioned and reach back the rider, all making for a really comfortable riding position. The seat is small but surprisingly comfortable with its 25.3-inch height. There’s an optional windshield available, and an optional passenger pillion and pegs are also available, as are saddlebags, but why spoil the look? Okay, granted, added comfort, convenience and functionality may trump appearance and may not be a bad thing. Optional chrome crash bars, for instance, would provide relief for tall riders on long rides, but would tend to elevate the “bling” level, which doesn’t fit this bike for my taste.There are extended reach accessories to help riders fit the bike. A seat that moves the rider back an inch, and foot control mounts that positiion feet forward an inch as well as handlebars that move the hands forward an inch. These accessories are part of a dealership display making it easy to tailor the bike for the right fit.
The Scout is exceptionally well balanced with its low center of gravity, which allows for easy, fluid handling at all speeds, and the lean angle is enough to bolster confidence in high speed cornering. All in all, the 2015 Indian Scout is a lot of cool bike for the money.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2015 Indian Scout
|Price as Tested:||$13,249. Dealer handling and prep may vary.|
|Engine Type and Size:||1123cc (69 cubic inch) liquid-cooled V-Twin with closed loop electronic fuel injection with 60 mm bore and split dual right side exhaust with crossover.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||86 @ 7,730 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||72.2 @ 3,320 rpm|
|Transmission:||Six-speed sequential manual.|
|Drive Train:||Primary drive â€“ Gear drive wet clutch. Final drive â€“ Belt.|
Front â€“ 41mm inverted telescopic forks with 4.7â€ of travel.
Rear – Dual coil-over shock absorbers with and 3â€ of travel.
|Brakes:||Left side single 298 mm front rotor with a 2 piston caliper / Right side single 298mm rear rotor with a 1 piston caliper.|
|Tires:||Indian 130/90-16 72 H M/C front / 150/80-16 71H mounted on Black painted 5-tri-spoke alloy wheels.|
|Length Overall:||91.0 inches|
|Curb Weight:||538 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||3.3 gallons.|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||Not tested|
|Seat Height:||25.3 inches|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not tested|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.