2018 - 2022 Indian Scout Bobber - Performance, Price, and Photos
It’s a bare-bones bike. When you ride, it’s just you and the machine.by TJ Hinton, on LISTEN 09:18
Indian Motorcycle has certainly called some attention to its mid-size bikes through its success on the flat track, and the Scout Bobber looks to capitalize on that by garnering some of the factory-custom business. The “Bobber” brings modern performance to the table along with the overall look of the iconic bobber style, yet fits in well with the rest of the made-for-the-US market, foreign and domestic built.
2018 - 2022 Indian Scout Bobber - Performance, Price, and Photos
Top Speed:128 mph (Est.)
2018 – 2022 Indian Motorcycle Scout Bobber Performance and Capability
American-made bikes typically run a V-twin engine, and the Scout Bobber toes the line with its water-cooled mill. The factory limited its devotion to historical engines to the configuration and visual details on the Scout’s 60-degree powerplant ’cause this is a thoroughly modern powerplant. Unlike its main competitor, the Harley-Davidson Sportster that uses an engine design that first saw light of day back in 1986, the Scout’s mill is of a more recent vintage and seems to be disinclined to sacrifice much in the name of vanity.
Unlike many V-twins right now, the Bobber runs with an undersquare layout that has a 99 mm bore and 73.6 mm stroke with a total displacement of 1,133 cc and compression ratio of 10.7-to-1. A 60 mm throttle body feeds the beast, but so far there isn’t any sort of rider mode or traction control, and engine management and control is relatively uncomplicated.
Power output is respectable with 100 ponies on tap, and the grunt numbers ain’t bad either at 72 pound-feet of torque that peaks at six grand even. One thing I am definitely feeling is the gear-type primary drive that carries power from the engine to the six-speed transmission. That’s a definite improvement over the chain-drive primary.
|Engine:||Liquid Cooled V-Twin|
|Bore x Stroke:||3.898 in x 2.898 in (99 mm x 73.6 mm)|
|Displacement:||69 cu in (1,133 cc)|
|Horsepower:||100 HP (74.7 kW)|
|Peak Torque:||72 lb-ft (97.7 Nm) @ 6,000 rpm|
|Electronic Fuel Injection System:||Closed loop fuel injection / 60 mm bore|
|Exhaust:||Split Dual Exhaust w/ Cross-over|
|Drive/Driven Clutch:||Wet, Multi-Plate|
|Gear Ratios:||(1st) 10.926:1, (2nd) 7.427:1, (3rd) 5.918:1, (4th) 5.022:1, (5th) 4.439:1, (6th) 4.087:1|
|Transmission/Primary Drive:||Gear Drive Wet Clutch|
The Scout moniker has been used in association with the Indian marque since 1920, though this is the first iteration under the Polaris umbrella. The factory took its popular Scout and beat it with the “custom stick” to give the Scout Bobber a flavor not unlike what came out of shops and home garages back in the day.
To call it “blackout” doesn’t do it justice. Aside from the sheet metal, everything that can be black, is black, and of course, the Black Metallic models carry that achromatic finish all over.
All models come with polished elements on the engine that mimic the exposed pushrod tubes of old and a bit of bright badging on the engine as the only bits of bling. Both the front and rear fenders on the Scout Bobber are chopped, or “bobbed,” to their minimum effective size to create the bulk of the homejob-custom vibe the factory was going for.
Of course, the rear suspension setup that mimics the geometry of the old rigid frames helps with that antique-custom look quite a bit, as do the side-mount tagholder and the bar-end mirrors. A headlight nacelle dresses up the front end with a radiator grille below that, admittedly, is fairly unobtrusive when viewed from the front, and all but disappears when viewed in profile, so I can’t really complain about aesthetics as far as the rad is concerned.
The 3.3-gallon, teardrop fuel tank makes a long, gentle slope down to the two-tone solo saddle that cups and supports your butt at a mere 25.6 inches off the ground and makes its own contribution to the classic-custom panache. Even the exhaust system does its bit with a blackout finish and shotgun-muffler arrangement that fits right in with the other elements.
You can take the look even further with a trip through the accessories catalog where the laced wheels, mini-apes, and antique-style seats live. Again, you won’t be able to hit a specific historical model, but you can certainly adopt the spirit of an era.
|Fuel Capacity:||3.3 gal (12.5 L)|
|Ground Clearance:||4.8 in (123 mm)|
|GVWR:||988 lb (449 kg)|
|Overall Height:||45.4 in (1,154 mm)|
|Overall Length:||87.5 in (2,222 mm)|
|Overall Width:||36.5 in (926 mm)|
|Seat Height:||25.6 in (649 mm)|
|Weight (Empty Tank / Full of Fuel):||537 lb (244 kg) / 554 lb (251 kg)|
|Wheelbase:||61.5 in (1,562 mm)|
The most interesting thing about the Scout Bobber frame is how it seems to mimic the hardtail geometry without going as far to sell the look as Harley-Davidson does with its Softails and their triangular swingarms. A coil-over shock lays over at a rather extreme angle to form the upper line of the Bobber’s open triangle. They work with a fairly standard, yoke-style swingarm to complete the assembly and articulate the rear wheel on two inches (50 mm) of travel.
Standard, 41 mm forks buoy the front end on 4.7 inches (120 mm) of travel, and they push the front wheel for a 61.5-inch wheelbase with a 29-degree rake and 4.7 inches of trail. Those steering figures are indicative of better-than-average tracking at speed with a 29-degree maximum lean angle and enough agility so that it doesn’t turn into a wrestling match in the corners.
Stopping duties fall to 298 mm rotors with a dual-piston anchor up front and single-pot caliper out back, and ABS coverage is available on all colors as standard equipment and only the Black Metallic model comes with a non-ABS variant. The Bobber rocks some fat rubber with a 130/90 up front, a 150/80 out back and a 16-inch blackout rim all around to finish out the rolling chassis.
|Front Suspension/Travel:||41 mm Telescopic Fork - Cartridge Type/4.7 in (120 mm)|
|Rear Suspension/Travel:||Dual Shocks/2.0 in (50 mm)|
|Rake/Trail:||29.0° / 4.7 in (120 mm)|
|Front Brakes:||Single / 298 mm Rotor / 2 Piston Caliper|
|Rear Brakes:||Single / 298 mm Rotor / 1 Piston Caliper|
|Front Wheel/Tire:||Cast 16 in x 3.5 in/ 130/90-16 73H|
|Rear Wheel/Tire:||Cast 16 in x 3.5 in/ 150/80-16 71H|
2018 – 2022 Indian Motorcycle Scout Bobber Pricing
For 2022, Indian lets go of the Scout Bobber starting at $12,249 for the non-ABS Black Metallic. ABS boosts that to $13,149. A nice selection of colors goes for $13,649 and $14,149; and for 2022, ICON limited-availability factory custom colors for the Scout Bobber start at $14,649.
|Gauges:||Digital tachometer, odometer, trip meter, engine temp, and low fuel lamp|
|└ 2018:||Thunder Black, Bronze Smoke, Star Silver Smoke, Indian Motorcycle Red, Thunder Black Smoke|
|└ 2019:||Thunder Black, Thunder Black Smoke, White Smoke, Bronze Smoke|
|└ 2020:||Thunder Black, Thunder Black Smoke, Bronze Smoke, White Smoke, Deepwater Metallic, ICON Radar Blue, ICON Ruby Smoke, ICON Deep Brass Smoke|
|└ 2021:||Thunder Black, Thunder Black Smoke, Maroon Metallic Smoke, White Smoke, Alumina Jade Smoke, ICON Indy Red, ICON Burnt Orange Metallic Smoke, ICON Thunder Black Azure Crystal|
|└ 2022:||Black Metallic, Black Smoke, Titanium Metallic, Maroon Metallic Smoke, Silver Quartz Smoke, Alumina Jade Smoke, ICON Indy Red, ICON Blue Slate Smoke, ICON Black Azure Crystal|
|└ 2018:||Thunder Black: $11,499, Colors : $11,999, Thunder Black Smoke w/ABS: $12,499|
|└ 2019:||Thunder Black: $11,999, Thunder Black w/ABS: $12,799, Colors: $13,299|
|└ 2020:||Thunder Black: $10,999, Thunder Black w/ ABS: $11,899, Colors: $12,399, ICON: $12,899|
|└ 2021:||Thunder Black: $10,999, Thunder Black w/ ABS: $11,899, Colors: $12,399 - $12,899, ICON: $13,399|
|└ 2022:||Black Metallic: $12,249, Black Metallic w/ ABS: $13,149, Colors: $13,649 - $14,149, ICON: $14,649|
Harley-Davidson 1200 Custom
The Sportster’s roots are on prominent display from the teardrop tank to the air-cooled engine, but there’s plenty of custom flavor from the blackout touches, shorty exhaust, and slammed suspension. If you’re looking for something closer to an actual historical ride, the Sporty is your Huckleberry, but if you’re more interested in the now, Indian is where it’s at.
The Sportster runs a 1,202 cc engine for a slight edge in displacement and Harley converts that into a single pound-foot advantage with 73 pounds o’ grunt at 3,750 rpm. The difference is certainly nothing that the ol’ heinie dyno will detect, but you’ll definitely feel it lower in the rev range.
As with the Scout Bobber, the 1200 Custom’s brakes are adequate at best with only a single front disc, and H-D makes the ABS a $795 option across the board. That’s unfortunate since at $11,899 for the most expensive color package, Harley had a chance to have the less-expensive sticker on an equivalent product, but so much for that idea.
“There’s a special place in my heart for Sportsters, but in this matchup I gotta’ say the Indian makes an interesting alternative. Old-but-new looks and solid performance are nice to have, and of course, the fact that it comes from the oldest American manufacturer has to count for something. If you are looking for a used Indian Scout Bobber for sale, right now you can expect to pay almost retail as they seem to be holding their value, according to Kelly Blue Book.”
My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I like the black-out look, very slick and sinister. The seat isn’t as comfortable as I would like and I’m kinda glad I don’t have anything down there that would get pinched on a bump ’cause I can see that happening. The center of gravity is low, so maneuvering is very balanced. The seat height is super low, so those of us height-challenged folks will flat-foot it, no problem, but taller folks might feel a bit clam-shelled. It’s quite lightweight, of course, since it is a bobber. The engine has plenty of get-up-and-go and you will definitely feel the low-down grunt. I like it. It’s a bare-bones bike, which means when you ride, it’s just you and the machine. That can be a very nice feeling.”
Is the Indian Scout Bobber fast?
The Indian Scout Bobber isn’t quite as fast as the FTR1200, but not shabby for a cruiser-based bike.
According to data collected by zeroto60times.com, the 2018 Indian Scout Bobber, which was the first year of this current generation, makes a respectable showing for 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds and a quarter mile in 12.7 seconds. With a Scout Bobber top speed governed at about 128 mph, you could say that the Scout Bobber is fast and quick.
Can a beginner ride a Indian Scout Bobber?
The Scout Boober has a low seat height. The short path to the ground when putting your feet down and being able to flat-foot at a stop inspires confidence in beginner riders.
There are no higher electronics on the Scout Bobber unless you go for an ABS model. If this is your first bike and improving your skillset is your goal, learning on a bare-bones bike without traction control, rides and power modes, cruise control, or fancy technology like wheelie control ensures you develop a good command of motorcycle operation. If this is your first bike and you want to ride without complicating your learning curve, a bike with higher electronics is more forgiving.
For an entry-level rider, consider the Scout Bobber Sixty. It still has nice performance but with a lower-displacement engine. Lower horsepower is more manageable and the Sixty is less expensive, making it an attractive option for folks new to two wheels.
What is the difference between Indian Scout and Scout Bobber?
There is more than just a styling difference between the Scout and the Scout Bobber. Going back to their origins, the bobber – originally called “bob-jobs” – were bikes stripped down to bare essentials removing any excess weight that was not necessary for performance. This included bobbing the fenders down to the minimum for fling control. These essential-only characteristics are a part of the Scout Bobber’s departure from the Scout.
The Scout and Scout Bobber have the same engine and transmission, but there are differences in the frame and suspension. The Bobber has a different rear subframe, shorter rear suspension travel, and lower ground clearance than the Scout. The results are a less forgiving ride over bumpy surfaces and the low-hanging pegs on the Bobber reduce the lean angle so you’ll scrape earlier getting even a little aggressive in the corners.
The Scout has a two-up sport seat that invites a friend to join you on your ride. The Scout Bobber leaves no doubt that you came alone and and plan to leave alone with its bare-bones solo seat.
Are bobbers hard to ride?
Considering that bobbers are stripped-down versions of other motorcycles, they’re no harder to ride than the full-component bikes from which they were made. Nothing in the bobbing process makes the bobbed model more difficult to ride, though the cut-down fenders reduce fling control making you more prone to getting wet from splash or pelted with dirt and gravel.
Is Indian Scout Bobber good for long rides?
The short answers is, no. The Scout Bobber has a relaxed riding position, but it’s not the long-distance comfort like you’d have on a touring bike. You may experience a slouchy ache in your back the relaxed posture gives mid-way into long rides especially given that the minimalistic seat doesn’t allow for repositioning your butt. The seat on the Scout Bobber is also rather hard in keeping with its bobber vibe and there’s no optional gel seat available in the accessories catalog.
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