Indian Heads Back To The Salt Flats With The Black Bullet Scout
To say that Indian Motorcycles has a long-running relationship with the Bonneville Salt Flats is something of an understatement. Bike designer Jeb Scolman builds on the success of his Burt Munro tribute bike with the new Black Bullet Scout. Last year’s Munro bike mounted the 111-inch Thunder Stroke engine, but this time around Jeb is working with the 73.2-cubic-inch (1,200 cc) Indian Scout engine to propel his aptly named “Bullet” in pursuit of the standing speed records. Just one look tells you why the name fits – the bullet-shaped front fairing with its rather stealthy windshield looks like nothing more than a big, black bullet. The very low profile, teardrop-shaped fuel tank, vestigial seat (face it, this ain’t for your everyday commute) and tapered rear fender complete the look, leaving the engine sans fairing and exposed to the world. Hopefully this lack of “full fairingness” won’t bite later, because the Bullet has its work cut out as it will have to compete against engines of up to 1,350 cc displacement.
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Why it matters
Indian Motorcycles, after a glorious beginning and checkered sophomore years, is finally under the capable Polaris Industries Inc. umbrella, and is really making a comeback. Indian is starting to emerge as a burgeoning threat to Harley in the American-style cruiser market, and this represents a return to healthy domestic competition. It seems that finally, Indian has the resources and management to restore its name to its former glory.