• Indian “Project Scout” Enters Voting Phase

A while back, I covered a custom Scout. It was a really sharp-looking Scout built to emulate the old, WWII-era Indian models used by the U.S. Armed Forces. Built by Klock Werks Kustom Cycles, it sports the O.D. green sheet metal, tan-leather accoutrements and — wait for it — a Tommy-gun in a sheath up front.

To say that I liked it would be an exercise in understatement, but now I have a grand total of 35 custom bikes from Indian Motorcycles’ “Project Scout” to drool over, and I want to try to narrow that down to my five favorites based solely on my own tastes and preferences. I realize that taste is subjective, so after you check out my picks, by all means, go look at the official site and make your own choices. Bet you can’t pick just one! And you don’t have to. Vote early and vote often; you can vote for your favorite custom builds once every day through February 19th, 2016.

Continue reading for more information on the Indian "Project Scout."

First, a caveat: my choices do not necessarily reflect a desire to own, or even ride, my picks from this list. Most of them are too pretty, and I’d be as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs for worrying that I would get a scratch somewhere, plus I’d have to wash the derned thing when I was done. So with that in mind, let’s get to it, in no particular order.

“I Am Legend”

Indian “Project Scout” Enters Voting Phase
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The Arrigoni Sport GMBH out of Adlliswil, Zurich, Switzerland (say that three times fast!) put together a creation they call “I Am Legend” that reminds me of my old FXRP. I love the look of a fixed, bullet fairing and sprung, solo saddle, not to mention how comfortable seats like that can be. Not only that, but the builders gave this ride a decidedly Steampunk look that both Allyn] and I find irresistible, and they took steps to include a broad selection of historical references, so this bike defies time, and seems to almost be everywhen. Of all my selections, this bike is the one I would most likely ride, given my ’druthers. Considering that they started building without a definite plan in place, I have to say I think they did one heckuva job putting this sled together.

“Blue Max"

Indian “Project Scout” Enters Voting Phase
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Now for a ride from Indian Motorcycle Springfield in Westfield, MA, U.S.A. The builders dub this ride the “Blue Max,” and I certainly hope that’s a reference to one of my favorite books, and a movie starring a relatively young George Peppard. Whatever the case, “Max” is a tribute piece to the Model 648 Scout that won the Daytona back in 1948. If those don’t look like tires meant for hard-pack sand, I don’t know what does!

For me, the front-end is the big draw – the leaf-spring fork comes from a ’45 Chief, and the lack of damping (shocks) worries my nerves a little when I think about riding on the road. However, I remind myself that the sand is powerful-flat down there once the tide ebbs, which is why it was used for so long as the East Coast proving grounds. Seafoam Blue sheet metal finishes the ride, and is also a nod to the old 648.

“Boardtracker”

Indian “Project Scout” Enters Voting Phase
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Our Canadian buddies at Motos Illimitees in Terrebone, QC certainly have an eye for detail, and an appreciation for the rich history of the motorcycling sports of yesteryear. Once upon a time, racers would zip around, indoors, on a wooden track. The bikes were purpose-built, and as such, had a particular look about them — a look captured and frozen in time with the “Boardtracker.”

White rubber tires cap the massive 26-inch rims, and real wooden accents pay tribute to the 150th anniversary of one of the most-beloved whiskey makers in the world, Jack Daniels. Board tracks may have gone the way of the dinosaur, but bikes like this make me wish they would resurrect the sport.

“Gran Turismo”

Indian “Project Scout” Enters Voting Phase
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The funny-backwards-trike movement is in full swing, and it seems like more and more manufacturers are jumping on that bandwagon everyday, keyword “manufacturers.” It’s one thing for a company with deep R&D pockets to engineer such a ride, but quite another for most custom builders, so you can just go ahead and pencil me in as impressed with the work Indian Motorcycle Wayne in Wayne, NJ, but into their entry, the “Indian Scout Reverse Trike Gran Turismo.”

A large percentage of the sheet metal had to be custom fabricated, and I promise, they didn’t just pull accessories off the shelf and slap ’em on, this took some real work and innovation to pull off. Granted, the front end doesn’t tilt in the turns and stays upright much like the Can-Am products, but they only had three months in which to build, so I absolutely forgive them for going this route. That aside, my attraction to this ride isn’t based as much on looks as it is my appreciation for how much work went into it, to include some real engineering. Kudos Wayne, kudos!

“Scout JD Bagger-BBQ”

Indian “Project Scout” Enters Voting Phase
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I saved the most whimsical ride for last, simply because of its fun factor. My absolute top choice for builders with a sense of humor goes to Indian Motorcycles Quebec City in, you guessed it, Quebec, Canada. The “Scout JD Bagger-BBQ” is a pure-D tribute to Jack Daniels, and would be a huge hit at the next tailgate party, or crash-in-the-grass soiree due to the sidecar-mounted, Jack Daniels aging barrel they converted to a proper barbecue (grill).

To call the rear fender “full” would not do it justice, and I swear, I’ve seen bridal trains that were smaller! That’s some really nice sheet-metal work, and I won’t even ask what it took to fabricate the barrel-shaped, J-D, LED turn signals. To be honest, I was going to abstain from voting at all, but of all the rides, I would have the most fun being seen on this one around town, but only if I can take a GoPro with me to record the mirth it would surely generate. Good job guys, and thanks for the fun, ’cause I’ve been chuckling up my sleeve all day.

Go Vote!

There you have it, folks. I hope you enjoyed these bikes as much as I enjoyed writing about them, and be sure to visit the site to see all 35 entries and cast votes of your own. The top three picks will be announced on February 26th, 2016.

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Update

All the votes have been tallied and the numbers crunched. Now that the smoke has almost cleared, we can see the field has narrowed down to three worthy finalists; the “Boardtracker” from Moto Illimitees, “The Rebel” by Indian Motorcycle Winnipeg and “Fusion” out of Indian Motorcycle Charlotte. Indian will announce the overall winner at Bike Week in Daytona Beach in a few weeks. I was gratified to see one of my picks, the Boardtracker, on the list. Did any of yours make it? Stay tuned for the ultimate winner.

Source: Project Scout

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