• 2015 Indian Scout

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Way back in the day – 1920 to be exact – Indian released what was arguably its most important motorcycle, the Scout. Those of you in the ’old school’ will recognize this model from the ’Harley v. Indian’ wars fought on the hill-climb and flat-track circuits, as well as the streets. Polaris bought the Indian Motorcycle name in 2011 and set about the business of reinventing the brand, so it is no surprise that the Scout was high on the list of priorities. The 2015 Indian Scout represents Polaris’ efforts to tie the old in with the new, and it embodies the rich heritage of the model family while simultaneously moving into contemporary design and technology.
Continue reading for the full review.

  • 2015 Indian Scout
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    100
  • Torque @ RPM:
    72
  • Displacement:
    1133 cc
  • Top Speed:
    124 mph (Est.)

Design

2015 Indian Scout Exterior
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Much like the original Scout and its successors, the new Scout maintains the no-frills construction typical of the model family. The gentle sweep of the cut-down front fender, fuel tank and rear fender allow the eye to flow along her upper lines with little interruption, and the bend in the front exhaust pipe carries some of that visual flow to the bottom, as if the pipe is caressing the right-side engine cover. Polaris embraced the blacked-out paint scheme that is fairly common on home-custom bikes, but the polished aluminum and chrome bits give the Scout just enough bling to be stylish without crossing the line into garish. Black leather seats are fairly ubiquitous in the motorcycle world, particularly among American machines, so the desert-tan leather saddle really sets this ride apart from other stock sleds. Indian completes the ensemble by gracing the tank with a tank badge that would look familiar to its (nearly 100-year-old) predecessors.

Chassis

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The factory started with a lightweight aluminum frame as the backbone for this rather sporty cruiser, and frame design keeps the laden seat height down at an impressively low 25.3 inches. These factors make the Scout very light and responsive to steering inputs and allows for very smooth transitions with little steering effort, and experienced riders will find it very easy to take advantage (if they dare) of the generous 31-degree maximum lean angle when tackling tight hairpins and switchbacks. Polaris shows remarkable sensitivity to the plight of the big-and-tall crowd as well as vertically challenged riders by offering the Scout in ’Low Fit’ and ’Tall Fit’ configurations in addition to the purely stock design. Foot controls can be mounted in the stock position or moved two whole inches back or forward according to rider preference. The handlebars are available in the stock shape or with two inches of extra pullback, and the seat comes with different shapes, all of which adds up to remarkable control over the geometry of the rider triangle.

Drivetrain

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When you redesign a bike with such a rich racing history, you had better back it up with a capable engine – a point not lost on the engineers at Polaris. The factory built a 69 cubic-inch V-twin engine to propel this compact cruiser to speeds up to 124 mph (testicular fortitude notwithstanding). Liquid cooling draws off the waste heat produced by the 72.2 pound-feet of torque and 100 horsepower engine, and the rather inconspicuous radiator dissipates said heat into the atmosphere. The torque really comes on around 5,000 rpm and it maxes out at 5,900 rpm, giving the rider plenty of response when rolling on for a pass. This gives the Scout an edge over its closest U.S. competitor — the Harley Sportster 1200, which starts to flatten out a bit in the higher rpm range. An electronic closed-loop fuel-injection system handles fuel delivery while maintaining fuel efficiency and emissions standards. Riders report that the six-speed transmission is smooth as silk and deadly quiet, with nary a sound when cycling through the gears. Personally, I like to think of my Harley’s shifter noise as ’decisive,’ but I understand that such noises can be a little off-putting for some people – apparently, Polaris/Indian gets that.

Pricing

You can score a Scout for $10,999 in Thunder Black (glossy), Indian Red, Silver Smoke or Black smoke (matte), a competitive price for the compact-cruiser market and right in line with the 1200 H-D Sportster. This price makes it available for entry-level riders as well as the budget-conscious market sector.

He Said

“Those of you who are familiar with my writing already know about my penchant for historical roots, so I will refrain from going on (and on) about that here. Let me just say that I find the new Indian Scout line impressive, and if I were looking for a new cruiser I would definitely consider this model a contender.”

She Said

My wife and fellow writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "This is a nice mid-displacement cruiser for a decent price. I really like the vintage look along with the tan leather seat and optional matching saddlebags. The idea of catering to tall and short riders with the adjustment of pegs, handlebars and seat padding is awesome. As a height-challenged person, I like getting that level of customization from the factory and not having to go to the aftermarket for it. With a lower center of gravity than its nemesis, the Sportster 1200, the Scout comes off the jiffystand much easier for those of us that might lack the upper body strength to wrestle another bike in its class. I’m used to older bikes not having a fuel gauge, but I’ll admit I’m being spoiled by technology. Seems like it shouldn’t be a big deal to add a gauge nowadays."

Specifications

Engine:
Horsepower: 100 (74.7 KW)
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled V-Twin
Displacement: 69 Cu In
Electronic Fuel Injection System: Closed Loop Fuel Injection / 60 MM Bore
Drivetrain:
Primary Drive: Gear Drive Wet Clutch
Performance:
Peak Torque: 72.2 pound-feet at 5,900 rpm
Gear Ratio - Overall:
1st: 10.782 : 1
2nd: 7.328 : 1
3rd: 5.841 : 1
4th: 4.957 : 1
5th: 4.380 : 1
6th: 4.034 : 1
Final Drive: 2.357 : 1
Chassis:
Front Suspension/Travel: Telescopic Fork/4.7 inches
Rear Suspension/Travel: Dual Shocks/3.0 inches
Front Brakes: Single / 298 mm Rotor / Two-piston caliper
Rear Brakes: Single /298 mm Rotor / single-piston caliper
Front Tires: 130/90-16 72H
Rear Tires: 150/80-16 71H
Wheels: Cast 16" X 3.5" Front and 16" X 5" Rear
Exhaust System: Split Dual Exhaust with Crossover Dimensions
Fuel Capacity: 3.3 Gallons
Ground Clearance: 5.3 inches
Overall Height: 47.5 Inches
Overall Width: 34.6 inches
Rake: 29 degrees
Trail: 4.7 Inches
Seat Height: 25.3 inches
Wheelbase: 61.5 inches
Overall Length: 91 inches
Lean Angle: 31 degrees
GVWR: 988 Pounds
Weight Empty Tank/Full Fuel: 538 Pounds/558 Pounds
Electric:
Gauges: Digital Tachometer, Odometer, Trip Meter, Engine Temperature, Low Fuel Lamp
Lights: Headlight, Tail/Brake Light, Turn Signals, License Plate Light, Speedometer, Indicator Lights
What do you think?
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