Indian’s Bar-Hoppin’ Midsize Cruiser

Reintroduced for 2015 after over a decade-long hiatus, the Scout from Indian Motorcycles has a long and illustrious heritage dating back to 1920. Bigger than a café racer, but smaller than what I consider a cruiser, the Scout fits into an in-between class that I call a bar-hopper and Indian calls "mid-size." Fair enough. Spec-wise, the 2018 Scout is essentially a carry-over from last year, which isn’t a bad thing. New in 2016 was the Scout Sixty. Rolling on the same chassis as the Scout, the Sixty has a smaller engine for "a confidence-inspiring ride," according to the folks at Indian. The Scout and the Scout Sixty have cut-down fenders — unlike most of the Indian lineup with valenced fenders — and lacks the iconic fender-mounted war bonnet. Still, they’re Indian in all the right places. The fat 130-series front tire gives the Scout a great bit dose of American-cruiser styling.

Continue reading for my review of the Indian Scout and Scout Sixty.

  • 2016 - 2018 Indian Motorcycle Scout / Scout Sixty
  • Year:
    2016- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    69 cubic inches
  • Price:
    11499
  • Price:

Design

2016 - 2018 Indian Motorcycle Scout / Scout Sixty
- image 691693
With a low center of gravity, the Scout handles like a dream; it's nimble and quick, easy to lean into the corners

Let’s start with the very cruiser-esque low, low seat height of 25.3 inches. Shorties take note, but for anyone of medium height or taller, though, you might feel a bit clam-shelled with your feet forward and your butt so low. With a low center of gravity, the Scout handles like a dream. It is nimble and quick, easy to lean into the corners and the lean angle lets you get a little aggressive in the curves, so you will really have to work at it if you want to drag a peg. In keeping with the classic look, the speedometer has a decidedly vintage dial and instrumentation is basic. Warning lights are small and hard to see in the daylight, but that is the norm when the sun is bright.

Make no mistake about the Scout’s intended purpose. This is not a commuter bike, though it could be used as such. You ride this bike because you want to spend time with your fists in the wind and have fun with no particular place to go or be. The solo seat says you don’t want company, so don’t even ask. Wait; you do want company? Peruse the accessories catalog and add passenger footpegs, a pillion and cushioned passenger sissy bar in that same gorgeous Desert Tan leather. Complete the look with matching leather-bound hard saddlebags and you and a friend are ready to hit the town.

Chassis

2016 - 2018 Indian Motorcycle Scout / Scout Sixty
- image 691706
The 29-degree rake gives the Scout an almost-custom vibe, and coupled with the 4.7-inch trail, keeps the bike fairly stable in the straights and eager in the corners.

Indian starts out strong with a steel frame and swingarm, but lightened things up a bit by going the stressed-engine route, thereby reducing the mass of the frame. The 29-degree rake gives the Scout an almost-custom vibe, and coupled with the 4.7-inch trail, keeps the bike fairly stable in the straights and eager in the corners.

The 41 mm, right-side-up front forks fit well with the looks of the bike, and even though inverted forks are arguably better in every way, they would not fit with the retro-vibe Indian was going for. Dual rear coil-over shocks are set at an angle that hints at the rear-end geometry of the old rigid frames, even if the springs give it away. Suspension travel is about average for a bar hopper (may not be an official category, but that’s what it is) at 4.7 up front and 3 inches even in back, but face it, you aren’t supposed to go off-road with this ride.

Cast wheels wrap up the running gear with 16-inchers front and rear, and 298 mm brake discs provide the stopping power. Though it only has a single front brake, it provides a positive feel. Some of the colors come with ABS as a standard feature and others don’t, so if lack of ABS is a deal-breaker, check before you fall in love with a particular color.

Model:ScoutScout Sixty
Suspension: Front - Type/Travel: Telescopic Fork / 4.7 in (120 mm) – Cartridge Type Telescopic Fork / 4.7 in (120 mm)
Suspension: Rear - Type/Travel: Dual Shocks / 3.0 in (76 mm) Dual Shocks / 3.0 in (76 mm)
Brakes/Front: Single / 298 mm Rotor / 2 Piston Caliper Single / 298 mm Rotor / 2 Piston Caliper
Brakes/Rear: Single / 298 mm Rotor / 1 Piston Caliper Single / 298 mm Rotor / 1 Piston Caliper
Wheels/Front: Cast 16 in x 3.5 in Cast 16 in x 3.5 in
Wheels/Rear: Cast 16 in x 3.5 in Cast 16 in x 3.5 in
Tires/Front: 130/90B16 67H 130/90B-16 72H
Tires/Rear: 150/80B16 77H 150/80B-16 71H

Drivetrain

2016 - 2018 Indian Motorcycle Scout / Scout Sixty
- image 645676
You get a pretty good roll-on once you are up into the powerband, and the Scout can really be a thrill when you grab a fistful and try to twist it off.

The 69 cubic-inch (1,133 c) engine is the real showpiece for the Scout and no less so the 60 cubic-incher for the Scout Sixty. Modern through and through, Indian engineers reached for connections to its roots through a design that hints at the old pushrod engines from back in the day. The liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-twin comes with a sharp looking, chrome-on-black décor, but it is far from an “all show and no go” mill. It puts out 100 ponies and 72.2 pound-feet of torque, but being a short-stroke engine, you have to wind it up to 5,900 rpm to get the full grunt out of it. Still, you get a pretty good roll-on once you are up into the powerband, and the Scout can really be a thrill when you grab a fistful and try to twist it off.

While the design emulates the look of pushrod tubes, they are a lie; the truth hides in the rocker boxes where dual overhead cams actuate four valves per cylinder. A big, 60 mm throttle body with closed-loop fuel injection feeds the beast, and the split dual exhaust carries off waste gasses with a pleasing note. The primary drive uses gears, instead of a chain, to connect engine to clutch, and a six-speed, sliding-mesh tranny sends power to the rear wheel via a fiber-reinforced belt drive.

In addition to the 69 cubic-inch (1,130 cc) engine, Indian also designed a smaller displacement mill to plug into the Scout chassis and presented it as the new-in-2016 Scout Sixty. The factory bumped the displacement down to an even 61 cubic-inches (999.6 cc), a move that allows it to drop the price and open up the mid-size U.S. cruiser market to a wider customer base.

Much like its big brother, the smaller engine uses fuel injection and water cooling to manage the V-twin mill, and follows the same aesthetics with faux pushrod tubes on blackout jugs, heads and cases. Performance numbers are acceptable, and the Sixty engine cranks out 65 pound-feet of torque at 5,800 rpm — not bad for a bike that weighs in around 550 pounds.

Model:ScoutScout Sixty
Engine: Liquid-Cooled V-Twin Liquid-Cooled V-Twin
Displacement: 69 cu in 60 cu in
Horsepower: 100 hp (74.7 kW) 78 hp(58.2 kW)
Peak Torque: 72 ft-lbs (97.7 Nm) 65 ft-lbs (88.8 Nm)
Peak Torque RPM: 6000 rpm 5800 rpm

Pricing

2016 - 2018 Indian Motorcycle Scout / Scout Sixty
- image 662168
Priced nearly the same as last year, the Scout and Scout Sixty come with very nice paint choices.

MSRP on the 2018 Indian Scout is $11,499 — just a couple of bills over last year — for Thunder Black which does not come with ABS. Colors will run you $11,999 without ABS or $12,499 with it, and two-tones, which all have ABS, go for $12,999. The Scout Sixty comes in a little more affordable at $8,999 with Perl White going for $9,299. ABS adds $700 to the bill. The two-tone choice comes with ABS and will set you back $10,499. Indian covers your Scout with a two-year limited warranty providing that your warranty was registered at the time of purchase. If you don’t register with Indian, you’ll be SOL on warranty work.

Model:ScoutScout Sixty
Color / Graphics:
2017: Thunder Black, Ivory Cream, Thunder Black Smoke, Silver Smoke, Burgundy Metallic, Brilliant Blue, White & Red, Indian Motorcycle® Red over Thunder Black Thunder Black, Pearl White, Indian Motorcycle® Red
2018: Thunder Black, Metallic Jade, Burgundy Metallic, Brilliant Blue over White, Willow Green over Ivory Cream Thunder Black, Polished Bronze, Indian Motorcycle® Red, Thunder Black over Titanium Metallic
Price:
2017: $11,299, Color: $11,500 (ABS:$12,299), Two-Tone: $12,899 $8,999, Color: $9,299 (ABS: $9,999), Two-Tone: $10,599
2018: $11,499, Color: $11,999 (ABS: $12,499), Two-Tone: $12,999 $8,999, Color: $9,499 (ABS: $9,999), Two-Tone: $10,499

Competitors

2016 - 2018 Indian Motorcycle Scout / Scout Sixty
- image 645682
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Once you get up around 4,200 rpm, you'll feel like you have a tiger by the tail, but on the low end of the range, the 1200 has it all over.

Going head-to-head with the Scout, I’m looking at the 1200 Custom from Harley Davidson. The 1200 has a slightly bigger engine, but not so much so that it knocks it out of the apple crate.

Torque-wise, the two bikes are close — 71 pound-feet for the 1200 and 72 pound-feet for the Scout — but maximum grunt on the Harley comes on a full 2,400 rpm sooner. Don’t get me wrong, the Scout is torquey; but you have to wind it up to find it. Once you get up around 4,200 rpm, you’ll feel like you have a tiger by the tail, but on the low end of the range, the 1200 has it all over.

Both bikes roll on 16-inch wheels with a fat, 130-series tire up front and a 150 in the rear and both bikes have more-than-average steering rake — 29 degrees for the Scout and 30 degrees for the 1200 Custom — to take full advantage of that cruiser-style fat front rubber. Brakes are also comparable and ABS is available on some of the Scouts.

If you love the curvy roads — and who doesn’t — the Scout lets you take a more aggressive approach with a 31-degree lean both left and right. The 1200 Custom is a bit more reserved with 26 degrees right and 28 degrees left.

There is no clear winner here and there are all sorts of other things to consider when choosing between the two. In the end, it’ll come down to personal preference and what your priorities are. Price won’t be a deciding factor since the Scout will set you back $11,499 and the 1200 Custom squeaks in a little less at $10,889.

He Said

My husband and fellow writer, TJ Hinton, says, “I like the direction Indian is headed under the Polaris umbrella, and the Scout is a good example of what its engineers can do. While the Scout name is nothing new for Indian — far from it — this latest generation really moves the company out of the past and into the now. Notice I didn’t say ’future’, ’cause it still pays homage to its past without appearing to try too hard to be said past.”

She Said

My biggest complaint about the Scout in prior years was things that wobbled — namely the mirrors and turn signals. Both are annoying when you have to constantly readjust them while you are riding. I wasn’t able to tell if that’s been addressed. This isn’t a typical cruiser with lots of low-end torque; but then, it’s kinda-sorta not exactly a cruiser in my book. Two complaints I’ve heard from others are the lack of engine braking and there’s a whole Goldilocks thing going on in the suspension. The front end is too soft and the rear end is too hard. In order to get it just right, fiddle with the rear adjusters and check out aftermarket options for the front."

Specifications

Model:ScoutScout Sixty
Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Liquid-Cooled V-Twin Liquid-Cooled V-Twin
Displacement: 69 cu in 60 cu in
Electronic Fuel Injection System: Closed loop fuel injection / 60 mm bore Closed loop fuel injection / 54 mm bore
Primary Drive: Gear Drive Wet Clutch Gear Drive Wet Clutch
Final Drive: 2.357 : 1 2.357 : 1
Performance:
Horsepower: 100 hp (74.7 kW) 78 hp(58.2 kW)
Peak Torque: 72 ft-lbs (97.7 Nm) 65 ft-lbs (88.8 Nm)
Peak Torque RPM: 6000 rpm 5800 rpm
Gear Ratio (Overall):
1st: 10.926 : 1 10.926 : 1
2nd: 7.427 : 1 7.427 : 1
3rd: 5.918 : 1 5.918 : 1
4th: 5.022 : 1 5.022 : 1
5th: 4.439 : 1 4.087:1
6th: 4.087 : 1
Suspension:
Suspension: Front - Type/Travel: Telescopic Fork / 4.7 in (120 mm) – Cartridge Type Telescopic Fork / 4.7 in (120 mm)
Suspension: Rear - Type/Travel: Dual Shocks / 3.0 in (76 mm) Dual Shocks / 3.0 in (76 mm)
Chassis:
Brakes/Front: Single / 298 mm Rotor / 2 Piston Caliper Single / 298 mm Rotor / 2 Piston Caliper
Brakes/Rear: Single / 298 mm Rotor / 1 Piston Caliper Single / 298 mm Rotor / 1 Piston Caliper
Wheels/Front: Cast 16 in x 3.5 in Cast 16 in x 3.5 in
Wheels/Rear: Cast 16 in x 3.5 in Cast 16 in x 3.5 in
Tires/Front: 130/90B16 67H 130/90B-16 72H
Tires/Rear: 150/80B16 77H 150/80B-16 71H
Exhaust: Split Dual Exhaust w/ Cross-over Split Dual Exhaust w/ Cross-over
Dimensions:
Wheelbase: 61.5 in (1562 mm) 61.5 in (1562 mm)
Seat Height: 25.3 in (643 mm) 25.3 in (643 mm)
Ground Clearance: 5.3 in (135 mm) 5.3 in (135 mm)
Overall Height: 47.5 in (1207 mm) 47.5 in (1207 mm)
Overall Length: 91 in (2311 mm) 91 in (2311 mm)
Overall Width: 34.6 in (880 mm) 34.6 in (880 mm)
Rake: 29° 29°
Lean Angle: 31° 31°
Trail: 4.7 in (119.9 mm) 4.7 in (119.9 mm)
Fuel Capacity: 3.3 gal (12.5 l) 3.3 gal (12.5 l)
GVWR: 988 lbs (449 kg) 988 lbs (449 kg)
Weight (Empty Tank / Full of Fuel): 528 lbs / 550 lbs (239 kg / 249 kg) 524 lbs / 546 lbs (238 kg / 248 kg)
Electrical:
Lights: Headlight, tail/brake light, turn signals, license plate light, and speedometer and indicator lights Headlight, tail/brake light, turn signals, license plate light, and speedometer and indicator lights
Gauges: Digital tachometer, odometer, trip meter, engine temp, and low fuel lamp Digital tachometer, odometer, trip meter, engine temp, and low fuel lamp
Details:
Color / Graphics:
2016: Thunder Black, Silver Smoke, Thunder Black Smoke, Wildfire Red, Indian Red Thunder Black, Indian Motorcycle Red®, Pearl White
2017: Thunder Black, Ivory Cream, Thunder Black Smoke, Silver Smoke, Burgundy Metallic, Brilliant Blue, White & Red, Indian Motorcycle® Red over Thunder Black Thunder Black, Pearl White, Indian Motorcycle® Red
2018: Thunder Black, Metallic Jade, Burgundy Metallic, Brilliant Blue over White, Willow Green over Ivory Cream Thunder Black, Polished Bronze, Indian Motorcycle® Red, Thunder Black over Titanium Metallic
Price:
2017: $11,299, Color: $11,500 (ABS:$12,299), Two-Tone: $12,899 $8,999, Color: $9,299 (ABS: $9,999), Two-Tone: $10,599
2018: $11,499, Color: $11,999 (ABS: $12,499), Two-Tone: $12,999 $8,999, Color: $9,499 (ABS: $9,999), Two-Tone: $10,499

References

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See our review of the Harley-Davidson 1200 Custom.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: indianmotorcycle.com, harley-davidson.com

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