In­dian Scout Bob­ber

The In­dian Scout Bob­ber is the lat­est vari­ant of the ver­sa­tile Scout se­ries. Is it as ap­peal­ing as its el­der sib­ling? We find out

Bike India - - CONTENTS - STORY: RAVI CHAND­NANI PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: SANJAY RAIKAR

A bold new vari­ant of the Scout se­ries makes for a stylish and cred­i­ble 1,133-cc al­ter­na­tive

Fi­nally, in­dian Mo­tor­cy­cle have re­alised the po­ten­tial — or rather the grow­ing num­ber — of ‘Bob­ber’ mo­tor­cy­cles in the coun­try and this has re­sulted into the firm in­tro­duc­ing the Scout Bob­ber, a new vari­ant of the highly ver­sa­tile in­dian Scout. the Bob­ber prom­ises to turn heads and make a bold style state­ment, but will it be able to step into the shoes of its el­der sib­ling, the Scout? We spent a day with this black beauty to fathom its po­ten­tial.

First of all, the Bob­ber is not that dif­fer­ent from the stan­dard Scout. it is based on the same plat­form as the stan­dard bike and much of the wiz­ardry re­mains the same. of course, it has gone com­pletely black now. the front, side, and rear are all draped in the colour of stealth, giv­ing the Bob­ber a rather sin­is­ter look. there is ab­so­lutely no chrome on the bike, just some pol­ished alu­minium on the

cylinder-heads. the Bob­ber is like a shadow now, a re­ally cool shadow!

there are a few changes, of course; for, af­ter all, this is a new vari­ant, though these changes are lim­ited in num­ber. to be­gin with, the fend­ers are chopped, or ‘Bobbed’, to jus­tify the name. Flat­ter han­dle­bars and low­ered rear sus­pen­sion have re­duced the ride height of the Bob­ber, which adds to the au­then­tic­ity of the name. these dif­fer­ences have given the Scout a new avatar and it’s a good-look­ing one, even though much of the bike is still the same.

it has the same gas tank, front sus­pen­sion, frame, en­gine, ex­haust, and wheels. how­ever, the low­ered rear sus­pen­sion and the flat­ter han­dle­bars are the two changes that have made a big im­pact on the way you ride this new Scout. the seat­ing po­si­tion is dras­ti­cally dif­fer­ent; in­dian say that they have made it more ag­gres­sive by fit­ting the street-tracker style

han­dle­bars and by mov­ing the front pegs back by 38 mil­lime­tres. these two changes give the bike a more ag­gres­sive rid­ing po­si­tion, which is great news if you are go­ing to ride the bike like tom cruise in Mis­sion Im­pos­si­ble; how­ever, you will not be do­ing so at all times. and this is where the real prob­lem lies. My back started aching af­ter 15 min­utes in the sad­dle, which says a lot about how com­fort­able the Bob­ber is af­ter the changes.

the strange rid­ing po­si­tion is prob­a­bly the only chink in the Scout Bob­ber’s ar­mour as the rest of the things sim­ply fall in place like a jig­saw puz­zle. the Bob­ber’s 1,133-cc, liq­uid-cooled, v-twin is smooth as but­ter and re­fined. it pro­duces 94 PS and 97 nm of torque, which are de­liv­ered to the rear wheel via a su­per-smooth five-speed trans­mis­sion. the pow­er­train is prob­a­bly one of the best in the cruiser cat­e­gory as it is highly re­fined and the de­liv­ery is quite lin­ear. the ac­cel­er­a­tion is brisk and the fu­elling spot on, just as in the stan­dard Scout.

rid­ing the Bob­ber in town goes like a breeze; the bike is so well-bal­anced that you don’t feel the bulk once you get go­ing. it feels rel­a­tively easy to han­dle at low speeds, which is quite a good thing for a cruiser. there is so much torque, even at low rpm, that the bike sim­ply forges ahead with gusto. on the high­way, the en­gine re­ally comes alive, thanks to the bril­liant en­gi­neer­ing be­hind that 1.2-litre v-twin. the mo­ment you wring the throt­tle, the torque flows in a smooth and un­in­ter­rupted man­ner and the speedo nee­dle quickly climbs to triple-digit speeds. not just quick ac­cel­er­a­tion, the Bob­ber also cruises quite well at those triple-digit speeds on the high­way. the en­gine re­ally puts a smile on your face ow­ing to its ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

han­dling-wise, the Bob­ber is no dif­fer­ent from the stan­dard Scout… well, al­most. the well-bal­anced chas­sis al­lows you to

have fun on twisty moun­tain roads. throw it into a bend, and the Bob­ber will oblige, it will stick to the se­lected line like glue, giv­ing you the con­fi­dence to push harder round the next bend. the sus­pen­sion is set on the firmer side, which ham­pers the ride qual­ity a bit but then again it also lets you en­joy the cor­ners like no other non-in­dian cruiser does. the only lim­i­ta­tion the Bob­ber has is its low ground clear­ance, which sees you dig those peg feeler bolts in ev­ery time you ride hard on a twisty road. apart from that, the han­dling of the Bob­ber is flaw­less for a cruiser. it likes cor­ners, it turns in nicely and then grace­fully ex­its the cor­ner with­out any fuss.

over­all, i would say that the Scout Bob­ber is a bold new vari­ant from in­dian Mo­tor­cy­cle. it is styled ap­pro­pri­ately to rep­re­sent the Bob­ber genre, the en­gine is great, trans­mis­sion su­perb, and the chas­sis is well-en­gi­neered. these at­tributes make the Bob­ber a re­ally nice mo­tor­cy­cle. how­ever, the strange rid­ing po­si­tion and the re­sult­ing dis­com­fort is some­thing that i did not like. at rs 11.99 lakh (ex-show­room), the Bob­ber is just rs 70,500 less than the stan­dard Scout, but it gives you au­then­tic Bob­ber styling mixed with amaz­ing en­gi­neer­ing. So, if you are a fan of the genre, then the Bob­ber is for you; how­ever, if you want some­thing that is as bril­liant as the Bob­ber, but comes with more com­fort, then i would sug­gest you take a look at the stan­dard Scout.

The Scout Bob­ber is a bold new vari­ant from In­dian Mo­tor­cy­cle. It is styled ap­pro­pri­ately to rep­re­sent the Bob­ber genre

Street-tracker style han­dle­bars give the bike a more ag­gres­sive stance

1,133-cc V-twin is smooth, pow­er­ful, and ul­tra-re­fined

‘Bobbed’ rear fender with a lug­gage tray hints at prac­ti­cal­ity

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