Yamaha XT660 and Ducati Multsistrada Enduro
Indian Scout Sixty, £8999
I love cruisers. Stripped, low and meanlooking things. They’re the only bikes on which you can get away with an open face lid. Imagine cruising down a long road in sunny Southern California, warm air rushing over you as your T-shirt whips against your back. Now that’s cool. The problem with this scenario is that you need to be on a straight road… in Southern California. Plonk it in Peterborough on a wet and grey afternoon and the magic disappears.
I didn’t want the Scout Sixty to get caked in muck and ruin its gorgeous non-standard white wall Avon tyres; it’ll lose its charm. I also don’t have much confidence in its balloon Avons as I rail round greasy, damp corners. The main problem is this: unlike the bikes I like to ride there’s nothing practical about it. It’s a pretty thing for straight lines and to look and feel cool on. It just doesn’t work in winter, or as an everyday bike.
Now take an adventure bike, something I’m more accustomed to, that’s actually built to look muddy, is happy on any road, that you can chuck as much luggage on as possible and go anywhere and do anything. That being said, I still love cruisers (at the right time and in the right place), and while I wouldn’t choose to ride one every day, if I had to then the Scout Sixty would be top of my list. It handles better than it should for a feet-forward machine. It’s surprisingly light, easy to push around and has a comfy, cupped riding position. The twin-shock rear will take on little pot holes, anything more and your back will get a whack, but overall the Sixty holds its composure when cornering. Even though it’s technically an entry level cruiser, it has plenty of power and enough low- down torque to pump out of corners for spirited riding. The Scout Sixty is an accomplished, wellbuilt cruiser and while I like it here, I’d love it in America.
‘Plonk it in Peterborough on a grey day and the magic disappears’
‘Which way is it to Southern California?’