In­dian Scout Mid­dleweight ti­tle fight looms

Old Bike Australasia - - INDIAN SCOUT - Test Jim Scays­brook Pho­tos Gold & Goose


In a world where care­fully ma­nip­u­lated me­dia leaks and teasers are the norm, at least when it comes to new mo­tor ve­hi­cles, In­dian com­pletely re­versed the process by stun­ning ev­ery­one at the re­cent Stur­gis Rally in South Dakota with its all-new Scout.

What made the re­lease even more news­wor­thy is that a scant twelve months have passed since In­dian’s come­back un­der Po­laris own­er­ship with the highly-an­tic­i­pated and well­re­ceived Chief. It would have been rea­son­able to ex­pect Po­laris/In­dian to sit back for a while and let the flag­ship model set­tle in, at the same time con­sol­i­dat­ing its dealer net­work and or­gan­is­ing the all im­por­tant mer­chan­dise range that ac­com­pa­nies the brand. In­stead, what we have is a 100% new model that shares not a sin­gle com­po­nent with its big brother.

In­dian call the Scout ‘mid sized’, which is a lit­tle cu­ri­ous con­sid­er­ing that it dis­places 1133cc. It wasn’t that long ago that ‘mid sized’ was a term ap­plied to 650s or maybe 750s, but the rea­son­ing be­hind this po­si­tion­ing is that the Scout is only a lit­tle over half the ca­pac­ity of the Chief. And of course, what is squarely in the cross hairs here is Har­ley-David­son’s popular 1200 Sport­ster – king pin in a mar­ket that In­dian wants a chunk of and is on the march to in­fil­trate deeply. Com­par­ing spec­i­fi­ca­tions to its ri­val, the Scout boasts some im­pres­sive cre­den­tials, like 100 hp ver­sus 68 for the Har­ley, a 6 speed in­stead of a 5 speed ‘box, 253kg against 263 and a ride-away price of $17,995, or $775 cheaper than the Mil­wau­kee prod­uct.

While a few se­lect Euro­pean and Amer­i­can jounos had the op­por­tu­nity to briefly sam­ple the new Scout at Stur­gis in Au­gust, late Novem­ber marked the of­fi­cial me­dia launch, and the venue se­lected for scribes from Asia, Aus­trala­sia, Latin Amer­ica and a few other re­gions was New Zealand, which is not that sur­pris­ing when you con­sider that a cer­tain Burt Munro did quite a bit to keep the In­dian brand top of mind long after the last In­dian had been built in 1953.

Sty­ing wise, the new Scout dips its lid to its pre­de­ces­sor from the ‘twen­ties in many ways, but in re­al­ity it is the most up-to-date and

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