Indian Scout Middleweight title fight looms
: OLD BIKE AUSTRALASIA
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