On Monday we got a look at the new 2015 Indian Scout, Polaris' shot across the Sportster 1200's bow. Editor Zach Bowman—no cruiser enthusiast by a long shot—was in Sturgis, and sampled the Scout. This is what he discovered about the new un-cruiser.
The engine is so good I want to hug it...
Parent company Polaris gave Indian free reign to clean-sheet the new Scout. As a result, the bike uses a proprietary 1133cc liquid cooled, fuel-injected V-twin good for 100 horsepower and 72 lb-ft of torque. It will wrap to 5900 rpm in a lush swell, and there's no godawful lope or limb-numbing vibration—just clean, smooth revs for days. A big, heavy flywheel makes the bike easy on new riders, and all that torque down low means you can roll out in second gear if you feel so inclined.Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
And it doesn't fall on its face in the upper octaves. Get the two cylinders thrashing and bike wants to just keep pulling. Drop a gear on the interstate, peg the throttle, and watch the speedometer swing right past the triple digits. Try not to laugh like a goon when you do it.
Get the two cylinders thrashing and bike wants to just keep pulling.
It's also beautiful. Designers resisted the urge to clad the engine in faux air-cooled fins. Instead, we get plenty of milled, exposed structural ribbing and a smattering of Indian script Easter eggs everywhere you look. Like the 111 in the 2014 Indian Chief, you could spend an hour staring at the engine and still not catch all the detail.
...and it's bolted to a solid six-speed gearbox
Indian gave the Scout a six-speed transmission with nice wide gearing. Second will take you well past 60 mph, and winding out third will spit you into super legal territory. Yeah, the extra power means it's hard to pick a bad gear, but the spacing makes the Scout want nothing more than to pull in nice long sprints. It's hard not to oblige at every opportunity.
Shifts are shockingly precise for a forward-control rig. The lever offers up a moderate throw without undue clunkiness, and I only missed gears when I was busy trying not to peel myself off the bike with the throttle. Likewise, the clutch is easy to modulate in stop-and-go city crawling.
About that riding position:
Indian says one third of mid-sized bike buyers have less than a year of riding experience, so the company set out to make the Scout as approachable as possible. Part of that recipe is a 25-inch seat height. With your butt a shave over two feet off the ground, there's only one place for your feet to go: up front.
I typically feel like a bent starfish on bikes with forward controls, but the Scout rides more forward/standard. It takes less than 10 minutes of saddle time to get cozy. While I'd still prefer the pegs beneath me like the good lord intended, I never found myself uncomfortable or out of sorts over the course of a couple hundred miles.
Damn if it's not a looker
Polaris has a pretty good idea of what makes an Indian an Indian, and for the Scout, that meant paying homage to the original 1920 bike. Designers gave the machine a hard tail appearance by laying the rear shocks over at an aggressive angle, and details like gloss black wheels, a black headlight bucket, tan saddle, and forward-canted tank are all subtle tips of the hat to the original, while the full fenders and engine treatments are more obvious nods.
Indian's working hard to position itself as a premium manufacturer, and tricks like the gorgeous leather seat help the bike feel worth its $10,999 price tag. It's a sharp bike sitting still or tearing through the hills. Expect to be able to choose between four colors at launch, including the gloss red seen here, gloss black, and two matte finishes: silver and black. There isn't a sour choice among them.
It's a hell-raiser at heart
Soaking wet and ready to ride, the Scout weighs in at 558 lbs. That's not sport bike weight, but it's enough to make the machine the lightest in its class. All those pounds are good and low, too. Engineers used a two-piece aluminum frame married by a steel tube up top and the crankcase at the bottom, which means the heaviest part of the bike, the engine, is as close the ground as possible.
I typically feel like a bent starfish on bikes with forward controls.
That low center of gravity builds your confidence with a quickness. Throw in fairly stiff springs and you've got a bike that encourages you to push a little harder. Despite a meaty 130 series front tire, the steering isn't heavy enough to ever be in your way. It's a good combination.
This bike's happy to bark through traffic and hound Harleys up and down every crest in the Black Hills. Brake late, dive in, drag a peg, and let that brilliant engine gallop you out the other side. It's like taking the quiet older guy in your office out for a drink and discovering he has a penchant for tequila and tattoos from Thailand all over his chest from his time in the Army.
Ripping past a long line of big Harley baggers on a twisting two lane snaking up from Nemo, I get the feeling that maybe this thing's doing more than cashing in on a legendary name. We know and love the Scout because it spent the better part of a century kicking in doors, starting fights, and leaving with a pocketful of someone else's teeth. This new bike isn't the all-out brawler that came before it, but it's got it's poppa's lock-busting boots in the closet, just in case.
Source : http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/first-drives/reviews/a6339/5-things-i-learned-riding-the-2015-indian-scout/