Indian Motorcycle has been around, on and off, for more than 115 years -- first rumbling into existence in 1901, with the company conceived on the back of an opportunity to build gasoline-powered bicycles.
The 2018 Indian Scout is a faith healer
That original incarnation of the brand closed its doors in 1953, but not before building the first V-twin factory race bike in 1907, and making its 39-ci (633 cc), 42-degree V-twin the first American V-twin production motorcycle engine ever made.
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Fast-forward to 2011 via a myriad of failed attempts to resurrect the once prestigious brand, with the purchase of the company by Polaris Industries, the parent company of Victory Motorcycles.
Polaris have gone on to revolutionise the brand and restore it to its former glory -- and the 2018 Indian Scout is no exception.
The 60-degree V-twin has a very distinct note and is throaty throughout the gear range. When coupled with a claimed 100 horsepower (74.7 kW) from the liquid-cooled engine, you get the feeling there is always more on offer when cracking the throttle.
The Scout’s acceleration is crisp, smooth and extremely responsive to the slightest inputs. It has a 6-speed gearbox, which delivers silky smooth changes and does not suffer from severe clunks when engaging first gear or shifting from first to second.
The clutch may feel a little heavy in stop-start traffic, which could cause forearm pump over extend periods. The gears are tall, too. But by no means is this bike a slouch, nor will it labour.
It will leap into action when commanded and rev out to 9000rpm, while producing maximum torque of 97Nm at 5900rpm, so you won’t notice if carrying additional weight.There’s also ABS brakes to make it super safe when you need it most.
The 2018 Indian Scout has a single 298mm rotor and 2-piston caliper on the front, and the same size rotor with a single caliper to the rear, which will pull it up comfortably. The engine braking is fantastic here, too.
The belt drive makes the mid-sized (254kg wet) Scout very quiet and smooth, and an absolute pleasure to ride. While the weight sounds heavy, it’s easy to manage thanks to the low centre of gravity and great balance across the bike.
It has a very comfortable riding position, and a well-balanced lightweight frame that turns in easily with very little input on the bars. The Pirelli tyres do an excellent job at holding the line.
On occasion you may find yourself dragging a peg or two, one of the few downsides to the bike, and we were told this can be improved slightly by removing the hero screws.
Overall, the Scout we tested had a classic retro look, with its colour scheme of willow green, ivory cream and tan trim for the seats. It was fitted with a factory sissy bar, which gives your pillion passenger additional comfort, or somewhere to hitch your luggage.
The standard wheels are black cast alloy, which look smart, and there are a great selection of accessories available to customise your machine.
Likewise, the black engine block and chrome finishes to the head covers, crankcase and the chrome, stage-one pipes added to the massive street appeal of this motorcycle. It turned heads everywhere we went.
It has a single retro analogue speedometer, which comes with digital display showing tachometer, gear position, trip meter, engine temp, voltmeter, low-fuel lamp and time, which you can toggle through easily on the move.
There is so much to say about this bike that we could easily go on and on, but if you are looking for a bike that will have you grinning every weekend, as well as being an awesome daily rider, then it’s hard to go past the new Indian Scout.
Indian Motorcycle has put together a great product, with exceptional finishes. Other colours in the range include Thunder Black, Blue on White, and Metallic Burgundy. It’s priced from $19,995 for the base model, depending on your colour selection.
As an aside, we rode the 2018 Indian Scout as part of the Indian Motorcycle Weekend Escape program.
The idea behind it is that the brand knows a ride around the block just doesn’t cut it when it comes to test rides. Instead, it offers the chance to take a bike out on the road for two days, riding the highways, byways and back roads of Australia.
Available in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne or Perth, the Weekend Escape gives you a bike, a tank of fuel and a $150 hotel voucher for select accommodation, chosen by Indian Motorcycle.
To find out more about the 2018 Indian Scout, your local Indian Motorcycle dealer.