Review : Indian Scout Bobber (2017)

Indian has cleverly mixed old-school bobber styling and modern-day performance, with refinement and a healthy splash of the American dream. Short travel suspension is crashy over bumps, ground clearance limited and the riding position might not be great for everyone’s back, but the new Scout Bobber has a jewel like motor, feel good handling and impeccable build quality.

 

 

Specifications

General information
Model: Indian Scout Bobber
Year: 2017
Category: Cruiser
Engine and transmission
Displacement: 1133.00 ccm (69.14 cubic inches)
Engine type: V2, four-stroke
Torque: 97.00 Nm (9.9 kgf-m or 71.5 ft.lbs) @ 5600 RPM
Compression: 10.7:1
Bore x stroke: 99.0 x 73.6 mm (3.9 x 2.9 inches)
Fuel system: Injection. Closed Loop Sequential Port Fuel Injection
Cooling system: Liquid
Gearbox: 6-speed
Transmission type, final drive: Belt
Clutch: Wet
Exhaust system: Split dual exhaust with crossover
Chassis, suspension, brakes and wheels
Rake (fork angle): 29.0°
Trail: 120 mm (4.7 inches)
Front suspension: Telescopic fork
Front wheel travel: 120 mm (4.7 inches)
Rear suspension: Dual shock
Rear wheel travel: 76 mm (3.0 inches)
Front tyre: 130/90-16
Rear tyre: 150/80-16
Front brakes: Single disc. Optional ABS. Two-piston calipers.
Front brakes diameter: 298 mm (11.7 inches)
Rear brakes: Single disc. Optional ABS. Single-piston caliper.
Rear brakes diameter: 298 mm (11.7 inches)
Seat: Leather
Physical measures and capacities
Dry weight: 245.0 kg (540.1 pounds)
Weight incl. oil, gas, etc: 255.0 kg (562.2 pounds)
Seat height: 649 mm (25.6 inches) If adjustable, lowest setting.
Overall height: 1,154 mm (45.4 inches)
Overall length: 2,276 mm (89.6 inches)
Overall width: 926 mm (36.5 inches)
Ground clearance: 123 mm (4.8 inches)
Wheelbase: 1,562 mm (61.5 inches)
Fuel capacity: 12.50 litres (3.30 gallons)
Other specifications
Color options: Indian Red, Thunder Black, Smoke Black, Polished Bronze, Silver
Starter: Electric
Instruments: Digital tachometer, odometer, trip meter, engine temp, and low fuel lamp
Light: Headlight, tail/brake light, turn signals, license plate light, and speedometer and indicator lights
Factory warranty: 2 years

 

Ride Quality & Brakes

Copied from MCN, you only have to look at the pictures to see the Scout Bobber isn’t exactly tall, so it’s easy to get your feet down when you’re stopped, which will be music to the ears of newer riders and those short in the turn up. It might weigh a touring bike like 255 kg, full of fuel, but it carries its weight well, even when you’re creeping along in slow traffic. There’s plenty of legroom for a six foot rider like me and the new brown stitched leather seat is comfy enough for a Sunday morning coffee run.

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But while the new bar position makes sense when you’re riding hard, it forces you into a hunched, round-shouldered, back aching stoop when you’re not, which takes its toll after a few hours. Spine relief comes at higher speed when windblast on your chest props you up and takes the pressure off your back.

The Bobber Scout has the minerals to deal with the corners when they come rushing up. It stops, handles and grips with barely believable poise and light turning precision. Modest ground clearance is the only barrier to how hard you can push the Indian’s taught, well-balanced chassis.

A single disc, twin piston front brake set-up has a surprising amount of power for a bike like this and the knobbly fashion rubber doesn’t lack grip or blunt the steering.

Ride quality is on the firm side of plush, so you feel the bumps on anything but pancake flat roads and with just 50mm of rear suspension travel the Scout Bobber crashes over big bumps, giving your back another kicking. But for gentle cruising and pottering around town the Indian floats along.

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Engine

Based on the American firm’s hugely popular liquid-cooled, 1133cc, 94bhp V-twin Scout cruiser, the motor remains unchanged in the Bobber. Blessed with bountiful torque and a syrupy-smooth spread of power it emits few vibes and has the kind of buttery pick-up from a closed throttle that most Euro 4 machines would die for. It’s a sign of the times that the exhausts wouldn’t wake a light sleeper, let alone the dead, but the motor has enough of a rumble to give the Scout Bobber oodles of Yankee charm.

Clutch, gearbox and throttle are light, accurate and a joy to use and the motor keeps pulling long after you think it’s going to run out of puff. Set the LCD digital display to show revs and you’ll discover that on the way to hitting the engine’s peak power at 8000rpm, the airbox induction raw deepens and it briefly morphs into a ground-hugging missile.

 

Build Quality & Reliability

With the might of a five-billion-a-year company behind it, the Polaris-made Indian is solidly built and well finished, as you’d expect.

 

Running Costs & Value

Indian’s main bobber rivals come in the shape of machines like Triumph’s superb Bonneville Bobber, Harley Davidson Forty-Eight, Moto Guzzi and Yamaha XV950. It’s more expensive than all of them, but it wins the “Top Trumps” power race and there’s no sign of corner-cutting when it comes to the quality of cycle parts and paint finish.

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Equipment

Hunkered down to the tarmac, Indian have reduced rear suspension travel by 26mm and for a more aggressive riding position they’ve moved the footpegs 38mm closer to the rider and fitted street track-style bars to place your beard more over the front end. There’s a new Indian tank badge and the frame, exhaust, headlight surround, handlebars, mirrors and even the face of the analogue/digital mix clock are all finished in a sultry satin black.

Mudguards (or ‘fenders’ as the American’s would have you call them) are chopped down and the rear is slimmer, showing off its chunky, balloon-shaped knobby 150/80 x 16 rear tyre (130/90 x 16 rubber lives up front).

As you would imagine there’s a huge array of Scout accessories to choose from, plus Bobber-specific items like a 16” Ape Handlebar Kit, wire wheels, a 1920s-style solo seat, tank pouch, pillion seat, saddle bags, rack and rack bag. Dangling bar-end mirrors look the part but are next to useless. Stick to the standard items if you want to see where you’ve just been.

 

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Indian has cleverly mixed old-school bobber styling and modern-day performance.

SaveSave

Indian Scout Bobber

8

Ride Quality & Brakes

6.0/10

Engine

8.0/10

Build Quality & Reliability

10.0/10

Running Costs & Value

8.0/10

Equipment

8.0/10

 



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