As part of a new #MyIndianMotorcycle series, Nineteen01 will be interviewing Indian Motorcycle owners from across the UK and Ireland to find out about them and their machines.
“It was a real Cinderella moment - like when she puts on the glass slipper and it’s the perfect fit.”, explains Kate Fleming, aka Indian_Kate. And ever since that fateful meeting between her and her Scout, Burt, at Alba Customs in May 2019, they’ve built quite the relationship.
“I have to admit, riding didn’t come naturally to me at first as I was learning, but I’m determined and didn’t want to decide whether it was something I wanted to progress until I had tried it properly. I was learning on a 50cc scooter and it wasn’t until I sat on a Scout that I knew I wanted to keep going - it was very much my motivation.
“Since passing my test, I’ve done an advanced riding course with the Institute of Advanced Motorists which has been great for my confidence levels.”
Before passing her test, Kate hadn’t heard of Indian Motorcycle but the more she learnt about the brand, the more she realised it was the one for her.
“Like most new riders, I went around different dealerships to work out what I liked and tried out a lot of different bikes - but none of them gave me the same feeling as the Scout had. The more I looked into the Indian Motorcycle brand, the more I fell in love with it. The whole heritage and history is something that really appealed to me.”
As well as trying out the Scout for size, Kate’s film viewing choices helped her decision.
“I watched the world’s fastest Indian and I loved Burt Munro and how he just had so much fun in life - there should be more of that. That’s why when I got my Scout, I called him Burt.”
Burt - the Scout - has now become a regular feature on Kate’s Instagram account and the Indian Motorcycle Riders Group on Facebook, with others becoming invested in the partnership.
“Last year, I took an FTR for a test ride and it got a great reaction. It was really funny as Burt was a character and we ended up creating a series of photos telling the story of me ‘cheating’ on him. People took it and ran with it. We released the pictures during lockdown last year that we had pre-shot, so it was nice to be able to bring a little bit of a smile to people during what was a difficult time for some.”
But there’s only one bike that truly has Kate’s heart and that’s her Scout.
“I love the retro styling and the spirit of him as he is. I’ve done a few modifications but nothing too major.”
Like many, it’s the freedom offered by riding which Kate loves.
“Riding just makes you feel free. I love it. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had the most horrendous day at work, by the time you’ve ridden round the corner, your head and soul are reset. There are so many rides that I love but there’s one afternoon that really sticks out for me. My favourite road is from Gifford to Duns road. There’s a bakery in an old saw mill and a ford. The sun was shining, the smell from the bakery was amazing and I sat with my feet in the river. It was so quiet and magical. It was one of my favourite afternoons in the world, ever.”
Once lockdown has been lifted and Kate and Burt are able to get back out on their adventures together again, Kate has some plans.
“The North Coast 500 is on the cards and I’m looking at booking a holiday in Spain and riding over there for five days. It will be my first proper road trip!”
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Photo credit: Kate Fleming (IG: Indian_Kate)