In its centenary celebrations, Indian Motorcycle’s Scout model has a rich and diverse history - from military use in WW2, to world speed records, flat track racing, and of course the bike of choice for many a wall of death daredevil; you name it, the Scout has been there and done it.
Fast-forward to the present day and this lineage is still clear to see, with robust technology still at the heart of Scout, thanks to a liquid-cooled, fuel injected 60-degree V-Twin engine. Divided by style and engine capacity in the modern era, the Scout family now offers no-less than six variants, including: Scout Sixty, Scout Bobber Sixty, Scout, Scout 100th Anniversary Edition, Scout Bobber and Scout Bobber Twenty. There’s a Scout for everyone with styling and clear references relating back to that very first model.
Let’s take a look at some of the ‘milestone’ models over the last 100 years…
Originally designed by Irish engineer and premier motorcycle racer Charles B Franklin, who campaigned Indian’s early motorcycle models at Brooklands and Isle of Man TT, the 1920 G-20 Scout was a ground-breaking design. It featured an all-new 610cc side-valve V-twin engine, a geared primary direct-drive to the three speed gearbox and leaf spring trailing-arm forks. The G-20 Scout was immortalised by the film the ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ after New Zealander Burt Munro’s heavily modified 1920 Scout smashed all records at Bonneville on 26 August 1967: Setting an under 1,000 cc class record of 183.586 mph.
In 1928 a new 45 cubic inch version of the Scout around a completely new frame was launched - Charles Franklin’s 101 Scout. Faster handling and easier to ride than the 1920 Scout, the 101 featured a powerful 750cc V-twin motor combined with a longer wheelbase, lower seat and increased rake. The 101 Scout had superior ergonomics over competitor machines of the time, so soon became the machine of choice for racers and daredevils on the Wall of Death.
1934 SPORT SCOUT
Ownership of Indian Motorcycle had moved to the DuPont family in the early 1930s due to the decline of the business in America’s great depression. The Sport Scout was introduced in 1934, with a new two-piece lightweight frame that was stiffer than the old 101, lightweight alloy cylinder heads, girder forks and improved carburettors were also the order of the day. Late 30’s models began to feature full skirt fenders, a style that became a lasting trademark for the brand. The Sport Scout went on to win the first ever Daytona 200 in 1937.
741b MILITARY SCOUT
In 1941 a detuned military grade version of the Scout was created. Around 30,000 were supplied to British and British Commonwealth Forces, designed with extreme reliability and ease of maintenance by Allied Forces personnel, the 741b featured a low compression 500cc engine in a stressed member hard-tail frame. After the Second World War many of these machines were adopted by civilians across Europe and remain the most common Indian motorcycle model available to collectors - although finding examples with period correct military accessories is extremely rare.
648 ‘BIG BASE’ SCOUT
Indian returned to racing competition with the 648 ‘Big Base’ Sport Scout in 1948 and was the ultimate development of Indian’s flathead engine technology, with high-dome pistons carrying two compression rings and one oil ring. Just fifty were built for racing, winning the 1948 Daytona 200 with Floyd Emde in the saddle. The 648 is a lasting icon among American motorcycles and continued to win races in American Flat Track into the 1970s.
New company ownership reintroduced the V-Twin Scout model in 1999 making motorcycles under the Indian Motorcycle name in Gilroy, California. The Scout was powered by an air cooled 1442cc S&S Cycle engine. The machines made in this period are often referred to as ‘Gilroy Indians’, which were produced in limited numbers.
GUY MARTIN'S 'WALL OF DEATH' SCOUT
Thousands tuned-in to watch Guy Martin brave the steep wooden sides of the huge Wall of Death (with a 118m circumference). Guy achieved 70.33 mph on the Indian Scout. The bike he rode was specially prepared to be ‘Wall ready’ with the assistance of Wall of Death legend Ken Fox, by the team at Krazy Horse. Differences from the standard machine include Renthal handlebars, lay-back risers, modified lower frame struts to accommodate foot-plates, 18″ wheels, a shortened rear fender.
THE MODERN DAY SCOUT LINE-UP
Today’s Scout line-up is as diverse as ever, with a model to suit almost every need or want. With the centenary celebrations, came key feature upgrades across the range including floating rotors, new calipers and master cylinder, Pirelli MT60RS tyres. Here’s recap of each model in the range for 2020.
Having joined the lineup in 2015, the Scout Sixty packs a 999cc, liquid-cooled V-twin engine, pumping out 76 horsepower. While the design of the Scout Sixty is anchored in history, it features electronic fuel injection, ABS as standard and five speed transmission. As with the rest of the range, it’s evolved year on year, offering a lower weight, lower power option, that has also lent itself well to Flat Track use across Europe. The Scout Sixty is now available in a two-tone paint scheme too.
SCOUT BOBBER SIXTY
The most recent addition to the family, the Scout Bobber Sixty is a 999cc version of the popular 1200cc Scout Bobber. Powered by the same 78-horsepower engine as the Scout Sixty, with its stripped-back styling, blacked-out engine and all-new five-spoke black wheels, it delivers a mean look with a competitive on-the-road price of £9,995 - an attainable option for riders wanting Indian Motorcycle quality and craftsmanship with restricted licence options too.
The 2020 Scout is the honed result of the model’s year-on-year evolution since the new generation was revealed in August 2014. Derived from a clean sheet, the potent and precise middleweight cruiser carries forward that same spirit of innovation that made it one of the most storied bikes of all time. With its liquid-cooled 1133cc V-twin engine packing 94hp, compact design, low 643mm seat height, and ABS as standard, the Indian Scout is a truly accessible performer that will bring a smile to any rider’s face, every time.
SCOUT 100TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
As the name suggests, the Scout 100th Anniversary Edition pays homage to the 100-year legacy of the Scout. Limited to 750 machines around the globe, the limited-edition machine is inspired by the original Scout - with an Indian Motorcycle Red and Anniversary Gold trim paint scheme. Finishing touches include a tan leather solo seat, black wire wheels, beach bars, a luggage rack and chrome finishes.
SCOUT BOBBER TWENTY
Introduced to the Scout family at the same time as the 100th Anniversary Edition, the Scout Bobber Twenty was launched to celebrate the important 100 year milestone. Its design is specifically inspired by the original 1920 Scout with features such as wire wheels and a floating saddle. It’s old school bobber in style, but with modern day ergonomics and comfort! It’s equipped with ABS, 10” Ape Hanger handlebars and available in three colours.
Originally introduced to the range in 2017, the blacked-out Scout Bobber is a ‘no frills and all attitude’ machine. It has a slammed stance and aggressive styling, including chopped fenders, knobbly tyres and a purposeful peg position. Powered by a 69-cubic-inch, 1133-cc V-Twin with 6 speed transmission, it pumps out an impressive 94hp for plenty of passing power.
In March 2018, 177 gold and black Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Scout Bobbers were announced - all of which sold out in just ten minutes!
The Scout Bobber was also how the Baikal Mile competitor, Appaloosa v2.0 started life. Find out more about that adventure here.
The Indian Scout journey continues with more models than ever and a seamless blend of technology and heritage. Here’s to the next 100 years!
Be sure to check out the latest offers on the Indian Motorcycle website here.
Be sure to check out the latest offers on the Indian Motorcycle website here.