2015 Indian Scout Debuts in Sturgis

August 3, 2014
Bryan Harley
By Bryan Harley
Cruiser Editor |Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it’s chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to ‘Merican, he rides ‘em all.
Indian Motorcycle Co is once again stealing headlines in Sturgis. At a star-studded event Saturday night Indian unveiled the 2015 Indian Scout, inciting the crowd with claims of “100 horsepower” and “lightest in class.” With self-professed fan Mark Wahlberg in an Indian shirt and “Picker” Mike Wolfe promoting the unveiling, the company heralds the new Scout as the “first truly new Indian Scout in more than 70 years.”

As with the Thunder Stroke 111-powered Chiefs introduced last year, the engine of the 2015 Indian Scout is a focal point of the bike, its industrial design a combination of stamped cases and scrolled Indian insignias. The 69 cubic-inch V-Twin is liquid-cooled, with power numbers including the aforementioned 100 hp to go along with a claimed 72.2 lb-ft torque at 5900 rpm. Closed-loop fuel injection will feed Indian’s new proprietary V-Twin, its pistons putting the squeeze on fuel at a 10.7:1 compression ratio. The engine design helps give the Scout a signature look unlike any other cruiser currently on the market.

Indian used a cast aluminum frame for rigidity and weight savings. The external back shocks sit at almost a 45-degree angle and connect directly to the cast frame, as does the rear fender. Polaris Lead Industrial Designer Michael Song said getting the shocks to function at that extreme angle and location was one of the most challenging parts of the motorcycle. The adjustable rear shocks have a compact three inches of travel.

The counter-balanced engine is mated to a six-speed overdrive transmission. Final drive sees a carbon fiber belt spinning the 16-inch rear wheel, the black cast wheel wrapped in a relatively thin 150mm tire. While the 2015 Indian runs single 298mm rotors front and back, the rear has a single caliper to the front’s dual arrangement.

The 2015 Indian Chief sports a low seat height reported at 25.3-inches. We witnessed a young lady in the 5’5” range try on the tan leather seat for size, the ground within easy reach as were the tapered bars. The tank lends to the modern, industrial feel of the bike, but its logos are all heritage. The tank looks bigger than the 3.3 gallons it holds.

Two talking points that get us excited are its 558 pound claimed curb weight and its sticker price at a fraction under $11K. If its V-Twin can indeed produce 100 horsepower, the Scout should be able to get up and go. In comparison, a 2014 Harley Sportster 1200 Custom weighs a claimed 584 lbs and lists for $10,649.

The 2015 Indian Scout comes in Thunder Black, Indian Motorcycle Red, Silver Smoke (matte finish) and Thunder Black Smoke (matte finish) with an MSRP of $10,999. The first Scouts built under the direction of parent company Polaris are expected to be in dealerships late 2014.

As a special treat for those attending its Sturgis release, Charlie Ransom of The American Motor Drome Co. rode the 2015 Scout on the wooden planks of the Wall of Death. Ransom uses an Indian 101 Scout in his daredevil routine and demonstrated the new Scout’s capacity to execute the same maneuvers. The heavier bike sure shook the walls more than Ransom’s standard Scout, though. We heard that The American Motor Drome was set up for a couple weeks at Polaris HQ in Minnesota while Ransom familiarized himself with riding the new Scout inside the walls.

People attending the 2014 Sturgis Rally are invited to test ride the 2015 Indian Scout at the Indian Motorcycle Demo Experience on I-90 @ Exit 30 in Sturgis, South Dakota. Indian will be set up there through Saturday, August 9.