The Indian Scout is now more accessible, as it comes with a smaller engine. We ride it from Mumbai to Delhi to see if this middleweight cruiser still has what it takes to stay true to the legend.
Ever since Indian Motorcycles was re-launched into the world, it’s been making waves in the big cruiser market with their legendary Indian Chief and subsequent releases. However, the one that received the most praise from the international media was definitely the Scout. We rode the iconic Scout last year, and it certainly left a lasting impression. Build quality and design is impeccable and the engine performance is outright ‘wicked.’ Now, the Scout gets a slightly smaller engine to broaden its appeal further.
The Scout comes fitted with a 69 cubic inch (1,131cc) engine, but this new variant gets a 60 cubic inch (983cc) motor – hence the name, Scout Sixty. Pretty much everything in the Scout Sixty is identical to the Scout, except for the new engine and transmission. It now gets 78bhp and 88Nm of torque transferred by belt via a new 5-speed transmission.
In the looks department, there’s no difference at all. The same classic styling is purposely infused into the bike. Both Scout models have cut-down fenders, and also come without the iconic fender-mounted war bonnet. Even the speedometer has a decidedly vintage dial, and instrumentation is basic. But, still, the Scout is an Indian in all the right places. We had a slightly customised version though, with a new seat and leather bags that certainly added a lot of character to the bike. But, the question we’re trying to answer is whether or not the Scout Sixty is as exhilarating to ride as its older brother?
The simple answer is yes. While the smaller engine might not provide you with the same frightening level of acceleration as the Scout, it’s still got more than enough pulling power to have you holding on tightly to the handlebars. The Scout Sixty also has much better power figures than its rivals, such as the Harley Davidson Iron 883, and the Triumph Street Twin – and even bigger rivals like the Bonneville T120. Refinement levels are also top notch, as expected. The throttle always respects your command, and you need only twist it slightly to get the full effect of the engine’s seamless power delivery. Low-end torque is also always available and highly appreciated. In fact, the engineering that has gone into the entire Indian line up is deserving of high praise.
Since it’s a middleweight cruiser, the Scout Sixty, just like the bigger Scout, does seem a little tight for room – and it’s certainly not the most comfortable for long rides. The riding position is nice, with minimum weight stress on your arms. But the seat isn’t very comfortable, and legroom is cramped for tall riders. I rode the Scout Sixty from Mumbai all the way to Delhi, and encountered some phenomenal roads. However, even on the smallest bumps, the stiff suspension wasn’t exactly comfortable.
But, when it comes to handling, the Scout Sixty performs with extraordinary confidence. What the Scout Sixty lacks in comfort, it certainly makes up for in its handling and overall performance. It might have a cruiser body design, but it behaves like an outright sports bike. The front-end feels light and you have a fairly good lean angle before you scrape the footpegs. It’s so nimble and quick that your riding style can easily become more aggressive, because the Scout Sixty inspires you to lean into corners.
[caption id="attachment_84509" align="alignleft" width="642"] Cruising on the Indian Scout Sixty is a beautiful experience and the classic feel of the bike is thorougly enjoyed while on the open road.[/caption]
On the highway, it’s always calm and composed. But, because it gets a 5-speed transmission, unlike the 6-speed in the Scout, it does feel ‘viby’ when you get into very high speeds. But, after riding the bike for more than 1,500 kilometres, the engine proved to be very smooth and very manageable – yet still exciting!
With a tank capacity of 12.5 litres, I managed to cover a distance of around 200 kilometres before refuelling – which isn’t too bad. The brakes (with ABS) also worked very well, as the 298mm discs do the job perfectly.
The Scout Sixty certainly lives up to its namesake, and it carries the same race inspired character as the original Scout. And, of course, it looks gorgeous. It’s priced much higher than all of its competitors, but that’s only because you’re getting what is likely the highest quality, best looking, and best performing middleweight cruiser available in the world today.
- Indian Scout Sixty
Engine: 983cc / V-Twin / Liquid Cooled
Power: 78bhp @ 7,300rpm
Torque: 88Nm @ 5,800rpm
Transmission: 5-Speed manual
Price: Rs. 11.99 Lakhs (Ex-showroom, Mumbai)
X-Factor: Premium quality, exhilarating performance and sports bike handling all rolled into the most beautiful cruiser body design.
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