When Polaris took over the operations of Indian Motorcycles, they literally revived the brand from the dark shallows of the abyss and created a niche for the brand worldwide. Since then, Indian motorcycles seems to have found its stronghold in India and has been swiftly introducing more products to its existing lineup. For its new instalment on the Scout platform, the Polaris owned manufacturer has launched the 2018 Indian Scout Bobber. A black-out minimalistic approach of the Scout platform ready to tear apart the asphalt.

The reason it is in existence is credited to the purists and enthusiasts who started building one from their Scouts. So the folks at Indian decided to capture the American way of the ‘30s and built this brutally beautiful factory custom bobber. It carries around the same panache and poise of the Scout and leaves no question of having a prominent place in the lineup of this historic brand. This could just as well be the bike you’ve been waiting for, and I cannot wait to decipher the logic behind this.


STYLING


Indian ScoutIndian Scout Bobber

Capturing the post was America of the 30s’, this Bobber has taken Indian Motorcycles to a realm outside their comfort zone that creates a mean looking menacing machine rather than a vintage charm on the motorcycles that seem to have come from bygone eras.

As aforementioned, this Bobber is a blacked-out and stripped down amalgamation of the mechanicals and stature of an Indian Scout. It gets updated with many cosmetic changes to give it a stealth outlook while blacking out just about everything including the wheels, the exhaust, the headlight shroud, the speedo, the mudguards – the list goes on.

jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber.jpg

In terms of overall design, the entire silhouette of the Scout Bobber completely resembles that of the standard Indian Scout, even the dimensions. But then, there are a number of minute but extravagant changes which separate it from its sibling. And when I say extravagant, it is not about adding jazziness but rather chopping off stuff and painting everything in black.

At the front, the regular round headlamp unit is now enclosed in a black nacelle just like the ones on the Chief range of motorcycles. Even the turn indicator housings are gone black along with the speedo unit. The swept back handlebar available on the Scout is replaced with black tracker handlebars with bar-end mirrors to give the bike a unique riding position. The cockpit is exceptionally tidy, and the instrument panel looks great with a combination of digital and analogue gauges and is also, of course, given a black treatment.

jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-6.jpgjpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-7.jpg

On to the sides, you can see the same teal-drop fuel tank getting a new bold Indian fuel tank badge that leaves a mark of this Bobber style. The engine covers are also new and mimic the bike’s minimalistic nature along with the vented exhaust shields. The exhaust unit is also getting a complete black paint job that showcases a demeanour hidden to bark out once you fire up this monster.

The suspension unit slouches by an inch to give the Bobber a low-slung profile and staying true to the classic bobber styling, both the front and the rear fenders are chopped, and the tyre sections got knobby tyres and blacked out cast aluminium wheels. The wide tan saddle is replaced with a low-slung brown leather solo seat. All of this creates a raw, mechanical outlook denoting an aggressive street riding experience for anyone throwing a leg around this.

jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-12.jpg

Overall Dimension

Make Model2018 Indian Scout BobberHarley Davidson RoadsterTriumph Bonneville Bobber
Length2229 mm2185mm2339mm
Width926 mm841mm800mm
Height1154 mm1082mm1025mm
Wheelbase1562 mm1505mm1510mm
Seat height649 mm785mm690mm
Wet weight550 lb259kg256kg
Fuel capacity12.5 L12.5 L9.1 L

POWERTRAIN

jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-2.jpg

Modern through and through, engineers at the Indian factory looked out for inspirations and found them deep within its roots through a design that hints at the old pushrod engines from back in the day, although there are dual overhead cams doing the job. The liquid-cooled, 60-degree 1133 cc V-twin comes with a sharp looking, chrome-on-black décor, but it is far from an “all show and no go” mill.

It puts out 94 ponies and 98 Nm of torque but being a short-stroke engine, you have to wind it up to 5,900 rpm to get the full grunt out of it. Still, you get a pretty good roll-on once you are up into the power band, and this Scout can really be a thrill when you grab a fistful and try to twist it off.

jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-10.jpg

An electronic closed-loop fuel-injection system handles fuel delivery while maintaining fuel efficiency and emissions standards and huge 60 mm throttle bodies feed this monster. Like all Indians, power delivery, refinement and aural quality coming out of that black exhaust pipes are top notch and throaty. A six-speed, sliding-mesh gearbox sends power to the rear wheel via a fibre-reinforced belt drive.

Engine Specification

Make Model2018 Indian Scout BobberHarley Davidson RoadsterTriumph Bonneville Bobber
Capacity cc113312021200
Bore/ Stroke mm93/73.688.9/96.897.6/80
Output94 bhp71 bhp77 bhp @ 6100 rpm
Torque98 Nm96 Nm @ 4000 rpm106 Nm @ 4000 rpm
TypeLiquid cooled V-Twin (60 degrees)Air-Cooled, 4-Stroke, 45 Degree V-Twin Cylinder, DOHCLiquid Cooled, 8 Valves, SOHC, 270° Crank Angle Parallel Twin
Clutch typeWet- MultiplateWet- MultiplateWet –Multi-Plate Assist
Transmission6-speed5-speed6-speed

RIDE AND HANDLING

jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-10.jpg

This is the department where the Bobber gets its true identity. With different riding setup compared to the standard Scout, this Bobber delivers a raunchy yet confident feel through its handlebars and suspension setup. The seat height is also maintained at a low 25.3 inches to accommodate all sizes of riders and helps in achieving a light and responsive steering inputs.

The sporty and firm handling is attributed to the low-slung profile of the slammed stance that delivers better feedback to the rider. The pegs too are pulled closer to the rider by 380 mm, and the added tracker handlebars give in for a far more aggressive rideability of the Bobber on the downtown streets.

jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-11.jpg

Another significant change was the cartridge forks and the extensively tuned front suspension to give a much stable ride all the way to its 125 mph top speed. The rear setup, however, remains unchanged with the dual hydraulic coil springs. The bike comes fitted with 298 mm disc brake at the front and a 298 mm disc brake at the rear, which provides enough halting power.

Cast wheels wrap up the running gear with 16-inchers front and rear, and 298 mm brake discs provide the stopping power. Though it only has a single front brake, it provides a positive feel. The Thunder Black Smoke model comes with ABS as a standard feature, and the other colours have it available as an option, so you have a choice in that respect.

jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-16.jpg

As was the standard scout, this Bobber too will come with Indian’s ’Low Fit’ and ’Tall Fit’ configurations to accommodate the plight of the big-and-tall crowd as well as vertically challenged riders. And that wide tyre up front gives the classic American cruiser but will definitely affect the steering. So the engineers gave the Bobber an increased rake angle to leave a slushy feeling while those steerings around the corners.

Chassis Specifications

Make Model2018 Indian Scout BobberHarley Davidson RoadsterTriumph Bonneville Bobber
Suspension / FrontTelescopic Fork / 4.7? (120 mm) – Cartridge Type Suspension43 mm WP upside-down; 115mm travelKYB 41 Mm Forks, 90 Mm Travel
Suspension / RearDual Shocks / 2.0? (50 mm)36 mm piston nitrogen gas-chargedKYB Mono Shock With Linkage, 76.9 Mm Rear Wheel Travel
Brakes / FrontSingle / 298 mm Rotor / 2 Piston Calliper300mm Dual floating disc, ABS310 Mm Disc, Nissin 2-Piston Floating Calliper, ABS
Brakes / RearSingle /298 mm Rotor / 1 Piston Calliper230 mm Single-piston floating calliper, ABSSingle 255 Mm Disc, Nissin Single Piston Floating Calliper, ABS
Tyres / Front130/90-16 73H120/70R19 M/C100/90 R19
Tyres / Rear150/80-16 71H150/70R18 M/C150/80 R16

PRICE

This 2018 Indian Scout Bobber comes with a price tag of $ 11,999 (? 7.7 lakh) for Indian Motorcycle Red, Thunder Black, Star Silver Smoke and a new Bronze Smoke option while the Thunder Black Smoke will retail at $ 12,499 (? 8 lakh) and has ABS as standard. These are the USA prices shown and Indian Ex-showroom prices will be announced later in the year and will definitely be upwards of ? 13.5 lakh.

That upshot the standard Scout by a $700 (? 45000), which we believe is a justifiable price take. Currently, the Indian Scout retails at ? 12.99 lakh ex-showroom, Delhi. Expect these Bobbers to start shipping towards the end of 2017. Although, the booking will commence sooner.

Make Model2018 Indian Scout BobberHarley Davidson RoadsterTriumph Bonneville Bobber
MSRP$ 13.5 lakh (exp)? 9.8 lakh?9.09 lakh

COMPETITION

The influence both these people have on us is simply a matter of a little sparse, a little spare, and an exercise in understatement. We just love it when we see either of them on our streets, and without a doubt being some of the world’s oldest motorcycle manufacturers, they’ve become the jack of their trades. Both Harley-Davidson and Triumph have ever been at the neck of each other and giving us products of exclusivity at its best.

Harley Davidson Roadster

1.

Coming from a lineup that already includes Harley Davidson’s acclaimed Iron 883, 1200 Custom, Super low and Forty-Eight, this roadster model is the most sport-oriented version of the Sportster series offering an alternative to more conventional cruiser variants.

The dark theme runs across the length and breadth of this bike from the split-spoke cast rims to the engine, heat shields, finned timer cover, special cast wheels and shock springs. The cockpit is exceptionally tidy, and the instrument panel looks great with a combination of digital and analogue gauges but is not the best when it comes to legibility.

The 45 degree V-twin engine has the traditional air-cooled system running on a compression ratio of 10:1. It is a torque-rich engine giving out 96 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm, and the power is estimated to 71 bhp. Although this American pulls strongly, we would have expected it to get more upgraded to get out the blood pumping. A five-speed transmission and belt drive makes the final connection to the quick but not necessarily a fast bike. Top speed is 120 mph.

The Roadster gets its own 43 mm upside down forks with better damping and lesser dive during braking. The rear shocks are the emulsion unit that sits higher and is adjustable. Impressive suspension travel of 114 mm at the front and 81 mm at the back gives in to a subtle riding experience even on tougher terrain. The 120/70R19 front and 150/70R18 rear tyres give enough tone to make the ride feel plush. Dual 300mm discs featuring 2 piston callipers at the front is an upgrade from previous models with unique floating rotors transfers heat from the discs more efficiently. Enough power to get the job done without any fuss. Optional ABS will not give any concern about braking ability.

The roadster will fetch you a cool ? 9.8 lakh (ex-showroom). This makes it the most expensive guy in the Sportster series of Harleys. The Roadster will get optional features that include air filters and ABS along with hands-free, factory installed H-D Smart Security System. It will come in four colour options- Velocity Red Sunglow, Billet Silver & Vivid Black, Black Denim and Vivid Black.

Triumph Bonneville Bobber

1.

Calling it a “pure Bonneville hot rod” Triumph’s attempt here is authentic and straight out of the box. The beautifully styled minimalism is depicted from every angle on this bike. This is enough proof that this company has the guts to look elsewhere for inspiration when designing new models. And by the looks of it, they might have just managed to pull one over the Harleys or the Indian. That folks, is a statement.

Triumph’s 1200cc gives this Bobber a power figure of 77 bhp @ 6100 rpm and 78 lb ft @ 4000rpm. The Bobber has a unique twin airbox setup, carb-styled twin throttle bodies, special intake and exhaust system, new output shaft, and elegant packaging that allows the straight-line exhausts to hide the Euro4-compliant catalytic converters. The engine is mated to a 6-speed transmission with a torque-assist clutch and chain final drive.

Nothing is sacrificed in the pursuit of style over substance. The riding position is notably more conventional and instantly comfortable with mid-position footpegs. Seats provide you with the freedom of choosing your ergonomic match and bars are unlikely to prove too much of a stretch even for shorter-limbed riders.

The shorter suspensions travel of the front fork is enough since only the rider sits on this bike and is sufficient for the same level of compliance and bump absorption. Similar to all Bonnevilles’, this bike too features everything from riding modes (Road and Rain) to switchable traction control, ride-by-wire throttle, ABS, and a torque-assist clutch. Making the bobber as dynamic and thrilling to ride as it is to look at.

Compared to the Bonneville T120, expect to pay a premium for it. This modern classic can be yours for a price tag of ?9.09 lakh (ex-showroom). The Bonneville Bobber has over 150 additional accessories available to enhance its presence further and make it truly unique. It will be available in four colours – ‘Modello Red’, ‘Ironstone’, ‘Jet Black’ and ‘Competition Green and Frozen Silver’.

VERDICT

jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-5.jpg

Scout was actually a popular model that was manufactured between the years 1920 and 1946, and the current peeps at Indian say that the styling DNA of that original Scout is evident in this new Bobber motorcycle. This newcomer to the Indian’s Scout range may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But it is a better fit for the current market. Riders hoping for increased performance may be disappointed; it is compromised yet palatable.

Minimalism and understatement do not always go hand in hand. In this case, it is the whole point of the design. Bringing the designs from their history books and fusing them with cues of early performance models was the intention with this Bobber.

jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-14.jpg

Reid Wilson, Marketing Director for Indian Motorcycle, said: “The Scout Bobber is our most raw and mean machine to date, and the ultimate in the celebration of what motorcycling is about–a powerful engine, two wheels, and no plans of where to go. It’s an incredibly fun motorcycle that delivers a ton of attitude, along with a ton of power.”

More aggressive riding feel, chopped up bodywork, tracker handlebar and the blacked out theme. It looks like the Indians’ are bang on delivering a post-WWII feel with this Bobber and for a company that makes vintage art on two wheels, this is some ballsy move. It might not be the best looking Indian out there but sure does raise those heads up.

jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-18.jpg

jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-8.jpg
jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-9.jpg
jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-13.jpg
jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-15.jpg
jpg/201707/indian-scout-bobber-19.jpg
1.