INDIAN SCOUT (2014 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£200|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Indian has done it again with another all-new bike – the Scout. The company’s quoted aim with the Scout was to build the ‘best in class, mid-size American motorcycle’, or as company boss Steve Menneto more succinctly puts it: “It’s our answer to the Harley Davidson Sportster.” In the metal it’s a good entry-level-to-mid-sized cruiser with more style, authenticity, class and performance than most. For that, it should be a huge success. It outperforms Harley and outstyles Europeans. Our only slight doubt is the price.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Although unusual at first (similar to Ducati’s Diavel, the Scout’s cruiser riding position is a little at odds with its willingness to sweep and scratch through the bends) The Scout has enough performance and handling to be a blast anyone can enjoy. Despite the fat, 130-section front tyre, the steering remains light and precise, the ride quality consistent and smooth. The twin pot single disc front brake is basic but braking power is more than adequate for this type of bike. Handling-wise, the Scout reminded me most of a Triumph, bikes renowned for their handling aplomb. Think of the Bonneville America but with extra oomph, style and substance, extra everything really. That’s praise indeed.
EngineNext up: Reliability
To meet performance targets, the all-new, V-twin had to be liquid-cooled. Yet the Scout doesn’t hide its water jacket with fake finning as so many do. Instead it revels in it with clever styling and tactile machining. It’s also decently brisk. From zero to four or five K the Scout just thumps along, happily, familiarly, like many other V-twin cruisers. Above that, however, the new Indian has an added dimension most of its rivals lack: a willingness to rev to eight thou. Cruising and ‘squirting’ has never blended so well…
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Too early to say on reliability and, although some components are a tad basic and it nowhere near matches the luxury of the bigger Indians, the Scout’s largely good enough.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Our only doubt is the price which, we think, is a tad salty. It’s over a grand more than the closest Harley, the 48, which has far more proven residuals. It also puts it a full £3000 more than, say, Triumph’s America (which, admittedly, it both outguns and out-poses). In fact, that price puts it in Ducati Monster 1200 and Guzzi Griso LE territory which, while not strictly cruisers, both have justifiable performance and quality claims of their own.
Less lavish and extravagant than the £20K Indian Chief range but there’s still plenty of class. Paint and chrome are thick, clocks, mirrors, levers and more are decent, shocks (see above) better than most. Only slight disappointments are slightly basic switchgear and front brake performance. ‘Signature’ tan leather seat, meanwhile, according to lead project designer Rich Christophe, was “a no brainer”.
The 2019 version will have new paint options and a USB port added to the dash.
|Engine type||liquid-cooled, four-valve, V-twin|
|Frame type||Cast aluminium spine|
|Fuel capacity||12.5 litres|
|Front suspension||Conventional telescopic forks, no adjust|
|Rear suspension||Twin shocks, no adjust|
|Front brake||298mmd, twin piston caliper|
|Rear brake||298mmdisc, single piston caliper|
|Front tyre size||130/90 x 16|
|Rear tyre size||150/80 x 16|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||39 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£200|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||100 bhp|
|Max torque||72 ft-lb|
|Top speed||120 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||119 miles|
Model history & versions
2014: Model introduced
Owners' reviews for the INDIAN SCOUT (2014 - on)
5 owners have reviewed their INDIAN SCOUT (2014 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£200|
Annual servicing cost: £120
So comfortable easy to ride. You sit in the bike rather than on it
2 hours. Then start needing a rest.
Progressive fork springs. Fitted good improvement
Buying experience: From dealer
Annual servicing cost: £250
Really great bike with a superb engine. Seat comfort not great. Fuel range limiting. Not for the shy as everywhere I go, it draws people with really positive comments. I'd love a fiver for every comment I've had saying "It's nicer than a Harley!". I'd be pocketing a lot! Having ridden the Harley Sportster there really is no comparison. It's far better!
Suspension travel limited, front brake average with annoying groan. Handling surprising good for a cruiser with better ground clearance than expected. Had seat re-foamed for comfort. Hour and a half at a time is enough before aches start spoiling the fun.
One of the very best engines I've ever ridden with. Amazing torque, silky-smooth, sounds fantastic and surprisngly revvy.
Appears robust but a few fixings a bit cheap (they've gone!)
Sniffs the fuel at around 50mpg but ridden sedately. £250 Estimated price for next interim service.
Belt-drive is great. Standard tyres (Indian-badged, Ken Da made) ok in dry. NOK in wet. Front tyre wearing quickly at 4000 miles with a couple of K more, max. Rear ok. Single clock with integrated digital multi-function looks nice, readout adequate but no fuel gauge.
Buying experience: Very good deal from Midwest Moto. Service good too. Got a good price for BMW part-ex.
Annual servicing cost: £250
Great bike. I have covered 5000 miles on my scout, apart from the handle bar grip coming away from the handle bar mid corner (Warning to all Scout Riders please check your left grip, I have raised my concerns with Indian regarding What I consider a safety issue but have had no response) and paint fault on the brake master cylinder that took a year to sort out, I have had nothing but hours of joy riding my Indian. It would have 5 out of 5 if communication with manufacture was possible! (needs to be a two way thing).
Pillion position not the best, I find no issue riding as far as the tank will allow (about 120 miles).
Performance is stunning, I love this engine. It pulls like a train and Revs like a jet, it feels alive
Handlebar grip, without warning, came away in my hand. I think this is very poor, never had this on any bike before! Paint fault on master cylinder took various phone calls, visits and photos to sort. Sad to think that Indian have a winner with this bike, but I think the backup will let them down. I will sell my Scout before the 5 year warranty expires and will miss it. I will stick to my BMW GS1200 for the all weather ride but back to Triumph for my high days and holidays ride.
Not a lot of goodies but what there is all works well. Tyres not the best in the wet but have lasted well.
Buying experience: Purchased brand new from a dealer, sales staff great , service and parts staff not so great.
The best cruiser-style bike I've ever ridden. Beats any Harley-Davidson I've ridden (I've owned an XR1200 in the past too) and looks fabulous too.
The bike's only real drawback is that, similar to most cruisers, the suspension isn't up to enthusiastic riding. The front end bottoms out fairly quickly if you are enjoying yourself and the rear isn't much better. The seat and ergonomics are good though (I'm 6'00").
Fabulous - Smooth, sounds nice even with the standard pipes, has a good rev range so that you can hold a gear for overtakes and feels modern and well developed. It's everything a Harley-Davidson engine should be.
It's early days yet as I've only owned my bike since October 2015 but thus far all appears well.
Too early to tell really but servicing costs should be competitive with other brands.
The speedo's various functions are welcome though I'd like a fuel gauge too.
Annual servicing cost: £165
I'd NEVER contemplated buying a Harley type bike in 40 years of biking, but a pal bought a Scout 60 and as a total novice mechanically, asked if I'd give it a basic service, so after changing the oil,air filter etc I took it for a test ride and was very pleasantly surprised as I'd once hired a Harley XR1200 while on holiday and was totally underwhelmed by the experience, the only complaint I had with the Scout 60 was although much more powerful and infinitely better handling than the alleged "sportster" Harley, it still lacked a bit of power, then my pal upgraded to the Scout and after a run on it I was so impressed decided to buy one and have fallen in love with it , it has the power ,class, character and handling Harleys can only dream of and it's also a wolf in sheep's clothing, enabling me to have a ball taking fellow bikers by surprise at traffic light drags. don't get me wrong my Gixer 750 is still my first love but the Scout is just a pleasant relaxing alternative occasionally, but with the power to go with it, something I'd thought I would never say in a million years about a cruiser type bike.
surprisingly good brakes and excellent handling (for a cruiser)
torque like a Massey Ferguson!
my only complaint was slight rusting on the wheel nuts
Basic but it is an entry level Indian