First Ride: Indian Scout Sixty

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This is the new entry-level Indian Scout Sixty which is already heading for dealers and will cost £8999.

The bike is heavily based on the existing 1133cc Indian Scout model but has a new 999cc engine, large amounts of the chrome parts changed for black and has been aimed at a younger, more urban customer who wants something a bit less flashy and classic looking.

The name Scout Sixty comes from the 60 cubic inch capacity of the engine which is 999cc in metric. This is a bike that has been designed from the outset to be accessible and easy to ride but still possessing a degree of coolness for younger riders.

MCN’s first impressions of the bike in the stunning scenery around Las Vegas in Nevada are extremely positive but as always, tempered by the knowledge these are not the sort of roads this bike will be ridden on back in the UK where scabby, broken Tarmac can make any suspension engineer feel a bit faint at the thought of having to set a bike up to work properly.

The most obvious changes to the bike are the visible ones like the blacked out engine parts, fork bottoms, a modified headlight, clock surround, crackle-finish black frame and black wheels. The overall impression works well and the quality if the paint, the fit and finish and the style all look much more expensive than the £8999 asking price might suggest.

The less obvious changes have come about inside the V-twin engine which was designed as a brand new unit for the existing Indian model which was only launched last year. The engine has full Euro4 compliance. The engine capacity change has come from narrowing the bore to give the 999cc overall engine size with a corresponding drop in power to 78bhp and peak torque of 65.6ft lbs. The power may be down on the larger Scout model but it remains class-leading according to Indian.

Another substantial change is the fitment of a five-speed gearbox in place of the six-cog ’box on the 1133cc Scout. The fifth gear of the Scout Sixty is the same ratio as that of the sixth in the Scout and there have been changes to the lower ratios to ensure there aren’t big gaps in the gears.

Sitting on the bike for the first time gives an immediate impression of lightness and it feels friendly and approachable. This is no scary beast for sure. There’s nothing to learn about in terms of rider modes, digital this or that or anything complex. It’s a motorcycle that has an engine, a steel fuel tank, a simple dash layout and the minimum of controls. It’s easy.

The feeling of lightness and agility is helped by the low 642mm seat height which allows most people the option of putting both feet flat on the ground for maximum control when stopped.

Riding the Indian Scout Sixty is as easy as the company hoped it would. Throttle response is near perfect, even with tiny on/off throttle applications it just delivers the required amount. Many companies are still getting this wrong today.

It’s not perfect for sure. The suspension is not going to keep press-on riders happy for long as it seems under-damped and reacts to sharp-edged mid-corner bumps which knock the bike off line. It’s not scary; just something you have to be aware of. The standard tyres are Indian-branded but made by Kenda and while they are OK; they aren’t as good as some more mainstream manufacturer cruiser rubber.

We were testing US-spec bikes which weren’t fitted with ABS as they will be as standard in the UK and Europe so we can’t report on how good the ABS set-up is.

Overall, this is a great-looking, well-built, quality bike that is a more affordable entry to an authentic cruiser made by one of the world’s oldest motorcycle firms. We need to get one back in the UK for a full test but first ride impressions are serious impressive.

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Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter