Indian reveal sub-zero Appaloosa v2.0 ahead of Russian ice drag racing debut

1 of 2

Introducing the Indian Appaloosa v2.0: a nitrous-injected Indian Scout Bobber drag racer that’s set to make its frozen debut at the 2020 Baikal Mile Ice Speed Festival, in Siberia, tomorrow. 

Producing around 150hp (147.9bhp) from its liquid-cooled 1133cc liquid-cooled V-Twin engine, complete with Nitrous Express performance kit, the second-generation sprinter has been created by engineer Brice Hennebert, of custom house Workhorse Speed Shop, in collaboration with Indian Motorcycles.

Originally built to compete in the tarmac-based Sultans of Sprint championship in 2019 with former Grand Prix racer Randy Mamola at the controls, the second-generation Appaloosa will take to the icy eastern shores of Lake Baikal from February 27 to March 1 in a number of straight-line contests.

After teasing the revised dragster last week, the v2.0 was officially revealed earlier today, complete with a new nose fairing, revised componentry, spiked tyres and a new paint scheme.

The team behind the Indian Appaloosa v2.0

Machines will attempt to take a number of speed records on 1/8-mile and mile-long straights. Meanwhile, drifting, drag racing, flat track and freestyle motocross will also be wowing the crowds.

The bike will be ridden by Sébastien Lorentz, who organises the Sultans of Sprint competition. It was initially planned that Mamola would ride again, however a previous engagement prevented him from doing so.

"It’s like racing on the moon or under the sea; we have no references to know how it will work," Hennebert told MCN. "We have talked with Sébastien and our target is 200kmh. That’s not that fast, but to give you an idea, the top speed record from last year was a Hayabusa and she was clocked at around 250kmh." 

An image of a studded Dunlop tyre

Appaloosa v2.0 explained

Although based on an Indian Scout Bobber, cruising is the last thing the Appaloosa is designed for. Shod with hand-spiked Dunlop SportSmart Mk3 tyres, which take Brice’s mechanic four days to create, the entire profile of the bike has been changed, with the rider draped over the cast ali spine frame for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. 

"We are losing around 30% of power and speed because of the ice and the main concern is the tyres," Brice explained. "We are putting studs on the tyres and they are breaking apart from 200kmh.

"The tyres on the bike will have around 250 studs each, so that means 250 holes drilled in the tyre and that means around 2.5kg of steel on the outside belt. At 250kmh, that’s a lot of weight and it’s spinning really fast, so that’s the big problem."

As well as extra weight, temperature is also a factor. Brice adds: "After talking with the Dunlop team, the SportSmart Mk3 was the best choice. This is because the best tyre to use with studs is a slick tyre because there is no tread pattern, but they are not made to be used at below -15 degrees, so it’s too cold for them and they break up like hard plastic.

"There’s some design on this tyre, but it’s not much. Plus, the ones we are using can be used in the winter conditions and there’s no problem under -15!"

The bike will race at the Baikal Mile

It's had a nosejob...

Away from the studded rubber, a large front fairing also helps the v2.0 punch through the air at speed. Although largely unchanged from the original steed, in order to combat the cold temperatures (which can be as low as -20 in the day), the mouth of the fairing has now been closed off with a carbon cap in favour of smaller cooling intakes in the side fairing. 

Now slightly longer – bringing the overall length of the bike to around 3m10cm – the change has also been made as an aesthetic choice, as well as to protect the rider from flying chunks of ice. For further safety, the spikey rubber has also been enclosed within the fairing.

Elsewhere, to keep the bike stable, Öhlins have supplied suspension for the front and rear, alongside a steering damper. Further support can also be found from Akrapovic, Beringer Brakes, Motorex and more.

The second generation bike features full Öhlins

Bottled-up performance

The nitrous system is also completely new; swapping the original NOS unit for a Nitrous Express system. Brice continues: "I was using a complete NOS system last year, which we had many troubles with, so I decided to change it for another brand.

"Everything is brand-new and different and the biggest advantage for me with this system is we can manage all of the nitrous and fuel from a computer, so we have a real user-friendly interface. When we did a test on the dyno, I was really happy with the choice."

Although an easier system to operate, getting the most from the technology in the cold conditions can be a challenge: "The nitrous is meant to work between 10 and 25 degrees.

"When we fill the bottles we put them in the freezer so they are around -13 degrees and the pressure on the bottle is very low. To use the nitrous on the lake, we are using heated blankets on the bottle because if we didn’t then we would have no pressure on the bottle and the system wouldn’t work."

Keep an eye on MCN next week for the full reveal of the new machine.


Randy Mamola to ride special Indian Scout Bobber sprint racer

First published 20 May 2019 by Dan Sutherland

Randy Mamola poses with the Indian Appaloosa

Grand Prix racing legend Randy Mamola is set to compete in the 2019 Sultans of Sprint Championship aboard a factory-backed custom Indian Scout Bobber.

Built in commemoration of the bike’s 100th anniversary by Brice Hennebert of Workhorse Speedshop, the bike is called Appaloosa; named after the breed of horse.

With over 700 hours of design and fabrication going into the project and quality components from the likes of Akrapovič and Öhlins, creator Brice said: "I wanted a name that could link Workhorse, Indian Motorcycle and speed.

"As soon as I discovered that the American horse breed Appaloosa was one of the world’s fastest horses, I knew I had the name for an American sprint bike built by Workhorse," he added.

"After putting so much into this build, I’m excited to see the reaction to it and I can’t wait to see Randy blast it down the racetrack."

The bike will compete in the Factory Class and will run the number 19 as recognition to the first Scout being produced in 1919. All motorcycles in the category must have a four-stroke engine and offer a power-to-weight ratio of no more than 0.65bhp per kilogram.

Speaking about the bike, 13-time grand prix winner, Mamola said: "I’ve always been a big fan of Indian Motorcycle and I’m really looking forward to racing this amazing creation.

"It’s great to be part of this project, especially during the Scout’s 100th anniversary. With the Sultans of Sprint being such a unique series, it’s going to be a lot of fun soaking up the atmosphere, meeting the crowds and putting on a show for them."

In order to complete the build, a standard modern Scout was completely stripped, before gaining a narrowed fuel tank, built from the original part.

Now only holding 2.5 litres of juice, a new subframe has also been fabricated for greater support under hard acceleration. Clip-on bars and set-back foot controls also force the rider over the front, keeping the weight over the front wheel.

An extended aluminium swingarm is coupled to fully-adjustable Öhlins STX 36 piggyback rear shocks and at the front are Retro 43 forks, complete with a steering damper.

In the middle, power has also been upped to 130bhp, thanks to a full Akrapovič exhaust, racing ECU, Power Commander, nitrous oxide injection, a direct intake and fresh oil.

If you want to see the bike in person away from the racing, Indian are set to display the bike in the UK at The Bike Shed between May 24 and 26.

More from MCN:

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in News…

Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

Senior Writer (motorcycling), sportsbike nut, currently riding a FireBlade