Polaris took the wraps off its newest bike, the mid-sized, water-cooled Indian Scout, at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally tonight, one year after it unveiled the reborn Chief range.
It will be available in Australia in the last quarter of the year at $17,995 rideaway. It comes in black, red, silver smoke matte and black smoke matte.
There are now five models in the Indian Motorcycle range after Polaris also introduced the Roadmaster flagship full-dresser model last weekend.
The slimline and lightweight (253kg) Scout is a stripped-down cruiser aimed at the youth market and an entry level machine, sitting midway in power and price between Harley’s new Street 750 and V-Rod. The Indian is powered by a new 1133cc (69 cubic-inch) V-twin engine with output of 100 and married to a six-speed transmission. It is the first in the range not to be powered by the 111 Thunderstroke engine.
The Indian Scout features a radiator in the front of the cradle frame, forward controls, low 643mm seat, belt drive, dual shocks, double-sided swingarm, twin single-sided exhausts, solo brown leather seat and a single front disc. Controls are traditional with a hydraulic front brake and cable clutch and a singled-pod speedo with LCD screen. Clearance is 134mm with a fat 130/90 tyre up front, a 150/80 rear tyre both on 16-inch rims and 31-degree lean angle for spirited cornering.
I sat on the bike and it feels low and light, easy to pick up off its sidestand with good quality controls, the traditional ignition key in the left side and a high standard of fit and finish as can be expected from Indian. The riding position doesn’t feel cramped, yet there is also an easy reach to the ground for shorter riders.
Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg was at the launch with John Munro, son of Burt, who was immortalised in The World’s Fastest Indian. Mark says he is an Indian fan and is going to start riding again, “if my wife lets me”.
He’s never been to Sturgis before, but is familiar with Indian since the brand was originally made in Springfield, Massachusetts, near his home town of Boston.
“We used to have a gentleman who lived down the street who owned an Indian Scout motorcycle and every weekend he would shine it and it was my inspiration to one day own one,” he says.
“I’m going to have one of those shiny bad boys (the new Roadmaster) so now I feel like I’m successful.”
However, Mark is not the target market of the new Scout which will bring a whole new customer base to the brand.