Indian Scout 1200….Not the world’s fastest Indian…but still pretty cool!

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    Indian rise again

    At the risk of coming straight in with a cliché when you mention Indian motorcycles to most people, if they say anything at all, it is normally the words ‘Burt Monroe’ and  the film ‘The World’s fastest Indian’. But there is more to Indian than a crazy New Zealander, Bonneville Salt Flats and speed records. For many years Indian Motorcycles battled it out with Harley Davidson to be the premier brand of American bike. In fact I would say they are perhaps just that touch cooler than the rather hackneyed Milwaukee icon as a result. The original company faded out in the 1950’s but now it is back with a bang, with a range of retro styled but completely up to date machines.  Having recently ridden offerings from Harley Davidson and V twin customs from Yamaha I was very keen to see how this reborn  brand shaped up in the modern world.

    Low slung, fat tires and a big old mudguard to try and evoke the spirit of Indian’s of old…not a bad effort at all

    An original model, just for comparison purposes…sadly I didn’t get to ride this beauty

    They have got the look and feel right

    Well first impressions are immensely positive: The styling  of the Scout is low slung and cool. Single tractor seat, big tyres, feet forward pegs and spat style front mudguard crate the right vibe. Quality of finish is top notch too, with beautifully made footrest hangers, deep paint and gleaming bright-work. The only thing that jarred a little for me was the racing style fuel filler cap. Here the inclusion of the Indian logo to the flap only added to the juxtaposition of old and new. The big yellow warning sticker on the take isn’t very ‘bad-boy’ cool either. That would have to be peeled off as soon as we got home!

    Neat finish and thoughtful design flourishes abound, but the filler cap just looks wrong

    The ride today was part of a dealer open day and I was in a group of eight Indians and Victorys with a leader guiding us over the twenty mile route that picked its way through some delightful rolling Worcestershire countryside. Not exactly Route 66, but on a sunny warm summers day pretty dam good!

    Rides as well as it looks

    As was the Indian: It is a laid back, cool ride. The engine note is a little subdued but this more to do with regulation. A set of after market pipe will soon put that right. I adapted to the feet forward riding position, the only time it was a issue was executing a tight junction. Other than it didn’t hinder me using the 6 speed box or rear brakes. Performance was fine, the 1200 water-cooled V twin provided enough grunt to put a smile and your face and I found the cornering to be surprisingly good. In fact I hustled through some of the open twists and turns with an aplomb that genuinely surprised me. The controls were logical and unobtrusive, the multi function tank mounted clock was neat too. The cream face and traditional graphics all played nicely to the same theme of the rest of this well detailed bike.

    It’s not perfect though

    So what didn’t like? Well apart from the fuel filler flap the only thing that comes to mind is the positioning of one of the exhausts. When you put your legs down at a stop in gets very close to your inner thigh and you soon feeling a bit too hot…this really needs to addressed (Update….2017 and 2018 bikes have a re-positioned exhaust) In comparison with a Harley and the Japanese cruiser it falls somewhere between the two…being honest it doesn’t have the fully a authentic feel of the Harley, but nor is it lacking character like some of the Japanese offering. Also there is a certain coolness to the bike in so much it is a real piece of America and the very fact it isn’t a Harley Davison.

    It seems to fit me…

    So overall this a lovely bike and one I could see myself owning one at some point in my life.

    Thanks to Mid West Motos for the chance to ride this interesting machine…


    Being quoted by Indian themselves on their Facebook page…


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