May 24, 2017 at 9:12 pm #15910
Sunday 21st May was dry so a trip to Midwest Motos near Stourport on Severn became mandatory, especially as they were having an Open Weekend with food, music and Indians on offer. And Debs was at the NEC with the Holistic Therapy crowd, exchanging spells and potions.
So I turned up in the afternoon, admired a Jack Daniels-specced beaut (No.88 out of 150) and ogled the sublime custom built MWM115 (2nd at the NEC) that will soon become a limited edition production model (I want one!). For some reason they wouldn’t let me test ride it – I knew I shouldn’t have told them I was Radar’s mate!
As last year’s run-in with the HD Heritage Soft-tail was still burned into my psyche (it didn’t want to turn sharp left at the top of my launchpad driveway) I sidled up to a very tidy-looking naked Scout in Brilliant Blue and Pearl White trim (well, as naked as an Indian gets).
I swung a leg over the 643mm high seat and settled into the big tan leather bucket, made for bigger bums than mine but still comfortable. It was a tad weird being so low – like getting out of an SUV and into a Morgan.
The quality-looking analogue speedo was perfectly in keeping with the character of this steed, while a smaller digital screen showed a choice of various options – I plumped for the rev counter out of habit, pulled in the clutch, thumbed the button and lit it up.
Setting off over the wide gravel car park my legs were waving around in a less than cool manner. Where were those damn pegs? Found them just in time to join the road – luckily no traffic, so pulled out and opened the throttle. Hmmm – niiiice!
First impressions: some generous torque, good sound, and a very open-chested aspect. With my legs pointing straight forward I felt I was riding a very grunty armchair – none of the busy cockpit and heavy screen I’ve become used to.
The route was good for testing – country B-roads and twisty, hilly A-roads. With its 1562mm wheelbase, cornering required a bit of anticipation, though it handled far better than I’d expected.
This Indian 1133cc V-Twin weighed 257kg wet, almost exactly the same as my far taller 1215cc Explorer, but had a centre of gravity about a foot lower. Which, allied to the 97.7Nm peak torque at 5900rpm and that lovely roar from the twin exhausts, kept me grinning for the next hour. Not quite as deep and loud as the Harley exhaust note last year, but that Soft-tail had a much bigger engine and handled like a barge.
The handlebars were quite neutrally positioned, the mirrors small but adequate. Within a few minutes I’d worked out that it could be left in 3rd for the tighter bends then shifted up through the very sweet gearbox into 4th for the faster sections. OK, I did find all six gears but it felt smiliest between 4000 and 6000rpm – pulling strongly out of corners and attracting waves from local children. Well, I think they were waves.
The suspension smoothed out the raddled English tarmac nicely, only trying to launch me out of the saddle at the occasional big dip or bump. But even then the ride was very stable and it could be leant over happily, with so much rubber on offer.
There were some road-works half way along the test route: both times I set off when the lights changed in 2nd gear, confused by having the gear lever so high compared to my foot. The bike didn’t even notice. My right leg did get a bit hot when at rest – probably not worth riding this little Indian in shorts until they cover or re-route the exhausts.
Soon the hour was almost up and I had to hurry a bit to get back in time – although there was a bit of wind pressure on my chest at higher speeds I found the lack of protection (on a dry day!) to be almost un-noticeable. As I’ve noticed when driving Debs’ MX5, being so low amplifies the sensation of speed compared with taller vehicles. So although it is slower than the Explorer, the torque characteristics and low stance make the Scout feel just as quick – and the sound is much nicer! Which reminds me that I really must get a Beowulf aftermarket can for my bike.
Conclusion? I enjoyed riding the Indian much more than I’d expected – the handling was absolutely fine and the torque was lovely: I was grinning the whole time and if I didn’t live out in the boondocks (and had a garage) then I would certainly think about owning one of these.
On the way back to the Forest I went into Tenbury Wells then down the B-roads to Bromyard, passing the deserted and empty ex-MV garage at Collington, and the beautiful Wye Valley Brewery. My Explorer is certainly faster, better on big bumps and more nimble, but I did miss the Indian sound. It’s probably because I started out on old British bikes – that love of loud exhaust notes is ingrained.May 24, 2017 at 9:38 pm #69766katanaParticipant
Great write up
Never really been tempted by a Harley/Indian.May 24, 2017 at 9:49 pm #69767
Great write up
Never really been tempted by a Harley/Indian.
I can’t have American iron ‘cos of my challenging driveway, but I can now kind of see the attraction. But not as a sole bike – purely as a third pub-outing and occasional blast kind of thing….May 25, 2017 at 7:47 pm #69768RadarModerator
I must of only missed you by a few minutes, I went there on the cafe racer. It was a great event.
Cracking review too. I thought the Scout was great when I rode it last year, and I am quietly tempted by one too. I noticed the issue with exhaust heat at standstill as well.
Here was my review
Hard to believe the MWM115 is based on…now that is a cracking bike
Good to see a local business thriving.
PS, the pulled beef roll was ace!May 25, 2017 at 8:13 pm #69769HippoDronesParticipant
styling is utterly gorgeous in places…. such a shame Euro4 has nerfed all our future toys!May 26, 2017 at 12:00 am #69770
styling is utterly gorgeous in places…. such a shame Euro4 has nerfed all our future toys!
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