Indian 1200 Scout ‘Bobber’ – Black is the new Black….Road test and Review

Fancy a ‘full-fat’ American V twin but without the bling and attendant BS to put you off? Well the resurgent Indian Motorcycles might have just the thing for you! It ticks all the important boxes…authentic USA heritage, big V twin motor, brooding good looks and above all…it’s just cool! The ‘Bobber ‘takes the stock 1200 Scout as a base and pares the concept back still farther. Black is very much the order of the day: Black paint, black engine, black exhausts, black wheels, black faced get the vibe….

Low, mean…ready for action

Appropriately as I set off the Worcestershire skies were as dark and brooding as my mount, I felt like a cast member in a 1950’s film, all very ‘Rebel Without a Cause’. To ride the Bobber is very like the Scout I tried a few months ago, but with just a little more ‘attitude’ for want of a better word. The small mods making a real difference to the stance and feel of the machine. Shorter rear shocks, dropped the back end a little. Dual purpose indicators/rear light clean up the back end significantly and the much better looking (than standard) Vance & Hines pipe meant the Bobber had a bark to go with its 1200cc bite.
The Indian handles the bumpy, twisting, leaf strewn A and B roads that surround Midwest Moto with aplomb. While you can’t chuck it about like a sports bike you CAN cover ground at decent lick with a little planning. I found it great fun to hustle along making good use of 4th. 5th and 6th gears in particular. The exhaust has  great barking rasp on change downs as you blip the throttle…big grins all round!

The gates of heaven or hell?

V&H pipe added a bark to match the looks

The V twin motor is a perfect match for the look and the performance is strong and very easy to access, using that slick 6 speed gearbox. The brakes cope easily too with whatever you and bike throw at them within reason. In summary what we have here is a pared back take on the American dream. For me the Bobber is the perfect foil for slightly softer Scout; everybody needs a tough, streetwise brother and the Bobber is very much that sort of bike!


Thanks to Mark of Midwest Moto for the opportunity to try and look cool, for at least an hour or two at any rate!

The Scout review can be read here:

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