Harley Davidson has been the iconic American motorcycle name almost since its creation. Harley Davidson began small by attaching small 7 cubic inches of fury to bicycle frames, but by the end of WW2, with almost no stateside competition they utterly dominated the market. Fast forward more than 60 years, and it would appear that the Harley Davidson machine is in full tilt spewing shirts, leather jackets and skull caps to anyone interested in 2 wheels hoping that they can sell an over priced antique for 3x market value. Maybe I am being way too critical. I love V-Twins, I love the long legged cruiser bikes that eat highways for miles, but I dont necessarily want the brand image of “skullz and Fuck Yeah Murica!” or 10 year old technology that Harley Davidson offers. Enter the Scout.
When Polaris Purchased Indian a few years ago, I had hoped and wondered if something like this motorcycle would be in the cards. Being the 2nd biggest name in American Motorcycling on and off for decades, they had to win this game even if it was an uphill battle. Harley Davidson has not had any major financial issues since round the same time frame that the bowling ball manufacturer AMF bought them. Even when they were struggling to make reliable bikes, ‘Muricans still flocked to the dealerships to buy them, and for the most part things have not changed.
Frankly speaking, we need to quit holding onto the past. Air Cooled V-Twins are great if your just eating asphalt on the highway or want nothing more than to putt around town with technology that came from the steam engine era. The folks at Indian knew this however, and opted to quite literally revolutionize the American V-Twin game for the first time using a watercooled V-Twin. This is the first watercooled engine in Indians history. It produces 84 hp and 69 ft lbs of torque, which is significantly more horsepower than its Harley Davidson competitor, the 1200 Sportster, despite having a smaller engine. (The 1200 Sportster was chosen because of the price point of both bikes.) Not too mention the engine alone is beautiful. Just look at it. No seriously, stop what your doing and look at it. I just had a crisis… (if you dont get the reference, it’ll be ok)
Its lighter, easier to ride, doesnt vibrate you to death, and it actually performs which is revolutionary for American cruising motorcycles. And most important of all, it is CHEAPER than the HD sportster.
BTW, YES you H-D fanboys that are screaming at their screens saying, “Harley Davidson has a water-cooled engine too! Its in the V-Rod, Muscle-Rod, Night-Rod and jesus-another-special-edition-rod.” Yeah it does. It was co-developed by Porsche, can make a shit ton of HP, and dear GOD can it be beautiful.
But lets be real. 99% of the HD riders do not ride these, they ride blacked out fat boys with ape hangers like they just came out of Sons of Anarchy. If more HD riders were open to the new technology in the V-Rod, I would not be sitting here advocating the Indian Scout.
So go buy a new Indian Scout now so that Indian does not close up its shop for 2nd time this century alone and save a piece of Americana thats worth saving.
Scout HP: 84.8 at 7900RPM
Scout Torque: 63.5 at 5900RPM
HD Sportster 1200 HP: 60.78 at 5800RPM
HD Sportster 1200 Torque: 65.1 at 3800 RPM