Welcome fellow motorcycle enthusiasts and land pilots! My name is Jim and I have been riding since I was six years old up the the woods of rural Ohio. Now I’m living in Florida so, I can ride year round without putting roofing nails through my tires for traction on the ice or bundling up with layers of insulation! You may have figured out by now that I love to ride. I have had MANY bikes since ’69 and the ones that did not get destroyed, fall apart or dictate mega dollar repairs are still in the corral. I am not prejudice against any manufacturer either, I just like bikes that run and stay that way.
My three remaining bikes are in fact still running GREAT without any issue but, I do have one out back over 1 million miles of which I personally rode the majority. Do the math, 16,666 hours (at 60mph 😉 ) = 694 days in the saddle just on that bike over the 20 years I rode ‘er! Quite do-able on my ’85 CB650SC NightHawk AKA Rosie. Those old straight fours are like ’86 Camrys, they just won’t die. Problem is the cam chain tension spring (~$3.00) is not adjustable from the outside like later models and I would have to take the top end off to get to it. Well, not only that, the fork seals have been shot for 15 years, clutch needs replaced (original!), tank has rust inside (my fault) and she is just flat out worn out. I bought it used with 3k miles in ’86 for ~$2000 from a dealer. That said, it will still run just not ride without several hundred bucks I don’t wish to put into her. That bike is just there now for my boys and grand-kids to climb around on. I may part it out soon.
I have ALWAYS been into American steel therefore, being a “supportive” citizen but, not the whole shebang that accompanies wearing corporations brand such as HD. As everyone knows, there were some dark times when purists found out that there were up to 40% of foreign made parts on their beloved U.S. machines depending on model. I know I was pi$#ed. This was a terrible thing from a reputation (and quality) standpoint. I also experienced absorbent initial costs, asshole dealer service managers (not to mention parts and repair costs). I have witnessed a whole demography of weekend riders who trailer to events, won’t ride in bad weather but, still wear their leather, patches and present themselves as “bikers” just because they ride this one particular brand. Then they have the gall to shake me down for not riding their brand! I think everyone reading this has encountered someone who fits this description. Those of you who are reading this and are guilty of such crimes, relax.. You ride man, that’s what’s really important. But, I digress as that subject will require a website in itself.
Now, back to me and my Scout purchase justifications. I have ridden a handful of bikes but, not as many as I would like. HOWEVER, allow me to define my interpretation of “riding”. When I say I want to ride one, this basically means “to death”. Not until the bike is in the yard but, until I choose another bike more frequently because I am finally over the newcomers “newness”. This cannot be done in a day, I must own it so, I can put it through real world scenarios for as long as it still serves that purpose. Only then can I wholeheartedly voice my opinion on a particular machine. Oh to be young again and living in such a place with so much time on my hands. So, since I am far from wealthy or middle class actually, I cannot critique but a few machines. First impression riding is just another animal all together and I will leave that to the paid bike magazine columnists and critics.
Current day, the 2015 Indian Scout. (Official Indian Scout Website) I first saw this bike in a cycle mag while sitting in a dentists chair awaiting extractions. Man, that may be an odd lead in but, it’s the truth. Perusing the mag I was impressed with what Polaris has done with the Indian Scout. Just a few hours later, I did some more research and watched some videos. I also pestered the nearest dealer to no end with questions. Those guys have ridden the bike, I never even saw one in person yet. I touched on my concerns with off the shelf bikes; like cheesy foot, hand controls and mirrors, seat quality, fit and finish, ability to hold value and adaptability to rider size without throwing tons of cash at the thing to make it comfortable. What, no plastic? I am liking this Scout! PROBLEM, there are none available! These must be pre-ordered ($500 minimum) unless (I am assuming) you live in Spirit Lake, Iowa, where final assembly takes place.
So guess what, I obtained another job and pre-ordered my 2015 Indian Scout. Thunder Black Smoke color costs ~another 2k and I added on the Rear Passenger Pillion (seat pad), Sissy Bar, Sissy Bar Back Rest, Spindles to mount rear seat, Foot Pegs, Stage 1 Straight Exhaust and a medium height quick detachable wind screen. Yeah, around three grand of add ons and five bills in labor, three of which is to remap the ‘puter. I initially questioned the remapping labor because right on the Indian site it said remapping was included. I called Indian to clarify. The person I spoke to there (Ashton) confirmed and said dealer re-mapping was included and the dealer should call if there is any question. The dealer has been great so far and VERY informative and helpful. So, I called the dealer and he said no problem, he will call to verify as we pulled up the Indian site together over the phone. Guess what! The text was contradictory! (See Update Below) It no longer said that mapping was included, just required to be performed by dealer! The dealer said it was around 3 hrs to re-map. These slip-ons are 800 bucks so re-mapping, I assumed as I read it right on the website, was in fact included. *1 Not so, according to the text. Was this strike one even in my pre-ownership stage here? No, it was not.
*1 UPDATE: Found that the text was in fact corrected on the website.
I am not getting charged for re-mapping, just installation. I must have mis-interpreted what the dealer said in relation to total labor for all my add ons so, that was my bad.
Indian has also corrected the text on the website and re-mapping shows included (in early 2105 here).
So what happened to initiate this confusion? When following the “Accessories” link vs following the “Customize” link initially provided the different descriptions. Now they match.
Folks, I cannot tell you how many times Sky Powerports in Lakeland with tons of questions and concerns.
So far, all my questions and concerns have been addressed and I had a few. After all I am buying before even seeing one in person. I highly recommend this dealership thus far.
Okay sorry, back to it…
Many online articles are comparing this bike to the Fury, VStar and Sportser and yes, this bike has some superior specs but, apples to oranges all these bikes are totally different. The most relevant comparison I suppose is to the Victory Vegas 8 Ball.
All in all it’s about what YOU like not someone else’s opinion. I like the Indian Scouts “look” better than the Victory. No cooling fins and embracing more of a straight forward “bling free” appearance. Minimalistic yet mechanical with sweeping lines which beg me to throw a leg over and open ‘er up.
Did I mention it also says Indian on the side!
How cool is that?
Will I get what I paid for?
Will this bike fulfill my needs in function as it does in aesthetics?
Time will tell and since this is the very first new ANYTHING (vehicle related) I have owned, my hopes are only slightly skewed by all the unknowns.
From a Harley enthusiast test riding the Scout
Wow! What a nice bike. It was a rocket. Power everywhere. Feels like a feather. Handles great. Without a doubt I would buy in a minute. This would be the perfect bike for commuting, errands around town, general motorcycling. I’ve been on a Sportster for years and there just is not comparison between the two. The Scout beats it at every level. C & E V-twin in Auburn CA was having it’s official open house and the Indian trailer was there with all the models for testing. Lot’s of eager mostly Harley folks with big smiles on their faces after the ride was over.
And for those of you WHO say they MUST compare apples to oranges, here is an unbiased (well maybe a little HD biased from my impression) write up on Scout vs Sportster. Well, I say apples to appleoids? The Scout is very modern with new technology and is under strict scrutiny to those who want to ride American steel. Basically, a do or die situation and a HUGE risk for the Indian brand so, the Scout had to come out swinging and with more horsepower, better handling, better shifting, distinct look and persona around a brand spanking new fin-less 100HP, big-bore, short-stroke, liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin. Guess what? I personally see a bike that I want right now.
Although I have only ridden only a couple Sporters totaling a couple hundred miles (and had a lot of fun), the most common comments from recent Sportster riders is that their Sportster feels a bit anemic and clunky after riding the Scout. But, the aftermarket and customization / personalization, faithful followers of the HD brand and “persona” will however, keep HD at the head of the “sales” pack for decades to come I am sure. C’mon man it’s a great machine, a great story, a great following it’s American f’n history. Unfortunately, owning one is not in the cards for me with my hand. Now someone could just gimme one in attempt to convert me?? (hint) That said, I have a selection of daily riders, the HD would really have to offer me something great and different to beg me to choose that ride for the day. Not a tourer, not a dresser, not a typical looking machine. (Update: I rode a GREAT one! Will post soon!) I actually recently walked into a Harley dealer (Jims) with an open mind and a down payment. I did not see one bike that talked to me except a used Fury in the parking lot. I even saw accordion rubber over forks, c’mon man.
Update: I rode a great HD recently. I will tell you all about it on another page. Am I converted? Hang on..
As I said before, I am not faithful or biased to a specific manufacturer and I don’t buy a bike for “persona purposes”.
Unless a company is paying me, I won’t sport their logo on clothing either unless possibly, they gave it to me for free and I like the product.
So folks, sometime in March 2015 hopefully, NOW PUSHED OUT TO MAY 2015 I will type up my first impression riding experience and ongoing experiences here including dealer experiences and service department there.
I hope that my brain droppings and rants I put on my site here will prove to be relevant in the real world timeline of Polaris’ resurrection of the Indian brand.
The $299 sissy bar to mount the passenger backrest on was mistakenly left off but, I was assured it is on the order and is in stock.
Damn, you know what? I should get the luggage rack too. How else can I carry beverages home? On the tank? I think not…
Specifications Engine Horsepower (HP) 100 (74.7 kW) Engine Type Liquid Cooled V-Twin Displacement 69 cu in Electronic Fuel Injection System Closed loop fuel injection / 60 mm bore Drivetrain Primary Drive Gear Drive Wet Clutch Performance Peak Torque (J1349 ft-lbs) 72.2 ft-lbs. (97.7 Nm) Peak Torque RPM 5900 rpm Gear Ratio (Overall) 1st 10.782 : 1 2nd 7.328 : 1 3rd 5.841 : 1 4th 4.957 : 1 5th 4.380 : 1 6th 4.034 : 1 Final Drive 2.357 : 1 Chassis Suspension: Front - Type/Travel Telescopic Fork/4.7" (120 mm) Suspension: Rear - Type/Travel Dual Shocks/3.0" (76 mm) Brakes/Front Single / 298 mm Rotor / 2 Piston Caliper Brakes/Rear Single /298 mm Rotor / 1 Piston Caliper Tires/Front 130/90-16 72H Tires/Rear 150/80-16 71H Wheels Cast 16" x 3.5" Front and 16" x 5" Rear Exhaust System Split dual exhaust with crossover DIMENSIONS Fuel Capacity (gallons/liters) 3.3 gallons Ground Clearance 5.3 in / 135 mm Overall Height (in./cm.) 47.5 in / 1207 mm Overall Width (in./cm.) 34.6 in / 880 mm Rake/Trail 29° Seat Height 25.3 in / 635 mm Wheelbase 61.5 in / 1562 mm Overall Length (in./cm.) 91 in / 2311 mm Lean Angle 31 degrees GVWR 988 lbs / 449 kg Trail 4.7 in / 119.9 mm Weight (Empty tank / full of fuel) 538 lbs / 558 lbs (244 kg / 253 kg) Electric Gauges Digital tachometer, odometer, trip meter, engine temp, and low fuel lamp Lights Headlight, tail/brake light, turn signals, license plate light, and speedometer and indicator lights
Folks, I cannot tell you how many times I have called Tim at Sky Powerports in Lakeland with tons of questions and concerns.
His patience with me is UN-paralled and I highly recommend this dealership thus far.
Your Author – Jim – And my daily riders