2018 Indian Scout Bobber Review
Bike Tested: Indian Scout Bobber; Road Test No. 930
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 14.96 lakhs
Going against a handful of Harleys and Triumphs, the Indian Scout Bobber does have an edge in terms of desirability
Trimmed fenders, domineering stance, grumbling motors and a construction which often comes across as the finest indication of minimalism – welcome to the world of Bobbers! Despite bobber motorcycles making an entry from time to time in factory-custom form or otherwise, there’s no denying that the Indian audience is yet to come to terms with this breed of motorcycles completely. In 2016, Moto Guzzi introduced their entrant to this class while the Scout Bobber from Indian Motorcycles landed late last year. We have the latter at our disposal to tread the roads of Mumbai before dishing out a well-weighted opinion. Read on to find out what to expect from this kind of a machine and how well, or not, does it fit our road conditions.
Motor Quest: In 2011, Polaris Industries took over Indian Motorcycles and started rolling out new products a couple of years down the line. One of them was the Scout, showcased at the 2014 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, on which the more-affordable Scout Bobber is based. The other derivative is the Scout Sixty which is priced lower than the Bobber. Together, this trio constitutes the midsize portfolio of Indian Motorcycles.
The Scout Bobber is pure aesthetic brilliance and nothing else!
Styling – As an automaker, Indian Motorcycles has been in our good books when it comes to product design. With outer dimensions measuring 2276 x 926 x 1154 (length x width x height, in mm) coupled with broad rubber and a hunkered-down stance, the Scout Bobber doesn’t deviate from the company’s trait even a bit and looks really handsome in flesh. Everything, from the cast wheels and street tracker handlebars to the footpegs and dual pipes, comes coated in satin black. Helping it stay true to bobber styling are those chopped fenders and a well-crafted brown leather seat. Attention-to-detail is of top order which shows in the level of detailing on the blinkers and bold block lettering on the tank. In essence, this motorcycle is a stripped-down Scout but the overall transformation has come out really well. So much so, that it tends to overshadow the standard Scout in terms of road presence.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – The Scout Bobber’s instrumentation unit consists of an analog cluster that also houses a compact digital display on the lower part. While there is nothing particularly attractive in this single-pod unit, it goes well with the motorcycle’s minimalist theme. The analogue speedometer circles various tell-tale lights and is fairly easy-to-read despite its size. All other information – including the odometer, tachometer, engine temperature, clock and more – is presented on the digital display which is just about legible in daylight. The switch to toggle with various options displayed on the screen has been provided on the handlebar. Speaking of switchgear, the Scout Bobber comes with well-finished buttons that feel nice and premium to operate.
Ergonomics – As compared to the standard Scout, Indian has altered the ergonomics of the Scout Bobber which has had an impact on the seating position. While the saddle height stands at a more-than-accessible 649 mm, the company has brought the footpegs closer to the rider by 38 mm and also made the handlebar more accessible. It is easy to manoeuvre this machine around corners as the centre of gravity is quite low. However, the riding position is a quirky mix of ‘relaxed’ and ‘dedicated’ which takes comfort out of the equation on longer runs. The rider has to lean in slightly to grab the handlebars while the lower body remains in a laid-back posture typical of cruisers. Thankfully, the seat is well-shaped and offers decent amount of cushioning. The rear-view mirrors offer a good view of what’s behind provided you set them right in the first place!