I have always been a Sport or Enduro bike kind of guy and I love the way those bikes handle in their own environment. I never thought that after testing the Indian Scout 60, I would also now be a cruiser believer!
The US-made Scout 60 that I test-drove was in my favorite black color. It had the right amount of chrome trimmings and the major parts of the bike were kept in black like the great looking engine casting, aluminum frame and cast alloy wheels. This made the Scout look sportier than any cruiser out there.
I guess it wasn’t just I who found the bike beautiful but others around me kept giving their thumbs up when they see me. One fan even went to the Indian showroom after we talked on EDSA during one of those monstrous traffic jams, and said that he never thought an Indian would look better than his other cruiser.
The 60-cubic inch, 78-hp, fuel injected engine is the smallest in the Scout range but is more than enough for Philippine roads and highways. Driving it in stop and go traffic showed the engine torque produced is great for crawling around stopped cars and overtaking slower bikes. My intermediate riding skills can appreciate this at low engine speeds, especially in this cruiser frame.
One of the problems that I felt was that the engine was a little rough when you rev it up near the redline. The transmission has only five gears and it was a little notchy between first and second gears where the neutral gear is located.
What the transmission lacked, the chassis and handling made up for; the triangular chassis is reminiscence of the old Indian Scout but has been improved by making it in aluminum, improving the design to lower the center of gravity and solidly mounting the engine to it.
Couple this with a good suspension and strong brakes, the Scout 60 becomes a class-winning handling machine that I really appreciated in the twisties. It doesn’t feel large at all and you can really lean it around the turns.
The riding ergonomics is easy to adapt to, even if I wasn’t accustomed to it. It’s low, single seat profile gives you confidence, even with the cruiser pedals all the way in front. The brake system has anti-lock brake system but lacks traction control and engine power settings in this model.
My wish list
One of the things that I want to see in the Scout is a back seat for another rider. There are extra rider’s pegs already built in but only a solo seat is available in stock form. A small fairing will also be good so it will be easier to travel in windy conditions. I’m sure the designers can always make it look well integrated in this lovely design. The transmission can also use another gear for better highway performance.
I loved my time on the Indian Scout and never thought that this short ride would change my view of cruisers, all because it is well made.