While the soulless humanoids who now run Harley-Davidson continue their quest to keep the motor company afloat by blowing hot air at hipsters their chief domestic competitor, Polaris, wants to sell you a better motorcycle.
This month that better motorcycle is the 2015 Indian Scout, a model the original Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company discontinued in 1949. The original Indian replaced the 46 cubic inch Scout with a bigger model called the Warrior in 1950.
The 2015 Scout weighs 558 pounds wet and is powered by a 69 cubic inch, (or 1133cc) liquid cooled, fuel-injected V-twin. engine. Polaris claims it makes 100 horsepower and 72.2 foot pounds of torque at 5900 rpm. It is a sled, with a 25.3 inch seat height and its most obvious defect is a 3.3 gallon gas tank that is at least a gallon too small. It has a six speed transmission, a 31 degree lean angle and a 5.3 inch ground clearance that will protect you from many, if not all, speed bumps. Almost everybody who has tested the bike loves it. You can reach 60 in second gear and it looks like a real motorcycle.
Polaris introduced the Scout earlier this month at Sturgis but you can’t buy one until late this fall. When you can a black Scout will cost $11,000 plus tax and license. A red or grey bike will cost about $300 more.
Indian And Polaris
Indian was founded in 1901 in Springfield, Massachusetts. It remained an important brand throughout the Great Depression and was integral to the effort to win the Second World War but it couldn’t survive the peace. The company went out of business in 1953.
There were attempts to revive Indian motorcycles in 1955, 1963, 1970, 1994 and 1998. Interest in the brand increased during the Harley boom beginning in the 1980s. The Indian Motorcycle Company of America owned the brand from 1999 through 2003. A separate and distinct Indian Motorcycle Company built a limited number of motorcycles in North Carolina between 2006 and 2011.
Snowmobile manufacturer Polaris started making Victory Motorcycles in 1998. Polaris bought the Indian brand in April 2011 and began shipping three Indian models – the Chief Classic, Chief Vintage and the Chieftain – a year ago.