Indian Scout Bobber test


V2, 1133 cm3, 94 hp, 97 Nm at 5,600 rpm, 245 kilos dry, from € 13,990

A minimalist and stylish machine

The air of nothing, this is an important machine for Indian because the American brand, with this machine, targets our European habits. Indeed, if the cruiser remains king in the American territory, tastes differ elsewhere and Indian is attentive to trends, sets up partnerships with Wheels & Waves and the next Salon Moto Legendes and goes where a younger customer can. meet the historic brand, on a machine that is both nice and stripped down, both easy and efficient.

Suddenly, Indian has plenty of ambitions: to multiply its sales by three in Europe in the next three years. And it will also go through France, which is the biggest European market. France which saw sales growth of 35% last year, where the International is at over 29% and the USA at over 15%.

So Indian thinks of us. Let’s expect to discover, at the end of 2018, a 750-type machine very inspired by the Flat-Track, the queen discipline in the USA where Indian is in the process of winning everything at the moment. And in the meantime, here is the Scout Bobber, a more stylish machine, very closely derived from the Scout.

Indian Scout Bobber test


We knew the Scout: to become a Scout Bobber, this machine does not change fundamentally, but the modifications are relevant enough to give two significant and convincing identities. Thus, the Bobber gets shorter mudguards, a blacker surface treatment, a new exhaust, a new brown leather saddle, a different ergonomics, studded tires and new lettering on the tank. The rear part is however noticeably different, with the truncated mudguard and the lights in the turn signals..

Indian Scout Bobber

The colors in the color chart are also, one is almost tempted to say "dark custom", but this expression was filed by the historical competitor. But in comparison, the standard Scout has a saddle (now standard two-seater) in caramel leather with brighter paints. It is aimed at a more traditional clientele, even older than this Bobber.

The Scout Bobber is available in several colors

Finally, we note the excellent level of finish and quality of construction, with covers on the arches at the rear (where the saddle and optional luggage are installed), other covers at the top of the heads of shock absorber, brake levers with the Indian logo, finely machined cylinder heads, etc. No doubt, this machine is rewarding to inspect in detail.

The details are numerous

In addition, a wide range of accessories is available: in addition to all the possible and unimaginable clothes to go with your motorcycle, Indian has also designed a passenger seat, a sissy-bar, light luggage. Scout accessories can also be mounted, such as an ape hanger handlebar, for example.

LED flashing light for the Scout Bobber

In the saddle

If you did not remember the paragraph above, or if you have a memory of goldfish, here is something to clear your mind: if the meter is on a black background, it is the Bobber, if it is on a white background, it’s the Scout. Otherwise, the two sets are strictly identical. We therefore have a large tachometer as well as a digital window, which displays the clock permanently and as desired, with an impulse on the left index finger, the trip, the odometer, the engine speed, the battery charge….

Indian Scout Bobber's counter

The driving position is also a little different, less relaxed, due to a flatter handlebars and footrests that are 38 mm forward compared to the Scout. This gives a "bad boy" attitude, quite nice to watch, with the rider picked up on the bike. We will add that with a saddle at only 649 mm and a size which is all in all quite compact, the Scout Bobber will be more pleasant with the sizes contained than with the large sausages..

Indian Scout Bobber Lighthouse

Engine and transmission

We knew the 1133 cm3 of the Scout: it changes little, because its power decreases from 100 hp to 94 hp, just to be able to be restricted to A2; it is associated with a secondary belt transmission and a 6 gearbox (smooth and precise), unlike the Scout Sixty which is satisfied with 5 gears.

The Scout's V-Twin remains the same on the Bobber

This engine sticks very well to the philosophy of the machine: flexible at low speed, elastic and endowed with a wide range of use, lively and powerful in revs, it is very pleasant in all circumstances. Finally, the option of Remus exhausts does not add much in terms of performance and sound; well, as long as we leave them original…

In the city

As for the city, we stuck with Cannes and Frejus: well it does. In the first few meters, we find that the front axle is a bit heavy (there is still a tire of 130/90 x 16) but in fact, this machine turns of a block and responds instantly to the injunctions. The compact size helps to squeeze between cars, the turning radius is correct (but with the optional mirrors under the handlebars, you get caught in the knees during intense steering). Then, the engine is flexible, capable of cruising at 2000 rpm in 4th gear at 50 km / h, while showing itself already lively when resuming at this speed. Finally, the controls are smooth and the response to the accelerator is very progressive: no jolts or hesitation.

Indian Scout Bobber road test

In short, the Scout Bobber is certainly called upon to spend a large part of her life showing off on the boulevards. That’s good, she is perfectly at ease there.

On motorways and main roads

Which is less the case in this paragraph. However, with 94 horses, there is a way to get caught by all the radars of France and Dom Tom (those of Corsica do not work, that the insularity can inspire us !!), but the question n is not there.

Indian Scout Bobber on highway

The thing is, with the picked up position, the lack of wind protection and the comfort (we’ll get to that) just average, that’s not where the Scout Bobber will thrive (and you will). . Sure, it can do it, it even has acceleration and pick-up. And with its aluminum frame, it doesn’t have any stability issues either. On the other hand, if you like to find yourself hanging on the branches like a flag, go for a ride on the Autobahnen…

The engine is smooth and lively

On departmental

No need to hide the face: the Scout Bobber lacks ground clearance (it goes from 31 ° on the Scout to 29 °) and we quickly realize at the first bend approached a bit quickly. This does not take away from the fact that its chassis is extremely healthy and that its braking is perfectly consistent with the rest of the bike. So, we quickly understand that it is not in our interest to pull the plug too much, under penalty of grilling the footrest and, it is more annoying, the exhaust, both in its central part, but also on its ends, which has the effect of lifting the motorcycle and making it widen its trajectory. As the chassis is super healthy, it can be fun (and expensive too, considering the price of the pots), but then you don’t have much room for error….

Indian Scout Bobber in a bend

So cool, Raoul. And there, the Bobber returns to the center of the game: the engine is an ally. Flexible, it resumes with force and the thrust intensifies towards 5000 rpm and it is pleasant, because more lively than its competitors in Milwaukee … In addition, the agility of the machine is remarkable and the 254 kilos ( with the full) are beautifully masked by an excellent balance. Here is a 1200, certainly powerful, but that we can also entrust to a beginner or to a small size.

Indian Scout Bobber in a curve


Few changes compared to the classic Scout: we stay on 16-inch wheels, unlike the Victory Octane (18 in front, 17 behind). On the other hand, the tires are nicely sculpted Kenda on the Bobber, when the Scout switched to Pirelli this year. The rear shocks are different, their stroke is reduced by 25 mm, to now offer 50, which is not much. On the other hand, the fork is new and if it is not adjustable, it does the job well, being progressive and not bottoming out. Its travel is 120 mm.

Angle shot with the Indian Scout Bobber


Single disc at the front (298 mm, 2 pistons) and single disc at the rear (also 298 mm, but only one piston). The device is sufficient in view of the performance of the machine. It is also dosable and the ABS does not trigger inadvertently. That’s good, so !

The Bobber sports a thick front tire

Comfort and duo

The duo being optional and our machine not having been equipped with these options, we were not able to pick up the cagole, the local specialty from where we drove. Too bad, because it would have been very possible, so this machine attracts the eye. We played it poor lonesome rider: enough to see that comfort, without being unpleasant, is not the strong point of the machine. The fork does the job, cushions well and doesn’t bottom out, but the two low-travel rear shocks quickly show their structural limitations, while the saddle is a bit firm, even on the small bead in the rear. At the same time, if you are so concerned about comfort, Indian also sells Roadmasters … A Bobber, somewhere, is a rebel motorcycle that refused petty-bourgeois conventions. So now we have to assume.

The saddle of the Indian Scout Bobber

Consumption & autonomy

Again, not the opportunity to refuel on this test. One can imagine that the 12.5 l tank is sufficient to cover at least 200 kilometers, which is sufficient given the purpose of the machine. We could also have liked the presence of an autonomy indicator on the dashboard…

Indian Scout Bobber's tank


Indian does not hide it: this machine is intended for those who have a vision above all calm, but also stylish of the motorcycle. We will not come across a Scout Bobber on the periphery with a big top case, any more than we risk seeing in the middle of winter in the Morvan with big side bags and sleeves..

The Scout Bobber is a stylish machine for epicurean users who aim for a measured but intense motorcycle practice. It does the job, being well built, healthy chassis, endowed with a nice engine, an obvious grip and a nice agility in the turns (or the successions of roundabouts).

With the Scout, Indian had tackled Harley-Davidson by offering overall, for the price and size of a Sportster, the performance and extension of a V-Rod. Certainly, the power is a little reduced on the Bobber, but in use the missing six horses are never lacking, in fact, never. So we find ourselves totally free to go cruising.

Scout Bobber test

Strong points

  • Nice look and in tune with the times
  • Quality of construction and finish
  • Very nice engine, flexible and punchy
  • Remarkable agility
  • Healthy frame
  • A2 license possible
  • 5 year warranty

Weak points

  • Limited ground clearance, necessarily
  • Comfort a firm hair
  • Optional mirrors under the handlebars: you can’t see anything at all !
  • Remus silencer without much added value compared to the original

The Indian Scout Bobber technical sheet

Test conditions

  • Itinerary: A hundred kilometers from Cannes (06) and in the hinterland
  • Motorcycle mileage: 13 km (!)
  • Problem encountered: nothing, we even gave it a good little quick break-in! And then the bike lost a few grams of metal at the level of the footrests and the exhaust…

Competition: Harley-Davidson Sportster 48, Harley-Davidson Street Bob, Triumph Bonneville Bobber

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