2018 Indian Scout Bobber
by Brian Robinson
While adventure bikes and scramblers have been all the rage of late, another retro theme has started to emerge, the Bobber. Don’t know what a Bobber is? That’s okay, our Two Wheelin’ Guru Brian Robinson is here to help!
BRIAN ROBINSON: “While there were numerous failed attempts at reviving the Indian brand over the years, since taking control in 2011, Polaris seems willing to do whatever it takes to truly make it happen, including shutting down their own Victory brand to put all of their resources into building bikes like this.”
This is the 2018 Indian Scout Bobber. Those keeping up with cruisers, will know that the Scout is the entry-level into Indian; but entry-level doesn’t have to mean boring, truly the case with this midsize cruiser.
If you ever wanted to look like you just rode out of a 1950s biker movie, this is a good place to start. The simplistic answer to what makes a bobber, is the bobbed or chopped fender look that gained popularity in the 50s when a surplus of military motorcycles began making their way on to the streets, paralleling the Hot Rod craze on the car side of things.
Furthering the look, usually entailed chopping off everything shiny or not necessary, putting on some cheap fat tires, and getting everything as low as possible.
Bar-end mirrors are standard. And they can be swapped and oriented downward as seen here, the way Indian delivered it to me. Also included is a side-mount for your license plate
The requisite V-twin engine is the 69 cubic-inch version of the Scout engine; 1,133ccs and water-cooled, it puts out 100-horseopwer and 72 lb-ft. of torque.
Indian has done a fairly good job of minimizing the radiator, to keep the classic cruiser look intact.
That may not sound like a whole lot of torque, but every bit of it seems available at the first hint of throttle application.
Keep ripping through the gears, and you’ll find yourself trying to hold onto the bars as you slide off the back of the seat.
Which brings us to the next point, like most bikes designed around a styling theme, there is a price to pay. That cool-looking solo seat is not comfortable by any means. And when combined with the stretched out riding position to reach the forward controls and handlebar, as well as the minimal travel to the rear shocks, my tailbone was asking for a break way earlier than as usual.
Very limited ground clearance is also part of the picture, making it much more fun grabbing attention around the local watering hole, than scraping hard parts around corners.
But the actual dollar amount price is not bad at all, starting at just $11,499. You’ll have to pay an extra 500-bucks for the classic Indian Red paint scheme, but well worth it as far as I’m concerned.
While the 2018 Indian Scout Bobber may be more about form than function. It is indeed one heck of a form, one that everyone I came in contact with thought was beautiful. And in case you forget what it is you’re riding, Indian was kind enough to place plenty of clues all over this beastly beauty. Thanks for all of the reminders, Indian. And thanks for bringing the brand back, Polaris. We love seeing Indians on the street again, and you’ll find it hard to stop looking at this one.