Indian Motorcycle – Scout Centenary
Indian Motorcycle Celebrate 100 year anniversary of the Indian Scout at Motorcycle Live
Iconic Scout’s on Display at Motorcycle Live
Launched in its current water cooled format by Indian Motorcycle 2014, the Indian Scout has a rich lineage; World Speed Records at Bonneville, Flat-Track racing and motorcycle of choice for infamous Wall of Death daredevils, the Indian Scout was first announced to the public in October 1919 and went on sale in 1920.
Originally designed by Irish engineer and premier motorcycle racer Charles B Franklin, who campaigned Indian’s early motorcycle models at Brooklands and Isle of Man TT, the 1920 G-20 Scout was a ground-breaking design, with an all new a 610cc side-valve V-twin engine, a geared primary direct-drive to the three speed gearbox and leaf spring trailing-arm forks.
The G-20 Scout was immortalised by the film the ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ after New Zealander Burt Munro’s heavily modified 1920 Scout smashed all records at Bonneville on 26 August 1967: Setting an under 1,000 cc class record of 183.586 mph.
In 1928 ‘Indian Motocycle’ – as it was known then – launched a new 45 cubic inch version of the Scout around a completely new frame, Charles Franklin’s 101 Scout. Faster handling and easier to ride than the 1920 Scout, the 101 featured a powerful 750cc V-twin motor combined with a longer wheelbase, lower seat and increased rake, which made it the machine of choice for racers and daredevils on the Wall of Death thanks to its superior ergonomics over competitor machines of the time.
1934 SPORT SCOUT
Indian’s ownership had moved to the DuPont family in the early 1930’s due to the decline of the business in America’s great depression. The Sport Scout was introduced in 1934, with a new two-piece lightweight frame that was stiffer than the old 101, lightweight alloy cylinder heads, girder forks and improved carburettors. Late 30’s models began to feature full skirt fenders, a style that became a lasting Indian trademark. The Sport Scout went on to win the first ever Daytona 200 in 1937.
741b MILITARY SCOUT
In 1941 Indian created a de-tuned military grade version of the Scout, supplying around 30,000 to British and British Commonwealth Forces, designed for bullet proof reliability and ease of maintenance by Allied Forces personnel, the 741b featured a low compression 500cc engine in a stressed member hard-tail frame. After the Second World War many of these machines were adopted by civilians across Europe and remain the most common Indian motorcycle model available to collectors, although finding examples with period correct military accessories is extremely rare.
648 ‘BIG BASE’ SCOUT
Indian returned to racing competition with the 648 ‘Big Base’ Sport Scout in 1948 and were the ultimate development of Indian’s flathead engine technology, with high-dome pistons carrying two compression rings and one oil ring. Just fifty were built for racing use, winning the 1948 Daytona 200 with Floyd Emde in the saddle. The 648 is a lasting icon among American motorcycles and continued to win races in American Flat Track well into the 1970’s
New company ownership reintroduced the V-Twin Scout model in 1999 making motorcycles under the Indian Motorcycle name in Gilroy, California. The Scout was powered by an air cooled 1442cc S&S Cycle engine. The machines made in this period are often referred to as Gilroy Indians, which were produced in limited numbers.
Today’s Indian Scout was first revealed in August 2014, derived from a clean sheet design, creating a potent and precise middle-weight cruiser that carries forward the spirit of innovation that made it one of the most storied bikes of all time.
Boasting advanced technologies, design and engineering innovations, its breakthrough chassis design features a lightweight and rigid cast aluminium frame coupled with a low 25.3-inch seat height for exceptional comfort, balance and manoeuvrability. Powered by a liquid-cooled, 69 cubic inch, 1133cc V-twin engine, high horsepower, superior handling and continuous development from Indian Motorcycle year-on-year make it a bike that thrills even the most experienced riders.
Guy Martin’s ‘Wall of Death’ Scout
Thousands tuned-in to watch Guy Martin brave the steep wooden sides of the huge Wall of Death (with a 118m circumference). Guy achieved 70.33 mph on the Indian Scout. The bike he rode was specially prepared to be ‘Wall ready’ with the assistance of Wall of Death legend Ken Fox, by the team at Krazy Horse. Differences from the standard machine include Renthal handlebars, lay-back risers, modified lower frame struts to accommodate foot-plates, 18″ wheels, a shortened rear fender.
‘THUG’ CUSTOM SCOUT
Built for the UK dealer custom challenge ‘Project Scout’ by Thor Motorcycles, this extreme custom scout received global acclaim after winning the public vote at Motorcycle Live in 2016.
‘THUG’ is a radical bike with old skool custom values; the parts used were skilfully modified to fit the build of this fat wheeled bobber in house at Thor Motorcycles engineering workshops in Cornwall.
Find out more about the current Scout family: Scout, Scout Sixty, Scout Bobber and 100th anniversary models at www.indianmotorcycle.co.uk