2016 Indian Scout Sixty | Road Test Review

Julia contemplates her first ride on the new, smaller-displacement and less-expensive Indian model. (Photography by Kevin Wing)
Julia contemplates her first ride on the new, smaller-displacement and less-expensive Indian model. (Photography by Kevin Wing)

Now that Indian has been successfully reborn with the debut of the Chief series in August of 2013 (under the auspices of Polaris Industries, Inc., which also produces the Victory brand), the company has been rounding out its lineup with additional models. After leading with big-inch cruisers based upon its classic heritage (the original company was founded in 1901), Indian introduced the Scout for 2015, a much more technically advanced machine whose counterbalanced 60-degree V-twin motor features liquid cooling, four valves per cylinder and dual overhead cams, while still maintaining that classic cruiser stance. A cast-aluminum frame holds it all together. Indian considers that the Scout models are the type of machine the original company would likely be building today had it remained in continuous production.

Mellow, controllable power and a low center of gravity make the Scout Sixty suitable even for an entry-level rider.
Mellow, controllable power and a low center of gravity make the Scout Sixty suitable even for an entry-level rider.

Now for 2016, Indian has released a new model called the Scout Sixty, a more basic but similar-looking machine priced around $2,000 less that is aimed at the entry-level crowd. While the Scout features a 69-cubic-inch motor (1,133cc) with a bore and stroke of 99.0 x 73.6mm, a 6-speed transmission, lots of chrome and a leather solo seat, the new Scout Sixty displaces a less-threatening 999cc (or 61 cubic inches) by virtue of its smaller 93mm bore. It has a 5-speed transmission, vinyl solo seat and its styling features mostly blacked-out components. Both require 91-octane premium fuel, and stow it in their 3.3-gallon tanks. While Indian states that the Scout generates 100 horsepower and 72.2 lb-ft of torque, it claims only 78 horses and 65 lb-ft for the Sixty version, making it more a “son of” version rather than simply another iteration of the same model.

The first things the rider notes when climbing aboard the Scout Sixty is that its solo seat is placed just 25.3 inches above the pavement, and because its hefty 561 pounds of wet weight is carried so low, the bike feels solid rather than massive. The Sixty is only three pounds lighter than the Scout, so both are still a lot of bike to push around. The solo seat is bucket-like and holds the rider in place, which limits the opportunity to move around and change position; this can become tiresome in about 30 miles.

Fire up the Scout Sixty with its electronic fuel injection, and a throaty idle emanates from its chromed split dual crossover exhausts. After circulating through the 5-speed gearbox, power reaches the rear wheel by means of a belt final drive.

Out on the road, the rider soon becomes accustomed to the feet-forward riding position behind the wide handlebar. The fork is reasonably compliant, but those laid-down shocks with their mere three inches of travel are far less so and send the more pronounced road shocks into the rider. With such a low seat height and short-travel shocks, I was soon scraping pegs and eventually boot heels on a twisty road, and was pleased to see that my daughter, Julia, was doing likewise.

Cornering clearance is marginal, seating position places the feet forward.
Cornering clearance is marginal, seating position places the feet forward.

Because the Scout Sixty is considered by Indian to be its entry-level machine, Editor Tuttle suggested that we solicit feedback on it from my 22-year-old daughter, Julia, who has been riding just a year on her Honda CBR300R. Though originally leery of riding a bike with three times the displacement and twice the weight of her little Honda, Julia happily noted that the bike was very controllable and manageable, thanks to its mellow, torquey power, low seat and center of gravity. She did find that the stronger clutch pull became tiring for her, but not so for Dad. The rear exhaust pipe passes close to the right thigh, and we both noted the unwelcome heat when we strayed too close. The bike’s long 61.5-inch wheelbase made for lazy turns in the twisties, but delivered welcome stability at highway speeds.

Stopping power is provided by a pair of 298mm brake rotors, the front gripped by a two-piston caliper and the rear by a single-piston. When he tested the Scout in our November 2014 issue, Senior Editor Greg Drevenstedt reported that the brakes were underwhelming. While the two models share the same braking system, I felt that the brakes on our test Scout Sixty were adequate. Note that anti-lock brakes are available on the Scout but not on the Scout Sixty.

Seating position places the hands far apart.
Seating position places the hands far apart.

Yes, Julia and I agreed that the Scout Sixty could use a cushier seat, better shocks and greater cornering clearance, all of which are potentially available through Indian’s accessory catalog that offers a leather solo seat and performance Fox shocks. Other items include windshields, wire wheels, cast wheels with machined accents, chrome, mini apes, a performance exhaust system, a passenger seat with backrest and more; let it be your playground.

While the Scout sells for $10,999 in Thunder Black, the Scout Sixty is priced at just $8,999 in the same color. The Pearl White version Julia is shown riding here will cost you $9,299; the Scout is not available in this color. Check the website for a full listing of colors and prices.

It’s obviously a personal decision as to whether you regard the Scout Sixty’s cost advantage worthwhile (hey, spend it on accessories), or whether you would prefer the Scout’s slightly larger motor and major performance advantage. As for this dad, I’ll be happy with Julia riding the lower horsepower model.

2016 Indian Scout Sixty
2016 Indian Scout Sixty

2016 Indian Scout Sixty Specs
Website: indianmotorcycle.com
Base Price: $8,999
Price as Tested: $9,299 in Pearl White
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 60-degree V-twin, DOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 999cc
Bore x Stroke: 93.0 x 73.6mm
Transmission: 5-speed, cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: Belt
Wheelbase: 61.5 in.
Rake/Trail: 29 degrees/4.7 in.
Seat Height: 25.3 in.
Wet Weight: 561 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 3.3 gals.
MPG: 91 PON min. (low/avg/high) 46.6/49.7/51.7

Cast wheels look great, and a single disc provides adequate braking force.
Cast wheels look great, and a single disc provides adequate braking force.
Vinyl-covered seat holds the rider in place and could use more padding.
Vinyl-covered seat holds the rider in place and could use more padding.
Rider can toggle through several screens on single gauge.
Rider can toggle through several screens on single gauge.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Yet more under powered, overweight , under braked cruiser junk. Should sell like hotcakes to biker wannabe baby boomers.

    Meanwhile, Julia and her generation just might see through this nonsense and continue to appreciate the the attributes of light, fleet, excellent handling modern bikes like her CBR.

  2. Why do you have to use wannabe. Can’t people just plain enjoy the motorcycle that they purchase with their hard earned money. I have been riding for 41 years if I purchased the Indian am I a wanna be?

  3. Only riding for 41 years? You’re still a kid! (I started riding in 1970).

    Seriously, though, I use that word “wannabe” quite intentionally. I encounter all kinds of people of my generation who are latecomers to riding. Many of them seem to be attracted to riding cruisers and dressing like prospects for Sons of Anarchy.

    They also seem to think that looking like bad guys isn’t enough. Stock exhausts are jettisoned in favour of loud pipes guaranteed to annoy the neighbours and little else. And let them gather in any numbers and these otherwise fine citizens feel free to engage in all kinds of anti-social behaviour, (c.f.: Daytona, Sturgis, etc., etc..), that – once again – apes the activity of organized criminal gangs.

    Now, I’m a live-and-let-live kind of guy. If that’s what folks want to do, go ahead. In fact I rather enjoy meeting folks who live unique lives and do interesting – even odd – things. My problem with many of the cruiser, (especially the Harley), crowd is the pompous, elitist attitude they take towards those of us who choose to ride any other style – or brand – of bike.

    As I mentioned, I’ve been riding for a long time. I’ve ridden in Britain, every Canadian province, (save for Newfoundland – and that’s on the bucket list), and most of the US states. I hope to ride to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories on the Dempster highway (from my home in Ottawa, Ontario) this summer. I’ve owned a lot of bikes of different brands and currently ride an ’05 Suzuki DL1000. And, frankly, I have grown tired of being asked why I don’t ride a Harley and find the “I’m-a-tough-guy” attitude of most of the psuedo-chopper crowd to be more than laughable (especially when I see how little mileage they have on their bikes).

    You ask ” Can’t people just plain enjoy the motorcycle that they purchase with their hard earned money.” I do just that. I suspect you do as well. I bet Julia is doing that with her CBR. However, I am suggesting that there is a large contingent of “wannabes” who buy these heavy, poor performing bikes for no other reason than that they want to identify themselves with a certain biker “image”.

    So, go ahead and buy an Indian if you want. Enjoy riding it – have a great time. But please, when you see me on my V-Strom in my Shoei helmet and beige (!) Fieldsheer jacket, wave!

    • Hey! I started riding in 51. How many year’s is that? Sounds like about 65. Rigtht now, I’ve got a Kawasaki GPZ 1100. It’s beautiful. Fast. Smooth. Gets 50 mpg on regular. But it’s high, and heavy with narrow bars. At 80, I have a problem in the garage, and parking lots. Was going to get a Scout a few months ago. But the dealer laughed at my GPZ. tch tch. It’s a 10 second rocket! Anyway I didn’t buy the Scout. I think the new Triumph T120 is more my style. Had a 57 BSA in the Air Force. It was that or a Triumph then. Nice way of going back in history.

  4. Alex….who’s being pompous with an elitist attitude putting all Harley riders into one group? You’re slamming Harley riders for having a condescending attitude towards any bike that isn’t a Harley in the same breath as telling everyone that everyone should be riding Crotch Rockets. I’ve been riding for 47 years, owned 14 different Motorcycles, 4 Hondas, 1 Yamaha, 1 Kawasaki and 8 Harleys. I’m to the point in my life that can buy and ride whatever I chose to ride. My current bike is a Harley Ultra Classic. A bike I chose because my wife enjoys riding along with me. We often cover 3 to 4 thousand miles in a week’s time. I really wouldn’t enjoy a CBR or a V-Storm riding 2 up covering that many miles. I chose the Ultra because it suits my Touring riding style, not because of my anti-social behavior.

  5. I don’t wanna be a wanna be.

    Let’s see if some Indian 60 riders can cross the continent a few times to boost their mileage and keep Alex happy! (Hint: Get better shocks and a better seat).

    • Why not just buy a better bike to begin with? For instance, a Yamaha FZ 07 can be had for 2 grand less than the cheaper Scout.

    • I rode 1800 miles across country five years ago on a 750 Honda Shadow. I own an Indian Sixty and would consider do so again with it. The Sixty is way more comfortable, quicker, and feels lighter. At 56 the only thing I would do this time around is buy the aftermarket shocks. I have been riding since the 70’s and have owned 3 Hondas, a Suzuki and for a short time a Sportster which I couldn’t sell fast enough. I am retired Air Force and have ridden in several countries. My Indian Scout Sixty is a fun bike to ride, and I would say its the best all around bike I have ever owned. And at my age I’m long past being a wannabe anything.

  6. Do you guys take every comment personally? Read my posts. They are not directed at experienced riders. (Although I do still think your taste in bikes is odd.)

  7. While I understand the level of performance you have come to expect from today’s motorcycles Alex, not everyone is looking for the latest and greatest in advances. So how about you let the wanna-be’s go their own way on whatever machine they prefer to ride? At least you know that you will be able to easily ride away from their loud bikes and boorish behavior. So enjoy your spirited ride into the sunset (or sunrise as Newfoundland is east of everywhere) and just be the best ambassador of riding you can be.

    • You bet it is. You however chose to denigrate people who might actually prefer this bike. You like to ride hard and fast your choice. Others are a bit more mellow and enjoy other aspects of the ride. For them a little heavy for power, whatever, cruiser suits them just fine. With the full knowledge that yes Virginia there are “better performing” options. For many it’s been there done that and now prefer the wind in the face on a mellow ride.

  8. In my opinion, this new Indian 60 is an absolute bargain. At age 73, I recently switched from a Gold Wing 1800 to a Burgman 650 Executive. I love the simplicity of my scooter, but the Indian 60 is tempting.

  9. I’m curious and will like to know how does the new indian scout 60 and the bolt C compares with the suzuki Boulevard S50 805cc. I’ve been riding this bike for a while now an wish that suzuki comes up with a model similar to it however this line have been discontinue by suzuki….I’m thinking on buying a second bike however i’m kind of waiting to see if suzuki comes up with an updated version of my bike. Your opinion will be appreciated

    Nieves

  10. I have had lots of Japanese bikes, from crotch rockets to cruisers. There all the same.
    The Scout is a nice bike for people that want an American made machine with some heritage behind it. Great bike for relaxing ride. But that motor will surprise you if you rev it up some.
    Great bike for my wife or new rider. Even an older rider will like it.

  11. We ride because we love bikes. I got my first bike in 1975. A dirt bike, but I have been hooked ever since. Eight years ago I decided to go cruiser. I found the best bike ever, my opinion, it has all I wanted. I had never heard of one, shopping on eBay for a bike, I saw it. Fell in love right away. Didn’t know much about it, so I googled it. I had to have it. The Scout may be someone’s cup of tea, but ride a Vmax and you will know what I mean.

  12. Hi, Im a newbie. At 6’2″ I like the tall guy seat and style on the harley street 750, but i really see the cross country cruiser more fit for my ambitions. Is there a bike that crosses tall guy and street 750 style but is a mid sized cruiser with a reputable braking system. I figured you’d sacrifice something, so I guess it would be suspension.

  13. I have the Scout Sixty in Pearl White and I must say I love the bike. If handles great but I do agree that the seat could use a bit more cushion (thinking of upgrading to Corbin or Mustang) and the suspension is a bit unforgiving on rough roads but in my area the roads are well maintained so that isn’t an issue for me. I find that the bike as plenty of power and the savings I had from not getting the larger Scout was put into saddlebags and a Windshield. Everyone has their own riding preference and this bike is fun to ride. I live 10 miles from the factory where it all began for Indian so I am glad that Polaris brought Indian Motorcycle Company back to life. I think they have made a really nice machine and based on my experience at the dealership I’d say other people are equally excited. Test ride and decide for yourself, it’s all about what YOU like!

  14. I have been riding since 1965, am now on bike # 33, this Indian Scout Sixty. I bought it because I love the looks of it and maintenance is minimal. It could use a larger gas tank, but my riding now is limited to my pain quotient. Sure, some other bikes handle better, are more comfortable, and cheaper (I also love my Kawasaki Versys), but we don’t care. I’ve never had a “feet forward” bike, getting used to that, but this is what appeals to me at this time in my riding life. In my area, almost all riders wave at each other, as long as we are on 2 wheels.

  15. Well, the only thing I can add to these comments is this..If you are knocking this bike, you truly havent ridden it at all. Is the bike as quick as any of the Japanese sport bikes? No, no it isnt , but,,,it has more than enough torque and horsepower to power up any hill or flow along any freeway and more than enough acceleraration to get away from damn near any regular production car on the road! It makes me smile alot too! Ive had different bikes since 1980 Hondas,Harleys,Suzuki and Triumph! Polaris is doing a great thing by producing these new Indians! I could have bout ANY bike out there! I have a decent job and a 800 plus credit score…you know what?? I love my little Scout 60 !!!!!!!

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