2018 Indian Scout Bobber | First Look Review

2018 Indian Scout Bobber
The all-new 2018 Indian Scout Bobber is the third model in the Scout family. (Photos courtesy Indian Motorcycle)

Four years ago, at the 2013 Sturgis Rally, the reborn Indian Motorcycle made its debut with three all-new Chief models powered by the air-cooled, Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin. Given that the reset button had been pressed when Indian was purchased by Polaris Industries in 2011, it was nothing short of impressive that three models based on a clean-sheet platform were—in just over two years—not only production-ready but also beautiful, functional and competitive.

Even more impressive was the debut, just a year later, of the Scout, a midsize cruiser powered by a liquid-cooled, 1,133cc (69ci) 60-degree V-twin with DOHC and four valves per cylinder that makes 100 horsepower and 72 lb-ft of torque (claimed, at the crank).

Read Our 2016 Indian Scout Road Test Review

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Indian’s 2017 lineup includes 10 models based on the Chief platform but only two based on the Scout platform—the standard bike and the smaller-displacement, lower-priced Scout Sixty. Variations of the Scout are overdue, and Indian has just delivered.

2018 Indian Scout Bobber
Blacked out, low stance, cool styling details. Everything a bobber should be and nothing more.

Say hello to the 2018 Indian Scout Bobber, a dark, stripped-down bike that embraces today’s less-is-more approach to factory customs.

“The Scout Bobber is our most raw and mean machine to date, and the ultimate in the celebration of what motorcycling is about–a powerful engine, two wheels, and no plans of where to go,” said Reid Wilson, Marketing Director, Indian Motorcycle. “It’s an incredibly fun motorcycle that delivers a ton of attitude, along with a ton of power.”

2018 Indian Scout Bobber
The Scout Bobber’s new block-style tank logo adds a nice touch.

Firmly established as a heritage brand with taste for performance—Indian has been kicking ass and taking names in American Flat Track—the Scout Bobber was inspired by the bobbers that emerged after WWII, when military veterans came home and pared down their bikes to the barest essentials.

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Chopped fenders, a new two-tone genuine leather seat and new rear LED lights with integrated stop/turn/tail lights enhance the Bobber’s minimalist look, while a tracker handlebar and footpegs moved 1.5 inches closer to the rider give it a more aggressive riding position.

Indian Scout FTR750 Race Bike Available for Purchase

2018 Indian Scout Bobber
A chopped rear fender, new LED stop/turn/tail lights and a side-mount license plate give the rear a clean look.

Reduced rear suspension travel gives the Bobber a low-slung profile and its black wheels with chunky semi-knobby tires gives the bike plenty of attitude. A black headlight nacelle, minimal engine covers, black exhaust with vented shields, bar-end mirrors, a black gauge face on its instrument panel and a new block letter logo on the tank rounds out the muscular stance.

The 2018 Indian Scout Bobber will be available at dealers starting in September. Five colors, including Thunder Black, Star Silver Smoke, Bronze Smoke, Indian Motorcycle Red, and Thunder Black Smoke with ABS, are available with prices starting from $11,499 to $12,499.

2018 Indian Scout Bobber
A blacked-out single gauge complements the new black headlight nacelle.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Not a bad looking bike, but nothing earth shattering either. I’ve got a friend with a scout who’s blacked out most of the same items for a very similar look without the decreased suspension performance or more cramped riding position.

  2. Not bad looking bike based on the same old theme.
    I am glad that Indian was reincarnated
    But
    Polaris is famous for making 2 or 3 bikes and then changing as little as possible to make it look like a new product.
    This also makes it look like they have a large lineup.
    They did the same with Victory.
    They put as little effort as possible into making the most amount of money.
    And it showed badly and ended badly.

    Cool but show me something truly NEW……..

    • The exact same can be said for Harley Davidson… Not defending either company, but HD is even more resistant to change anything (even when it NEEDS changed- cam chain tensioners, compensator lubrication, death wobble, etc).

  3. Bobber, yes, but living in rain country (NW), I’d want a better front fender and, maybe, rear fender too to keep the roost down.

  4. I’ll openly admit that I work for an Indian dealership, so am probably a little biased, but I absolutely love this bike. The trend in Texas has been to move away from the “Big Wheeled Bagger” and more towards cool bobbers like this. Glad that Indian is stepping up and offering something stock that can compete in the space. I liked the Triumph, I LOVE this.

    Truthfully, this is the first Indian I have seen since I have been here that is making me think I should trade my Street Bob in.

  5. I have to say that I LOVE what they are doing with their bikes. This is a great looking vehicle with a strong power plant. Different strokes I guess but I’m a fan.

  6. “It’s an incredibly fun motorcycle that delivers a ton of attitude,”

    Just what everyone needs, more attitude………

    • Robert, you mean we need more attitude as opposed to substance?
      I’d like to see both Indian and HD produce something actually new (to them)… Something other than yet another cruiser that’s just the same rehashed bike in a different wrapper. Not necessarily a sport bike, I don’t think any self respecting performance junkie would seriously even consider either brand for such a true sport bike at this point, but a true naked bike with mid controls, higher seat, allowing higher foot pegs and a decent cornering clearance, compact liquid cooled inline 4 (or 2 cylinder even), top shelf suspension, brakes, traction control (and enough power and a light enough weight using modern materials to make traction control a useful addition.) With every other company coming out with a “scrambler” and apparently selling decently, I would think it would be a great fit for Indian and Polaris’ off-road image.

  7. I could sure use some more attitude…

    I think Indian have the old-timey cruiser thing nailed down; it’s time to make a bike with a bit more of a modern flavour. I’m not saying a true sportbike, but maybe more of a street fighter or a cafe racer look.

  8. Victory Octane? he’ll my Vegas has the same gauge and came stock with the same exhaust. Good to see Victory surviving one way or another

  9. Already pre ordered two Bobbers for me and my wife, truly awesome bike, exactly where Europe is waiting for instead of the common Harleys of your neighbour. choose different, chooese attituede, choose style. Greetings from Amsterdam.

    • Already pre ordered two Bobbers for me and my wife, truly awesome bike, exactly where Europe is waiting for instead of the common Harleys of your neighbour. Choose different, choose attitude, choose style. Greetings from Amsterdam.

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