Indian Scout Vs Harley Sportster
The rumors were true, the Indian Scout is back. Fast on the heels of the Victory Magnum and Harley Road Glide launches, the 2015 Scout adds to a level of choice unseen by American V-twin motorcycle buyers since the 1920s.
So where will the Scout fit into this busy marketplace? Is Indian challenging Harley’s new ‘Street’ models for the younger rider, or competing for a share of the established Sportster market? Well, we know that now too. As Steve Menneto, vice president of motorcycles for Polaris confirmed, the Scout will compete against the Harley-Davidson Sportster.
It’s a tough call for Indian. While Victory is a relatively new brand and Harley never stopped making bikes, an Indian motorcycle hasn’t been produced in significant numbers since 1953. That kind of nostalgia might sell a Road Master to baby boomers, but Indian must have wondered whether the brand had enough traction to sell sufficient Scouts to riders under 30. Much less risky going after the Sportster.
Our side by side comparison with the 1200 Sportster Custom (below) certainly highlights many similarities in basic specifications. However, looks aside, the biggest difference is the Scout’s liquid cooled DOHC motor which produces at least 30hp more than the Sportster. Just as important are the torque figures – which are within 3 ft lbs of each other. However, the Scout doesn’t achieve it until 5900 rpm – that’s 2400 rpm higher than the Sportster and only 100 rpm below it’s red line.
Only a test ride will show how that feels on the road, but the Scout’s performance is clearly going to kick in where the Sportster leaves off. That’s an interesting mix when you think about it. A bike designed to include as many pre-war styling clues as possible, but with power delivery closer to the V-rod than the air cooled Sportster it’s designed to compete with.
Can’t wait to get my hands on one!
2015 Indian Scout
2014 Harley 1200 Custom
|Fuel Capacity||3.3 gallons||4.5 gallons|
|Weight (empty)||558 lbs||584 lbs|
|Seat height||25.3 in||28 in|
|Wheelbase||61.5 in||59.8 in|
|Overall length||91 in||87.6 in|
|Ground clearance||5.3 in||4.3 in|
|Rake||29 degrees||30 degrees|
|Engine||60 degree dohc V-twin||45 degree ohv V-twin|
|Capacity||69 cu in||73.4 cu in|
|Cooling||Liquid Cooled||Air Cooled|
|Power||100 hp||68-70 hp (est)|
|Torque;||72.2 Ft-Lbs||70.8 ft-lb|
|Peak Torque RPM||5900 rpm||3500 rpm|
|Primary Drive||Gear driven||Chain driven|
|Gearbox||6 speed||6 speed|
|Front tire||130/90-16 72H||130/90B16 72H|
|Rear tire||150/80-16 71H||15080B16 72H|
|Front brake||Dual piston caliper||Dual piston caliper|
|Rear brake||Single piston caliper||Dual piston caliper|