CRUISING THE HIGHWAY AND TAKING ON CORNERS IS NO HASSLE FOR SCOUT’S SMALLER NEW SIBLING
The Indian Scout nameplate returned to this country in late 2014, with the new 1133cc Scout.
And now to compete in the sub-1000cc market comes the Scout Sixty.
The 60 in the Scout Sixty name refers to the 999cc engine, which if you’re from America, is known as a 60 cubic inch engine. (Unlike the rest of the world, the Americans haven’t wrapped their heads around the metric system yet.)
It seems like a strange move by Polaris Industries, the company behind Indian — with all of 134cc between the two Scout models there isn’t a lot of physical difference.
The only obvious differences are that the engine (which, like all Indian bikes, looks incredible) and is blacked out where the original has chrome rocker covers. The seat is black leather instead of tan, and the Sixty is available in just three colours versus the five of the 1133cc bike, with pearl white exclusive to the smaller capacity machine.
However, surprisingly the 134cc difference has a noticeable effect on power figures.
With 58.2 kW and 88.8Nm to its credit, the Scout Sixty comes in 16.5 kW and 8.9Nm less than its big-hearted sibling. That sounds like a decent whack, but on the road it is not all that noticeable — certainly not enough to say the Sixty is lacking in the power department.
But when it comes to the Scout vs Scout battle, the Sixty has its slightly bigger twin beat in one crucial area. Price. Starting from $17,490 the Sixty offers a saving of $4000 over the original Scout.
With a quick online search, the Scout Sixty also comes in cheaper in terms of insurance by a reasonable annual amount. But nobody really thinks of such technical or nit-picky financial factors when buying a bike. No, the ride is what sells bikes — and this is something the Scout Sixty excels at.
Swinging a leg over the beautiful leather seat, the cockpit is much the same as the original Scout.
However, the seat height has been ever-so-slightly raised to 643mm — which, like many of the subtle differences between the Scouts, you’d need to pull out a tape measure to check.
The same beautiful, long 12.5 litre fuel tank reaches forward to the controls, and I have to admit I found it hard to keep my eyes off the sparkle in the pearl white paint as I cruised down the motorway.
This tank looks fantastic as it stretches up to the gauge cluster.
Controls are forward-placed, as is the norm with American cruisers, with the brake and gear controls kicked forward with rubber pegs. When the original bike was launched at the end of 2014, poor weather conditions prevented me from getting the most out of the cornering ability.
Thankfully I had sunny skies for the duration of my test, meaning aggressively tackling corners was on the cards.
Taking on my favourite corners in the Hunua ranges was no problem on the Scout Sixty. With a lightweight aluminium frame combined with the 150/80 section rear tyre, the Sixty handles better than expected.
Looking at the huge profile tyres, you’d expect it to be a bit hard to turn in. You do notice a bit of weight from the front wheel, but it is manageable.
One downside to the rubberised footpegs was that they don’t have hero blobs to touch down before the peg. As a result of my rather aggressive cornering antics I parked up with not only the rubber worn off the pegs, but rather a lot of rubber missing from my boots. Oops!
Apart from the smaller displacement, one crucial difference between the two Scouts is the lack of a sixth gear on the Sixty.
Though it’s not a big deal, with the bike happily cruising at highway speeds, out of pure habit I would instinctively go looking for a sixth gear.
The same attention to detail that helped propel the Scout to sell-out success is still present in the Scout Sixty.
There’s nothing low-quality to this machine; and, for the price, the performance of the water-cooled 999cc V-twin is hard to beat in the cruiser market. The only question you have to ask is whether the subtle differences and $4000 saving is enough to take the Sixty over the 1133cc Scout.