2016 Indian Scout Sixty Review: The V-Twin Value Proposition

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2016 Indian Scout Sixty Review Introduction: Downsizing the Dream

The 2016 Indian Scout Sixty
The 2016 Indian Scout Sixty. Polaris

You could say, in the grand scheme of things, that Indian Motorcycles is the oldest new motorcycle company in America. Steeped in history but reintroduced in 2013, Indian kicked off its resurgence with big-bore bikes like the Chief Classic and followed with the smaller, nimbler Scout.

Because you can't slay a giant like Harley-Davidson on premium priced bikes alone, Indian armed their successful Scout for further success by spinning off the 2016 Indian Scout Sixty, which downsizes the engine and shrinks the price. Dropping the Scout's $11,299 MSRP to $8,999, The Scout Sixty slims down its big brother's 1,133cc V-twin to 999cc. The reduction in displacement cuts horsepower from 100 to 78, and torque from 72 lb-ft to 65 lb-ft. The Scout Sixty's gearbox also gets a trim, going from a 6-speed to a 5-speed, while the fully fueled weight goes all but unchanged from 564 lbs to 561 lbs.

What does all that mean when the rubber hits the road? Click Next to find out.

 

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2016 Indian Scout Sixty: On the Road

2016 Indian Scout 60
2016 Indian Scout 60. Polaris

With its essentially identical ergonomics to the standard Scout, the Scout Sixty feels relatively compact and manageable, with a 25.3-inch seat height and a relatively low overall profile. Swing a leg over, and the handlebars fall relatively easily within reach, while the feet-forward pegs encourage wrapping around the relatively slim, liquid-cooled engine.

The Scout Sixty delivers a familiar exhaust growl at idle and a well modulated exhaust pulse as you rev, but you'll notice that in contrast to the bigger Scout that the torque band is incrementally less aggressive at pulling the bike off the line. The difference isn't massive, though it does make it clear that this is not big bore bruiser, but rather a more moderately tuned bike with a responsive, but not ludicrously tuned, v-twin.

Cruise around town for fun, and the 60 encourages weaving around traffic and more aggressive throttle inputs. However, trying to drag race traffic from a red light draws more attention to its less hot-rodded persona. As with the standard Scout, there's still a surprising ability to rev from this engine. But in this application, watching the revs (through the one-line digital display embedded on the analog speedometer) reveals a relatively strong ability to climb to around 7,200 rpm before the acceleration starts running out of steam. Terminal engine speed is an indicated 8,200 rpm, though you'd be unlikely to push it that far (unless you're a motor masochist and can't see the obvious benefit in upshifting for quicker and more efficient acceleration.) 

Leave the city and hit the canyons, and the Scout Sixty's front end reveals a bit of vagueness when it comes to cornering, and peg scraping becomes a reality, albeit an excusable one considering the bike's diminutive 25.3-inch seat height. There's decent feel from the front and rear brakes, though their lack of ABS means they are capable of leaving black streaks on pavement when summoned aggressively. As with its 6-speed counterpart, the 5-speed transmission shifts crisply, with an easy clutch lever and a somewhat audible whine in first gear. Highway cruising in top gear reveals 3,200 rpm at 60 mph, a fairly mellow engine speed that suggests you might not need another cog in the transmission unless you do an unusual amount of high-speed highway travel.

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2016 Indian Scout 60 Review: Bottom Line, Specifications

2016 Indian Scout 60
The Scout 60 is available in Indian Motorcycle Red ($9,299), Pearl White ($9,299), or Thunder Black ($8,999). Polaris

When it first hit the market, the 2015 Indian Scout proved that the newly reformed American manufacturer could create an engaging, well-built alternative to the venerable Harley-Davidson Sportster. Provocatively, the Scout Sixty doesn't feel like a dramatically less powerful or less charismatic alternative to the bigger Scout. Though dedicated speed demons might miss the torque, the Scout Sixty still feels lively, quick and entertaining, delivering a satisfying riding dynamic that inspires more saddle time and frequent jaunts.

Though its saddle is not be the stuff of cross-state rides, considering the Scout Sixty's intended mission as more of a city cruiser than an interstate hopper. Well designed, engineered, and executed, the 2016 Indian Scout Sixty feels and acts the part of a competent  alternative to the best Milwaukee has to offer. In this day and age where the Indian brand has proven the seriousness of its intent, that proves to be big news for those looking for another way to get a compelling, American-built motorcycle in their garage.

Specifications

  • Engine: 999cc liquid-cooled v-twin, 78 horsepower, 65 lb-ft @ 5,800 rpm
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual
  • Fuel capacity: 3.3 gallons
  • Rake/Trail: 29 degrees, 4.7 inches
  • Maximum lean angle: 31 degrees
  •  Seat height: 25.3 inches
  • Weight (empty): 542 lbs, Weight (full): 561 lbs
  • Fork: Telescopic, 4.7 inches travel
  • Rear suspension: Dual shock, 3.0 inches travel
  • Front brakes: Single 298mm rotor, 2-piston
  • Rear brake: Single 298mm rotor, 1-piston
  • Price: $8,999 (Thunder Black), $9,299 (Indian Motorcycle Red, Pearl White)

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