After Polaris took over Indian and re-incarnated the brand, there have been a host of new products that have the modern technology to keep the rider safe while offering the typical laid-back behaviour of a cruiser motorcycle. The Indian Scout Sixty is the rebirth of original marque, with all the requisites a modern motorcycle should fill. On paper, it loses one gear, when compared to the Indian Scout, however, unlike most cruiser that are not confident over sharp turns, the Indian Scout Sixty has a different story. Here is a tete-a-tete of our short encounter with the Scout Sixty
It looks like a typical cruiser! Large tyres fill the fenders well, a swept-back tank that flows cleanly with the single seat and the sloping rear with a low-slung stance makes this Indian motorcycle a delight to look at. The minimalistic language in addition to the subtle use of chrome and a blackened out engine add to the design language. Optional saddlebags on each side in a shade matching the seat cover colour add the premium feel as well as practicality for long distance touring.
Keeping in line with the retro feel, the instrument cluster is small, however, displays all the necessary information. A fuel gauge though would have been better as a cruiser without a fuel gauge is like a buying a house without a living room. Since cruisers are meant to do long distances, keeping an eye on how much would the tank last would be a great thing to have. That said, accommodating a gauge in the tiny instrument cluster might have been a problem for the motorcycle manufacturer. Or was it? The fuel gauge could have been accommodated in the tiny digital screen as an always present option. Pressing the switch on the left handlebar and the rest of the information would also be available such as trip meter, odometer, engine temperature etc. The headlamp is small, but, there is ample illumination from it.
Overall, the design is simple and minimalistic, however, presence of a fuel gauge would have been better.
Engine and Transmission
The 61 cubic inch engine is mated to a 5-speed transmission which, on paper, generates 78 hp of power and 88.8 Nm of torque. In practicality, the Indian Scout Sixty has ample power as well as torque and the absence of an extra cog doesn't make it a slouch. The motor is tractable and whether a rider is trotting around town in its top-most gear at 50 kmph or cruising on the highway and the torque is available from as low as 2,500 rpm. The heat dissipation is appreciable, however, increases over idling or in start/stop traffic.
Peak torque kicks in at 5,800 rpm which is impressive and the tall gear ratios make sure there is no lack of power whenever it is needed. The short stint we had with the Indian Scout Sixty also helped in understanding that the tuning of the powertrain is for everyday use rather than restricting it to planned or weekend rides.
Power is sent to the rear wheel using a belt drive and the final drive ratio is 2.357:1 which means that for every rotation of the crank, the tyre rotates 2.357 times. This number, in addition to the low-end availability of the torque, augment its 'daily use' character.To save weight, the engine is not bolted on the chassis but a part of it. The engine is a stressed member and there is no frame rail under the motor. So, the engine doesn't just propel the motorcycle, it also reinforces the chassis. In totality, the engine is tractable and has good credentials for everyday use.
Handling, Ride Comfort and Safety
Cruiser motorcycles have one chink in their armour! Ride them into a corner and they tend to lose confidence, resulting in the rider slowing down. The Indian Scout Sixty, however, is nimble enough to take on hilly terrain with ease and there is no lack of confidence from the 130/90 section front and 150/80 section rear tyres. The rake angle of the front telescopic forks is 29 degrees which is long, however, the suspension setup, which is well balanced between comfort and stiffness keeps the motorcycle composed over corners. The only problem lies in the 16-inch diameter of the tyre as this size with the said section is not easy to find in the aftermarket. Luckily, Indian will provide the tyres with their own badging on them.
The ride quality on this motorcycle as mentioned earlier is the right balance between soft and stiff.While it will soak in most of the undulations on a road, there is pronounced rebound if the cruiser goes in a pothole. That said the Scout Sixty will keep the rider comfortable over most road surfaces. The 242 kg dry weight without saddlebags is also appreciable as most cruisers jump the 250 kg mark thereby being heavy and physically stressing while turning into a tight corner. Agreed the turning radius is large due to the 2,311 mm length, the light weight structure of the Scout Sixty makes its manuverable, even in heavy traffic conditions.
Like all Indian motorcycles sold in the country, the Scout Sixty has Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) as a part of the package. During panic braking, there is no loss of confidence and the system kicks in a linear fashion. There is little judder felt on the brake levers, however, it is not unnerving. The 298 mm single disc brakes on both ends don't lack bite and there is good feedback, however, there was a mild fade felt post hard braking.
The Indian Scout Sixty is a motorcycle that is meant for a rider who wants an everyday motorcycle that is manuverable while being laid-back in its ergonomics. One can ride this mid-size cruiser on the highway, in the city and cover long distances without hassle, thanks to the impressive ride quality. The only lack of equipment is the absence of a fuel gauge as the 12.5 litre fuel is satisfactory, but one would need to keep an eye on the distance covered. Our short test returned a reasonable 16 kmpl which included highway as well as city riding. Also, one would have to invest in an aftermarket exhaust or a louder one from the company itself. The stock exhaust note isn't throaty and the signature sound of a large cruiser motorcycle is missed.
At Rs 12.75 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi without accessories the Indian Scout Sixty justifies its value-for-money proposition owing to its cruising credentials as well as its nimble character in corners.Our take from the first impressions is that it is one of the best mid-size cruiser motorcycles available in the Indian market right now!