2016 Indian Motorcycle Scout Sixty Ride Review
NEW BIKE REVIEW • by Dain Gingerelli
Peaceful smoke signals be damned! Indian Motorcycle is on the warpath to establish itself as a key player in the American motorcycle market. The tribe tripled its number last year with the introduction of three more models – the Scout, Roadmaster, and Dark Horse – and 2016 brings another addition to Indian’s brave new world. Meet the Scout Sixty, a motorcycle that’s bound to make new friends among a growing legion of Indian owners and enthusiasts.
People already familiar with the Scout might look at the new Scout Sixty and state the obvious: “It looks just like the Scout. There doesn’t appear to be any difference between the two bikes.” And, of course, those people would be correct in that assumption because the Scout Sixty does look much like the Scout. They even share the same identification tags, and you won’t see any “Sixty” script on that model, either. Close scrutiny, however, reveals that the Scout Sixty has less chrome and fewer sexy bare-metal machined surfaces on its engine cases and cylinders. Ditto for its black cast-aluminum wheels, and the Scout’s cast-aluminum frame is finished in a roughneck charcoal gray compared to the Sixty’s more conventional black coating, although both share the same design and dimensions. There’s also a difference in handlebars; the Scout has a chromed bar on black risers, the Scout Sixty has black on black. The seats are noticeably different, too: The Sixty’s pillion is covered with black vinyl, while the Scout’s passenger quarters are finished in the classic Desert Tan leather, although both solo seats are about 25.3″ off the deck.
So what gives? Why the big deal about the Scout Sixty? The big deal concerns its smaller retail price, $8,999, versus the Scout’s $11,299. And that’s a big deal because Indian Motorcycle hopes to recruit new riders with this price-leader model.
Obviously, achieving that $2,300 price spread required some cost cutting, and to do that, engineers were told to eliminate some components of the original Scout design. In a nutshell, the major cuts, in addition to the cosmetic changes mentioned above, include trimming engine size from 1133cc (69″) to 999cc (61″) and eliminating one set of cogs from the Scout’s six-speed transmission. And, yes, the bike got its name from engine size, and we can only guess that Sixty had a better ring to it than Sixty-One.
Both of those cost-cutting steps were actually planned by Indian’s engineering staff long ago. When Indian Motorcycle mapped out the original Scout’s corporate mission statement, it also decided that the new model would serve as the basis for a future price-leader model as well. Taking that route allowed the bean counters to amortize the research and development expenses between both models, thus allowing them to price the new Sixty an incremental amount less than the standard Scout’s 2016 MSRP of $11,299.
Reducing engine displacement was a rather straightforward process, using cylinder sleeves with smaller bore diameters – 2.898″ versus 3.661″ – to gain the sub-1000cc goal. According to Indian, the meatier cylinder walls account for the Sixty’s extra four pounds (claimed dry weight of 542 pounds) over the Scout’s dry weight of 538 pounds. Although the induction system retains the same 60mm throttle body, the ECU was remapped to compensate for the Sixty’s decreased combustion chamber size. There’s good news at the exhaust end, too; the Sixty’s stacked chromed mufflers resonate the same low burble that’s familiar from the Scout.
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