Instead of our usual Sunday cruises we decided to go a little bit of off the road instead. We left early at about 4.30am just to catch the sunrise. The climb was tough and physically very taxing and journeying back down even more so, however it was worth every bit of effort we put in.
They say it’s not the destination but rather the journey itself which matters, but in this case I would say both are of great significance.
All photo credits go to Vivek Rajamani. Check out his page here
The moment you find out you have a half day at college, you know your evening is going to turn out for the best. I raced back home and before my bag hit the ground I was gone. Aimlessly roaming around until I decided to go test ride the new Indian Scout 60. Much to my dismay I learnt that their test bike wasn’t available.
Luckily for me, one of their friendlieremployees suggested that I took the regular Indian Scout (2016 model) for a ride. He said, “It isn’t going to be very different because you can’t open up anywhere in the city.” I wasn’t too confident about taking a hefty litre class motorcycle but I couldn’t let my evening go to waste either.
“Screw it, let’s do it.”
My first impressions when I sat on that massive matt black motorcycle was one of genuine surprise! For 560lbs ( approximately 255kg) bike the weight was really evenly distributed unlike my Thunderbird. A single comfortable seat and a typical cruiser like seating position reflected exactly what the Indian Motorcycle company was an insignia of : American Muscle.
It took me a little while to get used to the heavy gear shifter and fact that my leg was almost completely outstretched.The characteristic clunk was very predominant at the end of each shift. The instrument cluster was simple and very basic. It had an analog speedometer with a digital display for the odometer, time, and trip distances. The clutch was heavy, something you could get used to over a period of time.
Both brakes come with ABS as standard. A single disc up front while a couple help braking at the back. The front brake has plenty of bite while the rear brake lacks in comparison and felt a bit robust. When applied together, they more than do what’s required.
The Indian Scout has a 6 speed gear box while the Scout 60 has 5 speed transmission. The bike churns out about 100nm of torque at just 5900-6000rpm. The initial thrust literally caught me off guard as I felt a shove back! Second gear was very much the same, torque throughout. I did about 60kmph in second and the bike showed no signs of struggling. The fuel injected 1100cc V-twin engine has a peak power figure of 100bhp. Indian motorcycle has given the Scout a liquid cooling system. The throttle response was fast and crisp. The overall ride was smooth and you could barely feel any vibrations at all. Unfortunately I couldn’t get past 4th gear and open her up within city limits.
The bike has a really low ground clearance which when coupled with its weight and seating ergonomics will give you hard time taking sharper turns. Chances of scraping the pegs are high. The suspensions do their job well and soak up most of the undulations (I felt terrible for subjecting such a beautiful bike to our pathetic roads).
The test bike had a set of twin, stage 1 exhausts. These enhance performance but the note produced was quite loud and could get irritating on a long trip. There is plenty of heat emanating off the engine and onto your legs. This would definitely not make a good city motorcycle! Perfect for the highway, but a no go for a crowded and over populated city like Bangalore.
The lack of a rear pillion seat would mean solo riding most of the time. Of course you could buy a rear seat and have it attached. If I did have one (I wish) I would most certainly buy and get a wind shield put on.The wind blast was really strong at higher speeds. The cost of the bike is about 14-15lakhs on road in Bangalore.
Indian Motorcycle have taken a lot care and paid a lot of attention to detail while designing this bike.The front head light has been beautifully modeled consisting of a black base with a metallic chrome strip/trim. Even the fenders on bike look stylish and modern! The bike sure does turn a lot of heads.
Would I recommend this bike? If money isn’t an issue and if good and open roads aren’t hard to come by, go for it!
Before I say anything, the following opinions are based on what I feel and what I’ve experienced.
I’ve had my bike for a little over a year now and I’ve ridden it on most road conditions. Let’s start off with the look and finish of the bike. The finishing on motorcycle is very big improvement from the earlier models! The attention to details has considerably improved as well. The only problem I witnessed on almost every bike produced was the rear number plate was at a slant, but that’s just a minor fault.
It has a digital display which shows the time, fuel gauge(which has a mind of its own) and odometer. It also has a trip1, trip2 odometer. There is no gear indicator but there is a neutral indicator along with a unorthodox side stand indicator. The speedometer and rpm displays are analog. RE did do something different by giving this bike a hazard light switch, however they positioned it in such a way you can’t access it with your gloves on.
The riding position of the bike is upright. Arms out stretched and legs in front gives it a semi classic-cruiser feel although I’d prefer if the handlebar was a bit lower. The throttle response is surprisingly fast. The single disc brake up front has plenty of bite whereas it’s counter part at the back doesn’t deliver as expected.
The stock silencer isn’t loud or unpleasant but has a nice hum to it, won’t be a bother on long distances. The wet multi-plate clutch has a characteristic clank sound while shifting into first gear, much like it’s bigger V-twin brothers. There’s a reasonable amount of torque while starting off. At about 3500rpm, you get the best of this bike and it’s 28Nm of torque. The bike can cruise upto 90kmph without much vibrations whereas after that the vibrations do get a little unsettling.It can achieve a top speed of about 125kmph but you won’t be one bit comfortable with those earthquake like vibrations raging down your spine (although I don’t see why you’d want to so those speeds on a motorcycle like this).The bike does seem to struggle a bit higher up the rev range as most of its available torque peaks earlier.
The manually adjustable suspensions soak up most of the undulations the bikes maneuver over. Kerb weight of the bike is around 190kgs so don’t bother with those stunts you would do on a sports bike. The bike is rugged and you can put it through its paces on uneven conditions as well. The lack of ABS would have to locking your wheels up when you jam the brakes as expected.There’s easy access to the circuitry and battery which enables quick and easy solutions to break downs. This new model is very refined when compared to the 2006/07 Thunderbird model.
Navigating through traffic will be a bit of a problem due to the sheer bulk of the bike but once you hit the highway or twisties, you’ll forget about all it’s short comings and open that throttle!
Overall the Thunderbird is a simple bike to fix and an even simpler bike to ride.
I spent the whole morning anticipating how the next few hours would change the rest of my life. At about 10AM, my dad and I left for the Royal Enfield showroom (Bangalore,India) to pick up the motorcycle we had booked and paid for.
By the time all the paperwork had to been completed, it was about 12’o clock and that was when I caught a glimpse of my to be means of freedom.
We fired up the engine and heard her come to life for the first time. It wasn’t loud and disturbing as the some of the older RE motorcycles. It wasn’t as a deep rumble either but rather a mild throaty sound.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to ride it back as I didn’t have my driver’s license yet. I remember how I was terrified as we navigated our way through heavy traffic and pathetic roads. Once we got home, I knew for certain that a whole new perspective of life was just waiting to be discovered on that single cylinder 350cc classic motorcycle.