First Ride

2016 Indian Scout Sixty review, test ride

We get astride the latest Indian to hit Indian shores, the Scout Sixty, and find out whether lower engine capacity means lesser bike.

DETAILS
  • Make  Indian
  • Model  Scout Sixty
11
photos

In the motorcycle world, the Indian Scout is a legend. Burt Munro’s ‘World’s fastest Indian’ was a Scout after all. Having disappeared from the company’s line-up for decades, it made a reappearance recently after the company’s revival. But for 2016, the motorcycle seems to be headed in a rather interesting direction. Called the Scout Sixty, it’s inherently the same bike that we rode and loved a couple of years back, but with a twist; it now packs 134cc less! So is this downsizing something to worry about and how much does it really change the Scout experience, if at all?

Visual appeal

Let me just say right off the bat that the saddlebags, tail carrier, back rest and crash guard on this bike are accessories, and they really make a case against how good this bike looks. Seriously, without all the added bits, the clean, yet highly detail-oriented lines of the Scout look gorgeous but understated. Compared to its more powerful sibling, the Scout Sixty gets blacked-out treatment running across the cylinder heads and crank case cover. Even the chrome surround from the headlamp has been changed to black and the tan seat option is gone. This ‘blackening’ of the bike extends to the multi-spoke alloy wheels as well, which, on the original, had chrome accents around the rim and spokes. It’s not like the Scout Sixty isn’t a good-looking bike, but it seems to have lost some of the Scout’s visual pizzazz. Oh, and the ‘Scout’ badge is notably absent from the side of the fuel tank.

As good as the Scout Sixty looks, it misses out on some of the more exciting paint schemes from its larger-capacity twin sibling.

The switchgear and single-pod instrument cluster remains unchanged from the original Scout. The ergonomics too are untouched and the Sixty has a comfortable seat along with a relaxed riding position that should ensure comfort during long stints in the saddle. Even though the seat height has gone up by 8mm thanks to thicker foam, it’s still an incredibly low 643mm – that’s lower than any other bike in the market right now, and its easy to move the bike around with your feet.

At the heart of it all

The biggest difference between the Scout and the Scout Sixty has to be the engine. Sure, it might be the same 60-degree V-Twin, but on the inside, it’s a whole different ball game. The Sixty’s motor maintains the 73.4mm stroke of the Scout’s engine, but it’s bore has been dropped from 98.8mm to 92.7mm. This means that overall cubic capacity has gone down from 1,133cc to 999cc – or 61 cubic-inches, and hence the name. This has taken peak power down to 78hp (from the Scout’s 101hp). The reduction in peak torque isn’t so massive though, with the Sixty now making 88.8Nm as compared to the larger engine’s 97.7Nm.

Same stroke, but smaller bore brings the capacity down to 999cc on the Scout Sixty.

But Indian hasn’t stopped there. Even though the gearbox and final drive ratio have been carried over from the Scout to the Scout Sixty, to convert the latter bike from six-speed to five-speed, Indian has simply removed the fifth gear cog from the gearbox, making the old sixth the new fifth. So, that means the top gear ratio for both bikes is identical. Barring these two major changes, the Sixty’s engine is unchanged, and features the same fuel injection as well as liquid-cooling system.

What does this mean?

When you first ride the Scout Sixty, it may not seem any different. But open the gas hard and you’ll notice that while the Sixty makes enough torque for some brisk acceleration, it simply does not have the neck-snapping power delivery the bigger engine gives you. That being said, the bike gets off the line quite smoothly and there’s enough poke from the motor for quick overtakes. However, the lesser power does mean that the Sixty misses out on some top-end performance. But again, that’s only really noticeable with small throttle openings at higher speeds. However, this being a cruiser, high-speed blasts are supposed to be a rarity, and the bike is quite content at 110kph with barely any vibes to speak of.

Even when it comes to gearing – with the ratios as they are – it might appear that now the ratio gap between fourth and fifth gear might be too large. But honestly, out on the road, you’d be hard- pressed to notice the difference. The ratios of this slick sifting gearbox feel perfectly spaced apart and it almost makes you wonder if the top three ratios on the standard Scout are too tightly packed.

Fact File

Price Range (in lakhs)*

Ex-showroom price Rs 11.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai)

Engine

Type 999cc, V-twin, four-stroke, liquid cooled
Power 78hp
Torque 88.8Nm at 5800rpm

Transmission

Gearbox 5-speed/1-down, 4-up

Dimensions

Length 2311mm
Width 880mm
Height 1207mm
Wheel base 1562mm
Ground clearance 135mm

Chassis & Body

Weight 252kg
Wheels 15-spoke alloys
Tyres 130/90-16/150/80-16

Suspension

Front Telescopic forks
Rear Twin shock absorbers

Brakes

Front 298mm disc
Rear 298mm disc

Economy

Tank size 12.5-litres
comments powered by Disqus

notSet

It’s just shocking how well the Scout Sixty can handle corners. As good as the Scout Sixty looks, it misses out on some of the more exciting paint schemes from its larger-capacity twin sibling. The wide, sleek tank is subtle, yet looks graceful. Switchgear might look a bit uninspired, but is well-made. The wide, single rider seat is comfy. Same stroke, but smaller bore brings the capacity down to 999cc on the Scout Sixty. The instrument pod features a rather simplistic layout. Belt drive, just like other cruisers. Liquid cooling helps engine rev higher. That’s a display mode switch!
We bring you drives of the Maruti Ignis, the Skoda Kodiaq, the new 5-series and take you on a trip from India to Paris in a Renault Kwid. All that and lots more inside!
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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 209 | Autocar India: January 2017

We bring you drives of the Maruti Ignis, the Skoda Kodiaq, the new 5-series and take you on a trip from India to Paris in a Renault Kwid. All that and lots more inside!
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