You’ve likely heard that the Indian Scout is an awesome motorcycle that provides a great riding experience on a great cruiser platform at a great price. But if that’s true, is a detuned version that’s missing 134 cc (8 cubic inches), a gear, and weighs 4 pounds more and costs $2,300 less, a good value or a false economy?
Putting this bike’s first-look evaluation into just one sentence: The Scout Sixty isn’t missing a damn thing that takes away from the impressive riding experience of the Scout, and its $2,300 lower price should be looked at as simply a significant added feature. The result is, buyers will feel as though they’re getting more, not less. Plus, is there any bike in the Scout Sixty’s price-niche-displacement class with comparable performance, quality, and cost?
No size of Scout is a performance motorcycle, so hard numbers don’t even much matter; if a rider is regularly riding a Scout Sixty to redline, it’s the wrong bike. What does matter is feel, comfort, cool factor, and that this bike goes fast enough for fun—over 100 mph—and carries two people up a steep hill in any gear. We’re so spoiled with great bikes these days that one can forget that 65 pound-feet of torque and 78 claimed hp is nothing to pout about.
Going through the list of actual difference between daddy Scout and the Scout Sixty: The Sixty’s engine covers, wheels, air cleaner and horn have more black; the Sixty has no logo plate on the front of the bike; its frame is black instead of charcoal, the seat is vinyl (but there’s a leather option); one gear is missing, the steel-sleeved bores are smaller, and there’s altered mapping, weight and price. That’s it. Basically every single Scout option offered by Indian fits the Sixty.
In detail, the Sixty has the same ECU hardware, but different programing. If the exhaust is updated to Indian’s stage 2 the ECU requires a security code to be reflashed. The 4 lbs. of added weight to the claimed 542 lbs. dry is said to be the result of thicker-walled cylinder sleeves. The smaller bore is alone the 134cc difference—down from 1133 to 999—with the stroke unchanged for a bore and stroke of 93 x 73.6 mm. Yes, the engine is actually 61 cubic inches, not 60; write that one off to the naming department. All else is claimed to be the same, down to the 60mm throttle body, which is not the reason for the bike’s name.
The Scout Sixty has a five-speed gearbox, but sixth isn’t missing. Fifth gear is missing and all other gear ratios are identical, with the Sixty’s fifth matching the big Scouts sixth. This should result in the same engine feel, but it seems to have a bit more vibration. At an indicated 70 mph the engine is spinning at 3,700 rpm, and the ride is smooth. But when you get up into engine speeds above 5,400 the Sixty has quite a bit of engine vibration, which on first impression seems unlike its older sibling. A back-to-back ride might be required to suss this out.