Indian Scout: a dive into its history

Indian Scout

Indian Scout: a dive into its history

Indian Scout history starts way before its debut in 1919 and continues today. In between, we can find all the traits that drive enthusiasts insane and turn a motorcycle into a true icon: innovation, victories, and records.

When talking about Indian Scout, the first name that comes to mind is Charles B Franklin. This man – electrical engineer and biker – used to race at high levels: he finished in the TOP 10 of the Isle of Man TT from 1908 to 1914 (except for 1910 and 1012) and finished 2nd in 1911.
In 1910 he quit his engineer job to open an Indian dealership and concentrate on tuning bikes and racing. In 1912, at the Brooklands Race Way, he became the first man able to cover 300 miles in 300 minutes.

In 1916 Indian asks him to join them in Massachusetts. He went and designed an optimized version of Gustafson’s Powerplus. The results were so incredible that Indian decided to make a smaller version of this engine.

The new V-Twin needed a motorcycle so Franklin designed a light motorcycle that debuted in 1919: the Indian Scout. This new motorcycle had a double cradle frame, a geared primary transmission that granted an incredible durability, and a lightweight of only 370lb.

This Indian model rapidly gained popularity on the streets, started winning races and became the most used motorcycle used by stuntmen especially on the “silodrome”.

In 1926 the AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) establishes a racing class for engines. Indian, conscious on their incredible power, asks Charles Franklin to design a bigger version of his famous engine.

Franklin delivers an astonishing engine that is 25% bigger than his old motor but capable of delivering way more than 25% more power. The enthusiasm drove sales to an incredible extent: the vast majority of new Indian Scout models were equipped with the new engine.

In 1928 the company unveils the Indian Scout 101, which was an improved version of the original Indian Scout: increased front fork rake angle and lower seat to improve stability and handling. A real masterpiece on two wheels available in two versions: a regular one and a “Police Special” version with shorter wheelbase to improve maneuverability.

When the toll of the American great depression started to show, the DuPont family saved Indian from financial ruin. To contain costs, the DuPont family decided to use the same frame for all the motorcycles in the Indian production line. Therefore, in 1932, the new Indian Scout did not sport it famous light frame and sales dropped.

Despite the death of Charles Bayly Francklin, in 1934 – when the effects of the great depression were a bit lighter- Indian decided to go back to Franklin philosophy. The new Indian Scout Sport had a light frame, aluminum cylinder heads to save weight, a better heat dissipation and improved carburation. Trats that allowed this bike to win the first ever Daytona 200 race and become a legend on the streets.

In 1920 Burt Munro bought an Indian Scout and rode it until 1926 when he decide he wanted it to go a bit faster. Munro motorcycle was the number 627 to be produced by the Hendee Manufacturing Company and was equipped with the engine. The heavily modified version that he took to Bonneville in 1963 was equipped with a 850cc engine and with atop speed of 288km/h broke the record for the 883cc class. In 1966, when Munro went back to Bonneville, his scout had a 920cc engine and with a top speed of 476km/h broke the record for the 1000cc class.

Indian Scout models today

With an heritage like this, Indian had to come up with a new line of masterpieces. As we learnt, when under pression, Indian delivers good. The new Indian Scout models make every one happy:

  • Indian Scout: a package designed for who likes a classic style. This package include all Indian’s heritage packed with the best technology can offer nowadays.
  • Indian Scout Bobber: with bobbed fenders and an aggressive seating position is the best for who likes bobber.
  • Indian Scout Rogue: thanks to the ape hanger, faring and other stylish choices make it the most aggressive Scout model ever made.

Do you have one of these Indian Scout models and would like to personalize it?

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Discover Ends Cuoio leather bags and accessories for Indian Scout.

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