Up until now, I hadn’t taken the 2015 Indian Scout on long distance touring. The longest I’ve done was about a 300 mile ride from San Diego to Bakersfield. I really wanted to take it on a longer tour.
When it comes to touring on an Indian Motorcycle, you think of the Chieftain and the Roadmaster, big bikes that come with storage, comfort, and amenities. But what about the Scout? I mean, people have ridden small bikes on extended tours before. A friend of mine, Stephanie Yue, has ridden a 250cc Vespa across the country. If she can do it, then certainly I could do it on a 1133cc Scout, right?
My husband Steve and I mapped out a plan to take a 410 mile ride from San Diego to Tucson, with a stopover in Yuma. We’d spend three weeks in Tucson, and do some local rides around the area. Then we’d head north to Scottsdale for Arizona Bike Week, before finally returning back to Southern California.
The folks at Indian Motorcycles were kind enough to offer me a windshield for the test. I had hoped for saddlebags and a luggage rack too, but the timing was off, and Steve already had enough storage on his Honda ST1300.
The first thing noticeable with the Scout is the quickness jumping on to the Interstate. Some on-ramps don’t allow much room to get up to speed, but that’s not a problem for this bike. The 100 horsepower engine sends it shooting forward like a rocket.
The power also comes into play passing semi-trucks. I prefer to get past them quickly, knowing truck tires often blow, sending chunks of rubber into adjacent lanes. It’s an easy flick of the wrist, sending me and the Scout past lumbering trucks in a second or two.
The Scout’s water-cooled V-Twin hums like it’s having no issues at all while cruising 80 MPH down the Interstate. I’m used to smaller displacement bikes that sound like a flock of mosquitoes chasing after a sasquatch. But shifting the tranny into 6th gear is more like an overdrive on the Scout, giving this engine a throaty tone of effortless crank.
We actually hit some fierce crosswinds riding down Interstate 8 between Yuma and Tucson. Steve was riding ahead of me, and I could see his bike leaning sideways trying to fight the wind. But interestingly, the Scout’s lower profile seemed to slip past the wind’s push. I wasn’t having to lean to the side, and nor was I getting thumped by random gusts. In fact, each time I saw my husband lean to the side, I kept bracing myself for a sideways shove, but the Scout just stayed upright and steady the entire time.
Every 100 miles or so we’d stop for a break, stretch the arms and legs, hit the restroom, and top off with fuel. Folks would walk over to our bikes and ask me if that’s the “new Indian”. Women are very interested in the low seat height and light weight.
We finally reached our hotel in Tucson a day after leaving San Diego. I’m already making plans to meet some fellow riders and enjoy some local roads.