2020 Indian Scout Bobber Sixty First Ride Review

Automorbit, Motorcycle – Such is the 2020 Indian Scout Bobber Sixty. Understated with blacked-out details, this cruiser is void of glistening chrome, valanced fenders, or fringe. The brushed aluminum block lettering plainly laid out on the side of the tank and brushed metal veins on the engine are the only shining details that draw the eye. Although it is one of the smallest-displacement Scouts from Indian, the Scout Bobber Sixty is still brawny, yet approachable.

The Scout Bobber Sixty is powered by the same liquid-cooled 61ci (1,000cc) V-twin seen in the Scout Sixty, and offers ample torque—a CW-measured 55.8 pound-feet at 5,220 rpm. While Indian has done away with a gear—in comparison to the larger 1,133cc, six-speed Scout—the five gears of the Scout Bobber Sixty’s transmission are tall and frankly that extra gear is not missed on the highway. The first gear stretches to about 40 mph before needing to be knocked into second. As the sweeping analog speedo needle climbs to higher speeds the remaining gears continue to stretch and deliver usable power that easily propels the Bobber to freeway speeds and beyond. At around 4,000 rpm, however, things do start to get buzzy, making the cars and landscape in the teardrop mirrors become a fuzzy, pixelated mess.

Clutch pull is on the heavy side, but the required pull on the lever is short so fatigue isn’t an issue. A firm hold on the meaty handgrips reminds me that I need to work out more as the concave riding posture created by the foot-forward pegs, tracker handlebar, and low-slung seat fold me in a sail-like curve. Long rides on the highway will become tiring. The reach to both bars and pegs is no problem for my 6-foot frame, but eventually my hunched back requires a break after 40–50 miles, a problem that could be addressed with a taller bar, but you’ll always be out in the wind on the bobber.

The solo bobber seat is cool in a lone wolf sort of way, but the squared-off top of the otherwise well-padded saddle digs significantly into my tailbone. With its stripped-down look, a bobber is not a touring machine—comfort is a nice-to-have, but style takes more precedence than function on this bob-job.

Dual shocks are situated at the rear and provide 3 inches of travel. This travel is quickly used up causing the back end to buck up after bottoming, reintroducing my posterior to that solo seat with a jolt. On the other hand, the front suspension is firm and provides 4.7 inches of travel. Grinding past slower traffic and hitting unexpected potholes the 41mm telescopic fork happily soaked up the bumps while keeping the front tire end of the bike under control and connected to the asphalt for the rest of the pass. In more sweeping turns, the fork is composed and upon heavy braking, front end dive was nearly nonexistent with well-controlled rebound damping—a stark contrast to the less-than-stellar rear suspension.

The torquey machine shines in regard to straight-line handling. Its stability is evident when you tear away from the unsuspecting cars at a stoplight, ultimately creating a dragstrip out of Main Street. Slower, tighter maneuvers do bring its 553-pound girth (Cycle World measured) and lower 5.1-inch ground clearance to light where the machine needs to be hefted around corners—with the peg scraping along the way at even moderate lean angles.

The fat Kenda K673 tires (130mm front, 150mm rear) provide great grip to the road and don’t follow freeway grooves. The only caveat with fatter tire width is it contributes to more unsprung weight, and in turn heavier steering. In a turn, however, the chassis was still sensitive to small inputs at the handlebars.

Braking is an area where the Bobber Sixty could stand to see some improvement. The two-piston front caliper and single 298mm disc are underpowered. Bringing this 500-plus-pound beast to a stop requires a firm pull on the lever. A one-piston caliper and 298mm disc are fitted to the rear, and they too need a little more potency because its actuation is mushy.

In the looks department the Indian Scout Bobber Sixty is cherry. The shotgun exhaust not only trumpets the V-twin sound, but its blacked-out color scheme conveys a Rambo-like badassness. Thick five-spoke rims, bobbed fenders, and the 3.3-gallon fuel tank add to the musclebike look while the “I”-embossed levers and engine case covers showcase an attention to detail that are found in more expensive models in the Indian line.

The single gauge is also clean though not entirely informative at a quick glance due to its limited real estate and small fonts. It does display an analog speedometer face with an LCD displaying gear position, as well as a switchable field with a digital tachometer, odometer, tripmeter, engine temp, and DC voltage level. There is no gas gauge, but the Bobber does have a low fuel light—plan ahead and fill up often.

Priced at $8,999, the Indian Scout Bobber Sixty is one of the lowest-priced models in Indian’s lineup making it an approachable option for solo riders looking for a muscular V-twin-powered machine with attention to detail. Regardless of some of the flaws, it’s a pound-feet producer designed for entertaining stoplight-to-stoplight cruising.

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