Indian Scout (motorcycle)
1920 Indian Scout
|Engine||500–745 cc V-twin|
The Indian Scout is a motorcycle built by the Indian Motocycle Company from 1920 to 1949. It rivaled the Chief as Indian's most important model. The 101 Scout, made from 1928 to 1931, has been called the best motorcycle Indian ever made. A second line of Scouts, with lighter frames and reduced engine displacement, was introduced in 1932 alongside the Standard Scout, which replaced the 101 Scout and shared its frame with the Chief and the Four. The small-displacement Scout and the Sport Scout, introduced in 1934, were continued until the end of civilian production in 1942. Military versions of both models were used by US and other Allied forces during World War II.
Apart from fifty examples of the 648, a special racing version of the Sport Scout, the Scout was not continued after World War II. In 1949 an all-new motorcycle, with an overhead valve straight-twin engine, was called the Scout; it was enlarged and renamed the Warrior in 1950.
Between 2001 and 2003, the Indian Motorcycle Company of America, based in Gilroy, California, built a Scout model using proprietary engine and transmission parts.
- 1 The first Scouts (1920–1927)
- 2 101 Scout (1928–1931)
- 3 Standard Scout (1932-1937)
- 4 "Thirty-Fifty" Scout (1932-1941)
- 5 Sport Scout (1934-1942)
- 6 Military Scouts during World War II
- 7 Postwar Scouts: 648 and 249
- 8 Land speed records
- 9 "Gilroy" Scout
- 10 2015 Scout
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The first Scouts (1920–1927)
Designed by Charles B. Franklin, the Scout was introduced in October 1919 as a 1920 model. The Scout had a V-twin engine with its transmission bolted to the engine casing. The Scout engine initially displaced 606 cc (37 cu in). The engine size was increased to 745 cc (45 cu in) in 1927 in response to the popularity of the Excelsior Super X. In early 1928, a front brake was added to the Scout.
101 Scout (1928–1931)
|Manufacturer||Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company|
|Predecessor||1927 Indian Scout (original frame)|
|Successor||1932 Indian Scout (Chief frame)|
|Engine||37 cu in (610 cc) or 45 cu in (740 cc) 42° V-twin|
|Bore / stroke|
|Power||37 cu in: n/a
45 cu in: 18 bhp (13 kW)
|Suspension||Front: Trailing arm, leaf spring
Rear: None, rigid
|Brakes||Front: Internal expanding shoes
Rear: 1928-30 External contracting bands, 1931 internal expanding shoes
|Tires||18" on clincher rims 1928,
drop center rims 1929-31
|Wheelbase||57 1⁄8 in (1,450 mm)|
In mid 1928 the Scout Series 101 replaced the original Scout. Designed by Charles B. Franklin, who had designed the original Scout, the 101 Scout had a new frame with more fork rake, a longer wheelbase, and a lower seat height. The geometry of the 101 Scout wheelbase, steering head angle and rear sub-frame were all adopted from the new Indian 401 model which was under development at the same time. The standard Scout 101 was available with a 45 cu in (740 cc) engine, but it was also available with a 37 cu in (610 cc) engine from the original Scout, although this was rarely advertized.
In 1931, Indian's management decided to rationalize production by designing a new corporate frame that, with some detail variations, would be used across their entire, new-for-1932 model range of Scout, Chief and Four. The economic hardship of the Great Depression forced Indian to discontinue the 101 Scout, since it was as expensive to produce as the 74 cu in (1,210 cc) Chief, and therefore had a small profit margin.
Legacy of the 101
Enthusiasts have differing views on the replacement of the 101 Scout. Fans of Indian's technical achievements acclaim the 101 Scout as the pinnacle of Indian technology, while fans of classic Indian styling hail its replacement for bringing classic Chief styling to the Scout line. The 101 is still used in wall of death stunt exhibitions.
Standard Scout (1932-1937)
Cost cutting led to Indian designing a new basic frame for 1932 that would form the basis for the Scout, Chief, and Four frames. The 1932 Standard Scout that was based on this new frame was heavier and bulkier than the 101 frame, and was less successful as a result. The Standard Scout remained in production until 1937.
"Thirty-Fifty" Scout (1932-1941)
In 1933, to appease the sporting motorcyclists offended by the replacement of the 101 with the Standard Scout, Indian introduced the Motoplane. This had a Scout engine fitted into the frame of the discontinued Indian Prince single cylinder motorcycle. The Motoplane was also sold as the Pony Scout with the engine displacement reduced to 30.50 cu in (499.8 cc).
The power of the Scout engine was too much for the Prince-derived frame and the Motoplane was discontinued. The less powerful Pony Scout remained in production and was later renamed the Junior Scout. The Pony Scout and the Junior Scout were collectively known as the "Thirty-Fifty" after their engine displacement in cubic inches.
Sport Scout (1934-1942)
The negative reaction to the Standard Scout and the failure of the Motoplane led to the creation of the Sport Scout of 1934, with a light frame, girder forks, improved carburation and alloy cylinder heads. The two-piece frame, with the front and rear halves bolted to each other to the top and to the engine at the bottom, was heavier than the Motoplane's Prince-derived frame, but also stronger and stiffer. The Sport Scout was still 15 pounds heavier than the 101 Scout. The Sport Scout won the first Daytona 200 in 1937.
In 1940 the Sport Scout gained full-skirt fenders, a lower seat height and increased fork rake, and in 1941 Indian added plunger-style rear suspension.
Military Scouts during World War II
The most common Indian motorcycle made for military use in World War II was the 741, a military version of the Thirty-Fifty. These were primarily used by British and Commonwealth forces. Indian sold more than 30,000 units of the 741.
Postwar Scouts: 648 and 249
When Indian restarted civilian production in 1946 they produced the Chief only; the Junior Scout, Sport Scout, and Four were discontinued. Engineering work being done on a Model 647 Scout was abandoned in favor of developing a completely new line of lightweight single-cylinder and vertical-twin motorcycles.
In 1948, Indian built 50 units of the 648 Sport Scout. The 648, also called the "Big Base" Scout, was a homologation special built to qualify the type for racing; as such, it was sold primarily to motorcycle racers. Floyd Emde rode a 648 to victory in the 1948 Daytona 200. The 648 was the last traditional Indian Scout.
Land speed records
- 20 August 1962: 54 cu in (880 cc) class record of 178.971 mph (288.026 km/h).
- 22 August 1966: 61 cu in (1,000 cc) class record of 168.066 mph (270.476 km/h).
- 26 August 1967: 61 cu in (1,000 cc) class record of 183.586 mph (295.453 km/h).
Munro's efforts were dramatised in the 2005 film The World's Fastest Indian.
|Manufacturer||Indian Motorcycle Company of America|
|Engine||87.7 cu in (1,437 cc) 45° S&S V-twin engine|
|Bore / stroke||3.625 in × 4.25 in (92.1 mm × 108.0 mm)|
|Ignition type||computer-controlled electronic|
|Transmission||5-speed foot shift|
|Suspension||Front: 41 mm telescopic forks
|Rake, trail||32°, 5.25 in (133 mm)|
|Wheelbase||67 in (1,700 mm)|
|Seat height||26.5 in (670 mm)|
The Indian Motorcycle Company of America, based in Gilroy, California, built a Scout model from 2001 to 2003. The 2001 Scout had a 88 cubic inch engine and a five-speed transmission; these were assembled at Indian's factory from engine parts made by S&S Cycle and transmission parts made by RevTech. The Scout was available in different versions, including Centennial, Springfield and Deluxe editions.
The Indian Motorcycle Company of America ended production of motorcycles in 2003 and went into liquidation. The Indian brand was revived by the Indian Motorcycle Company, based in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, in 2006, but the Scout name was not used.
In 2011, Polaris Industries bought the Indian Motorcycle Company. For the 2015 model year, under Polaris's ownership, Indian introduced a new Scout model. The 2015 Scout is a cruiser with a 1,133 cc (69.1 cu in) liquid-cooled, double overhead camshaft V-twin engine and a frame formed by multiple aluminum alloy castings bolted to each other and to the engine.
- Wilson 1995, p. 104.
- Girdler 2002, p. 83.
- Wood 2002, p. 79.
- Girdler 2002, p. 62.
- Johnstone 1995, pp. 46–47.
- Hatfield 2001, pp. 32, 106–108.
- Sucher et al. 2011, p. 291.
- Wilson 1995, p. 105.
- Hatfield 2006, p. 316.
- Wood 2001, p. 71.
- Sucher et al. 2011, pp. 299, 301.
- Johnstone 1995, p. 47.
- Sucher et al. 2011, p. 299.
- "The 'Wall of Death' presented by The 'Hell Riders': The Machines". The 'Wall of Death' presented by The 'Hell Riders'. Retrieved 2011-07-09.
- "Wall of Death World Tour: The Bikes". Wall of Death World Tour. 2009. Retrieved 2011-07-09.
- Sucher et al. 2011, p. 305.
- Girdler 2002, pp. 96–97.
- Girdler 2002, p. 97.
- Wilson 1995, p. 107.
- Girdler 2002, p. 103.
- Williams 2013.
- Doyle 2011, p. 15.
- Hatfield 2006, p. 352.
- Doyle 2011, p. 14.
- Wilson 1993, p. 37.
- Girdler 2002, p. 143.
- Girdler 2002, p. 166.
- Wilson 1995, p. 108.
- Wilson 1995, p. 109.
- "Burt Munro's Records". Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. 2005. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
- 2001 Indian Scout brochure
- 2003 Indian Scout brochure
- Wanchena & Pearman 2001.
- Wong 2003.
- Jones 2014.
- Doyle, David (Feb 28, 2011). Standard Catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles (2nd ed.). Krause Publications. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-44022-799-8. Retrieved Feb 4, 2014.
While the 640-B was most commonly used as a single bike, a few of the 2,500 produced were equipped with sidecars.
- Hatfield, Jerry (2001). Indian Scout. Motorbooks International. pp. 32, 106–108. ISBN 0-7603-0813-6.
- Girdler, Allan (2002) . The Harley-Davidson and Indian Wars. St. Paul, MN US: Motorbooks International Publishing. ISBN 0-7603-1353-9.
- Hatfield, Jerry (2006-02-08). "I". Standard Catalog of American Motorcycles 1898-1981: The Only Book to Fully Chronicle Every Bike Ever Built. Iola, WI USA: Krause Publications. ISBN 978-0-89689-949-0. LCCN 2005922934. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
...quantity sales were limited to Allied forces, primarily Britain, Canada, and Australia; more than 30,000 were sold.
- Johnstone, Gary (1995) . "Union Pacific Meets Roy Rogers". Classic Motorcycles. Twickenham, UK: Tiger Books International. pp. 46–47. ISBN 1-85501-731-8.
- Jones, Peter (October 30, 2014). "2015 Indian Scout – Road Test Review". Cycle World. Bonnier. p. 1.
- Sucher, Harry V; Pickering, Tim; Diamond, Liam; Havelin, Harry (2011). Franklin's Indians: Irish motorcycle racer Charles B Franklin, designer of the Indian Scout & Chief. Panther Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9564975-5-0.
- Wanchena, Victor; Pearman, Sev (May 2001). "The Indian Scout - Reborn". Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2009.
- Williams, Greg (March–April 2013). "The Star Power of Steve McQueen’s 1942 Indian Sport Scout". Motorcycle Classics 8 (4). Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- Wilson, Hugo (1993). "Indian". The Ultimate Motorcycle Book. London: Dorling-Kindersley. p. 37. ISBN 0-7513-0043-8.
- Wilson, Hugo (1995). "The A-Z of Motorcycles". The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 108. ISBN 0-7513-0206-6.
- Wong, Edward (23 September 2003). "Business: High Costs Bring Indian Motorcycle to a Halt". New York Times (New York, NY USA). Archived from the original on 8 February 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2009.
- Wood, Bill, ed. (November 2001). "Classics: 1932 Indian Scout". American Motorcyclist - Journal of the American Motorcyclist Association (American Motorcyclist Association) 55 (11). ISSN 0277-9358. Retrieved 2015-04-13.
- Wood, Bill, ed. (June 2002b). "Museum Classic: 1929 Indian 101 Scout Possibly the best bike Indian ever built". American Motorcyclist - Journal of the American Motorcyclist Association (American Motorcyclist Association) 56 (6). ISSN 0277-9358. Retrieved 2015-04-13.
It incorporated a number of changes prompted by real-world racetrack experience with the original Scout, including a stronger frame, better suspension and steering, a 3-inch increase in wheelbase, increased fork rake, a low, 26¼-inch seat height, and a front brake.
- Indian 741 Scout on display at U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum, Huntsville, AL