I first saw images of the Scout Bobber late Summer 2017. In the States, Indian had been gearing up for the release of its 2018 line up by dropping promo shots and videos and I liked what I saw. It would be a few months until our demo arrived at Krazy Horse and we wondered how the new Bobber would stand up against the success of the Scout, it’s 1920 heritage-inspired predecessor.
October launch day
All of the owners, enthusiasts, family and friends we had invited congregated at the store and at midday, the bike was simultaneously unveiled at every Indian dealer in the UK. Those that had been sitting on the fence asked if they could pay their deposit which said it all.
So, what is a Bobber?
It’s a motorcycle with its roots firmly in the past. In a time when adrenalin-fuelled ex-service men were looking for thrills to match the rush of serving in the military and stripped back any excessive element with the aim of reducing weight and going fast.
This 2018 Bobber had big boots to fill!
Being able to recreate the thrill of riding a bike in post-war America whilst meeting modern homologation requirements is an extremely difficult quest and one that Indian took on with their eyes open. The resulting Bobber, with its lowered stiffer suspension, gives you the feeling you are very engaged with the road. Leaning into the machine with smaller lower handlebars, feet slightly closer to the centre of the bike, you want to push the Bobber much further than the Scout.
The low stance and chunky tyre set up looks every bit as aggressive as the attitude you and the motorcycle project when you’re both on the move and at a stand-still. You can appreciate the familiar nod of approval as you’re passing other riders or four-wheeled passengers with their faces pressed to the window, wishing they were you.
It’s very difficult to put the ride experience into words. This modern American V-twin takes you back to the achievements of the Hedstrom - Hendee Motorcycle company and the vision Charles Franklin pioneered for Indian Motorcycle in the 1920's. Indian are reminding motorcyclists of the innovative approach of its forefathers through its passion to deliver individuality, power and performance with this stripped-back Bobber.
I feel totally at one with this bike. It makes me smile when I see my reflection in the high street windows while I’m riding through London out towards the Kent green belt. When I first saw the Scout, my mind was always willing me to chop it up and cut it back like they did in the old days… and now Indian have done it for me.
Here is a very American advert. Enjoy!
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