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The 2018 Indian Scout Bobber is one of the few Bobber motorcycles on sale in India right now. So, what exactly does the term 'bobber' mean then? It refers to the bobber-styled motorcycles which, were introduced in the early 1930s and were originally called - 'bob-job'.
A Bobber is a custom-built motorcycle which includes the stripping off of excess bodywork to reduce weight. Other major changes include a modified frame, lowered seat, shorter wheelbase, chopped fenders and of course, the pillion rider seat too is taken off.
Now, Indian motorcycles have introduced the all-new Scout Bobber, keeping in mind the old-school Bobber styling and modern-day performance. We played around with the motorcycle for a couple of days and here is what we have to say about it.
Design & Style
The Indian Scout Bobber is a based on the Indian Scout — one of the best motorcycles from its line-up in India. The Bobber shares its cycle parts, engine a few other features with the Scout.
Indian has stayed true to the bobber tradition as the motorcycle gets chopped front and rear fenders. It also gets a single seat for the rider. Everything else is more or less identical to the Indian Scout.
The rear suspension has been lowered a bit. This, combined with the lowered leather bobber saddle, upright peg position and street tracker handlebars makes for a low slung riding stance. All this, when put together makes the motorcycle look badass!
There are a few other cosmetic changes and little details such as — the all-new tank badge featuring bold block lettering of the brand and the motorcycle. The chrome has been replaced and it now has a matte-black theme overall.
The motorcycle also gets the same set of wheels as the Scout but to accentuate the Bobber design, the tyres are more aggressive-looking. It also gets a new elongated round headlamp with a halogen bulb. However, the turn signal indicators and tail lamps are all LEDs. The brake light is integrated into the rear indicator set.
The analog-digital speedometer has also been taken straight from the Scout. The small screen displays the time, engine temperature, engine speed, etc. The motorcycle lacks a fuel gauge but makes do with a low fuel indicator.
The attention to detail is eye-catching, especially when it comes to the logos and badges. The motorcycle has Indian Motorcycles logos and scout badging in more than 30 positions on the motorcycle.
Power & Handling
Powering the Bobber is an engine which looks as good as it sounds. It is a 69-cubic-inch, liquid-cooled 1,133cc, V-twin engine which also does duty on the Indan Scout. It is painted in matte-black with just the engine head covers in silver-chrome. The engine features a counterbalancer and an eight-valve DOHC valvetrain system for smooth power delivery.
The V-Twin engine churns out 98.6bhp of power and 100Nm of peak torque which kicks in at just 1700 rpm. A smooth-shifting six-speed gearbox drives the rear wheel via a belt drive system.
The engine packs in a lot of power, and this is made very obvious especially in the mid-range. Overtaking is a breeze and almost always does not require downshifting. The torque allows you to pull through slow traffic easily, and peak torque kicking in at just 1,700rpm makes it so much easier to accelerate. The Bobber keeps pulling for a long time even after one would feel like it is running out of breath. This engine redlines at an impressive 8000rpm.
The sweet cruising spot of the motorcycle is around the 110 km/h mark. Beyond that, the vibrations slowly start settling in from the handlebar and they continue to build up over the bike as the revs build up. At around 190km/h, the buzz from the engine is severe that the rider would want to slow down.
Also, the ergonomics of the motorcycle is not exactly the best-in-class. Tall people, especially those with back issues would struggle to stay on the saddle for a long time. But this seems like an offshoot of the bobber design. The seating triangle helps tuck-in the rider properly but after munching some miles, one would feel the need to stop and stretch!
The Bobber also features a well-tuned cartridge fork front suspension which gives the rider an aggressive and raw feel. With a weight of around 245 kilograms, it is a heavy motorcycle. However, only upon swinging one's legs over it, would one realise how light it actually feels. It feels lighter and well-balanced once on the move.
The suspension and the broad tyres together improve the ride quality and the stability of the Indian Motorcyces Bobber. Braver riders can try corner carving on it, but be assured that the footpegs will scrape the tarmac. In fact, the bobber is so low that, the footpegs ccould possibly scrape the tarmac even on a straight but bumpy road. Speed bumps are definitely an issue while riding it out in the urban jungle.
Braking duties are handled by single disk brakes on both the front and rear wheels. Feedback the lever is great and so is the brake bite. A dual-channel ABS system further improves braking and makes the bike safer in emergency situations.
Promeet Ghosh Thinks!
With the Scout Bobber, Indian Motorcycles have really stayed true to the Bobber tradition. It looks great, rides well and offers thrilling performance. But, all of this comes with a price tag of Rs 11,99,000 ex-showroom (Mumbai), which I feel is slightly on the expensive side.
The Bobber competes with the likes of the Harley Davidson Street Bob and Triumph Bonneville Bobber. If one is out in the market, looking for a mid-weight badass bobber with an aggressive stance for solo riding, The Indian Motorycles Scout Bobber is the one to go for.