Bad Boy Bobber
On the same day my fellow rider/photographer Vincent Burger and I were throwing the FTR 1200S around, we also had the chance to take the Scout Bobber with us. Comparing the two is not really logical. The engines come from the same mother, but they are definitely not twins. FTR is the jock in the family whereas the Bobber is the dandy looking one, but with less muscle power.
However, this is not a problem whatsoever. With a 100 hps there is ample power in the Bobber. This is more than enough to get you around town swiftly and riding on the highway you will definitely not be the slowest bike on the road. The little Road Devil will take his place on your shoulder and loudly whisper in your ear to twist the throttle. Following his mischievous advice may actually put you in awkward positions explaining your behavior to law enforcement representatives.
Relax and enjoy the ride
This brings us to the subject of the best use for the Scout Bobber. We think it is an excellent bike to ride around town and it comes to life on country roads with slightly longer curves. It behaves the way a Bobber does when hitting a sharper bend in the road you will easily find yourself scraping another half inch of the foot pegs. It is the bike’s way of telling you to relax and enjoy the ride.
And right it is. So slow down a bit and look at all those heads turning as people notice this baby. This agile lane splitter is the bike you want to be seen on in town. The engine picks up nicely and can be aggressive should you wish it to. The torque kick in really easy and the red line does not come in view until you rev it up to 8000 rpm’s. Not bad at all for this type of engine.
We particularly like the engine casing and the overall style of the V-twin. It has a nice and slightly raw industrial sort of look to it. This is amplified by the cut up front and back fenders and the single seat. Wherever you park it, people will come up to you and start asking questions and taking pictures. That’s Bobber life for you. Enjoy it.
It is built nice and low and we love the lowered suspension. The ergonomics are quite OK, as long as you are not planning to go on long miled cross country rides. As much fun as it is to ride this Scout, you will be appreciating the couch in the evening more than you have done in a long time.
It is nimble and swift, but above 120 km’s an hour you will start feeling the strain on your back and in your arm muscles after a while. Consider it just a good total physical workout. This includes the facial muscles as riders are bound to continuously grin from door to door.
As mentioned, comparing the Bobber to the Indian FTR 1200 does not make sense. So who are the competitors? The most obvious one is the Triumph Bobber 1200, shortly followed by the Harley Davidson Forty Eight Sportster.
They all are pretty close to one another and we can imagine it would be hard to make a choice. All thorough breads from heritage brands. Alike, but yet all with their distinctive characters and loyal fan bases.
Hold on tight
Riding the Indian is a pleasure in spite of the minimal rear suspension. Yes, it can be adjusted, but the difference is hardly noticeable. When taking speed bumps at a higher speed than intended, the rider will have to hold on with all his might to prevent being ejected from the bike. Parachutes are not provided as an accessory.
Put on an extra disc
One thing we think has room for improvement is the front brake. Triumph’s Bobber also only comes with one disc, whereas the Bobber Black is fitted out with two. Having tested both these bikes when they came out, we feel that the Indian would be better off with a a stereo set too. Riding a bike with lots of torque at hand may unexpectedly get you in trouble when traffic in front suddenly slows down.
The FTR scores very well in this area, but when throttling the Scout we would recommend to prepare for any sudden changes in front of you. Braking is fine under most circumstances and the disc does what it needs to do, beware of your Road Devil playing with your testosterone level .
For the Bikebrewers team it is clear that the Indian is a serious contender in the growing Bobber market. It is a very cool looking bike with a sufficient amount of sexiness and power to lure in a great variety of riders. Large and small, male and female. It will offer you a seriously pleasant time on the road, tempting you to take the long way home each time you climb on board. The toughest decision to make every day is which helmet to wear to fit you mood of the day.
We’d love to see more of them on the road. Even better, it would look great in our shed as soon as we can find a carpenter to help us expand it