The Scout is incredibly important to Indian Motorcycle. It’s the brand’s top‑selling platform, with more than 110,000 sold since its 2015 debut. It comprises more than 40% of Indian’s total sales volume and more than 50% of its international sales. And, crucially, it’s the entry point for Indian, with 93% of Scout customers being new to the brand.  

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The Indian Scout gets a major revamp for the 2025 model year. Five models are available, including the Scout Bobber pictured here, with prices starting at $12,999.

So when Indian decided to give the Scout a full make‑over treatment, it wanted to avoid screwing up a successful formula. No surprise, then, that evolution of the Scout was a better approach than revolution. 

“We needed to make sure we didn’t mess it up,” explained Ben Lindaman, product director for the Scout platform. “People love it, so that’s what made the development process challenging.”

That said, the Scout’s new frame goes far beyond evolution. The former cast‑aluminum frame was cast aside for a tubular‑steel design, similar to what was done to the Chief platform in 2021. Chassis geometry remains similar, with a 29‑degree rake, 4.8 inches of trail, and wheels spread 61.5 inches apart. 

The Scout’s new frame, while seemingly backward in technology, provides a much cleaner chassis design than the bulkier aluminum structure that looked blocky and awkward in the area behind the front wheel. Surprisingly, Indian says the weight of the steel frame is similar to the former aluminum one. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
Ben Lindaman, product director for the Scout platform, peruses the clay model used in development. Lindaman was the project manager for the first‑generation Scout.

Ola Stenegard, Indian’s director of industrial design, explained the guiding principles of the Scout redesign: timeless; keep it simple and clean; customizing is key.

Stenegard noted how the “S” line from the steering neck to the frame’s downtubes was patterned after the original Scout, which debuted in 1920, as well as even earlier Indians. And by using a steel frame, the modification process for custom builders was simplified: “Customizing is the cornerstone of what we’re doing,” he said. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The Scout’s principal designer, Michael Song, sweating the details over a digital sketch.

Some of the best design work is invisible. The subframe area below the seat remains aluminum, but it’s a new casting that now encloses most of the Scout’s electronics and supports the modular electrical system. This enables shorter wiring and prevents components from being scattered around the motorcycle, resulting in a cleaner overall appearance.

The subframe casting also ties together the chassis behind the engine for optimum rigidity, and it’s now common among all Scout models. So instead of model‑specific seat pans and bracketry, all Scout seats and fenders can be used across the platform, simplifying things for customers, dealers, and the aftermarket. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The inspiration for the new 101 Scout was the legendary 101 Scout from the 1920s.

Less revolutionary is the Scout’s rolling stock, with wheels, brakes, and suspension largely carried over from previous Scouts. Indian says the Scout’s 25.6‑inch seat height is the lowest in its class. Tank‑empty weights range from 522 lb (Bobber) to 571 lb (Super Scout). 

All five models are equipped with antilock brakes, full LED lighting, and self‑canceling turnsignals. Versions with analog gauges now include fuel level and fuel economy readouts. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The Limited +Tech trim level includes Indian’s touchscreen TFT instrumentation. It’s equipped with Indian’s Ride Command system and offers configurable gauges, ride stats, turn‑by‑turn navigation, and optional Ride Command+ connected services.

To further expand customer choice, the Scout is available with different trim levels. The Limited package adds cruise control, traction control, selectable ride modes (Sport, Standard, and Tour), and a USB charging port for an extra $700. 

More features are included in the $1,700 Limited +Tech trim level, which adds keyless ignition and Indian’s 4‑inch round touchscreen TFT instrumentation. Thus equipped, riders can access navigation and additional ride info, plus it can be configured to view alternate layouts. It’s standard on the Super Scout and 101 Scout.

SpeedPlus 1250: Engine & Tonic

The Scout’s liquid‑cooled 60‑degree V‑Twin received a comprehensive overhaul. At first glance, the SpeedPlus 1250 appears to be just a simple overbore, punching out the cylinders from 99mm to 104mm and retaining its 73.6mm stroke to displace 1,250cc (76.3ci), up from the previous 1,133cc. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
Meet the SpeedPlus, the 1,250cc V‑Twin providing the motivational force behind every new Scout. Pictured here is the 101 Scout, which is said to produce 111 hp and is highlighted by special badging. The louvers on the heat shielding over the headers are a tasteful touch.

However, there are myriad internal changes for the SpeedPlus – Indian says it’s at least 70% new. A fresh cylinder‑head design ups the compression ratio and contains bigger valves operated by new camshaft profiles. At the bottom end, the crankshaft is 5.8 lb lighter, contributing to the motor’s significant 10‑lb weight loss. Importantly for servicing access, the valve covers can now be removed without splitting the frame, and checking oil levels is made simpler with a new sight‑glass window.

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The left side of the engine shows a tight induction area, and Indian engineers admit there’s top‑end power on the table for anyone who dares to open it up. Just below the seamless fuel tank is the power button to activate the keyless ignition module.

The old 2‑into‑2 exhaust system has been ditched in favor of a single large muffler. It looks bulkier, but it’s designed to be much easier to replace with aftermarket systems. The bike’s catalytic converters are contained in the junction prior to the muffler, so a simple swap to a slip‑on exhaust retains clean emissions even if noise might exceed regulations. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
Behind this cover is the Scout’s new slip/assist clutch, which reduces lever effort and allows the clutch to slip in the event of high‑rpm downshifts.

Horsepower has been boosted from 100 to 105 hp. More important to regular riding duties is the engine’s 14% torque bump, jumping from 72 to 82 lb‑ft. Torque reaches its peak at 6,300 rpm, while peak ponies arrive at 7,250 revs, long before the 8,500‑rpm rev limiter kicks in. The 101 Scout has special electronic tuning that nudges its peak output to 111 hp, a tune that other Scouts can get via a dealer reflash for $219.99. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The Scout’s new 2‑into‑1 exhaust system is a sure sign you’re looking at a 2025 model.

Transmission duties are handled by a new slip/assist clutch that reduces lever effort and prevents rear‑wheel hopping during sloppy downshifts. The engine’s drive sprocket goes up one tooth in size, yielding slightly taller gearing to reduce vibration, improve fuel efficiency, and lower noise emissions. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
Advanced fluid dynamic testing allowed Indian to design a radiator 22% smaller to fit neatly between the frame rails yet retain the bike’s cooling capabilities.

Test Rides

Now it’s time for the fun part of motorcycle journalism – riding the new bikes! We set off on the Bobber, Classic, and Super Scouts for a trip through San Francisco and then south to oceanside Santa Cruz for an overnighter. 

Read all of American Rider‘s Indian Motorcycle reviews here.

The next day, we took a return journey along twisty roads on the Sport Scout before a stop at the famous motorcycle hangout Alice’s Restaurant. After a quick lunch, we mounted up on the headliner of the platform, the 101 Scout, and tore up some more twisty roads before jumping on the freeway for our return to San Fran. 

Indian Scout Bobber: The Rebel

The Bobber looks imposing with its fat front tire, low handlebar, and blacked‑out trim, so it’s easy to see why it has been the Scout’s best‑selling model. Its appearance is augmented by short‑cropped fenders for an aggressive look, and its headlight is capped with a minimalistic nacelle. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The Bobber cuts a dashing profile in the cut and thrust of the city. The low handlebar puts a rider in a gunfighter forward stance that will suit some but not all. Bar risers, available from Indian on other models, will bolt right on.

Our test bike was equipped with the Limited +Tech package, so no key was needed to fire it up. The 60‑degree V‑Twin sounds deep and authoritative, but it lacks the loping cadence of narrower vee angle motors like Indian’s Chief and most Harleys. 

The new slip/assist clutch in the Scouts is an impressive upgrade. Pulling in the lever is an action repeated hundreds of times during a ride, and the Scout’s requires only minimal effort. Additionally, its slipper function kept the rear wheel turning even when dumped at obscenely aggressive revs during downshifts. 

Once underway, the Bobber feels similar to the previous version, as its weight and geometry have barely changed, and its suspension, brakes, and tires haven’t at all. While I appreciate the butch look of the chunky Pirelli MT60RS tires, the tall sidewall of the 130/90‑16 front tire attenuates front‑end feedback. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The Scout Bobber looks undeniably tough. Starting at $12,999, it’s great value for an American‑made cruiser.

The underslung bar‑end mirrors were out of eyeshot without looking downward, and they’re in danger of scuffing the fuel tank at full lock. Happily, they can be easily switched to locations above the handlebar by swapping sides. Either way, you’ll be looking at empty perches above the bars where mirrors are mounted on the Classic and Super Scouts. 

Riding through town didn’t allow for delving deep into the powerband, but the SpeedPlus impressed with its beefier reactions to small throttle inputs. The Scout now has the mid‑rpm juice to feel like it has even more than 76ci at its disposal. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
Tackling Lombard Street in San Francisco, “the crookedest street in the world,” featuring eight hairpin turns on the steep one‑block section. It supposedly attracts 2 million visitors annually, but they all must go downhill on the one‑way road. We’re special.

The fuel‑injection tuning was mostly good, but some of our pre‑production bikes occasionally stalled while mired in traffic. Indian promises a more finely tuned EFI map in its production models. Otherwise, throttle response was excellent. 

The Bobber is a fun ride, but it comes up short – literally – in terms of rear‑suspension compliance. To achieve its low‑slung look, it is fitted with shocks that deliver just 2 inches of travel; every other Scout model has 3 inches of stroke. It’s true what some say: Even 1 inch can make a big difference in performance. 

Indian Scout Classic: The Traditional One

If you’re a rider who hasn’t yet warmed to dull colors and matte‑black trim, turn your head toward the Scout Classic. Instead of the Bobber’s tough‑looking colorways, the Classic responds with brighter paintwork and plenty of chrome accents. Full fenders – rather than bobbed ones – are gracefully old‑school. Prices start at $13,999.

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The Scout Classic glistens with chrome finishes and bright colors. Also note its traditionally styled flowing fenders and perch‑mounted mirrors.

Both bikes use 16‑inch front and rear wheels, but the Scout Classic substitutes 40‑spoke wire wheels for the Bobber’s cast‑aluminum hoops. And rather than the dirt‑track‑inspired Dunlops on the Bobber, the Classic is fitted with Pirelli Night Dragon tires that proved to be more responsive and easier to steer. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The Scout Classic I rode was fitted with a windshield and saddlebags from Indian’s accessory catalog.

I found the riding position of the Classic preferable over the more compact arrangement on the Bobber. Its bars are placed higher, which makes the bike slightly easier to steer and maneuver in tighter spaces at low speeds. 

The Scout Classic (and every other Scout) proved that 3 inches of travel is considerably better than the 2 inches on the Bobber. Meanwhile, the SpeedPlus drivetrain continued to impress, and for some reason, the engine never died on me like the Bobber’s. 

Indian Super Scout: The Versatile One

The Super Scout takes its inspiration from the Super Chief, as they’re both equipped with a windshield, saddlebags, and a passenger seat to make them suitable for two‑up travel. And on a warm day the windshield quickly detaches for wind‑in‑the‑face riding.  

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The Super Scout looks like a traditional cruiser but can really scoot when prodded.

Like the Scout Classic, it has chrome finishes, longer fenders, a higher handlebar, and wire‑spoke wheels. And that appreciable extra inch. All that adds up to the heaviest Scout model, scaling in at 571 lb. Prices start at $16,499.

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
Significant others will appreciate the passenger accommodations and the roomy saddlebags accessed with quick‑pull tabs. Indian says the previous Scout bags can fit inside these new ones.

The handlebar placement felt neutral to my hands, and the seat felt good to my…seat. Chrome mirrors on perches aren’t my style, but they kept my rearward view unobstructed. The Super Scout’s windshield produced more noise than the accessory shield fitted to the Scout Classic I rode. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The Super Scout is a smaller‑scale version of the Super Chief and is suitable for light touring duties. It’s fitted with saddle-bags, a quick‑detach windshield, and a rear seat.

Like the Bobber, the Super rolls on the same chunky Pirelli MT60RS rubber, and again I didn’t warm to their duller responses as compared to the Night Dragons. Also feedback from the brakes was dull, the front in particular. While braided‑steel lines provide a firm lever, the Scout’s brakes are average at best.

Indian Sport Scout: Going Rogue

Remember the Scout Rogue introduced in 2022 (see our June issue), which was equipped with a quarter fairing, drop‑down mirrors, and a 19‑inch cast‑aluminum front wheel? Well, that formula can be found in the new Sport Scout, which reprises an Indian model name from the 1930s. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The Sport Scout provides a terrific balance of style and sport. Note the side‑mounted license plate holder that cleans up the bike’s tail and neatly folds sideways for parking in tight confines.

This new model also receives different ergonomics. Machined triple‑clamps fitted with 6‑inch risers and a moto‑style handlebar put riders in an aggressive posture. A sport‑style seat has a taller rear section to keep riders aboard when accessing the strong power available from the SpeedPlus.

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The Sport Scout is blacked‑out like the Bobber, resulting in a menacing appearance augmented by the Rogue‑like quarter fairing.

On the road, the engine and transmission feel well‑suited to the Sport Scout. Although down on ponies compared to the 121 hp of Harley‑Davidson’s RevMax in the Sportster S, the Indian motor generates more vibration and exhibits a character more in line with a cruiser. 

The Sport Scout’s best asset is the neutral steering feel provided by the 130/60‑19 Metzeler Cruisetech front tire. Going to a shorter‑profile tire enhances the feedback felt at the bars, and this arrangement was preferable over the chunky 16‑incher on some other Scouts. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
Like the other Scouts, the 528‑lb Sport Scout retains its composure while leaned over in corners.

GEAR UP

With prices starting at $13,499, the Sport Scout has the potential to topple the Bobber from the top of the sales charts – it would be my target if walking into an Indian dealership. Sure, its quarter fairing provides more style than wind protection, and I’d have to dig out extra dollars for the extra tech features I’d want to have, but it has the best capabilities‑per‑dollar ratio of any American motorcycle. 

Indian 101 Scout: A Legend Reborn

The 101 Scout is perhaps the most revered Indian motorcycle ever made, so reviving the historic nameplate wasn’t taken lightly. With a special tune claimed to deliver 111 hp, the result is the highest‑performing Scout to date. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
I found my happy place on a twisty road while riding the new 101 Scout. The Pathfinder LED headlight on the 101 leads the way.

In a nutshell, the 101 Scout is a Sport Scout with the front end of an Indian FTR bolted on. That not only brings the security of an inverted fork with a full range of adjustability, but also a front‑brake setup that shames the capabilities of the other Scouts. Instead of a single disc with a 2‑piston caliper, the 101 has dual 320mm discs bitten by a pair of 4‑piston Brembo radial‑mount calipers. The increase in power and feedback is astonishing. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
Most of what you need to know about the 101 Scout is found in its front end sourced from Indian’s FTR but with revised tuning. The dual‑disc Brembo brakes are in a different league from the other Scouts.

Like the Sport Scout, it has black 6‑inch risers with machined highlights and a moto‑style handlebar, providing purposefully aggressive ergonomics. Unlike other Scouts, the 101 has piggyback shocks that are adjustable for preload and rebound/compression damping. It also sets itself apart with a custom‑stitched gunfighter‑style solo seat and exclusive 101 Scout badging, paint, and graphics.

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The new 101 Scout is the fastest production Scout ever offered from the factory. It retails for $16,999, the exact price of Harley‑Davidson’s Sportster S.

I wish I could tell you that the 101’s engine tuning felt much more powerful compared to its lesser siblings, but the difference is felt only at the top of the rev range, a zone rarely accessed on public roads. I couldn’t tell the difference when riding at casual revs. 

There is a more notable improvement with the 101’s suspension, especially at the rear end. The fully adjustable shocks provided extra control, and bump absorption got even better after I dialed up their rebound damping via the hand‑adjustable clickers. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
Rear suspension is provided by ZF shocks with gold-anodized piggyback reservoirs that are topped by hand‑adjustable compression‑damping adjusters. Rebound damping is adjusted via a knurled knob at the bottom end of the springs.

The only negative to the 101 Scout is that the extra brake caliper and rotor adds weight to the front wheel, causing the bike to steer slower than its brethren and feel slightly less agile. I believe a single‑rotor Brembo setup would provide significantly improved braking performance relative to the other Scouts, but Indian contends that customers for a bike like this demand dual discs. 

Indian’s goal with the 101 Scout was to reset the bar for American V‑Twin cruisers, and it succeeded. It offers more performance than any production Scout, and it does so with unrivaled capability and style. 

Talent Scout

If you’re gonna proudly yell “Made in America” when buying a mid‑size cruiser, your choices are limited. Indian makes a solid case for itself with these new Scouts, and it intends to become the market‑share leader in the  segment. After riding the new Scouts, that seems likely.

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The Scout’s 3.4‑gallon fuel tank gets a makeover, featuring nicely sculpted surfacing and a new console. Note the spin‑off fuel cap that replaces the previous hinged design for an old‑school touch.

Harley‑Davidson’s 975cc Nightster has a starting price of $13,499, $500 more than the Scout Bobber. But with 91 hp and 72 lb‑ft of torque, it’s significantly down on power. The MoCo’s Sportster S has 10 extra horses over the 101 Scout and is priced identically, but its 2 inches of rear suspension travel comes up short – there’s that extra inch again. 

2025 Indian Scout First Ride Review
The revamped Scout lineup features an all‑new frame and a comprehensively revised engine.

The new Scouts improve on the previous admirable Scouts in every important aspect: performance, style, execution, and desirability. Lindaman, the Scout’s product director, said this redesign should extend the Scout platform for another 10‑year run. 

Somewhere along the line I’d like to see a cheaper version of the 101 Scout with a single‑disc Brembo brake setup and a pair of shocks with 4 inches of travel, which I was told would fit without further modifications. Until then, I’d be thrilled with a (very) long‑term 101 Scout loaner.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Did you forget to add or leave out on purpose that not only is the Sportster S the same price but has 10 more HP but is 47 pounds lighter. You make it sound like the one inch less rear travel of the HD breaks the deal.

    • The 101 is similar to the Sportster S in several ways but distinct in others. The Scout is heavier than the S, but the Harley’s fatter tires make it feel heavier than its weight advantage might indicate. Sounds like a great recipe for a comparison test!

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