The 2018 Indian Scout Bobber drops the bagger look for urban assault style

Stripped down cruiser morphs into bar hopper. Indian Motorcycle’s (IMC’s) latest bike reaches back in the brand’s history to move forward with new technology and focus on a new niche. Indian threw a big launch party in Minneapolis on July 14, 2017 to introduce the 2018 Indian Scout Bobber, IMC’s new urban assault bike.

Since Indian re-entered the motorcycle market in 2014, the brand has been associated with big touring bikes and cruisers with saddlebags and windshields. You can even accessorize Indian’s “midsized” 1133cc Scout and 999cc Scout Sixty with bags and shields on the IMC website.

The Scout Bobber is a steel horse with a different soul. The Bobber’s accessories list includes a pair of very small saddlebags (not big enough for a laptop) but no wind protection. This isn’t the bike you’d think of first for a long trip, as Indian already has plenty of those.

The Scout Bobber is in some respects reminiscent of the original 1920 Indian Scout, stripped to the bone. To build a bobber version of the existing, modern day Scout, Indian’s designers started by removing every unnecessary part. Whenever possible the essential parts left were cut back in size. The team kept the Scout’s liquid cooling, disc brakes, and 1133cc, 100-hp V-Twin engine with six-speed transmission.

The stripped-down Scout Bobber’s rear suspension is one inch lower, the front and rear fenders are chopped off leaving just enough to divert off-road spray, and the rider footpegs are pulled back 1.5 inches.

A low-slung leather seat in brown and black, street tracker low-profile handlebars, and bar-end mirrors that can be positioned above or below the bars bring the rider closer to the bike. The bike rides on black cast aluminum 16-inch wheels front and back. The tires have an aggressive, blocky tread.

Stripped down and blacked out are the order of the day for the Scout Bobber. Indian blacked out the bike’s frame, cooling system, exhaust, primary and clutch covers, handlebars, headlight nacelle, mirrors, and even the gauge face.

The Indian’s new street brawler has slotted exhaust shields and belt guard, a smaller ignition and thermostat cover, an LED rear brake light and turn signals, and a side-mounted license plate bracket.

Indian product designers told Digital Trends they thought long and hard before adding a new logo design element to the storied brand before adding a new blocky font tank-badge.

2018 Indian Scout Bobber

On a half-day press ride through Minnesota farm country, small towns, highway, and downtown Minneapolis, the Scout Bobber was easy to handle and pulled hard when asked. The sweet engine’s torque peaks at 72-foot-pounds at 6,000 rpm, but the experience in third through sixth gears is that all the power you could ask for is right there regardless of the gear you’re in.

I rode the Bobber with ABS brakes which grabbed quickly and surely during the ride. Despite the bike’s 554-wet weight with fuel and fluids, all that was needed when a city bus moved into my lane was a quick mirror check, a slight lean to the left and a bare throttle twist and we were ahead of the bus in the left lane without commotion or drama.

With its 25.6-inch solo seat height, reaching the ground with both feet flat is easy even for medium-height riders. Optional matching leather passenger seat with or without a butt stop and passenger foot pegs let you go two-up should you choose.

The 2018 Indian Scout Bobber will be available in September 2017 but Indian dealerships can take pre-orders now. Starting prices depend on color and automatic braking system (ABS). Available colors include Thunder Black ($11,500); Star Silver Smoke, Bronze Smoke, or Indian Motorcycle Red ($12,000); and Thunder Black Smoke, the only color available with ABS ($12,500).

Cars

Café racer-inspired ebike hits 28 mph quickly and quietly with carbon belt drive

Ebike manufacturer Electra launched the Café Moto Go, an advanced ebike. The Café Moto Go's step-over frame was inspired by café racers. The Café Moto Go is a premium performance ebike built to run smoothly and extra quietly.
Outdoors

Lyft is offering free bikeshare rides to highlight Earth Day

To highlight Earth Day and promote its own green efforts, Lyft is offering free rides with its bikeshare programs in six cities across the U.S. on April 22. Anyone interested should check the service's website for full details.
Trash

The best noise-canceling headphones paint your music on a cleaner canvas

Drowning out the sound of babies, jet engines, and the outside world isn't as difficult as it seems. Here are the best noise-canceling headphones, whether you're concerned with style, comfort, or sound.
Cars

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 proves the General Motors luxury brand still cares about sedans. Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, it features Cadillac's Super Cruise tech and a lineup of turbocharged engines.
Cars

Where to go when your EV is low: Rich neighborhoods have most charging stations

If you're running low on juice in your electric vehicle, head for the rich part of town. A survey by Realtor.com found median home list prices in the 20 U.S. ZIP codes with the most EV charging stations were 2.6 times the national average.
Cars

Ford is keeping hackers out of its cars by putting key fobs to sleep

Ford found a way to stop thieves who try to hack their way into a car by duplicating its key fob. It developed a smart key fob that puts itself to sleep when it's idle for at least 40 seconds. It automatically wakes up when someone picks it…
Product Review

BMW’s smallest M car is its biggest performance statement

The BMW M2 Competition is frighteningly quick in a straight line, and its short wheelbase lends itself to some hilarious power slides, but it’s the curvy roads and tight tracks where this coupe comes alive.
Cars

This vintage Ford Bronco off-roader has a modern electric powertrain

Zero Labs took a classic Ford Bronco and replaced its gasoline engine with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. So you get the style and off-road capability of a Bronco, but with zero emissions.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Earth Day, indoor container farming, robot submarines

Today on Digital Trends Live, we discuss how technology intersects with Earth Day, a new Tim Cook biography, indoor container farming, robot spy submarines, A.I. death metal, and more.
Cars

Tesla will have ‘autonomous robotaxis’ in 2020, Elon Musk says

Tesla will deploy self-driving cars in a "robotaxi" service in 2020, CEO Elon Musk said at the automaker's Autonomy Investor Day. Musk has promised autonomous Tesla electric cars before, but will he finally deliver this time?
Cars

Startup Smartcar accuses bigger rival Otonomo of stealing intellectual property

California-based startup Smartcar claims its intellectual property was stolen by a much bigger (and better-funded) rival named Otonomo. Otonomo hasn't given its side of the story yet.
Cars

2020 Nissan 370Z Special Edition celebrates 50 Years of the Z car

Nissan is celebrating 50 years of its iconic "Z car" with a special edition of the 2020 370Z. The 50th-anniversary model is dressed to look like a 1970s race car, but remains technically unchanged.
Cars

Tesla rushes investigators to China to figure out why a parked Model S exploded

Tesla has sent a team of in-house investigators to Shanghai to determine why an early Model S suddenly exploded and caught fire. The electric sedan was parked before the fire started, and the cause of the blaze remains unknown.
Cars

Google Maps now shows EV owners which charging stations are occupied

Google has just beefed up its Maps app with extra data to help EV owners find the nearest charging station. Drivers can also find out about the number and types of ports available, and whether they're occupied.