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).

Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.

No more wild goose chase: ‘’ now leads to DuckDuckGo instead of Google

DuckDuckGo recently acquired a shorter domain name from fellow search engine competitor Google. As a result, longtime and new DuckDuckGo users can now access the privacy-focused search engine by going to
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.

Microsoft asks Edge Insiders for help with its new browser development

If you want to be among the first to try Microsoft's new Edge browser that's built on Google's open-source Chromium rendering engine, you can sign up to be an Edge Insider. Microsoft is asking users to provide feedback.

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.

Tesla could show the electric pickup Elon Musk is dying to build in 2019

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself.
Cars is helping Hyundai mine the artificial intelligence gold rush

In November 2018, Hyundai invested in a startup named We talked to the company's founder to learn more about what that means for consumers in the not-too-distant futures.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.