The Indian Scout motorcycle was the star of the Indian motorcycle line from’20 until’39. Indian Scout motorcycles were used by police, by motorcycle racers, and during World War II. During the war, Indian made aircraft engines, motors for boats, air conditioners, and bicycles. Possibly the most revered Indian Scout motorcycle was the’28 101 Scout, with its lower slung frame and improved handling.
The Indian Scout was introduced in’20. It had a 37 cubic inch (596 cc) engine that enlarged in size to 45 cubic inches (745 cc) in’27. That increase in engine size was an answer to the trendy Excelsior Super X, which was the first American 45 cubic inch motorcycle.
The 101 Scout was the second response which was being produced and some people believed that this was the highest in Indian Motorcycle technology. Another group of fans were pleased to see Indian motorcycle use the body of its other model Chief for the new Scout line which was introduced in’31.
Between’32 and’41 the Scout fans saw a succession of smaller Scout motorcycles which may have been done to please its supporters. These motorcycles had small engines of only 30.50 cubic inch and were called Scout Pony, the Junior Scout, and the Thirty-Fifty.
The early 20th century saw the growth of two giants Indian Motorcycle Company and Harley Davidson in USA for motorcycle lovers. The enmitybetween the companies is famous and has been published in a book called The Harley-Davidson and Indian Wars by Allan Girdler. While Scout ruled the world of motorcycles Harley-Davidson was equally powerful.
To give an example of speed Burt Munro, a New Zealander and a motorcycle racer set a record in land speed under-1000cc between’62 and’67 with his 47 year old’20 modified Indian Scout motor cycle. At the time he himself was 68 years old and nobody has been able to beat this record till today. This shows the speed and toughness of Indian Scout motor cycle. There were other achievements too and everything taken together was made into a movie in 2005 called The World’s Fastest Indian.
Since’35 when the ownership of the Indian Motorcycle was transferred it came under a lot of problems having to stop production of all model of this brand in’46. The final crunch came in’77 when company had to announce itself bankrupt after changing of hands. The company was fighting a dispute in the court over the ownership of brand name all through’80s and90s.
Finally, in December’98, the claim was settled in Federal court in Denver. IMCOA Licensing America, Inc. was given the trademark, and the Indian Motorcycle Company of America was formed as a conglomerate of nine companies. Production began again in’99, and Scout models were manufactured from 2001 to 2003, until the company went bankrupt again.
In 2006 Indian Motorcycle was set up again in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. They started manufacturing the Chief model but Scout brand was not being produced anymore.
The Indian scout motorbike was a pioneer of it’s times. If you are a true Indian fan you’ll be interested in reading this page on Indian motorcycle accessories. Click here to get your own unique version of this article with free reprint rights.