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Scout
Indian Scout 600 cc 1920
1920 Indian Scout
Manufacturer Indian
Production 1919–1949
Engine 500–745 cc V-twin

The Indian Scout was a motorcycle built by the Indian Motocycle Company from 1920 to 1949. It rivaled the Chief as Indian's most important model. The 101 Scout, made from 1928 to 1931, has been called the best motorcycle Indian ever made.[1][2] A second line of Scouts, with lighter frames and reduced engine displacement, was introduced in 1932 alongside the Standard Scout, which replaced the 101 Scout and shared its frame with the Chief and the Four. The small-displacement Scout and the Sport Scout, introduced in 1934, were continued until the end of civilian production in 1942. Military versions of both versions were used by US and Allied forces during World War II.

Apart from fifty examples of the 648, a special racing version of the Sport Scout, the Scout was not continued after World War II. In 1949 an all-new motorcycle, with an overhead valve straight-twin engine, was called the Scout; it was enlarged and renamed the Warrior in 1950.

Between 2001 and 2003, the Indian Motorcycle Company of America, based in Gilroy, California, built a Scout model using proprietary engine and transmission parts.

The first Scouts (1920–1927)Edit

Indian Scout Model G-20

Indian Scout. Model G-20

Designed by Charles B. Franklin,[1][3] the Scout was introduced in October 1919 as a 1920 model. The Scout had a V-twin engine with its transmission bolted to the engine casing.[4] The Scout engine initially displaced 606 cc (37 cu in). The engine size was increased to 745 cc (45 cu in) in 1927 in response to the popularity of the Excelsior Super X.[1][5] In early 1928, a front brake was added to the Scout.[6]

101 Scout (1928–1931)Edit

Indian 101 Scout
ZweiRadMuseumNSU Indian Scout
Manufacturer Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company
Predecessor 1927 Indian Scout (original frame)
Successor 1932 Indian Scout (Chief frame)
Engine 37 or 45.44 cu in (Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "{". or Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "{". cc) 42° V-twin
Bore / Stroke 37 cu in: n/a
45 cu in: 2+7/8 in × 3+1/2 in (24 mm × 16 mm)[1]
Power 37 cu in: n/a
45 cu in: 18 bhp (13 kW)
Transmission Three-speed
Suspension Front: Trailing arm, leaf spring
Rear: None, rigid
Brakes Front: Internal expanding shoes
Rear: 1928-30 External contracting bands,[3] 1931 internal expanding shoes
Tires 18" on clincher rims 1928,
drop center rims 1929-31
Wheelbase 57+1/8 in (57,000 mm)[2]

The original Scout was replaced in mid 1928 by the Scout Series 101. Designed by Charles B. Franklin, who had designed the original Scout, the 101 Scout had a new frame with more fork rake, a longer wheelbase, and a lower seat height.[1] The geometry of the 101 Scout wheelbase, steering head angle and rear sub-frame were all adopted from the new Indian 401 model which was under development at the same time.[7] The 101 Scout was also available with the 37 cu in (610 cc) displacement from the original Scout, although this was rarely advertized.[8]

The 101 Scout was noted for its handling and was popular with racers, hillclimbers, and trick riders.[1][3][9]

In 1931, Indian's management decided to rationalize production by designing a new corporate frame that, with some detail variations, would be used across their entire, new-for-1932 model range of Scout, Chief and Four.[10] The economic hardship of the Great Depression forced Indian to discontinue the 101 Scout,[5][9] since it was as expensive to produce as the 74 cu in (1,210 cc) Chief, and therefore had a small profit margin.[6]

Legacy of the 101Edit

The 101 Scout has been called the best motorcycle Indian ever made.[1][2]

Enthusiasts have differing views on the replacement of the 101 Scout. Fans of Indian's technical achievements acclaim the 101 Scout as the pinnacle of Indian technology, while fans of classic Indian styling hail its replacement for bringing classic Chief styling to the Scout line.[9] The 101 is still used in wall of death stunt exhibitions.[11]


Standard Scout (1932-1937)Edit

Cost cutting led to Indian designing a new basic frame for 1932 that would form the basis for the Scout, Chief, and Four frames.[10] The 1932 Standard Scout that was based on this new frame[10] was heavier and bulkier than the 101 frame, and was less successful as a result.[1][5][9] The Standard Scout remained in production until 1937.[6][10]

"Thirty-Fifty" Scout (1932-1941)Edit

In 1933, to appease the sporting motorcyclists offended by the replacement of the 101 with the Standard Scout, Indian introduced the Motoplane. This had a Scout engine fitted into the frame of the discontinued Indian Prince single cylinder motorcycle.[12] The Motoplane was also sold as the Pony Scout with the engine displacement reduced to 30.50 cu in (499.8 cc).[13]

The power of the Scout engine was too much for the Prince-derived frame and the Motoplane was discontinued.[13] The less powerful Pony Scout remained in production and was later renamed the Junior Scout.[13][14] The Pony Scout and the Junior Scout were collectively known as the "Thirty-Fifty" after their engine displacement in cubic inches.[14]

Sport Scout (1934-1942)Edit

File:1939 Indian Sport Scout FCI.jpg

The negative reaction to the Standard Scout[5] and the failure of the Motoplane[13] led to the creation of the Sport Scout of 1934, with a light frame, girder forks, improved carburation and alloy cylinder heads.[5] The two-piece frame, with the front and rear halves bolted to each other to the top and to the engine at the bottom, was heavier than the Motoplane's Prince-derived frame, but also stronger and stiffer.[15] The Sport Scout was still 15 pounds heavier than the 101 Scout.[16] The Sport Scout won the first Daytona 200 in 1937.[5]

In 1940 the Sport Scout gained full-skirt fenders, a lower seat height and increased fork rake, and in 1941 Indian added plunger-style rear suspension.[16]

Military Scouts during World War IIEdit

1942 Indian Scout 500cc v twin 2

1942 Indian 741

The most common Indian motorcycle made for military use in World War II was the 741, a military version of the Thirty-Fifty.[17] These were primarily used by British and Commonwealth forces. Indian sold more than 30,000 units of the 741.[17][18]

The 640-B, a military version of the Sport Scout, was tested by the US Army and used on bases within the United States, but was not shipped overseas.[18] Approximately 2,500 were built.[19]

Postwar Scouts: 648 and 249Edit

Indian 249 Super Scout front

Indian 249 Super Scout

When Indian restarted civilian production in 1946 they produced the Chief only; the Junior Scout, Sport Scout, and Four were discontinued. Engineering work being done on a Model 647 Scout was abandoned in favor of developing a completely new line of lightweight single-cylinder and vertical-twin motorcycles.[6]

In 1948, Indian built 50 units of the 648 Sport Scout.[20] The 648, also called the "Big Base" Scout, was a homologation special built to qualify the type for racing; as such, it was sold primarily to motorcycle racers.[21] Floyd Emde rode a 648 to victory in the 1948 Daytona 200.[20][22] The 648 was the last traditional Indian Scout.[20]

Introduced in 1949, Indian's line of modular-engined standard motorcycles included the straight-twin 249 Scout.[23] The 249 Scout was replaced by the larger-engined 250 Warrior the next year.[22][24]

Land speed recordsEdit

File:Burtmunro1920indian.JPG

Between 1962 and 1967, New Zealander Burt Munro used a modified 1920 Indian Scout to set flying mile land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. His records were:[25]

  • 20 August 1962: 883 cc (53.9 cubic inches) class record of 178.971 mph (288.026 km/h).
  • 22 August 1966: 1,000 cc (61 cubic inches) class record of 168.066 mph (270.476 km/h).
  • 26 August 1967: 1,000 cc (61 cubic inches) class record of 183.586 mph (295.453 km/h).

Munro's efforts were dramatised in the 2005 film The World's Fastest Indian.


"Gilroy" ScoutEdit

2001-2003 Indian Scout[26][27]
Manufacturer Indian Motorcycle Company of America
Model year 2001-2003
Assembly Gilroy, California
Engine 87.7 cu in (1,437 cc) 45° S&S V-twin engine
Bore / Stroke 3.625 in × 4.25 in (92.1 mm × 108.0 mm)
Ignition type computer-controlled electronic
Transmission 5-speed foot shift
Suspension Front: 41 mm telescopic forks
Rear:
Rake, Trail 32°, 5.25 in (133 mm)
Wheelbase 67 in (1,700 mm)
Seat height 26.5 in (670 mm)
Related Indian Chief,
Indian Spirit

The Indian Motorcycle Company of America, based in Gilroy, California, built a Scout model from 2001 to 2003.[28][29] The 2001 Scout had a 88 cubic inch engine and a five-speed transmission; these were assembled at Indian's factory from engine parts made by S&S Cycle and transmission parts made by RevTech.[28] The Scout was available in different versions, including Centennial, Springfield and Deluxe editions.[citation needed]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Wilson, Hugo (1995). "The A-Z of Motorcycles", The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle. London: Dorling Kindersley, 104–105. ISBN 0-7513-0206-6. “When Excelsior created the 45cu. in. class with the introduction of its Super X model in 1925 (see p.59), Indian responded with a bored and stroked 45cu. in. version of the Scout, introduced alongside the original model in 1927.” 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 [1997] (2002) "Chapter Ten – The 101 Scout and The Model D: Advantage, Indian", The Harley-Davidson and Indian Wars. St. Paul, MN US: Motorbooks International Publishing, 83. ISBN 0-7603-1353-9. “It was a better frame, stiffer, and made of the best steel they could use, with a 2½-longer wheelbase, nominal—the wheelbase varies when you adjust the chain— 57⅛ inches.” 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "1929 Indian 101 Scout". AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. American Motorcyclist Association. Archived from the original on 2012-09-20. Retrieved on 2011-07-09. “It incorporated a number of changes prompted by real-world racetrack experience with the original Scout, including a stronger frame, better suspension and steering, a 3-inch increase in wheelbase, increased fork rake, a low, 26¼-inch seat height, and a front brake.”
  4. [1997] (2002) "Chapter Seven – The Scout and The Model D: Indian Takes the Lead", The Harley-Davidson and Indian Wars. St. Paul, MN US: Motorbooks International Publishing, 62. ISBN 0-7603-1353-9. “Franklin did the drivetrain as a rigid assembly, with engine, gearbox, and primary case as one, with drive from flywheels to input shaft done with three helical gears: three so the engine would revolve in the same direction as the motorcycles wheels.” 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Johnstone, Gary [1993] (1995). "Union Pacific Meets Roy Rogers", Classic Motorcycles. Twickenham, UK: Tiger Books International, 46–47. ISBN 1-85501-731-8. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 (2001) Indian Scout. Motorbooks International, 32, 106–108. ISBN 0-7603-0813-6. 
  7. (2011) Franklin's Indians: Irish motorcycle racer Charles B Franklin, designer of the Indian Scout & Chief. Panther Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9564975-5-0. 
  8. (2006-02-08) "I", Standard Catalog of American Motorcycles 1898-1981: The Only Book to Fully Chronicle Every Bike Ever Built. Iola, WI USA: Krause Publications, 316. ISBN 978-0-89689-949-0. Retrieved on 2014-02-04. “The smaller engine was listed throughout Series 101 production, but this version was seldom advertised.” 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 "1932 Indian Scout". AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. American Motorcyclist Association. Retrieved on 2011-07-09.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 (2011) Franklin's Indians: Irish motorcycle racer Charles B Franklin, designer of the Indian Scout & Chief. Panther Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9564975-5-0. 
  11. References:
  12. [1997] (2002) "Chapter Eleven – Indian on the Brink", The Harley-Davidson and Indian Wars. St. Paul, MN US: Motorbooks International Publishing, 96–97. ISBN 0-7603-1353-9. “But the frame design and girder forks of the Prince single were revived, and into the lightweight chassis was stuffed a modified Scout 101 engine.” 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 [1997] (2002) "Chapter Eleven – Indian on the Brink", The Harley-Davidson and Indian Wars. St. Paul, MN US: Motorbooks International Publishing, 97. ISBN 0-7603-1353-9. “Just in case that was too much... there was a less extreme version, a destroked 101 engine, displacing 30.50 cubic inches or 500cc, installed in the same light frame with girder forks.” 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Wilson, Hugo (1995). "The A-Z of Motorcycles", The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle (in UK English). London: Dorling Kindersley, 107. ISBN 0-7513-0206-6. 
  15. [1997] (2002) "Chapter Twelve – The Sport Scout and the Model RLDR", The Harley-Davidson and Indian Wars. St. Paul, MN US: Motorbooks International Publishing, 103. ISBN 0-7603-1353-9. “At the top, they bolted together, while at the bottom, the engine bridged a gap. It wasn't a diamond, nor was it a keystone frame. But it was strong, albeit not as light as the Monoplane/Prince frame, and it worked.” 
  16. 16.0 16.1 Williams, Greg (March–April 2013), "The Star Power of Steve McQueen’s 1942 Indian Sport Scout", Motorcycle Classics 8(4), http://www.motorcycleclassics.com/classic-american-motorcycles/steve-mcqueen-zmwz13mazbea.aspx. Retrieved on <time class="dtstart" datetime="19 April 2013">19 April 2013</time>. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Doyle, David (Feb 28, 2011). Standard Catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles, 2nd, Krause Publications, 15. ISBN 978-1-44022-799-8. Retrieved on Feb 4, 2014. “Primarily used by foreign nations, the 741-B was nevertheless the military Indian model produced in the greatest quantities.” 
  18. 18.0 18.1 (2006-02-08) "I", Standard Catalog of American Motorcycles 1898-1981: The Only Book to Fully Chronicle Every Bike Ever Built. Iola, WI USA: Krause Publications, 352. ISBN 978-0-89689-949-0. Retrieved on 2014-02-04. “...quantity sales were limited to Allied forces, primarily Britain, Canada, and Australia; more than 30,000 were sold.” 
  19. Doyle, David (Feb 28, 2011). Standard Catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles, 2nd, Krause Publications, 14. ISBN 978-1-44022-799-8. Retrieved on Feb 4, 2014. “While the 640-B was most commonly used as a single bike, a few of the 2,500 produced were equipped with sidecars.” 
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Wilson, Hugo (1993). "Indian", The Ultimate Motorcycle Book. London: Dorling-Kindersley, 37. ISBN 0-7513-0043-8. 
  21. [1997] (2002) "Chapter Seventeen – Racing, Part II", The Harley-Davidson and Indian Wars. St. Paul, MN US: Motorbooks International Publishing, 143. ISBN 0-7603-1353-9. “...in 1948 formalzed by a production run with 50 examples, officially designated 648. Of course the machines were parceled out to selected riders; that is, the public didn't actually have a look in...” 
  22. 22.0 22.1 [1997] (2002) "Chapter Eighteen – The Hydra-Glide, the Arrow, and the New Scout", The Harley-Davidson and Indian Wars. St. Paul, MN US: Motorbooks International Publishing, 166. ISBN 0-7603-1353-9. “Perhaps because the use of the name had created resentment, the Scout badge had been dropped from the overhead valve twin for 1949.” 
  23. Wilson, Hugo (1995). "The A-Z of Motorcycles", The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle. London: Dorling Kindersley, 108. ISBN 0-7513-0206-6. 
  24. Wilson, Hugo (1995). "The A-Z of Motorcycles", The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle. London: Dorling Kindersley, 109. ISBN 0-7513-0206-6. 
  25. "Burt Munro's Records". Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (2005). Retrieved on 8 February 2012.
  26. 2001 Indian Scout brochure
  27. 2003 Indian Scout brochure
  28. 28.0 28.1 "The Indian Scout - Reborn" (May 2001). Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved on 5 November 2009.
  29. Wong, Edward (23 September 2003). "Business: High Costs Bring Indian Motorcycle to a Halt". Retrieved on 5 November 2009. Archived from the original on 8 February 2014. 

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