Look, the new 2015 Indian Scout is a hell of a motorcycle. The Polaris engine has a great sound and torque curve off bottom, the chassis is nimble and light. The brakes actually work like a motorcycle’s brakes should work and the riding position isn’t half bad. But…the suspension absolutely sucks! The front-end crashes over bumps, won’t hold a line mid corner and wobbles under braking. The rear end is a tad better, but has such a short shock travel length and a complete lack of rebound dampening that it makes the Scout feel like a pogo stick when riding over medium sized bumps, bouncing up and down like old car shocks. What little rear rebound is in the shock cannot keep up with the weight and power of the motorcycle. This is felt when accelerating, feeling the ass of the bike dip towards the ground and the front forks getting light and twitchy. Bonus points if you can feel the rear of the Scout sway from side to side as the rear tire sidewall provides the only rear suspension action remaining. Excessive weight transfer rearward is unsafe and uncomfortable, but not as creepy as a quick throttle roll-off and feeling weight transfer back to the front resulting in a front fork crashing into the bottom of its stroke with a noticeable thunk. Again, credit a severe lack of dampening in the front fork and the Scout’s .51 progressive rate stock springs. We know what Indian was thinking: Make a good-looking set of front forks, but spend no more than $10 total on front end valving, oil, and springs.
We love our Scout, but we HAD to do something with the suspension before any other money was spent. The bike was literally un-ridable and we really wanted to get the Scout out in the Canyons and see how good the motor really was. The good part of the Scout is the base chassis we have to work from: it’s got a good center of gravity.
We took the “25”, our GP Suspension standard competition race cartridge and adapted it for the Indian Scout. With some testing on different spring rates, oil levels and valve stacks, we arrived at a perfect blend of performance for comfort and spirited riding. Gone were the too light .51 rate progressive rate stock springs (Progressive rate springs are a weak Band-Aid for lack of correct valve control) and 1980’s dampening rod technology. In went a 2017 25mm cartridge and special Indian Scout springs with the exact length and rate needed to make our Scout eat up sport bikes in the canyons. Boy, did we eat up some sport bikes. The low center of gravity, broad and large torque curve, light weight and GP Suspension cartridges had us railing by the cutest perfectly matched outfits on sport bikes in the Los Angeles hills, all spaced out in a little Congo line. Some sport bikers had attitudes at the rest areas, but most were in awe of how good our Scout was into the corners and off the corners. In fact, we sold several of them our “25” kits for their sport bikes in the following weeks.
We’re still faster and harder core than them, though.