Written By: Will Yap
Photography By: Motorgrapher & TGA
Bobbers don’t get much praise from the older folk in motorcycling, especially in comfort and ability to cover distance. Bobbers were after all something the young ‘uns made for fun or to flaunt their handy ability to rebuild something with flare and forgotten bolts. Thus we conceived a challenge. Take a modern production Bobber, clock some time in the saddle and decide for ourselves if a modern bobber was a complete waste of time. To make it that much more interesting, why not take a gamble and ride it to the Art of Speed in Kuala Lumpur? So we did.
At first look, build quality, paint and presentation are clearly the order of the day. It’s an American machine and this is undoubtedly an American cruiser. Details connect and flow into each other, like the backing in the speedometer, made to look like carbon fibre and the speedometer housing that does double duty as handlebar clamps. The matte paint, or “smoke” as Indian calls it feels deep and rich to the touch too as the detailing on the fenders and heat shields adds to visual presentation.
Getting to a gas station in Gelang Patah at 730am, just across the border was easy. Getting anywhere in Singapore on a motorcycle can be done under 50km. An additional border doesn’t raise the difficulty anyway. By now I’d already clocked some mileage with my home to work and back commute, getting used to the machine. The Scout Bobber proved more than easy to ride. The 1130cc powerplant delivers a spring in the heel, while the frame is built to reduce flex. With the engine’s extra role as a stressed member, it adds to the rigidity of the frame while carrying its weight down low for easy handling. Between casual riding or balls to the wall throttle, the Scout Bobber stays nimble and compliant. Either treading with poise and elegance or returning rider commitment to lean and turn at any speed. This of course, leads to a pretty engaging riding experience.
Setting off from Gelang Patah at 8.30am for the next stop at the Machap R&R, a decent 80km away, allowed a decent progression from the commuting saddletime. Around the 60km mark, I began to feel a little pressure on the tailbone. Despite the natural curve in the seat. my legs were pushing me backwards – a good idea for obvious reasons – but the seat wasn’t quite broken in yet and so the hard foam and my tailbone hadn’t gotten the chance to get acquainted. I’m 5’11” or 178cm and the bobber was built with shorter dimensions than the base Scout but the shortened rider dimensions never felt cramped on these commutes.
By the second fuel stop and break at the Pagoh R&R. I realized the pressure on my tailbone would consistently start to bother at the 60km mark. This never happened on my work commute in back home since they were only in the 40km-ish range.
We rode through rain somewhere between Pagoh and Seremban. I didn’t stop to take photos, not in a tropical downpour like that, but I got a chance to try out those semis in the wet. Yeah, semis on a power cruiser that’s right. The aggressively styled Kenda rubbers are patterned after semi off-roaders but they do a very efficient job of transferring the torque to the road. They are also up to the task in the wet. Not a flinch on wet tarmac while we were doing sane highway speeds.
A 4 hour journey with decently spaced stops covering almost 350km got us to the hotel and lunch before heading down to MAEPS for the Art of Speed KL, 2018. The main parking area was full so we were directed over to one behind the food stands. I’d have to say vehicle and crowd control were pretty efficient, despite the searing heat.
As we set off for home the next day without any timeline to meet, I managed a little more mileage in the seat between fuel stops before the tailbone issue became noticeable again. This time we managed just 2 stops for fuel and a lunch break before reaching the last R&R before the border.
Tracked mileage shows an average consumption of 18km/L which is pretty decent for a 1130cc power cruiser. The Scout Bobber came with Indian’s OEM exhaust option, which makes a pretty respectable sound. Anyone less patient than me could opt for a spring seat too, although that would lose the detailed stitching and embossed Indian logo in the seat.
Does the Scout Bobber deserve the title of Barhopper? Indian made sure it ticks the style boxes for sure. Sadly the side mounted license plate had to be placed in a more authority pleasing location. As a city cruiser, the Scout Bobber proves more than a match for Singapore’s streets. What of a longer hop across the border into Malaysia? Well, we’ve made it to KL and back with a good nights rest in a little over 24hours. Need we say more?
The Indian Scout Bobber retails at Mah for SGD $33,370 before COE and Insurance.
My Gear for the trip:
Helmet: Bell RS-1 Emblem, with Transitions Visor Add-On
Jacket: Dainese Evo Stripes C2
Jeans: Resurgence Gear Ultra-Lite X
Gloves: Scorpion Exo SGS MkII
Boots: Rivers Australia GoodYear Welt