If you have your heart set on an Indian Bobber but you lack ‘big’ bike experience, you have a tough decision ahead.
Is the Indian Scout Bobber a good first bike? The Indian Scout Bobber has all the makings of a very good first bike. In particular, the Scout Bobber Sixty is an ideal entry to Bobber ownership although all 3 Indian Bobbers are low to the ground and have a smooth power delivery so despite being big displacement bikes, they are easy to handle.
Before you decide which Bobber bike will best suit your needs and level of experience, you will want to read on…..
Scout Bobber Review
In order to answer whether the Scout Bobber is a good first bike we should first take a look at the spec and riding experience. This will give us a good idea as to what to expect and hopefully answer some of the question’s beginner riders would have about the Scout Bobber as their first bike.
To start with the Scout Bobber comes in 3 variations, the Bobber, Bobber Sixty and Bobber Twenty (I will look at this in a little depth as I walk you through the key features).
Indian Bobber Engine
The Bobber and Bobber Twenty share a liquid cooled, 1133cc, 94-horsepower V-Twin engine with a peak Torque of 97Nm and they have a 6-speed transmission.
The Bobber Sixty has the slightly smaller displacement engine with a liquid cooled, 1000cc, 76-horsepower V-Twin and peak Torque of 88Nm with a 5-speed transmission.
The Bobber Sixty’s smaller engine is the big selling point for new riders. The 5-speed transmission is smooth and not off putting with intense power. The 5th gear acts as an overdrive cruising gear but does not lack any oomph either. The engine certainly has enough power to grow with the rider as confidence increases.
The Bobber and Bobber Twenty’s extra gear and 18 horsepower adds solely to the top end performance of the bikes, something that for a novice is not really needed or likely to be used.
With that said, even with the bigger engine the power delivery is smooth and therefore welcoming for all riders. Several Indian Scout Bobber reviewers have commented that under 4000rpm the bike “feels like a pussycat” which is reassuring for novices.
The decision on which one is right for the rider usually will come down to whether they intend to keep the bike for a long time and whether they are going to do long tours on it. In either scenario the bigger engine would probably be the Indian to go for.
There are however, other factors to consider:
Indian Bobber Seat Height
The Bobber and Bobber Sixty share a seat height of 25.6” compared to the Bobber Twenty’s 27.4”.
This is down to the Bobber Twenty coming with a floating style saddle seat which adds the extra 2”.
When I spoke to some new Bobber owners in Indian Riders Facebook groups the best-selling point for them, was the low seat height, being able to flat foot the bike which boosts confidence in slow manoeuvres.
A smooth power delivery and that low seat height has made the Indian Scout Bobber Sixty popular with women riders.
Indian Bobber Weight
Another key point made by new riders was the Bobbers weight. Fully loaded the bikes weigh in at:
- Bobber Sixty – 249kg
- Bobber – 251kg
- Bobber Twenty – 257kg
Neither of these is the lightest of Bobber bikes available which may lead to concern about manouvering it out of the garage or other tight spots.
However, the low height of these Indian Bobbers, on the whole, cancels out the weight as an area of concern. The bikes are really well balanced and carry their weight low down, it is easy to pop both feet down if you feel a bit wobbly at slow speeds.
Once in motion, the Indian Bobbers weight disappears completely as the ride is smooth and easy to handle so it doesn’t feel threatening, which is a huge comfort to the new rider.
The 3 Bobber’s base cheapest models do not come with ABS in the US. However, they do come with ABS in the next price bracket up and all colour varieties.
This is not the case in the UK and the rest of Europe where all motorcycles (including Indian and Harley Davidsons) come with ABS as standard due to EU regulations.
It is worth noting that ABS for new riders is worth the investment as it adds just an extra level of security when braking. Simply, it stops the wheels locking when braking so they maintain grip on the road. This is especially helpful for novices getting used to the roads and handling everyday traffic situations that may require swift braking.
How much is an Indian Scout Bobber?
The base prices for the three Indian Bobbers are:
- Indian Bobber Sixty – $8,999 MSRP With ABS $9,799
- Indian Bobber – $10,999 MSRP With ABS $11,899
- Indian Bobber Twenty – $11,999 MSRP with ABS $12,899
The Bobber Sixty has deliberately been competitively priced $2000 cheaper than the Bobber to attract new riders and also those who want a Bobber but can’t quite justify 5 figures.
It may make you question what you are sacrificing for that 2K?
The obvious one is the bigger displacement V-Twin, after that it is just a few cosmetic differences.
With that, let’s look at the differences between the 3 Indian Bobbers in a bit more detail.
3 Indian Bobbers, what’s the difference?
Indian Scout Bobber Sixty
- In the UK it is only available in the paint scheme ‘Thunder Black’
- In the States however, for $10,299 buyers can get the bike in ‘Thunder Black Smoke’, ‘Blue Slate Smoke’ and ‘Titanium Metallic’.
- Smaller Capacity Machine with the Liquid Cooled, 1000cc, 76-horsepower V Twin engine
- 5 Gears
- Black Stock Scout Mirrors
- Black Solo Seat
Indian Scout Bobber
- The UK version has a total of 5 colour schemes. ‘Thunder Black Gloss’, ‘Thunder Black Matt’, ‘Alumina Jade Smoke’plus 2 ICON paint schemes available in ‘Indy Red’ and ‘Black Azure Crystal’.
- The US version also comes in 5 colour schemes but they do differ: ‘Thunder Black’, ‘Thunder Black Smoke’, ‘White Smoke’, ‘Alumina Jade Smoke’ and ‘Maroon Metallic Smoke’.
- Liquid Cooled, 1133cc, 94-horsepower V-Twin engine.
- 6 Gears
- Bar-End Mirrors
- USB Charging Port
- Black and Tan Solo Seat
Indian Scout Bobber Twenty
The Scout Bobber Twenty, shares the same engine, 6 gears, bar-ends and USB port as the Indian Scout Bobber with these additions/variations:
- 4 Paint schemes ‘Thunder Black’, ‘Thunder Black Smoke’, ‘Sagebrush Smoke’ and ‘Stealth Grey’. (The UK version omits the ‘Stealth Grey’ from its line-up.)
- Different floating bobber style saddle seat
- Chrome Styling noticeable most on the exhaust and engine covers
- Mini-Ape Handlebars
- Indian Headdress Tank Artwork
From the Bobber Sixty with ABS price at $9,799 to the Bobber Twenty’s top spec price at $13,399 there is a price difference of $3,600.
Aside from the engine, everything else is aesthetics. Therefore, the $3,600 price difference may make all the difference for a new rider who wants a Scout Bobber but has limited budget.
How does the Indian Bobber compare with other Bobbers?
On the market currently there are 2 manufacturer’s whose Bobbers directly compete with the Indian Bobbers. The Triumph Bobber and Harley Street Bob. How does the Indian compare?
Triumph Bonneville Bobber:
- 2 Variations. The Bonneville Bobber starting at $11,950. Bonneville Bobber Black $13,150.
- Same technical spec shared between the two.
- 1200cc, liquid cooled, 8 valve parallel twin engine that puts out 77Hp and a max torque of 106Nm. 6 Speed Transmission.
- Seat height of 27.7” and fully loaded weight of 228kg.
Harley Davidson Street Bob:
- $14,999 for the standard model $400 extra for 3 more colour options.
- Milwaukee-Eight 114, 84 horsepower, V-Twin Engine.
- Weighs in at 297kg with a seat height of 26.77”.
Harley’s option is more expensive than even Indian’s Bobber Twenty at its most expensive. It has a max torque of 149Nm and is nearly 50Kg heavier than the Indian Bobber’s offerings. The significant increase in torque and weight for a new rider may mean the Street Bob is much less suitable for new riders as it is a big bike to handle.
Triumph matches Indian at their price point, with the Bobber Sixty the cheapest in the running.
The Triumph Bobber is lighter than the Scout Bobber but that too also has a higher peak torque. With Indian’s Bobber being revered as having a smooth transmission and calm approach to its power it may also mean that Indian win on this front too.
However, it may be worth new riders directly comparing the Scout Bobber and the Triumph Bobber as its closest competitor to see which suits them best.
Particularly as the Triumph Bonneville Bobber comes with all the following as standard:
- Switchable traction control
- Ride by wire
- Road and rain riding modes
- Torque assist clutch
All of the above are practical applications for novice riders and the Triumph Bobber is a similar price point to the Scout Bobber with ABS added as an extra.
Style wise all 3 are very different and reminiscent of different stages of the Bobber’s origins; so that really will be a personal choice.
The Scout Bobber has a low seating position, balanced weight, sensible power delivery and an attractive price point with the Bobber Sixty. Current owners that purchased the Indian Bobber as their first bike testify to that sentiment.
The Indian Scout motorcycle is one of American oldest bikes and was present for the birth of the Bobber as a concept; so, if there is a bike and a brand that can truly do a production Bobber justice it certainly is Indian.