Middleweight masterpiece, from an important Long Island collection
1924 Indian Scout V-Twin
Engine no. 50X395
Indian's Chiefs and Fours were at the head of the company's catalog, but many would argue it was the Scout that gave Indian its soul. Like the first Chiefs, the 1920 Scout was the handiwork of designer Charles Franklin. Both models marked Indian's casting off of its bicycle roots and the evolution to a proper modern motorcycle. The middleweight Scout was powered by 37-cubic-inch (600cc) V-Twin running a three-speed gearbox; it was capable of 60 mph. A hit from the start, the bike gained a quick reputation for reliability: "You can't wear out an Indian Scout," went a catchphrase of the day. Over the next two decades, the motor would grow to 45 inches and lead to the 101 Scout, still regarded by many as the finest Indian ever, "...a machine that shoots away like the wind on an open stretch, yet rides as comfortably as a Pullman," read the brochure copy. In 1934 came the Sport Scout, a bike that would win glory on America's dirt-tracks and honor on the field of battle.
The 1924 Scout shown here showcases the restoration handiwork of Indian expert Randy Zorn. It was not an easy rebuild. Over a two-year span, he picked the best parts from three out-to-seed Scout basketcases to come up with a beautifully complete bike. Zorn has been caretaker of the Scout during its stay in this collection and advises us that it is "one-kick machine," always eager to start.