1949 Indian 440cc Vertical-Twin Scout
Frame no. 2494626
Engine no. BD14626
Indian's new vertical twin Scout had a great load on its shoulders when launched in 1949 - to save the faltering company. The 440cc Scout was launched with great publicity, with movie and sports stars astride the compact new machine, but the American market was cautious, and sales were slow. Worse, the design had been rushed into production, and had a few teething troubles, reports of which were greatly exaggerated by the rumor mill (and perhaps a few Harley enthusiasts with an axe to grind), which hurt Indian sales further. The big Chief V-twin fared little better; while still listed in the '49 catalog, only 15 were sold that year.
The new 'Dyna-Torque' models the single-cylinder Arrow and Scout twin designed by Briggs Weaver were a visionary design at the leading edge of global production motorcycles at that date, using telescopic forks, rear suspension, and an all-alloy engine of very clean and tidy construction, features not included on its British rivals for another 8 years. The Scout weighed just 280lbs, and was good for 85mph. The overall design had an English silhouette, but the aluminum engine and other casting exuded quality and modernity, and were very advanced for the day.
This 1949 Indian Scout is an excellent restoration of a rare motorcycle, which exists as proof that American designers were fully up to the challenge presented by European competition. It is light, a good performer, and an utterly charming motorcycle.
- Please note that the title for this motorcycle is in transit.