Test Ride: 2020 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty

This timeless bike makes for an exhilarating ride

A motorcycle like the 2020 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty begs to be ridden. Its low-slung stance, floating solo seat, and mini-ape bars form a tight unit that calls out to observers. Even at first glance, it’s clear this bike is special. The moment you’re on the saddle, though, an energy flows through you; a highly focused buzz. You reach down, turn the key in the side mounted ignition, click the starter button and the potent 69 cu-in V-Twin awakes.

From there on out, you’re at the mercy of the machine. The rumble of the optional 2-1 exhaust—a guttural thrum—bonds you with the bike. Once exposed to the sound, you’ll want to hear it again and again, and the bike is happy to oblige, all you have to do is roll on the power.

Unless you reside in a bucolic wonderland, chances are you’re going to have to navigate some “surface streets” before getting to that cherished open road. Like any good companion on an outing, the Scout Bobber Twenty makes it a breeze.

While there’s some sacrifice of comfort over rough surfaces due to the lowered suspension, and the nose of the bike could be a little more forgiving when precise low speed maneuvers are called for, overall the bike is very manageable in traffic. Once you’re beyond the grip of stoplights and away from drivers, you’ll find the Scout Bobber Twenty has much more to offer than just auditory excitement and good looks.

Here is a modern interpretation of a classic bike that delivers a riding experience worthy of its timeless appearance. Chrome wire wheels, fat tires, a single gauge between the bars and optional (but highly recommended) underside mounted mirrors amount to feeling like you’re on something from back-in-the-day, when in reality you’ve got the security blanket of ABS available should you need it. It’s not so much that riders can relax more on this bike than another, but you’re engaged in a more efficient way. The ground is closer, your body is completely in the wind, and that intimate relationship with the world around you is ultimately calming.

The Scout Bobber Twenty encourages you to hop on and immerse yourself in the ride. There is no fancy color TFT display to connect your phone to and no riding modes to switch between—and neither is missed. By stripping away what doesn’t directly make riding more visceral, Indian has delivered a great piece of throwback machinery that’s accessible in terms of skill and cost. There are motorcycles that excel at transporting you physically and there are motorcycles that excel at transporting you mentally. The really great ones do both and the Scout Bobber Twenty is among them.

Images by Andrew Maness using Hasselblad’s X1D II