Review: 2016 / 2017 Indian Motorcycle Scout Sixty

Super low seat height, easy to ride, and lots of fun!

By Tricia Szulewski, Assistant Editor

Women Riders Now contributor Sash Walker loved the Indian Scout reviewed here in autumn 2014. Nearly identical visually to the original 69-cubic-inch-powered (1100cc) Scout, the newer Scout Sixty is priced at $8,999 which is $2,300 less and better-suited for a rider still new to motorcycling. I reviewed a 2016 model but the 2017 is exactly the same.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty riding left
Powered by a 61 cubic inch (1000cc) liquid-cooled, fuel-injected V-twin engine, the Scout Sixty produces 78 horsepower compared to the bigger Scout’s 100 hp. Without riding them back to back, however, I didn’t feel like I lacked enough power while aboard the Scout Sixty. In fact, I admired its smooth power delivery, easy shifting, and noted there was plenty of passing power.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty pearl white
The Scout Sixty looks just like its larger sibling, sharing its good-looking classic cruiser styling: two-into-two exhaust, single bucket-style headlight, pull-back handlebar, solo seat, and exposed rear shocks. Besides the displacement and price, the only real difference between the Scouts is that the Scout Sixty has 5 gears, where the larger Scout gets 6.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty engine forward controls
The forward foot controls are easy to reach even for shorter riders.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty seat height
You can see how my 5-foot 7-inch height allows for an easy reach to the ground. The seat height on the Scout Sixty is a super low 25.2 inches.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty reach
The forward-positioned footpegs means that nothing gets in your way when you put your feet down at a stop. Reaching the handgrips is also easy and relaxed.

review scout sixty review man riding
Most average height men, 5-foot-8 to 6 feet, will feel comfortable on the Scout Sixty with its forward controls.

review scout sixty man riding top
Despite it being considered a cruiser, the seating position for this size rider is more upright because the handlebars are angled to reach back towards the rider as you can see here in this overhead shot.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty lever reach
The Scout Sixty doesn’t have adjustable levers, but I noticed the easy reach and effortless clutch pull right away. (I am wearing the Hot Leathers gloves I reviewed here.)

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty seat position
While reaching all the controls is a piece of cake, there’s not much opportunity to change your body position while riding. The solo seat “locks” you in one place with no room to spare. I wished for just a little more room to move around, especially when cornering sportily and when my butt got sore after about an hour of riding. Indian does offer reduced reach and extended reach seats, but I didn’t have the opportunity to test one.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty lever solo seat
The solo seat sports no visible hardware. It comes off without any tools. Simply pop it up off its grommets and push it forward to remove it.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty battery fusebox under seat
Under the seat youll find a tightly packed battery, fusebox, and coolant filler cap. I was able to squeeze my registration papers in there, but theres no room for anything else.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty engine air cleaner cover
Tasteful details adorn the Scout Sixty practically everywhere you look. The air cleaner cover uses an italic font to highlight the company’s long-established roots while the engine cases get the Indian “I” logo.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty clutch cover
On the left side of the bike, the clutch cover references the date again along with the well-known Indian head profile.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty mirror detail
The Indian head appears in some subtle places such as the mirrors.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty key
I was particularly taken with the shape of the key. Most manufacturers don’t even think about small details like this, but its part of the clean fit and finish of this high quality American motorcycle.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty fuel cap
The ignition key is also used to unlock the fuel door on top of the tank. It looks pretty cool just resting in there.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty fuel door open
The fuel door stays on the bike, pivoting backward so there’s no having to find a place to put the cap while fueling up. The Scout Sixty takes 3.3 gallons of fuel, which turns out to be about 165 miles per tank for me. There’s no fuel gauge so I kept track with the trip meter.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty instrument display
The instrument display is simple and elegant, with an up front, central position that’s easy to glance at while riding. The LCD readout displays the time and you can choose between rpm, engine temperature, odometer, or the one trip meter readout.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty toggle display button
Use this button with your left forefinger to toggle through the LCD display options. I love not having to take my hands off the grips to do this.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty warning lights speedometer
The usual cluster of warning lights reside in the middle of the classically-styled red and tan readout. An analog speedometer reads easily during the daytime.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty display at night
At night, the display turns into a red glow that my 45-year-old eyes found very difficult to see.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty left grip
The left side controls include hazard lights incorporated into the turn signal switch. This is a smart detail that eliminates the need for a separate button to activate the hazard lights.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty right grip
The right side controls feature the usual—engine start and engine cut-off switches.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty hazard lights
The Scout Sixty’s fit and finish is top quality. The glossy black headlight bucket, handlebar, triple trees and fork legs show nicely. This picture has the hazards illuminating the turn signals—not to be mistaken for daytime running lights.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty taillight
The simple design of the taillight is elegant, but the turn signals dont double as running lights so theyre not very “attention-getting” in daylight.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty rear light
Nighttime visibility isn’t much better. If this were my bike, I’d find a kit to turn all the signals into running lights. I also wear lots of reflective gear.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty exhaust mufflers
The other thing I’d change if the Scout Sixty was my bike is the exhaust. The chrome stock mufflers look nice but the exhaust note in my opinion is weak and muffled. The steady beat this bike exudes isn’t appealing to my ear. An aftermarket exhaust coupled with a high-performance air cleaner would solve these issues for me.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty shock
The Scout Sixty handles well due to its light weight and low center of gravity. Though it’s a little too easy to touch down the footpegs while cornering, you get used to it quickly. Suspension feels just right for this bike, and is made up of a nonadjustable 120mm telescopic front fork and two exposed shocks out back. Rear preload is adjusted using a spanner wrench (not included).

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty front wheel brakes
Braking is adequate on the Scout Sixty and uses the same setup as the larger Scout. A single 298mm rotor up front is stopped with a two-piston caliper while the rear gets just one piston caliper on its 298mm rotor. ABS is included on the red Scout Sixty and is not an option for the black or white versions.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty cast wheel
The 16-inch front and rear cast wheels on the Sixty also match the ones on the Scout.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty belt drive
The belt drive is clean and simple to maintain.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty full lock
One thing I noticed is the limited “full lock” positions. It surprised me when making my first parking lot u-turn, as the fork stopped turning way before I expected it to. It’s not a really big deal, but can make slow maneuvers extra challenging.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty tank badge
The tank badge logo is simple and elegant. The steel tank will accept a magnetic tank bag, which is good since I need to carry a heavy disc lock to lock the bike when parked. There is no fork lock on the Sixty (which some motorcycles have) to immobilize the front end which helps prevent theft.

review 2016 indian motorcycle scout sixty left full
My short time with the Scout Sixty was a pleasant one. I can see why women riders trading up from their beginner bike would love it. The extremely light clutch pull, smooth gear engagement, light weight, low seat height, sensible ergonomics, and beautiful style make it a great choice for riders looking for a simple mid-sized cruiser.

review scout sixty colors
The Scout Sixty comes in three colors, “Indian Motorcycle” Red, Pearl White, and Thunder Black.

Specs At A Glance: 2016/2017 Indian Motorcycle Scout Sixty
Engine Size: 61 ci (1000cc)
Seat Height: 25.3 inches
Weight: 555 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 3.3 gallons
Colors: Pearl White, Thunder Black, Indian Motorcycle Red (ABS)
Price: $8,999 (black); $9,299 (white); $9,999 (red ABS)

WRN Recommendation
The Scout Sixty is a great basic cruiser that’s ideal for a beginning riders trading up from their baby learner bike. The Sixty inspires lots of confidence in new riders who are still getting used to how it feels to ride a “big” bike. The engine offers plenty of power so you can ride on the highway comfortably but isn’t overwhelming for a new rider. Lightweight and low with easy-to-reach components, the Scout is user friendly. At $9k it’s affordable too, but be prepared to spend some money to add accessories like saddlebags, luggage rack, disc lock, and a windshield if you want to enjoy this motorcycle on more than just cruises around town. 

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9 thoughts on Review: 2016 / 2017 Indian Motorcycle Scout Sixty

  1. I tested a reduced reach Scout Sixty and loved it! Very well balanced bike, with easy cornering and turning. I had no issues and I’m only 4 feet 11 inches. I ride a Honda Shadow Spirit now, but my next bike will be an ivory cream Scout.

  2. Now that I am moving gracefully into my late 60s, after 49 years of motorcycle riding, I am looking to move to a smaller and lighter and more nimble motorcycle. This article is helpful for me; to consider the Scout Sixty. Previously I had been looking at the new 2017 Triumph motorcycles. (My first brand new motorcycle was a 1970 Triumph 500cc.) Happy to learn the Scout is liquid cooled. My H-D Softtail Deluxe is air cooled and terribly hot to ride in the summer heat. I often burn my leg on the H-D oil cap. Thanks to this well-written article, I am going to check out the Scout Sixty.

  3. I purchased a 2016 indian Scout ABS that I now call Ladybug after learning on a Yamaha Virago 250. I love this bike! It makes riding enjoyable and fun without the constant worry of dropsies that I hear about with the Har;ey-Davidson Sportster or other heavier bikes.I am 5 feet 2 inches with a 29 inch inseam. I can flat-foot this bike easily. I opted for the reach seat even though I think I could have maneuvered without it, but it gives me a little more confidence with the foot controls. I bought some aftermarket mini floorboards and the bike now truly rides and feels like a very sporty cruiser. I also purchased an aftermarket brake pedal to replace the tiny peg that is stock. I have a ton more confidence as I reach for the rear brake. With 100 hp, I have no problem keeping up with the guys that are riding 1700cc and 1800cc bikes.Again, I would highly recommend the Indian Scout, as I am truly enjoying myself. I just completed my 500-mile break-in service today after owning the bike about ten weeks.

  4. I have lost faith in Polaris. They closed down their Victory line. No guarantees in life but very disappointed. Makes me shy about buying any bike now that hasn’t been in business for years.

  5. I not only own the Spirit Lake Scout (2015 first run), I am a Scout Girl, I own three Scouts! Spirit Lake is where they are making them now and this is the best-balanced bike I had ever ridden. I love the way it hunkers down when you roll the throttle. Great for any rider—beginner, novice, or a hard-core rider like me.

  6. Hi. I own a Scout Sixty and really love riding this bike. I get so many compliments on it from all sorts of bike riders. One thing you might have mentioned (unless I missed it somewhere) is that there is no fuel gauge indicator. I didn’t even realize this at first, so watching how many kilometers I ride until the tank light comes on is of utmost importance when riding this bike, especially on long trips. As it is a smaller tank it needs to be filled more often than most cruisers. I also bought the optional brown leather seat that is a breeze to swap out depending on the mood I am or what I am wearing. It’s a great bike.

  7. I test rode an Indian Scout Sixty last year. At 5 feet 3 inches I’ve taken to wearing heeled boots for extra leverage on my ’95 Harley Sportster. They were not needed on the Indian Scout. In fact, they worked against me on the Scout! The shift and brake levers are too long for my size 6 foot to be able to reach comfortably. I had to place my heel on the pegs to shift or brake. Braking wasn’t a problem, but upshifting was. I only went for a very short ride for that reason!I also found the reach to the handlebars to be a bit too far, promoting shoulder strain on a long ride. I still haven’t found anything that makes me want to give up my old Sporty, but of everything new I’ve been on, I like the Scout best!

  8. Thanks for the review of this awesome bike. Great innovations, looks beautiful stock, just as is. The limited full lock positions could be problematic, that’s for sure. I hope you have your registration papers in a waterproof bag/envelope, just in case that battery acid or coolant decides to leak.

  9. I traded in my heavy 2004 Ultra Classic on this awesome Scout. This is my fourth motorcycle and my first non-HD. This bike reminds me of my Sportster only much better! Lover my Scout Sixty.

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