There’s a distinguished trend of owning a custom-built motorcycle. The feeling of owning and riding such a bike, I think, can’t be explained in words. And this emotion increases exponentially when you yourself have given time, work and patience to build one. Well, I always wanted to work on my motorcycle and change it into a cafe racer. But I’d need much more expertise than just my skinny hands, and someone to guide me through it. Luckily (not for me), Indian Motorcycle is here to help all its customers who would like to turn their Indians into a flat track maniac. Read on.
The last American Flat Track Championship was scintillating. It provoked many bikers in Europe to have a bike which is easy to ride in everyday situations and at the same time could tear up dirt whenever they twist their right wrist. Indian Motorcycle noticed this new taste of these people. Talking about it, Grant Bester, Indian’s general manager in Europe, says, “We’ve certainly seen interest grow in flat track styling since we unveiled the FTR1200 Custom at EICMA last year. The beauty of the Scout is that you don’t need to cut or weld parts to transform the look. You can buy many of the parts you need off the shelf and fit them yourself at home, in the garage, with little more than an impact wrench and a good set of sockets.”
If you’ve got an Indian Scout, Scout Sixty or Scout Bobber, you can easily transform it into a well-built flat track-looking motorcycle. How, you ask? Well, Indian Motorcycle itself has made available specific accessories to get things done. Or you can even get special conversion kits that bike builders and parts manufacturers are now selling. Using such kits, it becomes a DIY job to do the work in your garage.
Indian’s head of Parts, Apparel and Accessories, Andreas Geisinger says many owners are fearful of taking a brand new machine and then stripping parts off of it or adding new ones on. “To get the flat track look, you’re really only going to take off key components and replace them,” explains Andreas. “So things like adding mid-position foot controls, a different seat unit and adding new wheels. Most people tend to go for 19-inch wheels and then fit 12-inch shocks. You’re looking at paying around €2,000 to €2,500 to do that.”
There have been many enthusiasts who have worked on their Indians and changed the way they looked. Here are a few examples:
Dimitri Coste – A photographer and a filmmaker
One of the best and coolest examples of a stock Scout being turned into a flat track bike is the one built by the Parisian photographer and filmmaker, Dimitri Coste. When Dimitri isn’t racing his bike on the track, he gets it back on the street by putting the stock front wheel back in, refitting the front brake, and adding the headlight and licence plate back on.
“My bike started as a stock Indian Scout and I fitted a Roland Sands Super Hooligan kit that’s made especially for it,” says Dimitri. “All that remains from the original bike now is just the frame, the engine and gas tank. The rest is all from RSD. It’s a plug and fit job, so it only took me about two days of work.”
Steve Cabellero – A skateboarder
Another great looking example of a flat track Scout is skateboarder Steve Cabellero’s, which started life as a Scout Bobber, the newest model in the Scout family.
Steve wanted a ‘Street Tracker’, something he could ride on the road day-in and day-out, but then also take to a Hooligan race and turn some laps if he wanted.
Steve said: “Adding 19-inch wheels was the first thing we did with the bike, and that set the stage for everything else.”
Tony Carbajal – A stunt rider
Tony has built a snarling Scout too, which he uses in his Indian Thrill show. He has made a series of videos on YouTube detailing the build to show everyone just how easy it is.
Tony explains: “I have ridden and owned many two-wheeled machines. None of which could properly rip across the pavement and shred in the dirt like the Scout I have built. I have a special love for this machine. A love that I can’t talk much about around the girlfriend or the other motorcycles in the garage. There is just something special about having plenty of power roaring out of that V-Twin Scout motor for getting sideways on the asphalt, hanging wheelies, jumping into the dirt and leaving your worries in a cloud of dust. My Indian Scout hooligan bike has all my friends envious! Always a bonus!”
I think these examples should suffice to get you going. So, when are you building yours?