MotoShed, a British custom bike builder has modified its first Indian Motorcycle. The MotoShed ‘Road Runner’ is an aggressive, stripped-back custom bike that is arguably the first Scout to feature underseat exhausts.
The Road Runner project was born after two members of the group got the opportunity to ride a standard Indian Scout Sixty shortly after its launch in 2016. “We were blown away by how well the Scout performed but knew we could take it further as well as produce a beautifully finished and unique bike,” says MotoShed. “It was crying out for it and after just a few hours of sharing ideas, the key underseat exhaust idea was born, then we knew we had to do it. We ordered the Scout the next day.”
The Scout that MotoShed received has been the subject countless hours of discussion, debates, and planning. MotoShed has invested over 100 man hours behind the project. Aside from the exhaust, the team also laid out a few basic principles for the bike: increased ground clearance, a more aggressive riding position, and uprated suspension. “We could tell the Scout Sixty had a lot of potential, so we really wanted to push the riding experience by dramatically increasing its cornering performance. To match this increased ability, we also wanted to strip the bike back to the essentials for a clean, light-weight appearance, but retaining a factory look.”
The underseat exhaust posed a challenge once MotoShed stripped all unnecessary components and accessories off the project bike. “It really was the most complicated part of the build. On the standard bike, there are a lot of important components hidden away under the seat such as the battery, ECU and a lot of wiring. It’s an impressive packaging job by Indian Motorcycle.”
MotoShed removed the ABS pump from beneath the bike and built a custom battery box in its place. A smaller race-style battery, ECU, and regulator/rectifier were relocated to the box after much rerouting of cables, and extending the wiring loom.
Once the underseat space was liberated, work began on rerouting the pipes around the engine and through the gap. Heat management was the biggest concern with the pipes being heat wrapped to keep the heat away from the rider’s legs. Of course, the wrap also made them look great. A custom heat shield/tyre hugger was also fabricated to keep road dirt away from the pipes. One of the pipes was 20 per cent shorter than the other which meant that MotoShed had to incorporate a Dynojet Power Vision CX system to accurately calibrate the ECU and fly-by-wire throttle. “It’s fair to say that, right now, it is a bit too loud. It fuels perfectly and the throttle response is excellent but we will be working on making it a bit quieter.”
The riding position was also due for alteration, which is why the Scout was treated with rearset Rizoma units mounted on custom plates. A set of lowered Renthal handlebars are also installed, imparting the bike a more aggressive, canted-forward stance. Thanks to the Rizoma fittings, the team also achieved extra cornering clearance. The new suspension setup is stiffer than stock, holding the bike a little higher than before. There is also ore controlled compression when cornering.
The majority of the work was done in-house, but MotoShed wanted to involve other experts as well. “The difference between a good custom and a great custom is all in the detail. Having worked in the motorcycle industry for many years, we’ve all made some great contacts with some of the best people in their field, people who can really make all the difference on our projects.”
Chris Walton of CW Engineering beat into shape the sheet metal elements such as the headlamp nacelle, front mudguard, and rear tyre hugger. Steve Adams, an ex-Aston Martin upholsterer was responsible for the 1920 Solo Saddle Seat and the Illusion Race paint. Minimalist billet switchgear was chosen for the hand controls with a Galfer clutch lever, brake lever, and master cylinder, which added nicely to the blacked-out theme of the custom Scout. Rear suspension was sourced from HyperPro and a JB Speaker LED headlight was selected to impart the bike a modern, sporty look.
MotoShed’s attention to detail can be found at play from the various covers and panels dotting the bike which have been dipped with a carbon-fiber look. This gives the bike a lightweight look but essentially retains the key elements of the original component such as the year 1901 emblazoned on the side cover. A unique carbon-fiber water header tank is also present, sourced from a renowned British Superbike Team.
MotoShed removed the stock forks and finished them in a black-nitride coat adding to the stealth look of the custom. Also gone are the engine and chassis bolts, replaced by black titanium units. The overall aesthetic is that of a purposeful superbike with all the black treatment. With so much hard work put in on the project, the Scout finally personified the team’s vision: A sportier version that still retained the factory look. The only thing left to do was bestow it with a name befitting its personality. And so the team designed the Road Runner logo and installed it on the custom Indian Scout Sixty as a finishing touch.
The MotoShed Road Runner is a true masterpiece. One look at it and you can instantly recognise it as an Indian Scout. Look closer, and you will begin to notice the many changes it has undergone to attain its present form. Go through it with a fine comb, and you will realise just how much ingenuity, shrewd design, and thoughtful modifications have gone into the project. Yet it hides all the efforts of the team suavely beneath its all-black, carbon-fiber clad body. If this is not how perfect customs should be, then we are at a loss to know what is.