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Indian Unveils “Black Bullet Scout” Custom Prior to Sturgis Display

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Featuring a 1200 cc version of the Indian Scout v-twin, the Black Bullet Scout custom motorcycle built by Jeb Scolman (who also built the Spirit of Munro used by Indian to introduce the ThunderStroke111 back in 2013) has been introduced today by Indian Motorcycles in advance of its display at the Sturgis Rally beginning at the end of this month. The minimalist design makes the engine look huge, but Indian indicates the bike is fully functional and “is destined to see the salt” of Bonneville. Here is the full press release from Indian:

July 13th, 2015 – We are proud to show off the latest from Indian Motorcycle – https://www.facebook.com/indianmotorcycle/videos/10153442368619028/

This custom Indian Scout was built by Jeb Scolman – the same hot-rod artisan responsible for the Spirit of Munro that was built to celebrate the launch of the ThunderStroke111 in 2014.

Jeb was delivered an engine, and the simple instruction to build what he wanted to out of a new 2015 Indian Scout engine. Jeb’s flawless 100% custom metalwork picks up on the designs of pure speed motorcycles from the late 50’s and early 60’s with a fork mounted bullet fairing and the most minimal frame possible. Bikes with this silhouette took to land speed and drag racing tracks across the country.

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The post-war hot rod crowd was using airplane drop tanks for race cars, and the motorcycle racers started to adapt nose cones to help them cut through the wind. As the bike took shape we started calling it the “Black Bullet”. The minimal body and stout but seemingly simple frame are wrapped around a 1200cc Indian Scout engine as tightly as possible. This is one small motorcycle!

The all-custom, all-metal, and all hand-made bike features a custom windscreen that wraps around the front of the bike to fair in the headlight. Tight clip-ons and footrests mounted to the rear axle makes for as streamlined a riders position as possible. The minimal seat, controls and shapes all lens themselves to the single mission f exploring this bikes top speed. It was created to be beautiful and fast. Scolman even cast a custom intake manifold to turn the throttle body sideways and allow for an even tighter engine packaging.

The Black Bullet Scout will be on display in Sturgis at the company display on Lazelle St between July 31st and August 8th, and is destined to see the salt. It was built to race and continue the tradition of an Indian Scout ripping across the Bonneville Salt Flats.

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71 Comments

  1. Mike says:

    Like it alot

    Like Indian and Victory alot

    Really liked the Pikes Peak bike and TT Electric

    Liked this Indian custom the most ….as featured here
    http://www.motorcycledaily.com/2013/12/indian-big-chief-custom-meets-new-york/

    And of course I like Polaris for many reasons including bringing us Victory and Indian ……one amazing company!

  2. Gary says:

    The fact that this is a 1200 water-cooled machine suggests that larger liquid cooled bikes are down the Indian/Victory pipeline. Air-cooled is EPA mandated limited life left. This will be a real liquid cooled motorcycle, not a halfway liquid cooled so we don’t offend the faithful. This is more than likely where future Indian engines will be based on, but hopefully not always a V-twin.

  3. Lenz says:

    For me none of this bike makes any practical sense BUT it’s slick, clean and just as deadly as a rapier / bayonet from conflicts of old.

    I like it

  4. iliketoeat says:

    I, for one, think it’s lovely that Indian is celebrating the Supreme Court’s recent gay marriage decision with a motorcycle inspired by a butt plug.

  5. dino says:

    Nice looking bike, as in a rolling work of art. Really sets the motor on display, as I am sure they intended.. i like it on many levels.

    The fact that it is gonna run at the Salt Flats makes it even cooler. Though they should put a couple deep scoops in the seat to make room for the brass cojones of the rider brave enough to run that flat out!

  6. Norm G. says:

    like the way the “BMX style” frame gusseting appears to nickel plated rather than chrome. don’t know if that’s just an optical illusion…? or intentional, but daddy likey.

  7. mechanicus says:

    Wow, I mean it’s 180 degree opposed to any sort of utilitarian use, i.e. it’s just a beautiful ornament, but, that motor appeals to me on the visceral level I get when looking at a HD – I can’t believe I said that.

    Put that motor in a modern, non-Ness, “American” light touring chassis with trim, neat, saddlebags and a non-garish, smooth batwing and a comfortable seat for 2, and you have something that will sell in sufficient numbers.

    HD could have done that long ago with the Vrod motor but chose that convoluted bent-forward ergo-disaster chassis. Predict good things coming out of Polaris soon – onward and upward (but please round-file Ness)!

  8. Hate to keep bringing this up, but half the bikes sold in America are Harleys.

  9. North of Missoula says:

    Looks like a V-Twin powered marital aid from a Frank Zappa song.

  10. Tommy See says:

    Agree Tommy D. In a year or sooner my prediction . American Adventure going to happen !

  11. anon says:

    The front brake seems like an afterthought… or at least it will… when they think of it.

  12. w says:

    They should buy EBR

  13. Norm G. says:

    cheeky.

  14. Grover says:

    I wonder how fast it will climb Piles Peak?

  15. Auphliam says:

    Gorgeous. Nice, clean fab work, and functional to boot. The video is pretty cool. Looks like a runner.

    By the way, it takes a special kind of stupid to look at a purpose built flats bike and complain about riding position or how comfy the seat is… LMAO at some of you

    • stratkat says:

      one could argue it also takes a special kind of stupid to build a chromed out show quality motorcycle just to take to the flats, discuss.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        A lot of the flats bikes are show quality. As is every MotoGP bike before every race. Function over form, but form is still important.

        • stratkat says:

          oh please, if you really want to compete on the flats, do away with the Vtwin.
          and whats with the headlight? need that for the salt flats too?
          Moto GP machines are good looking but they are pupose built, youll not find any stupid highly polished chrome on any of them, right off the CNC machine for most.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Who said anything about competing? Some people go to the flats to set records. Others just go to see how fast they run that particular vehicle. People who go to compete build streamliners, not traditional motorcycles.

            This motorcycle was purpose built as a piece of moto art. Functionally, it is made for riding flat out. Will it really get used for that? Probably not. But who cares?

      • Blackcayman says:

        some people actually think the motorcycle itself can be an artistic expression…

        • stratkat says:

          and some people think one can be artistic and still consider the human form.
          where is it written in the annals of art history that a motorcycle shall only be considered a object de arte if its seat is like a razorblade and has a riding position only an orangutan can adapt to?

          • Blackcayman says:

            art never achieves universal acceptance

            LSR – Land Speed Record bikes play to an impossibly small audience

  16. My2cents says:

    I thought a Scout with clubman bars,rear sets and a fly screen would be cool. This however seems odd and I like customs but jeez only the engine looks pretty to me. But like art it pleases someone.

  17. Tom Shields says:

    Wow, that is a beautiful build!

    • Curly says:

      That’s it. You’ve hit it on the head. This is a “Build” and not a bike. I’ll be happy when the Build Age ends.

  18. MGNorge says:

    Since this is evolving around Sturgis I see it as advertising by Victory to perhaps the largest group of V-Twin lovers gathered in one spot. It’s to drive interest in the brand and in the Scout. If it does hit the Salt, and does well, it will drive even more interest.
    This isn’t anything showing their next road bike except perhaps the engine?

  19. stratkat says:

    hello… is this thing on?…
    youre losing me Indian!

  20. Tommy D says:

    A show of hands for those that would like to see this motor in an ADV bike? Now that would really be an Indian Scout!

  21. Paul Mitchell says:

    What would really shock and happily surprise me , would be this engine in a regular streetbike frame and upright riding position , a real roadbike in other words that handles well in the twisties and does not have a wheelbase longer than the state of Florida .
    As it is pictured above , what a waste of an engine .

  22. Gham says:

    About the only thing that gets a second glance from me is the fairing,I love the old bullet styles but I don’t really care that much for custom bikes anymore…guess I’m to old.

  23. fast2win says:

    Wow. This bike shows the forward thinking of Polaris. The bike is obviously intended to run at Bonneville. How fast this “one” bike runs remains to be seen. It’s not about, do you like it, is it more comfortable, is it practical, it’s about an attitude a company is taking to put it’s brand on the top of the American motorcycle list. A certain U.S. company has all but abandoned its race heritage, while Polaris with Victory and Indian look to set the pace for American motorcycles with real heritage and performance. Victory looks to be ready to launch performance sport bikes and continue their honing of the cruiser/bagger bikes. The potential to overtake Harley is possible with a complete line of bikes as opposed to a cruiser/bagger only type of line up. Getting back to this bike. I think they should build a low production run of Burt Monro replica bikes like the 111 tribute. But they need to do it with a Scout motor. Maybe a run of 50 with the project 156 motor for racing only. The Indians are already a step above Harley in almost every measurable category. Victory needs this diversity that the 156 project brings. Meanwhile H.D harkens to days of old and no real new bikes to excite the fan base. They better watch it . Theirs a new game in town, and they have the money, talent, and production facilities.

    • mickey says:

      Well you certainly sound enthusiastic. This bike does nothing to show me Polaris is out to get my business as a motorcyclist. All they did was give a motor to some dude and said build something. Judging from the pristine chrome on the pipes doubt this bike has ever been fired up. I don’t need art. I need a functioning comfortable slightly sporting motorcycle with wind protection and luggage capacity without looking like another Harley clone. If Polaris wants my business they need to mock up some real world sport tourers for me to look at. Something I could see myself actually owning. I’m not getting any younger. If that is their plan, they need to get on with it and quit messing around.

      • mickey says:

        and if they are trying to make a break from the Harley crowd why build a special purpose bike to be unveiled at STURGIS?

        To me it looks like they are still catering to the Harley crowd.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I suspect Indian is always going to be catering to the Harley crowd. Can’t blame them. That’s a big crowd that doesn’t expect discounts, buys tons of accessories and merchandise and builds a lifestyle around the brand of bike that they ride. The bike doesn’t have to ride well, stop well, corner well or go fast. It just has to be “right”. Grab a mere 5% – 10% of that crowd, and you have yourself a very successful motorcycle business.

          • stratkat says:

            that generation isnt going to around much longer. it wouldnt hurt Indian or Harley to diversify a bit.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            “that generation isn’t going to around much longer.”

            I think you don’t realize the girth of Harley’s appeal. I see way more than just “that” generation riding Harleys every weekend.

          • mickey says:

            suspect you are right Jeremy. Then again I wonder how many of us no Harley riders Indian is willing to write off? Every one of us I guess.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            “Every one of us I guess.”

            I suspect Indian had that discussion years ago and decided that it would only dilute their core brand to chase other segments of the market. Their benchmark is HD, and I think they are going to do as the Romans, or Milwauks in this case.

            Polaris is clearly at least flirting with the idea of expanding Victory’s appeal to other market segments, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Polaris uses Victory to that end. But I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for anything but another cruiser out of Indian.

          • stratkat says:

            the original scout wasnt a cruiser, it was a race bike!

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            “the original scout wasnt a cruiser, it was a race bike!”

            Back then, there was no difference.

      • Hot Dog says:

        You Sir, are not a poseur or pretender. Most of people buying boutique bikes are. Granted, there are some who aren’t but form is usually placed before function.

      • Grover says:

        Thanks Mickey for stating it like it is. I’ll not buy anything from Indian/Victory until they break away from the cruiser mold. Chasing Harley around to make a few bucks is getting old. Where exactly is Indian’s “forward thinking”.

  24. Spot says:

    At least it’s not a chopper!

  25. Curly says:

    Art bikes. Bikes can certainly be art but are they really bikes if they can’t be ridden?

    • TimC says:

      + 100. I didn’t even read the writeup, saw the opening pic and was like “well, it’s a neat looking motor but then that seat…”

  26. oldridertom says:

    Ahhh, I like it a lot. A very eye catching custom for a change, instead of some old street bike with nobbies and a crap paint job. Nice work, Indian!

  27. Dale says:

    Fantastic.

  28. pigiron says:

    Nice frame.

  29. Shaunock says:

    If you ran that thing on the street you would need less than 10psi in the rear tyre or else you would be picking up shards of your nads a few clicks down the road. It’s awful, painful and terribly impractical in nearly every way.

    Yet I’m completely besotted with it. I would put up with all the crap in order to ride it, just once.

    • stratkat says:

      really? go out to your current ride, inflate the tites to 100psi. roll up a plastic tarp really tight into a roll and place it lengthwise on the back of your seat, mount the seat and go for a ride… enjoy!

  30. mickey says:

    A pad for each testicle and pipes that will save your life. What’s not to like?

  31. CC Rider says:

    I appreciate the bike for what it is, a clean interpretation of a LSR bike. But it’s obviously impractical for anything beyond looking at it, or pushing it thru the traps. Nice build..very clean …

  32. mdreader says:

    Definitely not geared for drag racing! looks to be a 20 or 22 tooth countershaft sprocket

  33. Louis says:

    I have to say I don’t understand the custom bike element of motorcycling at all. I guess there are people out there who are not only artistically expressive, but into motorcycles too. I prefer to only change something if it makes it more comfortable (windshield, seat, grips) corners better (suspension) brakes better (obvious) or makes it faster, which isn’t really needed since if I wanted a faster bike I would have bought it in the first place. It’s probably obvious that I don’t ride cruisers: the recumbent riding position never appealed to me. Just my opinion.

    • Scarecrow800 says:

      What’s not to understand … custom cycles like these are just arts and craft projects for old geezers with entirely too much money and nothing better to do with it. Look at how many adds there are for used HDs with ” $30,000 invested … for sale for $5000 or best offer”. And, this doesn’t apply to just cruisers, look at all of the sport bikes on ebay with billions of dollars invested in custom extended, turbofied, chromed and polished to death superbikes. Me … some puffy handgrips and a mildly noisy Micron exhaust are more than enough.