Cruisers often get a bad reputation for being slow, lazy, and boring motorcycles. While these bikes are by no means as fast as sportbikes or even some naked bikes, don’t let their laid-back ergonomics and comfortable seating position deceive you. These bikes indeed pump out some impressive power figures. For years now, the gold standard when it comes to cruisers has been the Harley-Davidson Sportster. In recent years, this sporty style cruiser has undergone a renaissance, and has become sportier, and more powerful, than ever before.
That being said, there exists an unsung hero in the cruiser world—a bike that doesn’t get as much attention as its Milwaukee competitor. Yes, the Indian Scout Bobber is more powerful, technologically advanced, and some would even say, refined, than the old Harley Sportster. Well, until now, at least. With the release of the new Sportster S, it goes without saying that the Scout Bobber has its work cut out. Let’s take a closer look at these two bikes, and determine which one sits on top of the food chain.
From a performance standpoint, the Harley-Davidson Sportster S truly represents a revolution in the Sportster range. Until now, Sportsters were often seen as lacking in performance, oftentimes bested by other cruisers with even smaller engines. This time though, the Sportster S puts the Sport in the name, and makes use of H-D’s newest engine, the Revolution Max. It takes the form of a 1,248cc V-twin engine pumping out 121 horsepower. This gives the Sportster S similar power figures as that of performance-oriented sportbikes or naked bikes.
Prior to the arrival of the Sportster S, the Indian Scout Bobber was the go-to bike for power-hungry cruiser aficionados. It does, after all, have an impressive engine consisting of a 1,133cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 60-degree V-twin engine. Pumping out 100 horsepower and 98 Nm of torque, it’s by no means a slouch. However, given the new technology coming out of the MoCo, Indian’s mill is beginning to show its age.
When it comes to features, Harley-Davidson has gone all out. The new Sportster S embodies the essence of retro-inspired styling mated to modern-day tech. Apart from its impressive engine, the bike comes outfitted with tons of tech features. With the push of a button, the rider can toggle between ABS, traction control, and multiple riding modes. It makes use of a modern-day TFT instrument pod, keeping things sleek and user-friendly.
Meanwhile, the Indian Scout Bobber isn't that far behind, considering that it’s been in the market for a few years now. It gets unmistakable bobber styling with its low stance and solo saddle. Its blacked-out instrument display exudes a sporty and athletic aura, while its beautifully machined engine cases and cylinders make it look thoroughly premium. On the tech side, we find tha digital LCD display, and ABS on both wheels as standard.
As for pricing, this is where the Harley-Davidson Sportster S really flexes its muscles. It already has the performance and tech advantage over the Indian. As such, you’d expect it to be even more expensive than the Scout Bobber. However, the Sportster S retails starting at just P1,030,000. This makes it one of the most value-for-money offerings in the premium, high-capacity scooter segment. That being said, the Scout Bobber offers impressive value too. Priced at P1,055,000, it will surely give you your money’s worth in terms of styling and performance, in a unique, eye-catching package.