Skip to main content

Gear Review: 55 Collection Hard Jacket

Product: 55 Collection Hard Jacket Made in: Barcelona Cost: €480 (US $510)
It’s likely you’ve never heard of 55 Collection; the Barcelona-based leather goods company is relatively small and has only been on the scene for a few years. So, allow me to introduce you to a company that’s making some of the best-looking and unique motorcycle jackets out there at the moment.

Adopting the “non serviam” nonconformist attitude that seems to run through a lot of Spain’s motorcycling culture (check out the crazy/beautiful custom works of El Solitario MC, for example), 55 Collection’s jackets may split opinion because of the company’s willingness to make jackets that are fashionable – that is to say, jackets that have a strong fashion element. The old dudes will decry hipsterism or some such thing. And indeed, I’ll admit that when company founder Aitor Gonzalez offered me a chance to try out one of his jackets I naturally defaulted to the most conservative of his offeri…

Indian's new Scout Sixty: Who is this for?

(This article was originally published on RideApart)

Less than two months have passed since Indian's new Scout Sixty was unveiled in Milan, and the classically styled modern cruiser has already racked up a fair amount of accolades.

I've yet to ride the bike myself (I'm working on changing that soon), but by the accounts of other motojournalists, the 999-cc Scout Sixty maintains all the positives of the 1131-cc Scout from which it is derived. The Scout Sixty loses a little bit of horsepower to its bigger sibling, as well as a sixth gear, but also sheds $2,300 from its US price tag.

That's no small amount. With the money saved you could spend a full two weeks staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Clute, Texas. Why you would want to do such a thing, I don't know; the point is that you could.

But is that enough? It seems the reason the Scout Sixty is winning so much praise is the simple fact it is, essentially, a Scout. It looks like a Scout, sounds like a Scout, rides like a Scout, and handles like a Scout. It weighs roughly the same as a Scout; it has the same seat height, the same ergonomics.

So, why not just buy a Scout?

I like the Scout Sixty, but ever since it was revealed I've struggled to understand who it's for. What segment of the motorcycling population does the Scout Sixty reach that the original Scout does not?

When you have two bikes that look almost exactly the same, it's obviously not a case of appealing to different tastes as might be the case with, say, Harley-Davidson's Iron 883 and Sportster 1200 Custom.

A common tack adopted by many motojournalists (including myself when I first wrote about the bike last November) is to suggest the Scout Sixty is aimed at new and returning riders. But, really, I don't think that explanation holds much water.

Ignoring the fact that buying a brand-new bike as your first is a terrible idea—there's nothing about the original Scout to scare off newbies. I've ridden it, and although it possesses a claimed 100 hp, it's far from being an untameable hell beast. Power delivery is smooth and manageable, especially if you adopt the traditional cruiser technique of short shifting.

Actually, perhaps I'm looking at this the wrong way. The major difference between the Scout and Scout Sixty is 22 horses: the Scout makes 100 hp, the Scout Sixty delivers 78 hp. That latter number is still plenty. More than plenty. It's more than you'll get from a Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 (65 hp), and considerably more than the 54 hp offered by Triumph's new Bonneville Street Twin. It's more, even, than the 75 hp produced by the Ducati Scrambler, which is a bike everyone tells me isn't comparable to the Scout Sixty even though I think it is.

On paper, the Scout Sixty outmatches almost any bike you might choose to compare it against, and a fair few that you wouldn't. So, perhaps the real question is: Why would anyone buy a Scout instead of a Scout Sixty?

Has Indian shot itself in the foot by delivering a bike that is almost in every way as good as the Scout while costing $2,300 less? Probably not. But I'm stumped in trying to determine the sense of this situation.

My guess is that before long, possibly within the next eight months, we'll see the two models heading in different stylistic directions. Maybe the larger-engined Scout could be reworked into a kind of touring platform. After all, a liquid-cooled engine comes in handy when covering long distances in summer. Or maybe, as hinted by the Roland Sands flat trackers, Indian could use the Scout Sixty to finally fulfill my wish for a Scout Scrambler (or any sort of standard).

It's exciting to think of where the Scout and Scout Sixty could end up, but I'm still confused by where they are now.


  1. Check this out you ex-midwesterner:

    I guess we will have more EBR afterall... Unless the above is a hoax.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Ride review: Harley-Davidson XL 883 L (aka Sportster SuperLow)

Yes, as a matter of fact, it is like riding a tractor.
That's the criticism so consistently levied against Harley-Davidson motorcycles: that there is something agrarian to the experience. And I can now say from personal experience that all those critics are right. But I can also say those critics are leaving out a key piece of information, which is this:
It's a tractor that hurtles forward with roller-coaster intensity, a tractor that goes really fast, a tractor that makes you feel like Brock Lesnar in a children's ball pit. A tractor from the Land of Bad-Ass, with which you can sow the seeds of awesomeness.
But let me back up a bit...
A few days ago, I decided to take the day off, solely for the purpose of getting a chance to ride around and finally make use of the free breakfast coupon sent to me by Thunder Road. As I was gearing up, I suddenly decided that since I was already heading west, I might as well push a few miles further and che…

Ride review: Yamaha XV950 / Star Bolt

Imitation, Charles Caleb Colton famously noted, is the sincerest form of flattery. If that's true, the flattery the Harley-Davidson Iron 883 receives from Yamaha's XV950 is enough to make one blush. Put the two bikes side by side, and the inspiration for the latter is undeniable. Yamaha claims its bike has a "new neo retro Japanese look," but that's clearly just nonsense –– lorem ipsom that was used instead of "totally looks like a Harley-Davidson Iron 883."
Certainly the XV950 –– known as the Star Bolt in the United States –– isn't the first example of a Japanese OEM adhering faithfully to the styling cues of America's best-known motorcycle manufacturer. The orthodox members of the Church of Jesus Harley Latter-day Davidson write these bikes off as "wannabes," and tend to be pretty dismissive of anyone who would dare consider purchasing one. But I'm going to commit blasphemy here and tell you that the XV950 is unquestionably the …

Ride review: Triumph Bonneville

"OK," I said. "I want one." "Well, you know, maybe you should ask your wife first." "She loves Triumphs," I said. "Still, Chris. You should give it a think. Go home, discuss it with your wife, give yourself a chance to think clearly. After all, this is one of Triumph's most popular models; there's plenty of stock available."
The voice of reason in that conversation was Drew, the salesman at Bevan Motorcycles. He was doing his best to talk some sense into me after my test ride of the 2014 Triumph Bonneville. I was wild-eyed and yammering like a teenage boy who has touched boobies for the first time. This, my friends, is what the Bonneville does to you. It is an instantly rideable, instantly enjoyable, instantly lovable motorcycle that surprises you in just how good a simple motorcycle can be.

The Bonneville, of course, is a storied machine that's been around in one form or another for 55 years. It is a classic. Partially b…