Indian Motorcycle is definitely getting the most out of its Scout platform. For 2020, there are no less than five members of the Scout force, with the 2020 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty being an intriguing new iteration of the sporting cruiser line, with a focus on style and comfort—to a point. Let’s remind ourselves what makes this a Twenty, and find out how it rides.
1. The most significant change on the 2020 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty from the standard Bobber is the 10-inch apes. Simply swapping the bars turns the Bobber into a different type of motorcycle. The standard Bobber had the sporting credentials that come with the high-revving, 100-horsepower, V-twin. However, it also had the jackknife seating position that is great for profiling, but not particularly comfortable. The 10-inch ape hangers change all that, in the right way.
2. As long as you can tolerate the thin solo saddle, the ergonomics of the Twenty will keep a smile on your face all day long. With your arms mid-chest and your body sitting upright, the Twenty feels fantastically natural. The footpegs are a bit forward, though not an uncomfortable reach for my 32-inch inseam. It has the feel of a cruiser designed by someone who wanted to go for long rides, while still looking cool.
3. The 2020 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty is a great urban motorcycle, as long as the roads are in decent condition. With the great ergos and quick-revving motor, the Twenty is ready for all sorts of in-town shenanigans. However, the suspension will put some riders off. The cartridge-style fork is firm, and the shocks are just plain stiff. To give the Bobber Twenty that slammed look, rear-wheel travel is limited to two inches. When you do that, you have two choices—suspension that bottoms out frequently, or is exceedingly resistive to movement. Indian chose the latter, which we agree with, as the jolt of bottoming suspension is good for neither man nor machine. The shocks prevent that for the most part, but they don’t do much more. Additionally, the stylish thin seat does its best to transfer any road imperfection to your posterior.
4. The new flat-track inspired Pirelli MT60RS tires serve multiple purposes. The high-profile tires pick up some slack where the suspension lacks. Both 16-inch hoops with wire-spoked wheels (the standard Bobber has aluminum wheels) put a massive helping of meaty rubber on the road. While they have a tread pattern that looks dirt-ready, the MT60RS tires provide a fully adequate contact patch, should you be accelerating in a straight line, or working your way through twisties.
5. Handling is quite good on the Twenty, with stability being its strong point. When the urban canyons are smooth, you can certainly cut loose a bit. You will quickly find that the chassis is not the limiting factor—it’s the cornering clearance. Thanks to the combination of a stable 62-inch wheelbase and casual 29 degrees of rake, plus that fat footprint, you won’t feel the least bit squeamish about heeling the Twenty over in a corner. However, your bootheels will touch down relatively quickly, limiting your enthusiasm long before the chassis and grip are near their edges. This is not the case on some of the poorly maintained portions of Mulholland Drive in the city of Los Angeles. There, you’ll quickly get unsettled by the unyielding rear suspension, and the Twenty insists you slow down.
6. The DOHC liquid-cooled powerplant is more than happy to accommodate you wherever you’re riding. In town, it is delighted to obliterate the competition when the light turns green. Accelerating onto a freeway is unadulterated fun—you’re well beyond the speed limit before the typical ramp is done. For canyon riding, it does require liberal doses of throttle to make the most of its powerband, though it’s not that difficult to say on the cams. There has never been a question about the credentials of the Scout motor—it is a great one that works for vets and newer riders, alike.
7. Braking has been upgraded for 2020, though it is not especially noticeable. We didn’t have any issues with the previous braking system in the Scout lineup. Still, upgrades are always welcome, especially when performance-related. A back-to-back comparison might reveal a significant difference, but we didn’t feel one going by memory—remember the tires are new this year, and that is a big part of braking. Regardless, all the 2020s Scouts have new calipers and master cylinders, along with floating rotors.
8. You’ll notice that our test 2020 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty doesn’t have a stock exhaust, and we are happy about that. It’s not that the stock dual exhaust doesn’t get the job done—it does. However, the Indian’s Stage 1 2-Into-1 Full Exhaust System looks and sounds even better. Every time you open up the throttle and let the motor sing, you are rewarded with a deep, mellifluous tone from the single muffler. It is pretty much addictive and, other than a few speeding tickets, we don’t know of a cure. If you can set aside the $1300 for the system, don’t hesitate to do so.
9. Eagle-eyed readers will also note the low-slung rearview mirrors. Yeah, they look cool when installed below the grips rather than above. In reality, it’s a terrible place for the mirrors. They offer a limited view of the road behind you, making over the shoulder looks mandatory. Also, you have to look far away from the road ahead to take a glimpse of the mirrors. They end up being more of a distraction than a safety device. Sensibly, the stock configuration for the Twenty has the mirrors on the bar ends, above the grips. The down-mirror arrangement is for people who think the under-grip position is edgy, and they don’t use mirrors anyway.
10. The 2020 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty is an honored offspring of the 1920 Indian Scout that is its namesake. There is so much to like about the Twenty that it’s easy to overlook the stiff suspension and limited cornering clearance. Instead, when you’re out riding, it is all about the great motor, excellent handling, comfortable ergonomics, and the knowledge that you are on a cool motorcycle eliciting envious glances wherever you ride it.
Photography by Kelly Callan
- Helmet: HJC IS-5 Burn Out
- Eyewear: Fatheadz Big Daddy
- Shirt: Scorpion Abrams
- Body armor: Scorpion SAS-TEC
- Gloves: Scorpion Abrams
- Jeans: Cortech The Primary
- Boots: Highway 21 Low Primary Engineer
2020 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty Specs
- Type: 60-degree V-twin
- Displacement: 69 ci (1133cc)
- Bore x stroke: 93 x 76.3mm
- Maximum power: 100 horsepower @ 8100 rpm
- Maximum torque: 72 ft-lbs @ 6000 rpm
- Compression ratio: 10.7:1
- Valvetrain: DOHC; 4vpc
- Fueling: EFI w/ 60mm throttle body
- Exhaust (as tested): Stage 1 2-into-1 ($1300 option)
- Cooling: Liquid
- Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh
- Final drive: Belt
- Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable cartridge-type fork; 4.7 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Non-adjustable shocks; 2.0 inches
- Wheels: Black wire-spoke (Chrome laced wheels tested: $1040 option)
- Front and back wheels: 16 x 3.5
- Tires: Pirelli MT60RS
- Front tire: 130/90 x 16
- Rear tire: 150/80 x 16
- Front brake: 298mm disc w/ two-piston caliper
- Rear brake: 298mm disc w/ single-piston caliper
- ABS: Optional
- Wheelbase: 62 inches
- Rake: 29 degrees
- Trail: 4.7 inches
- Seat height: 27.2 inches
- Fuel capacity: 3.3 gallons
- Curb weight: 554 pounds
2020 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty Colors and Prices
- Thunder Black: $11,999 MSRP
- Thunder Black (ABS): $12,899 MSRP
- Sagebrush Smoke (ABS): $13,399 MSRP
- Burnished Metallic (ABS only): $13,999 MSRP
- MSRP as tested: $15,739