IndianxWorkhorse Appaloosa v2.0: From Spirit Lake to Lake Baikal

Indian X WorkHorse top speed

One hundred years after the first Indian Scout was produced in Springfield, the latest iteration of the iconic model found a highly modified version of itself far from its home in Spirit Lake and on the frigid ice of Siberia’s Lake Baikal. It was time to run at the 2020 Baikal Mile, which is billed as an Ice Speed Festival.

It wasn’t supposed to be that way for the collaboration between Indian Motorcycle and Belgium-based Workhorse Speed Shop. Appaloosa was initially built by Workhorse Speed Shop’s Brice Hennebert for the 2019 Sultans of Sprint Championship Series on motorcycle-friendly tarmac in Europe.

Indian X WorkHorse top speedGoodies such as an exhaust from Akrapovič, Öhlins suspension, Beringer brakes, and Dunlop tires improve the Scout’s performance, with Motorex providing lubrication. England’s Evok3 Performance chimed in, with Flybike helping with the tuning. The Scout from America was getting plenty of international help.

With MotoGP Legend Randy Mamola aboard, Appaloosa ended up finishing fourth in the Factory Class standings after a solenoid failure in the NOx injection system in the final round.

However, history wasn’t done with the Appaloosa. There was a new target—a lake covered with ice a meter thick and registering brutally cold thermometer readings.

“The feeling is crazy,” Hennebert shares. “It’s a bit like going racing on the moon. There’s absolutely no reference point. We go to a desert of ice in Siberia where it can be -40°C at night -20°C during the day.” For fans of Dr. Fahrenheit rather than Dr. Celsius, that’s 40-below at night and minus 4 in daylight.

Indian X WorkHorse tires

For the coming ice capade, IndianxWorkhorse Appaloosa v2.0 was born. The Scout received a new NOx system from Nitrous Express in Texas, an Öhlins steering damper, and hand-studded Dunlop SportSmart Mk3 tires. The air intake in the fairing was replaced by a carbon fiber nose cone to keep the Scout motor at operating temperature. Finally, Belgium’s Moto Peinture did the paint from a design by Australian Benny Maxwell at Axesent in Japan.

Piloting the Appaloosa v2.0 at the Baikal Mile was the responsibility of Sébastien Lorentz from Lucky Cat Garage. Eidetic Ultimate Motorcycling readers will remember Lorentz from our November/December 2015 issue when we covered the fantastic Lucky Cat Garage Sprintbeemer Furtherer. The target: Baikal’s one-mile speed strip.

“I couldn’t believe how amazing this event looked,” Hennebert said. “For a start, the lake is huge—over 600 kilometers (373 miles) long, 80 kilometers (50 miles) wide with more than 20 percent of the world’s fresh water. It was just so different from anything I am used to—thousands of miles away and with extreme temperatures.

"On top of that, you have all these people building crazy machines—from mad one-wheel contraptions to luxury vehicles on tank tracks—who come together to share the fun of pushing themselves and their creations to the limit.”

IndianxWorkhorse Appaloosa v2.0

“They didn’t speak any English, we didn’t speak any Russian,” Hennebert continued, “but as with all car and motorcycle enthusiasts, it was a really friendly atmosphere. Through hand gestures and pointing, we were able to communicate, help each other out, and lend each other tools. That’s what I love about events like this—we’re all here for the same reason, and we all want to share the fun and make sure everyone has a good time."

“The first run was good, I was just looking to test the traction of the studded tire that [mechanic] Dorsan had built, to see how stable the bike was and, of course, to make sure I could stop,” Lorentz admitted. “Appaloosa pulled really well, and the front tire was not being pulled by the uneven surface. With good control, traction, and stability, it has given me the confidence to go harder in the next run.”

After the shakedown eight-mile runs were concluded, adjustments were made to the tire pressure, stud pattern, and ECU mapping.

Lorentz and the IndianxWorkhorse Appaloosa v2.0 took to the ice on the final day with a goal of hitting 200 km/h (125 mph). Unfortunately, electric gremlins had their way with Appaloosa v2.0, and the top speed in the sub-zero conditions hit a still-impressive 180 km/h (112 mph) on the Baikal ice sheet in a one-mile run.

IndianxWorkhorse Appaloosa v2.0 race team

“Appaloosa is clearly capable of so much more,” Lorentz said, “and I know that Brice will be using this experience to attack the 2020 Sultans of Sprint as hard as possible. We’ve been welcomed with open arms by all the people here who share our passion for adventure, fun, and machines that go fast or just make people smile.”

“Racing on ice is hard,” Hennebert acknowledged. “This is the most incredible thing I’ve tried to do. I’ve learnt so much and had a hell of a lot of fun doing it. We’re losing something like 30 percent of our speed to the conditions and, although we’ve had some issues, I am so glad we came here to test Appaloosa. My mind is racing with the possibilities and changes I’d like to make.”

Not just the mind races—so does the heart.

Photography by Dee Troy, Dutchground Media, et al.


IndianxWorkhorse Appaloosa v2.0 Photo Gallery