‘Road Runner’ the aggressive, stripped back Scout Sixty is the first custom Indian Motorcycle from UK bike builders MotoShed and possibly the first Indian Scout with underseat exhausts.
MotoShed’s Road Runner project was born after two members of the group got the opportunity to ride a standard Indian Scout Sixty shortly after it was launched in 2016. They were so impressed with the experience that conversations soon began on how they would like to modify one. “We were blown away by how well the Scout performed but knew we could take it further as well as produce a beautifully finished and unique bike,” say MotoShed. “It was crying out for it and after just a few hours of sharing ideas, the key underseat exhaust idea was born, then we knew we had to do it. We ordered the Scout the next day.”
Since then, the group have spent countless hours in discussion, on planning and over 100 hours of actual work on the bike. Beyond the exhaust, the team had decided on some basic guiding principles for the build; a more aggressive riding position with improved suspension and greater ground clearance. “We could tell the Scout Sixty had a lot of potential, so we really wanted to push the riding experience by dramatically increasing its cornering performance. To match this increased ability, we also wanted to strip the bike back to the essentials for a clean, light-weight appearance, but retaining a factory look.”
Once it had been stripped of all the parts that MotoShed wanted to replace, modify or just eliminate from the final bike, the complexity of the underseat exhaust plan became clearer. “It really was the most complicated part of the build. On the standard bike, there are a lot of important components hidden away under the seat such as the battery, ECU and a lot of wiring. It’s an impressive packaging job by Indian Motorcycle.”
Removing the ABS pump from beneath the bike allowed MotoShed to build a custom battery box in its place. Relocated to the new enclosure were a smaller race-style battery, regulator/rectifier, and ECU all of which required a lot of work to re-route and extend the wiring loom.
With the underseat space clear, work began on routing the pipes round the engine and through the gap. Managing the heat was a big concern and the pipes were wrapped to get more of the heat to the end of the pipes and away from the rider’s legs – with the added bonus of looking great. Additional heat management required the fabrication of a rear hugger/heat shield which also keeps the road dirt away from the exhausts. With such short pipes, one of which is 20% shorter than the other, a Dynojet Power Vision CX system was incorporated to log data and help to perfectly re-map the ECU and fly-by-wire throttle. “It’s fair to say that, right now, it is a bit too loud. It fuels perfectly and the throttle response is excellent but we will be working on making it a bit quieter.”
Changing the riding position to a more aggressive sports stance meant replacing the standard foot controls with rearset Rizoma items mounted to custom plates and complemented with a set of lower Renthal handlebars. The new riding position is much more aggressive tilting the rider forward and the rearsets also increase the cornering clearance. Further improvements to the ground clearance are thanks to the stiffer suspension set-up which holds the bike higher with more controlled compression when cornering.
Whilst the majority of work was undertaken by members of the group, MotoShed also wanted to involve other experts. “The difference between a good custom and a great custom is all in the detail. Having worked in the motorcycle industry for many years, we’ve all made some great contacts with some of the best people in their field, people who can really make all the difference on our projects.”
Experts called in on Road Runner for their specialist skills included: Chris Walton of CW Engineering who hand made the sheet metal elements such as the headlight nacelle, front mudguard and rear hugger and Steve Adams, an ex-Aston Martin upholsterer who re-finished the 1920 Solo Saddle Seat and Illusion Race Paint.
For the hand controls minimalist billet switch gear was chosen with Galfer clutch lever, brake lever and master cylinder the blacked-out theme evolved. Fully adjustable rear suspension from HyperPro was added, while a JB Speaker LED headlight was selected to give a modern sporty twist.
Continuing the attention to detail and to enhance the lightweight, stealth appearance, many covers and panels have been dipped with a carbon fibre look. This gives the ultra-lightweight carbon look but retains all the details of the original component such as the year 1901 on the side cover. Continuing the sporty theme, is a unique carbon fibre water header tank, sourced from a renowned British Superbike team.
Finishing off the blacked-out look, the team also removed the standard forks had them black nitride coated, giving a superbike-aesthetic appearance and adding to the stealth look, while a complete black titanium bolt kit was applied to the engine and chassis also.
With such significant changes to the Scout and with the team’s vision fulfilled of creating a sportier version that retained a factory look, the only thing left to do was to give it a unique identity. And so, the Road Runner themed logo was designed by the team and applied as the finishing touch.