Words/photos | Jeremy Hammer
Indian’s resurgence in the modern-day motorcycle market has been a welcomed addition since 2013, with many of its models taking a nod to its renowned heritage with exuberant bodywork and components.
To the modern-day minimalist, it’s simply unnecessary clutter, although beneath that sits an incredible base for a custom motorcycle build infused with a less is more approach. When Western Australian Josh Reed, by chance, laid eyes on the current Scout model, he instantly saw potential underneath the flamboyant body, and set about his first motorcycle project, enlisting the help of Rogue Motorcycles along the way.
“I’ve ridden motorbikes for all of my life,” Josh explained. “From dirt bikes through to various road bikes, and I tinker with vintage cars as well – I’ve got an old 1960s Ferrari that I play around with. One day I drove by the local Indian dealership, so I decided to stop in and have a look with my son – I was looking at these bikes, and I was loving them, but there was so much I didn’t like. If you see through that and see what people have done, you just fall in love with them.
“I knew what I didn’t like – I knew what I had to change because I knew what I didn’t like. I had a vague idea of what it was going to look like – I ultimately want to do three of them – and it started off trying to be a cafe racer style, but with the dynamics of the bike, it shifted to more of a bobber style.”
One of the first modifications in the project was stripping back the tank to its raw and bare base, finished off with a clear coat and Indian branding. The standard tank is an absolutely stunning piece, and the brushed aluminium really accentuates its beautiful aesthetics.
The front of the bike has received plenty of attention, scrapping the standard fender for a shorter option constructed of steel, made to fit with custom brackets by Billy Kuyken, the talented man behind Rogue Motorcycles. The Belgian-native essentially reshaped the bar clamps, which were initially designed to hold the speedo as well.
With only 92 original kilometres and beneficial built-in features, it was decided the standard instruments would remain, albeit with custom mounting fabricated in the Rogue workshop.
“The clamps for the handlebars had the speedo in it – there was like a big chunk of clamp and speedo holder, so we cut that down and were left with two normal clamps that you would have for risers. I had to cut about 90-percent of it off just to end up with the two little clamps.
“I then made a speedo holder for the original, which we decided to keep because it has some pretty good features, plus the bike only has 92 kilmotres on it, so we wanted to keep that on there.”
Completing the controls is a set of drag-style bars, billet levers, MotoGadget indicators and a J.W Speaker headlight. At the rear, the standard fender has also been scrapped in favour of a much more attractive option.
Josh was very particular in making the rear of the bike as clean as possible, which Billy was able to achieve by mounting the number plate behind the Indian branded seat, accompanied by a pair of Moose indicators, which also act as taillights. The newly-adopted rear fender is also mounted so that it appears to be floating, thanks to some handy fabrication and bracket work from the Perth-based shop.
“We took off the big fenders and made some smaller ones, plus we painted them black so they would blend in with the tyres for minimal attention,” Billy continued. “The way the number plate is setup, along with the fender, is all designed to make the rear look free of anything. He didn’t want to see the struts on the rear fender, so we had to make it look like it was floating - it wasn’t too easy hiding how it's mounted”
Persisting with the cafe feel within the bike, the standard foot controls were modified and shifted to the rear. This actually came about from the bolt-on exhaust, which Josh is overwhelmingly pleased with in both its deep and throaty note, and its unique aesthetic.
“Just the look of this exhaust is magnificent and it’s so loud,” Josh commented. “I actually pre-purchased a bunch of parts from Roland Sands, such as foot controls, but they weren’t going to work with the exhaust. I just fell in love with the exhaust so much that we modified the standard foot controls.”
The finishing touches on this build is a pair of ultra-cool Ohlins shocks, which just compliment the bikes’ overall vibe. While not posing much of a performance enhancing aspect, largely due to the Scout’s bobber style, Josh says it was merely an aesthetical decision to bolt-on the stylish European units.
“Sometimes it’s all about aesthetics - I saw a guy with a set of Ohlins in black, and then I realised I could get them with the gold canisters. I put a photo up on Facebook once I had them on, and everyone got technical with me on why I put Ohlins shocks on it – I just told them I love the look, and people probably think I’m crazy, but it’s what makes you happy when you’re using your creativity in building and making things.”
The result of Josh’s ambitions and Billy’s amazing creativity and fabrication skills has produced a tough, yet clean and minimalistic take on the popular model from the American manufacturer.
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