An Indian Summer Ep6: Everyday Scout – Commuting

An Indian Summer Ep6: Everyday Scout - Commuting

An Indian Summer Ep6: Everyday Scout - Commuting

We wanted to know if the 2019 Indian Scout would be ideal for commuting. We rode it to work for two weeks, saddle bags loaded with a laptop, planner, and other essentials. Then we ran some errands around town like banking, getting gas, and picking up some lunch at the drive thru window. Read on to see how it handled these everyday tasks. 

“Sometimes, the best thing you can do on a motorcycle is just sit still.”


An Indian Summer Ep6: Everyday Scout – Commuting

Read the full review on TMW: wanted to know if the 2019 Indian Scout would be ideal for commuting. We rode it to work for two weeks, saddle bags loaded with a laptop, planner, and other essentials. Then we ran some errands around town like banking, getting gas, and picking up some lunch at the drive thru window. Read on to see how it handled these everyday tasks. Total Motorcycle Website is accredited media/press for 39 Motorcycle Manufacturers around the world! If you are not on Total Motorcycle you are not getting the Total picture.An Indian Summer Series (so far): Motorcycles on Total Motorcycle: Motorcycles on Total Motorcycle: out all our reviews right here: Motorcycle Website Million Readers. #Totalmotorcycle, Built By #riders for riders. #Motorcycle, #product and #gear #reviews, guides, #games and #forums. Supporting riders for over 20 years.Don’t be just be a motorcycle fan, be a Total Motorcycle Fan! Come join us on all our social media pages too.Facebook to our Daily RSS News Feed

Posted by Total Motorcycle on Monday, June 15, 2020


Commuting – A Motorcycle for the Masses

We all love to ride. Most of us, though, have to work too. More’s the pity. Fortunately, it can be pretty easy to combine the two. And if you’re lucky, your employer may even provide motorcycle-only parking. To make a good platform for commuting, there’s a few things a motorcycle has to do well.


Stop And Go

For a lot of us, our place of employment is likely located in a city. Vast parking lots, tangled surface streets, pedestrian crossings and traffic lights. The jungle, some might call it. We also probably have to be at our jobs in roughly the same block of time the rest of the world does, that magic “nine to five” that Dolly Parton sang about so eloquently. Or was it Lil Baby? I can’t ever remember.

Anyway, this all means those of us who commute on our bikes do almost as much stopping as we do going. Clutch out, clutch in, shift to Second, clutch in, coast to a stop. Rinse, repeat. If that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, that’s because it isn’t. But on the wrong bike, it can be more than bad, it can be awful. Something too big, something too heavy, something too hot, and traffic becomes the tenth ring of hell Dante never saw.

Fortunately, the Indian Scout is the right bike. Mostly.

It’s light and low, so coming to a stop at traffic lights is a breeze. The power comes in early and stays constant, so you’re never lugging along in the wrong gear. The Scout is balanced, composed, and easy to navigate through traffic.

Our only complaint about stop-and-go traffic on the Scout is the heat. It pours off the rear cylinder like your dog at the kitchen table waiting for scraps, a constant heat that saturates your knee and calf if there’s too much stop and not enough go. Fortunately the long pegs and low seat on the Scout give you lots of opportunities to move your legs around while commuting.


A 2019 Indian Scout
Indian calls this color “Indian Motorcycle Red over Thunder Black.”

Locked or Loaded

I don’t know about you, but I have a fair few things I have to transport back and forth to worth with me. A badge on a lanyard, a thermos full of coffee, an insulated lunch bag with food in it. Also, more and more employers are looking to telework as a way to achieve that elusive work/life balance we hear about. That means a lot of us are carrying company laptops, briefcases, and other IT equipment to and from work. If you’re commuting on a bike, it needs storage.

Even the most econo of boxes can carry a briefcase and laptop, but this is often a pass/fail proposition on a motorcycle. Either you have cases — side or top — or you don’t. If you don’t, you’ll have to sling a backpack.

It’s a mixed bag on the Scout (pun absolutely intended). The stock saddle bags have enough room for a few of these items, but maybe not all. Certainly not a briefcase of any size. A laptop can fit, but not if it’s in too large a bag. And if you have a lot of gear to carry, you may be stuck ordering out for lunch or carrying a backpack. If you don’t need much, though, the Scout offers plenty of stowage for commuting.

A final thing to consider about commuting on your bike is what else you carry in your cases. A lot of us like to carry various stuff in our saddle bags all the time, like rain gear or a first aid kit. Leaving things like these unattended on your bike isn’t a big deal with locking cases, but the Indian’s side cases don’t lock. You plays your games and you takes your chances.


Miles and Miles

Commuting is often stop-and-go near your home, and stop-and-go near your place of employment. But if you live and work in different cities, chances are they’re separated by some slab. To be good at commuting, a bike needs to be as competent at freeway speeds as it is is surface traffic.

As we’ve stated before, our 2019 Indian Scout is very comfortable on the freeway. Six gears and plenty of displacement give it a nice, relaxed attitude at 65 or 75 miles per hour, so you won’t be struggling on the sprint.


2020 Indian Scout 100th Anniversary

“The Scout is quick and nimble and oh so elegant…”


Errands – MotoMultitasking

Our 17 year old son loves to drive his car so much, he volunteers for every errand he can. All you have to do is whisper into the corner that we’re out of soda, and he’s right there jingling his car keys.

Same goes for us and our bikes. As mentioned above, any opportunity to ride. Whether it’s some groceries for dinner, moving money around between banks, swinging by our parents places to do some menial task they’re not up to, or whatever, we’re likely to jump on a bike for any trip it can complete.

As Above, So Below

A lot of what we’ve discussed already about commuting is identical to running errands. Stop and go traffic, tight spaces, storage space. Because of this, all the things that make the Indian Scout great for commuting also make it great for running errands. It would be pretty silly to restate it all.

Likewise, the same challenges apply. The Scout is quick and nimble and oh so elegant, but if a gallon of milk is what you’re after, you’re out of luck. This is true on most bikes, of course, so it’s hard to find any fault here.

An Indian Summer Ep6: Everyday Scout – Commuting

Impressed? You Betcha.

If it sounds like we’ve enjoyed our time commuting on the Scout, it’s because we have. My regular bike is a Concours 1400, which has a ton of storage space but isn’t very comfortable around town. Too heavy, too much power. Carrie’s regular commuter is a CTX 1300, which is also ill suited for commuting for the same reasons. Our other bikes are a Ninja 650 and a Versys 650, both of which are nimble around town but offer zero storage. The Scout really hits a sweet spot between those two extremes. Easy to navigate, but no need for a backpack.

It’s been a pleasure using it to get back and forth to work these last six weeks.


An Indian Summer Series (so far):


About Carrie Leaverton 19 Articles
Carrie Leaverton is a MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) Certified RiderCoach. She regularly teaches Basic Rider Courses and also works as senior financial analyst and account reconciliation specialist. She was a competitive off road motorcycle racer in her youth and now enjoys street motorcycling with her husband. Carrie is a proud mom of three and also enjoys fiber/needle arts, camping and gardening and is a parrot enthusiast. She is also a product reviewer and field correspondent for Total Motorcycle Web.