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An Indian Scout Sixty Can Tackle Jungles and Mountains

Cruisers aren’t generally built for off-roading. For that, riders usually turn to dual sports or adventure-touring bikes, which have skid plates, chunky tires, and more suspension travel. But, just because the Porsche 911, Mazda Miata, and Vespa scooter weren’t designed for off-roading, doesn’t mean people haven’t modified them for it. The same thing goes for cruisers, like the Indian Scout Sixty ridden by biologist and wildlife protector Janelle Kaz.

The Indian Scout Sixty’s technical details

2020 Indian Scout Sixty
2020 Indian Scout Sixty | Indian

When Indian was revived in 2011, one of the first bikes to return was the Scout entry-level cruiser. But, at roughly $11.5k, it was somewhat pricy. That’s why Indian then released the Scout Sixty, which starts at just below $9k.

Mechanically, Cycle World explains, the Sixty shares a lot with the full-size Scout. They have the same frame, wheels, brakes, and so on. The biggest differences are the engine and transmission. The Scout Sixty has a 78-hp 1.0-liter V-twin, while the Scout has a 100-hp 1.1-liter V-twin. But actually, it’s basically the same V-twin. The Sixty’s just had its cylinders modified and ECU retuned.

It’s much the same story with the transmission. To make the Sixty’s 5-speed, Indian’s engineers removed the Scout’s 5th gear from its 6-speed. That means, Jalopnik reports, the Indian Scout Sixty can cruise at low rpm on the highway, and still pull strongly at low speeds.

And that’s something you need in the jungles of South America.

Biologist Janelle Kaz and her Indian Scout Sixty

Janelle Kaz’s job “is to document wildlife and ecosystem protection,” she told The Biologist in an interview. She travels across South America, monitoring the status of endangered species like the Andean condor, marine otter, and Andean cat. Along the way, she works with and educates locals on how to properly conserve the wildlife habitats around them.

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Nothing about seeking rare and endangered species on a long-distance voyage is conventional, especially if you happen to be a woman riding solo through South America on an Indian Motorcycle. • I’ve been living on a motorcycle for nearly five years now— different bikes on different continents. Motorcycles have been a conduit for me to reach the furthest-flung conservation and research sites (and I can’t live without them). • I can’t tell you how excited I am to bring my world of wildlife protection and purpose-driven motorcycling to this respected science magazine! • Learn about the Raptor Rescue center outside of Santiago (@crarchile) . The marine otter rescue and rehabilitation group outside of Valparaiso (@chinchimen) . The team protecting the Andean hairy armadillos, sacred to the Aymara people (@armadilloschile) . Those working to conserve the most threatened and elusive cat in the Americas, the Andean Cat Alliance (@andeancats – @alianza_gato_andino) . And last but not least, Neotropical Primate Conservation, an organization working against the illegal trade and protecting and rescuing species threatened with extinction. . Links to all of their websites can be found in the article. . Read the full article in the current issue of “The Biologist,” a publication by the Royal Society of Biology in print or online: . https://thebiologist.rsb.org.uk/biologist/158-biologist/features/2246-the-motorcycle-diaries (link in bio) . @royalsocbio @indianmotorcycle @rolandsandsdesign . #thebiologist #indianmotorcycles #womenwhoridemotorcycles #rolandsandsdesign #wildlifeconservation #wearealltrulywild

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For Janelle, a motorcycle was the best way of getting around to reach remote areas. She’s actually been doing this for 5 years, across various continents. And she notes that “being a woman alone on a motorcycle seems to be a compelling way to talk about conservation to those who otherwise might not listen.” And although Motorcyclist reports she previously used a Royal Enfield Himalayan adventure bike, her current mode of transport is a modified Indian Scout Sixty.

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On the road to Lou Jost’s orchid research shire habitat and the currently sleeping Tungurahua volcano. . Ecuador is home to more than 4000 unique plant species found nowhere else in the world; many of these are threatened by the rapid deforestation taking place. . The habitat degradation that follows deforestation threatens not only the plants and wildlife but the well-being of the human population, causing an exodus to urban areas and an accompanying loss of dignity. . Lou Jost and a group of concerned scientists and conservationists started a foundation to do something to save the threatened organisms of Ecuador's forests, and at the same time ensure that the local people find a dignified and sustainable livelihood. . If you’re traveling to Baños, Ecuador, consider staying with a host family in the nearby village of El Placer. Not only will you have an authentic experience with some truly wonderful people, but you will be furthering conservation efforts by bringing income to a community who is committed to protecting the marvelous nature around them. . Contact EcoMinga for more information or just show up in the village. They rotate turns for homestay throughout the community so that they all have an opportunity to host. . 📸 by @sugarkneesandy . @indianmotorcycle @rolandsandsdesign . #ecominga #conservation #ecuador #bañosecuador #scoutsixty #indianmotorcycle #womenwhoride #rolandsandsdesign #miajacket

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To increase the Scout Sixty’s ground clearance and suspension travel, Kaz fitted Progressive 970 shocks provided by Roland Sands Designs, Motorcyclist reports. To improve the riding position for off-road-riding, Kaz also installed RSD mid-controls, risers, and a gauge relocator. However, she does report the bike’s low center-of-gravity and seat make it “very manageable” for someone of her 5’6” height.

To guard against the drivers which often zoom by on narrow roads, the Indian Scout Sixty also got protection bars. And for added off-road protection, Kaz fitted an RSD pulley guard, as well as Memphis Shades hand guards and windscreen. The tires, though, are stock and offer excellent traction on dirt and wet roads.

How the bike handles South America

So far, Janelle has ridden her Scout Sixty through Chile, over the Andes and through the empty wastes of the Atacama Desert. Her travels took her next to Peru, the Amazon jungle, and Ecuador. And through landslides, altitude sickness, and the random dog, the bike’s been a solid companion.

The only time the bike truly felt out of place was on a particularly ruined road in Peru. And the only mechanical issue Janelle experienced, according to one Instagram reply, was a rear brake master cylinder failure. She commented that it was likely due to saltwater proximity during her time in Ecuador.

As it turns out, then, the Indian Scout Sixty can cruise through more than just the asphalt jungle.

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