The big supercruiser motorcycles seem to gain most of the
, however, understands that women and new riders represent the
key to future growth, and the 2015 model of its 69 cubic inch,
1133 cc V-twin Indian Scout, which it unveiled at the annual
Sturgis, N.D. Motorcycle Rally last week, shows the company is
looking to compete in those two markets.
Polaris is on the warpath with its all-new-for-2015 Indian
Scout. Source: Indian Motorcycle.
's Sportster has long been seen as a classic cruising bike,
perfectly built for those two demographics.
Women Riders Now
, for example, ranks three Sportster models among its best
top-nine cruisers for women just starting out riding. Last year,
Harley unveiled its own strain of new, smaller bikes, the Street
500 and Street 750, and said it was targeted toward
younger, urban riders
The competition: Harley's Street 750. Source:
Harley currently has a commanding lead in aming its
"outreach customers" -- women, African-Americans, and Hispanics.
IHS Automotive data indicates that Harley's market share among
Caucasian women exceeds 62%, is more than 54% with
African-American men and women, and is almost at 60% among
Hispanic men and women. Perhaps more impressive is that its
nearest competitor in each of those categories fails to break
into double-digit percentages.
Women, though, might be the linchpin of it all. The latest
statistics from the Motorcycle Industry Council show that
they've become quite a force in riding:
- Some 12% of all motorcycle owners are women, up 30% in the
- Nearly 25% of all motorcyclists are women, or 6.7 million
out of the 27 million people in the U.S. who operate a
- About 40% of women owners ride a cruiser-style
Harley doesn't say exactly how many women buy its bikes, but
estimates that around 20,000 bikes will be sold to them
I'll admit to being a fan of almost all of Harley's big bikes
(though my wife is wearing my Softail Deuce on her left ring
finger these days), but the Indian revival, particularly the
Scout model, renews my appreciation for this classic line of
bikes, and could cause some disruption in the industry.
Much like Harley did with its Street bikes, Indian has given
the new Scout an identity all its own, not going back to its
heritage, but building on it.
The Scout was one of Indian's most popular bikes during the
three decades between 1920 to 1950, becoming a preferred choice
for racers and performers. There was a seemingly half-hearted
attempt to resurrect the bike more than a decade ago, between
2001 and 2003, but that ended when the whole company collapsed
and it wasn't until ATV-maker Polaris bought the nameplate in
2011, and introduced three all-new Indian-branded motorcycles
based on historic styling, that it once again became a
nameplate to be reckoned with.
Measure-for-measure, the Scout leads the pack, but it comes at
a price. Source: Indian Motorcycle, Harley-Davidson.
With its size, lean, and rake, the Scout is perfect for the
new target demographic giving Harley a run for its
money. The new Indian's fat front tire provides balance, the
handlebars are a good fit for ease of grip and steering, and the
transmission provides for a smooth shift experience. But don't
think of it as just a "starter bike." That 100 horsepower and 72
foot-pounds of torque is a cool, muscular ride for experienced
riders as well.
The lightweight bike holds to the road, and Motorcycle USA
says its goes smoothly through its gears without clunking and
thunking, with the V-twin letting you accelerate higher without
Yet, as much as the Scout has received rave reviews --
version of its first-ride review as "Buy it! The Scout rocks." --
it could still face challenges in unseating Harley for the
throne. With an MSRP of $10,999, it is Indian's cheapest bike;
but it's more expensive than both Street models or its Sportster,
as almost all of its models start at thousands of dollars
The Scout in its native environment. Source: Indian
The Scout, though, gives the rider extra power, extra muscle
for that higher price tag and could very well be the better
value. It may be Indian's first real effort at stripping market
share of the key growth customers from Harley-Davidson.
Warren Buffett's worst auto-nightmare (Hint: It's not
A major technological shift is happening in the automotive
industry. Most people are skeptical about its impact. Warren
Buffett isn't one of them. He recently called it a "real
threat" to one of his favorite businesses. An executive at Ford
called the technology "fantastic." The beauty for investors is
that there is an
easy way to ride
to access our exclusive report on this stock.
Can the New Polaris Indian Scout Take Down
originally appeared on Fool.com.
has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool
recommends Polaris Industries. The Motley Fool owns shares of
Polaris Industries. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services
free for 30 days
. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe
considering a diverse range of insights
makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a
Copyright © 1995 - 2014 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights
reserved. The Motley Fool has a