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Can the New Polaris Indian Scout Take Down Harley-Davidson's Sportster?

The big supercruiser motorcycles seem to gain most of the headlines. Polaris Industries , 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.

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 red-lining.

Yet, as much as the Scout has received rave reviews -- Cycle World gave its Reader's Digest 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 less.

The Scout in its native environment. Source: Indian Motorcycle.

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.

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The article Can the New Polaris Indian Scout Take Down Harley-Davidson's Sportster? originally appeared on Fool.com.

Rich Duprey 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 that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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