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Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight, Indian Scout and Victory Gunner put to the test

Banging, bubbling, humming

You have 13,000 euros left and want to buy an American cruiser for it?

Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight, Indian Scout and Victory Gunner life for your favor.

Less function, more experience. If you are thinking of putting a US cruiser in your garage, you don’t give a damn about bean counting and performance. It has to tingle in the stomach, motorcycling as a kick for the soul, that’s what bikes in the “long and low” category should offer. Curtain up for our three test subjects, the rustic Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight, the beefy Victory Gunner and the powerful Indian Scout.

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Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight, Indian Scout and Victory Gunner put to the test
Banging, bubbling, humming

Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

The middle of the body on the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight really gets going. The Milwaukee iron bounces casually in its spring elements when standing. The engine shakes. An air-cooled combustion engine works here. That pulsates. Always and everywhere. In addition, the bumpers clack. Mechanics as an acoustic background for everyday life. And the rich sound of the 1200 engine can be heard from the exhaust. Bollern from the first meter. The iron takes you prisoner, wants to deal with you. Wanna work with you. This is how a cruiser that has been reduced to the essentials should feel.

There’s nothing on the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight that doesn’t have to be. Spartan but stylish, it stands on its wide wheels. Even the tank is limited to storing a few liters. Peanut – the peanut determines the shape. 7.9 liters including reserve slosh around inside. This is what the limit looks like. In addition the color dress: pure black. Only interrupted in a few places by delicate accents on the tank or a bit of chrome. Would a rebel ever choose a different color? In itself it gives a coherent overall picture. Pack your flannel shirt and flat cap and drive off. No matter if Glemseck101 or Wheels and Waves, with the Forty-Eight you are always right in the middle. Without changing a screw. No customizing. Everything fits out of the box.

Optics demands the ability to suffer

However: After a full tank of fuel, you also know that optics demand a lot of tolerance from you. Pain as proof that you are living, feeling, breathing. The way to luck. Sounds strange, but it’s true. Short suspension travel, a narrow handlebar that is far forward and the footrests that are also in the front tie you to the V-Twin. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it: At every shop window that crosses the path, the gaze wanders to the side. Check the coolness factor quickly. And tick it off. The Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight exudes a little less casualness when driving from a sober point of view. The engine is not characterized by elasticity. Little goes down below, and not much above either. A lot of flywheel rotates inside. Always kept in the correct – a very narrow – speed range, the Harley drives you forward with ease. Not as an acceleration hero, but as a hero to blow your head.

The head quickly comes back into play. Keyword curve. Sure, the lean angle is not exuberant. For free. But what is much more responsible for pulsating brain waves: How should the thing go around the corner? “Stubborn” describes the steering behavior of the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight inadequately. Bending railroad tracks should be easier. A fork with stanchions that have grown by ten to 49 millimeters in diameter and new struts adorn the 1200s for the new model year, but they do not improve. The 2015 Forty-Eight was also stubborn in the winding curves. But we had that earlier: The Forty-Eight is made for active confrontation and draws its charm from it. Open the open face helmet, put dark sunglasses on your nose, enjoy the bolling, switch off – then the Harley will show you the way. And makes you look extremely good doing it.

Victory Gunner

Bollern turns into bubbling at the Victory Gunner. 1731 cm³ already exude a lot of sovereignty, leaning casually on the side stand. The bike and the seating arrangement are big, wide, powerful. Take a seat in the headquarters of power. The Harley shakes, the Gunner pushes. Always. The engine packs a big punch. The gaze wanders to the left and right. Where do you go to the next drag strip, where can you burn to your heart’s content? The search remains unsuccessful. The upcoming traffic light has to serve for the nervous heating of the rear rubber. The arms reach for the wide handlebars, the feet find their place on the more centrally attached notches. The back bends forward. The tachometer reports the ideal clutch range. Yellow, green – fire! The rear tire tries to get grip. Strike. That’s the way it has to be. 120 Nm virtually from the moment you disengage the clutch for the first time, and 139 Nm at the top relax your life. The buffalo has spoken, marked its territory.

Tea Victory Gunner is the trio’s muscle car. Inhales oxygen like a fat V8 and beams you forward when the throttle valve is opened. At least often and definitely felt. In reality, the true values ​​of driving performance opposes your dream of being an acceleration man. First of all, the Victory carries a lot of mass with it, and secondly, gears five and six must not turn freely. The last gear stage is also designed as an overdrive. It’s only enough to keep the Harley at a distance if you have that in mind and always stay on the gas. This doesn’t always work with Indian. Almost identical performance, but fewer kilos – the equation cannot work out all the time.

It should go straight ahead. always.

Nevertheless, the big Victory engine inspires, always working calmly under you. Balanced shaft calmed, it sends no vibration through horse and rider. Here comes the armor that will carry you everywhere. This is also suggested by the look. The color dress is called Suede Sagebrush Green Metallic. Only the lines for the killed opponents are missing. Before it gets too martial, the Victorians gave the twin the name Freedom. No contradiction. Because the engine can be peaceful. Silky smooth, it hangs smoothly on the gas. Until you wake him up. As soon as the flaps in the Akrapovic accessory exhaust are on draft, the Victory Gunner – the gunner – switches to attack. It bubbles out the back. Without being overly loud. Just clearly audible. Sound as a massage for the soul, worries are shot away. Today the street is your home.

But not every one. It should go straight ahead. Always. Curves aren’t the Victory Gunner’s thing. This is not due to the ABS-assisted brakes, the chassis or the tires, the rear of which is pleasingly narrow. You don’t have to be a leaning junkie to push the Gunner to their limits. And we’re not talking about grinding off the fear nipples on the pegs. Rather, shortly after they come into contact with the ground, frame elements and exhaust take on sparking tasks. Sovereignty turns into shock when the load strives towards the outside of the curve. So it’s better to go big arcs. And study the meeting calendar during the breaks. Where’s the next US car and bike meeting going? She feels at home between her four-wheeled buddies Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger. A lot of effort for street painting, rock ‘n’ roll in the heart and the V-twin beat as a pulse, the Victory Gunner is made for this. Turns on. The only problem: How does the Fender Stratocaster keep up??

Indian Scout

That leaves candidate number three, the Indian Scout. The one with the longest, albeit interrupted, history. The first Scout appeared in 1920. Four model types were made in Springfield (Massachusetts / USA) by 1942. Indian motorcycles were so common that they were a staple in the US in the 1930s. Tea bankruptcy followed by 1953 and in 2011 the revival by Polaris. What does that have to do with the current Scout? Much. Motorcycles develop into volume sellers when they are mature and make handling as easy as possible for their rider. The Scout follows this credo without any ifs or goals.

Sure, its appearance dictates the cruiser line. But it is fundamentally different from the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight and Victory Gunner. A water-cooled V-engine works in its center, with 1131 cm³ the smallest of the three. It turns well at the bottom, stronger in the middle and a lot further at the top than the other two. Untypical for cruisers, it only runs out of breath beyond the 8000 mark. At this speed, the Harley and Victory drives would have broken down into their component parts. The Indian Scout clearly has the most modern facilities. It also flatters itself with the finest workmanship.

High quality, without setting accents

Mudguards made of metal, beautiful milling art on the engine covers, plus a matching dab of chrome here and there: the Indian Scout makes ample use of the ingredients catalog for cruisers. It deliberately avoids corners and edges – in the drive and in the design. Frame and add-on parts are dipped in gray, and understatement becomes a part of the program. This has a high-quality effect without setting accents that catch the eye – both positive and negative. And so it goes on. The engine doesn’t rumble, the seating position is pleasantly suitable for long journeys, and the driving behavior is extremely balanced. In addition, the Indian only cuts quirks into the curvy tar belt when it slopes properly. However, with this idea, it falls a little behind the Harley Forty-Eight and the Victory Gunner in terms of character. Because these two are not perfectly ironed, they tickle your stomach more and increase the experience value. With the Indian Scout, this comes from driving.

The Remus pots don’t change that either. They are supposed to roar, but rather release a hum. The tone makes it clear: the rule here is uniformity. But before anyone even thinks of the word "boring" – the kick is yet to come. And exactly when you’ve had enough of being a hipster or rockabilly. When the show is over, when the feature gets the upper hand. In other words: If you just want to ride a motorcycle, charm doesn’t matter, curves. If the Scout drives ahead, the other two see no land. Weird and chic? Go then. With the Indian Scout you are automatically in the cruiser pole position. Unmask the others as blenders. They act cool, but work up a sweat in everyday life. That doesn’t happen to the scout. Hoe, point, one, two, three – it draws around the other circles so casually. It shows that even a cruiser can go around the corner in a moderately sporty way. Almost like a motorcycle can work without the typical cruiser disadvantages that Harley and Victory have.

Conclusion

24 Pictures

Pictures: Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight, Indian Scout and Victory Gunner in the test

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Technical specifications

24 Pictures

Pictures: Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight, Indian Scout and Victory Gunner in the test

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