An Indian Scout Sixty Tribute by Anvil Motociclette
Words, photos & video by Anvil Motociclette
The project with Indian Motorcycle became real right before Christmas 2017 when we read the email sent by Melanie Dubois, Indian EMEA marketing manager, saying that the project was accepted by Grant Bester, Indian EMEA director. Soon after we received the Scout Sixty to customize.
Like all good Christmas stories, that email was like a gift. In that moment we were still unaware of what we were facing: not only was it a unique project, but also the chance to work with an incredible brand, precise and innovative. We soon learned that Indian is like a big family, where everybody works to improve the brand everyday. It is not easy to find this kind of commitment.
Let’s take a step back...
This project started a long time before that email. It started when we were doing some research on the story of Albert Burns, a motorcycle racing pioneer that lived in early 1900s.
Not many people know of him, and before this project he was unknown to us inside an old dusty book, forgotten in the library.
But his story deserves to be remembered.
“Albert Shrimp Burns” was born in Oakdale, California and since he was a child he was been enchanted by motorcycles. The first time he rode a bike was in his fathers dealership. He started racing when at 15 on a bike he built himself against adults. He frequently won and eventually they decided to ban him from entering the racetrack because he was too young.
Against the Grain
When Motorcycles Raced on Wood
They saw it coming. They must have. With six motorcycles racing together at more than 90 miles per hour on wooden circle tracks with steep banks, the consequences of board-track racing could not have been a surprise.
But this didn’t stop young Burns from racing. He simulated alternative starts from the side of the track and then he jumped onto the course and finishing first, even thought it was illegal.
In 1915 Shrimp won three of the most prestigious races in Pleasanton, but would get injured in a pile up at a race in Marysville. None of the other injured riders would race again, but Shrimp attended and won the following race with a broken shoulder and collarbone.
His strong personality made him stand out and in 1910 he was hired by Harley-Davidson as official pilot. He raced with the brand only one season and then he became an official Indian pilot until the end of his short career. In 1921 he died during a race, only 2 days after his 23rd birthday.
Albert "Shrimp" Burns was born in August 12th 1898, and this year is the 120th anniversary of his birth. It might just be a coincidence, but we deeply believe that he wanted to be discovered by us. Shrimp would have been a friend of ours.
Indian liked the idea to pay a tribute to this great pilot of their own historical heritage. The project of Indian Shrimp Mille has been made on a Scout Sixty base and took us six months to build. The bike still has the original engine, part of the electrical system and the throttle housing.
All the other parts have been redesigned and reprojected specifically to develop a flat track special to use in major European events.
FRAME: The frame has been reprojected thanks to engineering studies to make it more competitive. We have been inspired by the old Ron Wood flat track frames, keeping the headstock inclination 25 degrees.
STEERING PLATES: They are made in aluminium, with a specific offset for flat track.
FORKS: we chose Ohlins, the same forks they use in the USA AMA, as well as the two rear shock absorbers. We replaced the mono to give a vintage touch.
THROTTLE HOUSING: it has been moved externally thanks to a steel collector and it is connected to a K&R filter.
TANK, FENDER AND PLATES: they are handmade and they have been projected as unique pieces in wrought-aluminium.
GEARBOX: we transformed the classic belt drive into the chain drive and we reprojected the sprocket.
SEAT: it has been made by an Italian craftman following our design. We got inspired by the flat track seats from the 40s and the made a contemporary model. We used black and white cow leather, giving the typical striped pattern of our racing team.
BRAKES: the rear brakes have been substituted with a Brembo one, with pads and disc made by Newfren.
RIMS AND HUBS: they are 19’’ with Tubeless technology by Alpina Raggi.
RADIATOR: the original one has been substituted with two off road radiators.
LIQUIDS: engine oil is specific for races and it has been provided by Pakelo
Further than our usual working team, we have integrated: one engineer to study the frame geometries, a framebuilder, a sheet-metal workers that made the tank and plates, an upholsterer for the seat.
In the beginning the bike weight was 248 kgs, now it is 180 kgs and 90 kgs are only for the engine.
PARTNERS OF THE PROJECT: