2015 "Best Cruiser" MOTY Winner: Indian Scout | 2015 Motorcycle of the Year Awards

Redefining our idea of what a cruiser can be.

It can be next to impossible to do something new in the notoriously conservative cruiser category and actually get away with it. In a class where retrograde styling and performance is often rewarded—if not actually demanded—it can be counterproductive to take risks or attempt to push the envelope in any new direction.

The Indian Motorcycle crew was on hand at Indy to take home the MOTY for Best Cruiser. Photo: Mark Wernham

While Indian has been rewarded for (mostly) following the rules with its first all-new platform, the Chief, when it came time to devise the follow-up the company showed that it wasn't afraid to break all the rules with its second platform, the Scout.

Powered by a completely modern, liquid-cooled, eight-valve, DOHC V-twin with ride-by-wire throttle activation mounted in a cast-aluminum frame and wrapped in crisp, clean tins that make the 100-hp Scout look like it's going 100 mph standing still, the new Scout credibly updates the cruising experience without sacrificing any of the style, comfort, or charisma that cruiser buyers desire (see the Scout First Ride review HERE).

More importantly, with strong brakes, sporty geometry and a short 61.5-inch wheelbase, a lightest-in-class 558-pound claimed wet weight, and low, $10,999 price, the all-new Scout has done the impossible and captured the attention of an entire new group of motorcycle enthusiasts who have never before considered the idea of a feet-forward motorcycle. This makes the Scout a risk well taken and one well worth rewarding.

We could have put this up to popular vote and the result would have been the same, judging from all the Bolts we see riding down the road. Star is another company being rewarded for taking a risk, giving its middleweight cruiser platform an edgy, bobber-inspired makeover that opened the eyes—and wallets—of millennials and other untraditional cruiser buyers everywhere.