Are Indian Scout and Victory Octane the same?

Posted7/30/2017 6:00 AM

Dear Readers,

We love getting your emails. Send them to Ken "Hawkeye" Glassman at


Hawkeye, I enjoyed reading your review of the Indian Scout, and seeing the 1927 Scout museum bike for some frame of reference in terms of how much things have changed in 90 years. But I also read your earlier review of the Victory Octane, and it seems like the same bike, with just a different badge from Polaris. So which one did you like better?

-- Lee, Naperville

Lee, both the Indian Scout and Victory Octane are made by Polaris. They share the same basic architecture, but there are a lot fewer parts in common than you would imagine. And they are tuned differently, so they have a different riding experience. The Octane has more of a power cruiser or sport cruiser vibe. It feels a bit stronger performance-wise, and has a bit sportier chassis and suspension setup. It's more athletic on twisty roads, and has a bit more cornering clearance. The Scout looks and feels like a more traditional cruiser bike, and has a more relaxed demeanor. Both are excellent bikes, but with enough differences that you should ride both before making a decision.

-- Hawkeye

Dear Ken, I LOVED Teri Conrad's article about her teenage embarrassment with her motorcycle-riding mother. My husband and I are both professionals and we both ride motorcycles. My middle school daughter never wants to be ridden to school on the back of my bike so her friends won't see her. She likes taking rides into the country, as long as she isn't seen by her friends, which would embarrass her. I made her read the article to give her some perspective, and I hope that, as she gets older, she won't be embarrassed by her parent's hobby. And I also like to think that riding a motorcycle will be part of her life when she gets older. Her dad and I would surely love to get out on the road and ride as a family with her.

-- Susan, Lake Zurich

Susan, I raised two daughters, who are now in their mid 30s. When they were younger, they thought it was cool that I rode a motorcycle, and weren't embarrassed at all. And their friends thought it was cool, too. Yet, neither one has ever been on the back of my bikes. They thought it was scary and dangerous, and wanted no part of it, much to my disappointment. Daughter No. 2 was always a girlie girl and a cautious person. But Daughter No. 1 was a wild, risk-taking tomboy child who, as soon as she was tall enough, would ride all the roller coasters at Great America all day long and love it. But get on a motorcycle? NO WAY. Go figure.

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-- Hawkeye

Dear Ken, I love reading the Motorcycling section, and your articles and reviews are excellent. But all the reviews are for cruiser bikes. Don't you ever review sport bikes?

-- Jason, Arlington Heights

Jason, most of our readers are cruiser riders, but I do ride and review sporty bikes, but not the full-on super sport bikes like a Honda 1000 or 600 RR bikes, or Kawasaki Ninja RR bikes. First of all, those bikes are best reviewed from a track day, or at least on some really twisty local roads, which you can't find within hundreds of miles from here. And to be perfectly honest, I don't have the riding skills to properly evaluate those bikes. I have ridden those bikes at some press events, and I can fake it for an article, but that's not the way I roll. It's not fair to you readers. I can handle bikes like my own Kawasaki Ninja 650 R, which is a sporty parallel twin, or Triumph Speed or Street Triples. The Yamaha FZ lineup is great, but with a limited amount of space and our current once a month section, I can't fit in all the bikes I'd like to write about.

-- Hawkeye

Ken, I read your review on Star Tron fuel additive, and put some into my 2014 Harley Road King. I'm sold. After about 100 miles, I could tell the bike was more responsive. I think it's because it cleaned out the fuel injectors. After the second application, I checked my mileage figures, and I think it added 3 more miles per gallon. The bike seems to just run a bit better, so I'm really pleased with it. Thanks for putting this product out there. I'd never heard of it before, and I'll keep it in my tank over the winter to insure my gas stays fresh.

-- Lou, Mundelein

Dear Lou, glad you tried it and liked it. I used it in my 2007 Nissan and found my mileage went from 32 to 35 miles per gallon on the same 120-mile highway trip I take once a week. I think it's because it cleans the fuel system of the car or bike, in addition to keeping the gas fresh. So it does double duty, and virtually pays for itself. Now I use it every couple of tankfuls, and the car and bikes keep running well.

-- Hawkeye

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