With all eyes on Indian Motorcycle’s relaunch of the iconic Scout, it’s refreshing to see vintage examples vying for attention too. And this eye-catching 1949 Scout from Analog Motorcycles should have no trouble stealing a little limelight.
Analog’s Tony Prust stumbled upon the bike while chasing up another lead. “A friend and I headed north to take a look at a Kawasaki W1,” he explains. “While we’re there, we see a rolling chassis and a pile of parts sitting on a bench in the corner. It was a 1949 Indian Scout with a title that the owner had had for seventeen years.”
“He’d several projects going in his shop, and his friends gave him a hard time about the Indian, saying that he was never going to finish it.” After some negotiation, the owner finally relented. “It was pretty far beyond restoration quality,” says Tony, “but had most of the ingredients needed to build a motorcycle.”
The 1949 Scout was built around a 440cc vertical twin in a plunger-style frame. According to Tony, many experts consider it to be the bike that put Indian out of business. “They bought the design from a European company and put it into production without much testing.” (Bonhams has a 1949 Super Scout listed on their site, with a great little history lesson.)
Given the plunger rear end, a bobber-style build seemed obvious. But Tony had higher aspirations for the little Scout, and decided to create a ’60s and ’70s-era race replica. The first step was getting the motor into a better chassis, so Tony called up Randy and Karsten at Frame Crafters in Union, Illinois. “After chatting with them for a bit and realizing how obscure the engine was, we decided to modify a Track Master-style frame that they had in-house. This was the go-to chassis for many racers back in the ’60s & ’70s.”
It took some shoehorning, but Frame Masters managed to squeeze in the Scout’s engine and transmission. Analog then installed a set of vintage Betor forks, matched to modern Gazi shocks, and a new wheel set: TZ750 hubs laced to 18” aluminum rims.
With the rolling chassis sorted, the engine was next on the list. Frame Crafters recommended Bill Bailey of ZyZX Vintage Motorcycles: an ex-racer who had piloted old Indian Scouts and Warriors. “Bill had done a lot of racing and testing, and discovered the engine’s weaknesses and ways to improve it.”
During the rebuild the engine was punched out to 500cc with a hand-cut billet cylinder. The electrical system was converted to 12-volt with an electronic ignition, and the oil cooling system was redesigned and hooked up to a new oil tank.
Next up was the Scout’s bodywork. Tony shaped bucks of the tank and tail sections out of Styrofoam, and sent them off Pavletic Metal Shaping to hand-build aluminum versions. Pavletic also handled the aluminum fairing—based on a wire frame template that Tony mocked up.
Turning to the finer details, Analog fabricated a new exhaust system, terminating in Cone Engineering Stubby mufflers. Tony also fitted Tarozzi rear-sets, with levers that fold out of the way of the kickstart. (Tony lists the redesigned kickstart lever as one of the trickiest parts of the entire project). All the plumbing was replaced by brass lines and braided stainless tubing. The speedo is a one-off from Seattle Speedometer, and Free Form Designs handled the speedo bracket, rear sprocket and oil manifold.
Much consideration went into the final finishes: “The plan was to do raw aluminum, but after seeing a lot of motorcycles coming out in recent months with the same look, I opted to give it more color.” Analog “Scotch-Brited” all of the aluminum bodywork before clear-coating it. Regular Analog collaborators were called in: Kiel of Crown Auto Body for paint, Brando for pin striping and gold leaf, and Art Rodriguez of Rods Designs for the seat’s leatherwork.
Despite the race-inspired looks, the Scout is fully street legal thanks to LED head and taillights. “To keep it in race trim I had Mike Ardito form brass covers to go over the headlight and taillight. While he had the bike, he also whipped up the front fender.”
With parts from every corner of the globe, Analog decided to call the bike the Continental Scout. “The bike was designed entirely by Analog Motorcycles,” says Tony, “but it was my vision to go beyond some of my fabrication abilities—so I called on skilled professionals to achieve the final product. It is without a doubt the most beautiful motorcycle I have created so far and I am extremely proud of it.”
And so you should be, Tony. Now please get cracking on that Kawasaki W1.
Full Build Sheet
Track Master style frame made by Frame Crafters
All aluminum tank, seat and fairing designed by Analog and formed by Pavletic Metal Shaping
Brass light covers and fender formed by Mike Ardito
Polishing by Mike’s Polishing, Rodsmith, and Analog
Engine built by Bill Bailey of ZyZX Vintage Motorcycles
Engine has hand-cut billet cyclinder, 12 volt conversion and Dyna III electronic ignition.
Carburetor: Amal 928
Exhaust custom made by Analog with parts and stubby mufflers from Cone Engineering
Custom-made oil tank with internal plumbing made by Chassis Services
All plumbing designed and made by Analog
Paint and clear coat by Kiel of Crown Autobody
Gold leaf and pin-striping by Brando
Seat by Rod’s Designs
Speedometer designed and rebuilt by Seattle Speedometer
Tarrozi rear sets
Betor Forks and triples
TZ750 hubs with custom detailing by Analog
Spokes and rims made by Buchanan’s
Speedo mount, rear sprocket and oil manifold machined by Free Form Design
Gas cap by Crime Scene Choppers
Piaa LED headlights
Radiantz puck LED taillight frenched into seat hump
All custom electrical – battery and fuse block under seat hump
Custom made bar switch by Analog
Modified GSXR windscreen
Maund Speed Equipment velocity stack
Avon Roadrider tires
All custom made cables by Ed Zender at Morrie’s Place
Extremely strange and difficult to design custom kick starter lever (version 5) by Analog
Top oiler lines made by HEL brake lines