Roland Sands Rocks An Indian Scout

The boardtrack meets the flat track in this hot custom bike

Roland Sands is on the fast track to legendary status in this industry, and he’s earned every success along the way. He originally transformed this Indian Scout into a race-inspired custom a couple of years ago for Michael Lichter’s “Skin & Bones” exhibition. It’s an excellent representation of Roland’s signature style and we thought you’d like to hear about it in his own words.

“This RSD Scout is a modernized version of the one I have tattooed on my arm. It’s an interesting tie-in that speaks to the Scout in its modern iteration. This water-cooled, Öhlins-suspended custom took quite a few styling cues from its grandfather but has taken on a sportier attitude. The original Indian Scout didn’t make a huge amount of horsepower but it was a beast in racing trim and was very competitive in flat-track races and hill climbs. Especially given the time, it was a very versatile bike.

“Our machine takes that performance heritage and blends it with a modern steel chassis and modern motor with aggressive geometry. The interesting thing about the chassis is the geometry was pulled from the Project 156 racebike that took third place at Pikes Peak. We relaxed the front end, increasing the rake two degrees, as well as using a hand-built girder fork, but other than that, it’s very close the the Project 156. The rear suspension geometry was pulled straight off the Ducati Panigale roadrace bike, so you could put roadrace tires on this bike and they would work really well.

“The wheels and tires are pulled from flat-track racing, the stance is boardtrack, the inspiration is hill climb, and it’s potentially very fast on pavement.”

RSD Indian Scout

Had Indian known builders would create customs this cool from it, the company might have put the Scout into production even sooner.

Michael Lichter Photography

Indian Scout gas tank

Brass serves to give the Scout a more vintage vibe. It also works well with the striping.

Michael Lichter Photography

custom fender

Dig how the rear fender and number plate are all one piece.

Michael Lichter Photography

RSD indian scout custom handlebars

Racebikes aren’t known for their handlebar clutter and this one’s no exception.

Michael Lichter Photography

RSD Indian scout profile

The RSD Scout is just as good-looking on the primary side as the pipe side.

Michael Lichter Photography

brass bike chain

Love the look of that brassed-out chain!

Michael Lichter Photography

leather motorcycle solo seat

The shop kept the solo saddle simple, just like you’d see on a classic racer.

Michael Lichter Photography

Custom RSD grips

Little details, even in the grips, can make or break a custom.

Michael Lichter Photography

performance machine calipers

The girder fork may be a nod to nostalgia but those floating rotors and Performance Machine calipers are some of most modern bits you’ll find on any American-made custom motorcycle. That’s how you mix old and new properly.

Michael Lichter Photography

Ohlins shock absorber

If you’re only going to use one shock absorber in a project, an Öhlins is a good way to go.

Michael Lichter Photography