When Indian delivered a new Scout Bobber to young Dutch designer Luuc Muis, there was a catch: he had just 20 weeks to turn his ideas into metal. And to complicate matters, it would have to be an after-hours job. Because Luuc works full-time for the Harley parts specialist Motorcycle Storehouse and the helmet brand Roeg.
But Luuc delivered, turning his sketches into an incredible Scout Bobber called Hasty Flaming Buffalo, and built with a little help from his friend Bert Jan of Outsiders Motorcycles.
Luuc is 27 years old and has been building bikes for seven years now, as
Luuc Muis Creations.
“The project started before I actually knew about it,” says Luuc. “Indian launched a contest in the Benelux countries, and anyone could enter. The deal was to design a custom based on the Indian Scout Bobber—with the winner getting a 2019 Scout to build their design.”
“I was eager to enter, and being an industrial product designer meant this was straight up my alley,” Luuc says. “But in the first few days, I struggled to find a foundation on which to start my design. I eventually made four digital designs, each based on a different era of Indian history.”
Luuc enthusiastically revealed these concepts on his website, and a 1910 boardtracker-inspired design prevailed.
Luuc says his Scout design answers a hypothetical question: “What if the visual design of motorcycles never developed in a hundred years, but technique did?”
On 14 June, Indian told him that he’d won. “I had to make a hell of a schedule for the next 20 weeks—the reveal was due on the first of November!”
Luuc started by reverse engineering the Bobber. He digitalized the engine with a scanner to get the exact geometry and dimensions to design around. With the 2D design as reference, the frame started to take shape 3D, via Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD software.
Straight away, Luuc generated 16 parts that needed to be milled from solid aluminum. These went to Scheffers Engineering in Norway, and were combined with tubing to create a new three-piece aluminum frame.
The 69ci (1,133cc) V-twin engine was the only part of the original Scout that Luuc kept—aside from the axles. Everything else was designed and built from scratch.
“At this point, half the available time had already passed,” says Luuc. “Time became my enemy. Working my day job 40 hours a week, and building this bike as well, started to take its toll. My only choice was to work late during the nights.”
The handmade gas tank was an even bigger challenge than the frame, because Luuc needed to fit several components inside.
The tank literally forms part of the frame—there is no backbone under it—and hides the engine air intake, the air filter and the electronic brains of the Scout. They’re split into two boxes: a Motogadget m.unit control unit and a MaxxECU engine management system.
The tank is entirely handmade out of sheet metal. The left and middle sections hold the fuel and air intake, and the right side (where you can see the body gap) is a cover that hides the electronics, throttle body, air filter and fuel pump.
Fortunately for Luuc, a helpful selection of partners jumped into the fray. There’s a full carbon fork from CeraCarbon Racing, with diamond-cut ceramic-coated carbon fork tubes to add a modern race feel. The rear suspension is a one-off system inspired by modern MTB bike design.
A set of one-off rims from JSR Service are fitted with a custom Moto-Master brake system and Brembo calipers. Old Dutch Leatherworks made the seat and DNA Performance Filters produced a one-off air filter to fit the space underneath the gas tank.
Finally, Kellermann supplied the ridiculously small turn signals, which also act as braking lights.
Sending off all the parts for paint, powder coat and anodizing gave Luuc a few days to catch up on sleep and focus on planning a trip to Akrapovič.
With the help of Bert from Outsiders, Luuc put the semi-assembled Scout Bobber into a rented van and drove over 1,200 kilometers across Europe to the titanium foundry at Akrapovič’s headquarters in Slovenia.
“We were overwhelmed with what we saw, and the way Akrapovič committed themselves to the project,” says Luuc. The Slovenian experts also have form with custom Indians: they helped with the amazing
Appaloosa Scout Bobber from Workhorse too.
“We put the bike up on the lift and started constructing the prototype pipes. The next day, the prototype was replicated with two tubes of titanium, making it look very clean and simplistic. Then we added the exhaust tips and laser engraving.”
The Scout is now on its way to the huge EICMA show in Milan next weekend, and time was so tight, Luuc hasn’t yet been able to set up the custom ECU properly. “But as soon as I get the bike back home, I’ll make it run,” he says. “I can’t wait to hear that exhaust and see the titanium turn blue.”
We’ll forgive that little detail, because the Indian lives up to the promise Luuc made with his digital drawing. ‘Hasty Flaming Buffalo’ is a brilliantly executed homage to Indian’s heritage—and hits the goal of melding the looks of a century-old Scout with today’s technology.