The 2025 Indian Scout was inspired by classic American car designs

It all sounds so simple: a slanted V-twin engine, firmly coddled by frame rails, mounted between two suspended wheels and topped by a tank and, in most cases, a single saddle. The reality of the all new 2025 Indian Scoutis of course much more complicated. Autoblog recently attended a virtual introduction of the latest motorcycle from Indian, and we’ve heard a lot of what you’d probably expect: details on the liquid-cooled 1,250cc SpeedPlus engine with up to 111 horsepower and 82 pound-feet of torque, a compact tubular steel frame, and plenty of talk about the need for a full line of accessories .

But what really piqued our interest was when Ola Stenegard, director of product design for Indian Motorcycle, drew our attention to the art of turning design sketches into clay models. A decidedly old-fashioned approach, we thought. It turns out that Stenegard could talk for days about the art of motorcycle design, and much of what he has to say goes back to the famous designer. Harley Count.

“The use of car clay was very American. It actually started in the 1920s, but I think it became big in the 1930s when Harley Earl moved to General engines,” Stenegard told us. “He brought clay.”

And it turns out that the clay modeling method “is actually still the most important way to develop shapes in both the automotive and motorcycle industries,” says Stenegard. “Many people think that computers or AI have taken over, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.”

However, it is not the case that computer-aided design techniques are not useful. “Doing the details is where CAD is superior,” Stenegard told us. “Badges, triple trees, wheels. … Today, those details – that’s where we use the computing power, the modeling.

“When I was still designing hands-on, we learned to sculpt as part of our training,” says Stenegard. “But there is a saying that you cannot be a good sketcher and a good clayer model builder, and it is WHERE. The model makers are the hands of the designer. There is a symbiosis. We have clay modelers, also CAD modelers. They are phenomenal. They translate (design sketches) into reality, and that is important to emphasize.”

Just as interesting is that Stenegard and his team didn’t just rely on old-fashioned techniques. They were also inspired by classic American car designs.

“That’s why the clay process was important: It allowed Detroit to explore a whole new era of hardening,” Stenegard said. “And for me, the American cars were absolutely breathtaking. Look at the late 1930s Zephyror if you go to the late ’50s – a ’59 Cadillac – when you look at the surface, the fins and the details, it’s just phenomenal. Or with Lincoln, a ’64 or ’65 Lincoln, the flat-sided cars. To clean the entire body, not a single inch is flat or dull. It is a clean car. If you look at that closely, it’s a beautifully modeled surface, but there are no edges.

“So that was our inspiration. Keep it clean, keep it simple. But to really put the work into the paving, to make it beautiful.

“The more you simplify it, the harder it becomes. Making a super bike with lots of edges and creases is almost easier than something clean and bright.”

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