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Remembering the 1949 Indian Scout 440

1949 Indian Scout 440

The Indian Scout 440cc was originally released in 1949 and marked the last motorcycle model produced by Indian before stopping production four years later. To save the wavering company, the 1949 Indian Scout was launched to the market with great publicity, featuring sports and movie stars riding the compact new motorbike. The sales of the 440cc Scout were slow, especially in the American market, as the motorcycle's design was quickly produced and had a few performance problems. Nonetheless, the 1949 Indian Scout 440cc bike came with various features, including a 440cc Overhead-valve 4-stroke vertical V-twin engine, a center stand, crash bars, and saddlebags. The bike also has other friendly features such as a 4-speed chain drive transmission, a Magneto ignition, a generator, as well as front and rear expanding shoe brakes. The new 'Dyna-Torque' design on the Indian Scout 440 was designed by Brigs Weaver and proved to be a futuristic motorcycle design at the front of global production motorbikes in 1949. This visionary design came with several unique features: a rear suspension, telescopic suspension forks, and a well-engineered all-alloy engine. Moreover, the overall design of the Scout incorporated an aluminum engine, which was a very advanced feature in motorcycles at that date. Read to learn more about the 1949 Indian Scout 440 bike.


The 1949 Indian Scout 440 motorcycle was manufactured by the Company-Indian and is part of the Indian Scout 440 series that consists of motorbikes of different features. This bike belongs to the all-terrain category and is the first Indian Scout 440 series model to be released to the public market back in 1949. To date, the Indian Scout 440 motorbike has lasted for 73 years since its original release date. This 1949 Indian Scout is a true representation of an excellent unique motorbike. It comes with various incredible features such as; a twin-cylinder, 4-stroke motor, front and rear drum brakes, 4-speed gear transmission, and an engine displacement of 26.85 ci 440.00 cc. However, this 440cc parallel V-twin engine was later replaced with a 500cc parallel V-twin Warrior engine model in 1950. The "Dyna-Torque" design of the 1949 Indian Scout is a perfect restoration of a true capsule motorbike, which is valid proof that the American motorcycle designers were put to challenge by the European motorbike design, which resulted in utterly gorgeous, light-weight and high road performing motorcycles. Unlike Harley-Davidson's big V-twin bikes that were released before the war, the big and small Indian Parallel V-twin bikes were regarded to be less popular. The manufacturing company Indian decided to increase the production time of their Indian Scout 440 cc bikes to attract more sales amongst the returning soldiers who became fond of the bike while stationed overseas. The rushed production time resulted in teething problems with the Indian Scout 440 and almost led to the collapse of the Indian company.


According to Smartcycleguide, the Indian Scout 440cc motorbike comes with several exciting features that include:

  • Model: Indian Scout 440
  • Year of Production: 1949
  • Category: All-terrain
  • Engine displacement: 26.85 ci (440.00 cc)
  • Engine model: Twin-cylinder, 4-stroke motor
  • Ignition: Ignition by Magneto
  • Seat height: 643 mm (25.3 in)
  • Bore x Stroke: 73.6 mm x 99 mm (2.90 in x 3.90 in)
  • Power:100 hp (74.7 kW) @ 8,100 rpm
  • Gear Transmission: 4-speed
  • Suspension: Telescopic Forks (Front), Dual Shocks (Rear)
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.3 US gal.
  • Fuel Control: Overhead valves (OHV)

Engine and Transmission

The 1949 Indian Scout bike comes with a 440cc (26.6 cubic inches) vertical V-twin engine, installed in a rear sprung frame with telescopic suspension forks. The bike weighs just 315 lbs. (143kg) with the engine installed. It allows the motorcycle to attain maximum speeds of 85mph, giving this diminutive Indian bike an edge over the rival British motorcycles produced back in 1949. This 440cc vertical Twin-cylinder 4-stroke engine was later replaced with a 550cc Parallel V-Twin Warrior engine back in 1950. The air-cooled vertical V-Twin 4-stroke engine comes with a sharp-looking exterior design and a final drive chain gear transmission. In addition to the ignition by Magneto, the 1949 Indian Scout can be a pretty good roll-on once you get the full grunt out of it. The Indian company also designed the bike to feature a smaller displacement mill to plug into the Super-Scout chassis and present it as the new pushrod motorcycle at that time. Additionally, the 440cc engine cranks out 75 pound-feet of torque at 8,100 rpm, which is quite impressive for a motorbike that weighs just 143 kg.


The Indian company fitted the 1949 Indian Scout 440cc with 18-inch aluminum rims and Swingarm, thus reducing the bike's overall weight. The 4.7-inch trails and 29-degree rake gives the bike an almost-casual feel and ensures the bike remains stable when maneuvering through sharp corners. When it comes to suspension, the 440cc Scout features a telescopic fork at the front and dual shocks at the rear, which blends perfectly with the overall appearance of the motorcycle. According to, the 76mm adjustable dual suspension shocks are placed at a strategic angle of 31 degrees at the rear-end geometry as used in the old rigid steel frames. Moreover, the 19040 Indian Scout 440cc bike comes with a low seat height of 25.3 inches (643mm) which is an added advantage to short people, but not for individuals who are medium height or taller as they might feel somewhat clam-shelled with their butt on a lower level and their feet forward. With this lowered center of gravity, the Indian Scout 440 is quick and easily controllable over sharp corners. The vintage dial placed on the speedometer adds a classier look to the bike, but the taillights are relatively small and are hardly visible in the daylight.

Final Thoughts

The 1949 Indian Scout 440 bike is an ideal Scout bike that comes with amazing features such as; a front headlight, toolbox, frame, speedometer, rear tins, and 4-speed gear transmission. Unfortunately, the reputation of the Indian Scout has been tarnished after the manufacturing company almost collapsed as a result of several teething problems in their bikes. The 1948 Indian Scout 440 bike was the last model released by the Indian company before it ceased production four years later. This Super Scout bike also features some touring-friendly features, including saddlebags, crash bars, and a center stand. According to Hagertyagent, the 1949 Indian Scout 440 bike is sold at an average price of $38,500.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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