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Jay Leno Rides a Legendary 1931 Indian 101 Scout

If anything, the Indian 101 Scout is one of the most iconic vintage motorcycles money can buy. And since money is not a problem for collector and TV star Jay Leno, learning that he has such a bike in his garage and seeing him even ride it feels rather natural.
Indian 101 Scout 11 photos
Photo: YouTube capture
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One of the coolest things about Leno's 101 Scout is that the bike is in a great condition and runs perfectly smoothly, but it was not restored. Despite being manufactured in 1931, this Scout still looks sharp, though not shy to show its age.

However, Leno says that he prefers a bike that is as close to the original condition as possible to one that has been torn down to nuts and bolts and painted to look like a jewel. A bit of scratched paint here, a bent cooling fin there, Jay Leno's 101 Scout still looks way better than many modern bikes that are 20 years old.

The 101 Scout is an iconic bike, and represents one of the milestones in Indian's early years. Back in its days of glory, the 101 Scout was exported massively to Europe and even threatened the English motorcycle industry, one of the strongest on the Old Continent then.

Because it handled very well and was almost indestructible, the 740cc bike quickly became one of the best-loved machines of the era, and the predilect choice for wall of death riders. Watching Leno lifting both his hands from the handlebars and riding straight even on a bumpy road section is quite a nice proof for how reliable the old Scout is.

As for riding one these days, even though Leno says that the front brakes of the 101 can actually stop the bike (unlike other old motorcycles), there's more to this machine than meets the eye.

Both hands and feet have a lot of work to do, as the Indian 101 Scout comes with a foot clutch on the left floorboard and a hand-operated three-position gear shifter on the right side of the tank. And they don't call the "suicide" for nothing...

Initially, the 101 Scout had the throttle on the left grip and the ignition advance on the right one, but Leno had them switched lest he crash. Grab a beer and take your time to enjoy this amazing piece of motorcycling history.

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