Working with your passion; is that like meeting your heroes? Not to be done in case expectations outweigh the dreamt outcome. I’ve questioned this many times over the years and been fortunate enough to have indulged liberally in my own passions, and not only been paid for the privilege but I’ve also met many of my heroes and have stored up some tales to tell for when I’m grey and old.
When Tony Prust of Analog Motorcycles sent us a sneak preview of his Indian Continental Scout I was reminded of why I stay up late, get up early and make sacrifices to chase and indulge my passions. I know its only a bike and all this gushy nonsense might have no place here but if you’re anything like me, then the vision, creativity, engineering, craftsmanship and execution of this build will have you salivating over your keyboard. Tony sums up what I am banging on about and completely disproves any theory that working and what you love should be separated.
You discerning and well informed lot out there have probably seen this bike over on BikeExif so I’ll leave the some of the tech details and the official press release until the end of my enthusiastic diatribe.
During a drawn out purchase of a Kawasaki W1, Tony spotted the remnants of a 1949 Indian Scout lying on a disused bench, awaiting attention from an owner already swamped in projects. For 17 years the poor old Scout sat there, gathering dust, seeing seasons in and out with no sign of TLC or the open road. Rescued and installed in Analog’s Gurnee, Illinois headquarters, a final strip down began to save the beating twin cylinder heart.
Capacity has been increased from 440cc to half-a-litre by way of a machined billet engine block, requiring a new lubrication system to be designed. Tony is frequently asked if he could build a Harley-Davidson based project but his love for engines doesn’t quite stretch to Milwaukee’s venerable twin, saying “The engine to me is the heart of the bike and I prefer using engines that have more character. I did however want to build an American made build but my options are limited seeing as HD is the only one with some older bikes that are worthy of customizing. Mostly anything else is super rare and difficult to find. And when you find one you don’t want to customize it. This Indian was too far past a restoration point so it made for a perfect candidate.”
Attention to detail is evident from every angle and present on each and every component, Tony’s dedication to perfection is unswerving, but not without cost. “The build originally started with my buddy that went to the guys shop and saw it with me. I gave him my idea for the bike and we set a budget. Then we blew it like 3 times so I ended up sitting down with him and telling him my creativity for this one was going beyond what we had discussed and that the only way to really pay myself on this one we would probably need to sell. At that point he became the investor in the project.”
With the Isle of Man Classic TT just behind us my mind is full of the sights and smells of race bikes from a bygone era, I didn’t make it to ‘the island’ this time but daydreamed hard enough to imagine I had. With the current trend of stripped-out, nakeds with fat-forked front ends I welcome a more classical machine to our pages and would trade an internal organ, perhaps one that comes in pairs, for a ride on Tony’s handiwork. Although I’m not sure one of my pickled kidneys will do the trick.
Tony’s focus and driver is not financial, for sure he still needs to pay Analog MC’s bills but it’s the shared enthusiasm for doing something just right, for others to marvel at that keeps him going late into the night. That said, everything has its price; “And once complete we would see where it landed cost wise and he would either buy me out of my portion or we would sell and recoup costs and split anything left over. So there is a magical number we are looking to get but not throwing it out there just yet. It isn’t cheap though as it’s a completely hand built machine so it’s not priced for the faint of heart. But if you are interested feel free to send me your offers and I can let you know if you are near the top of the list or not”.
Tony, I have a Kidney, in fair condition with relatively low mileage, a ’66 Honda Scrambler, an ’01 Cagiva special, some Silver Jubilee coins with the Queen on them, a gold pen my godfather gave me and a nearly complete 1/4″ drive socket set from Halfords which I can offer as a deposit. Am I near the top?
If you are lucky enough to live, or are visiting, the land of the free and brave (I know that’s not exactly how it goes) then you are in for a treat. The bike will be on display at the Harely-Davidson museum in Milwaukee this weekend and an invitational bike show. Tony is also planning on taking it to the Barber Vintage festival in Alabama this October. Then the plan is hold onto it and take to the Qual gathering in May next year and show it off there a bit. Sounds arduous, I’m sure I could swap my BSMC t-shirt for an Analog one for a weekend and come lend a hand. That OK Dutch?
Many of our readers point out when a bike looks like an unrideable show pony and there have been a fair few dubious designs of late that look scary standing still. This diminutive Indian will not attract such comment, it looks as if riding the IOM mountain course was high on the design agenda, Tony reckons; “It rides great. Still working out a few bugs but nothing major. For a 500cc 65 year old engine and design it’s not a bad little machine. I think Indian was on to something but didn’t spend enough time in the development stages to make it last. It’s light and nibble as well. I’d guess 380lbs and maybe 38 hp. This is merely a guess but shouldn’t be too far off”.
I think that is my favourite part of the whole bike as it sums up the desire to improve performance to the nth degree. Cooling fins on the velocity stack ensuring the fuel/air mix is as dense as possible, probably necessary in the land of the warm and the dry but not so much on the Isle of Man last week.
Not something we usually do but below is the Anolog MC Continetal Scout press release, we wanted to use the space above for some of the builder’s own words. There are more pictures over on BikeExif as Analog were kind enough to supply different photos to each blog/website featuring the bike.
Once you’re done with all of that, check out the other Analog bikes that have been through The Shed, you’ll see the common theme, attention to detail and the quest for perfection.
Photography courtesy of Whiplash Racing Media