Indian’s Black Hills Beast Is a Testament to the Motorcycle Brand’s Revival

  • Photo by Todd Williams
    Based on the 2015 Indian Scout bike, the custom Black Hills Beast debuted in August at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. Photo by Todd Williams
  • Photo by Todd Williams
    1920 solo saddle seat Photo by Todd Williams
  • Photo by Todd Williams
    Photo by Todd Williams
  • Photo by Todd Williams
    Photo by Todd Williams
  • Photo by Todd Williams
    Photo by Todd Williams
  • Photo by Todd Williams
    The rear tire came off of a Willys MB, a World War II–era Army Jeep Photo by Todd Williams
  • Photo by Todd Williams
  • Photo by Todd Williams
  • Photo by Todd Williams
  • Photo by Todd Williams
  • Photo by Todd Williams
  • Photo by Todd Williams

Originally published in the December issue of Robb Report Collection as “Scout’s Honor

It was a formidable challenge for any motorcycle expert: Build a custom hill-climb bike for the 75th anniversary of one of the world’s largest motorcycle rallies—and do it in five weeks.

That was the call Doug Siddens and Nick Jaquez got from executives at Indian Motorcycle ahead of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, a South Dakota gathering that dates to 1938. It would be a first for the longtime friends, who live in Austin, Texas, and run a network of motorcycle blogs and online forums. They immediately set to work, making sketches and calling vendors, and designing the bike around the frame of a new Indian Scout and some off-the-shelf accessories, including a 1920 solo saddle seat and a set of laced wheels. The rest would be custom made.
“We wanted something that was more consumable for every age range—a bike that you can really use, not just a trailer queen,” says Siddens.

In the end, nine companies helped to complete the motorcycle, which was christened the Black Hills Beast—named after a popular riding route through South Dakota’s Black Hills. The Beast features a beefed-up suspension, a swing arm stretched 10 inches longer than the stock part, and fat off-road tires (the rear tire coming off of a Willys MB, a World War II–era Army Jeep). After powder-coating and painting, the bike was completed in time for display at the Sturgis rally, where Siddens and Jaquez saw it complete for the first time. “Pretty awesome,” Siddens says.

Although the bike is a one-off, there are plans to produce versions of the Beast’s extended swing arm and the custom exhaust, known as the Jack pipe, as well as the bike’s chain conversion and Traxxion front fork springs. Siddens says the pair wants to do another custom build, “perhaps a city-bomber, like a downtown cruiser that’s all about making performance.”

In the meantime, the Black Hills Beast stands as a testament to what two motorcycle lovers can do with a little help and a lot of focus. 

From Around the Web...
Jaguar and Bentley are among the marques charging ahead on all-electric cars and concepts…
The Callaway Corvette Aerowagen Shooting Brake
The performance package gives the car 757 hp and a rear hatch…
The Rickman Revival Velocette
The three-day celebration of beautiful bikes will also feature a Wall of Death stunt show…
The Audi R8 LMS GT4
Based off the R8 Coupe, the car will be eligible to compete in motorsports’ GT4 category worldwide…
The Mercedes-AMG S63
The full-size flagship gets a redesigned interior, new engine, and improved autonomous technology...
The "Inspired by Monte Carlo" Mini Remastered by David Brown Automotive.
The customizable model is constructed by hand and pairs vintage styling with high-tech touches…
Bentley’s Racing Program Takes to the GT3 Track
The marque is on a roll after recently racing at the Pirelli World Challenge in Long Beach, Calif…
Zelectric's reimagined Porsche 911S Targa with an electric power train.
The electrified convertible can cover zero to 60 mph in 7 seconds as it bolts to 150 mph…
From racing coupes to concept SUVs, these are the cars that caught our eye…
The 2018 Lincoln Navigator SUV
new 450 hp engine and six drive modes help chart the SUV’s future course…