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Kyle’s Custom Indian Scout

Kyle’s Custom Indian Scout

When inspiration strikes, a custom Indian motorcycle is born

The inspirational cues that shaped this 2016 custom Indian Scout ABS came from just about everywhere imaginable—even beyond the motorcycling realm… and on multiple occasions.

It’s as though Kyle Kompas was walking through some sort of glorious eclectic supermarket of everything but food, taking everything that inspired him off the shelves and into his shopping cart for building. Or, as Kyle Kompas more aptly described it, “I pulled inspiration for this custom Indian from just about everything I put my eyes on.”

Kyle's Custom Indian Scout

Kyle was tugging from Roland Sands (he’s a “huge fan”), El Solitario (which he considers “a huge influence” and where that bold, almost provocative look undoubtedly comes from), the gold glean on vehicles such as the Low Rider S and Subaru STIs (hence the goldleafing), the steampunk style that gives his bike a “more industrial look,” as well as Rob Schopf and crew at Indian Motorcycle of Metro Milwaukee and 2 Boss Performance. For that, Kyle went straight to the source where they helped with servicing and tuning. “Eric is a wizard on the Dyno Jet tuners,” Kyle comments.

Kyle even found inspiration from Formula 1 racing, but, ironically, not from what is arguably one of Indian’s most iconic and defining features. “The big skirted fenders just aren’t my thing, so I ditched it,” he says.

Yes, inspiration came from just about everywhere. The bike was also built everywhere. “I’ve been building it in a few rented shops shared by like-minded friends,” he says. “Unfortunately, the shop rent situation in Milwaukee has been very bleak recently, so we ended up bouncing around between locations.”

Despite this minor setback and the relatively small size of these shops (about as large as a one-car garage), these spaces provide comradery. “There are always good community-style vibes with a lot of influence and motivation between guys in the shop,” Kyle says. “Being able to bounce ideas off of each other and share certain skillsets makes for a very positive environment.”

Kyle needed to do a good deal of bouncing because before this build, he had only really done “appearance type of things” on bikes and “nothing of this magnitude.” That said, Kyle was quick to say that he’s “not afraid to take a Sawzall and grinder to a brand-new bike.”

But no bouncing was to be had in Kyle’s basement where he applied the goldleafing. In fact, it was the first thing he did within the first 24 hours of purchasing the Scout. “This was the first time doing any sort of gilding, so figuring out the right adhesives and process made it difficult and messy,” he explains. “I am still picking gold particles out of my toolbox.”

Besides forever holding the remnants of his goldleafing endeavors, the toolbox is filled with an extensive supply of tools that Kyle inherited from his late father, which he’s been adding to throughout the years. Unfortunately, his father didn’t have any machinery to hand down, though Kyle did have occasional access to a mill and lathe at the automotive machine shop he manages in the suburbs of Milwaukee.

Kyle's Custom Indian Scout

When Kyle got to use his toolbox for actual wrenching (and out of his basement), there weren’t that many things to actually wrench onto his bike that had been premade specifically for Scouts. But an incredible offer did end up coming his way in the fall of 2017. Rodney from Revolution Performance reached out, looking for an Indian to prototype his big bore. With an opportunity like that, do we even need to say that Kyle “gladly offered it up?” Well, he did. But, as one of the first prototypes of its kind, the project required a steep learning curve, not just for Kyle but even Rodney who had to use a different head gasket after some issues sprang up. “There was a lot of tweaking and minor changes since it was all new territory, but, other than that, it’s such a great platform to work off of,” Kyle tells us.

Unfortunately, no one offered Kyle the chance to prototype Scout-specific mid-controls, and there weren’t any such aftermarket parts, so Kyle only had one option since stock “doesn’t lend itself to performance.” He fabbed his own out of a steel plate and some round stock. “It’s great seeing companies developing products for Indian in general, but it’s still limited especially in the performance category,” he comments.

It was also quite limited in the tank-lifting segment, so much so that Kyle made studs for the stock tank’s rubber bumpers to fit on, which, in turn, lifted the tank higher than stock. Then he threaded the studs into the frame.

Kyle almost resorted to a similar method when repositioning his stock bars. “Rox didn’t make risers for Indian Scouts, but made theirs work by piecing together other kits and spacers,” Kyle says. This amalgamation successfully lifted the bars towards the more aggressive stance he wanted.

As for the rear fender, Kyle originally didn’t even bother looking to see if there was an aftermarket alternative. The stock option just needed some touching up—at first. “It’s a funny story,” Kyle begins. “When I removed it and popped the Roland Sands seat back on, the lines were perfect, and I couldn’t get myself to put the fender and mounting brackets back on.”

That’s when inspiration struck (again) and landed Kyle in four-wheel territory or, more directly, the centered taillight on Formula 1 cars. Unlike the situation with Rox, Kyle worked with Connor and Chubz from Structure Fab to fabricate the chromoly tailsection. “They helped me bend the tube and make the brackets. We worked together on it,” he says.

Kyle's Custom Indian Scout

And as inspiration continues to push the bike’s boundaries (Kyle is currently working on a handlebar setup and 19″ wheel with a chain drive conversion), so too does it push the physical boundaries of his stable. For now, it holds a 2000 Honda XR650r, 2003 Buell Firebolt, his girlfriend Kendall’s showroom-clean 1974 Kawi KZ 400, and “a weird chopper thing that’s hard to call anything yet.” But Kyle is getting inspired to delve into vintage race bikes and adventure-touring. “I really fell in love with the Triumph Tiger,” he declares.

We just hope Kyle doesn’t get inspired to build a Formula 1 car. That’s approximately a $12.2 million project. Motorcycles are cooler anyways. RC

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