Jay Leno's 1931 Indian Scout 101 Proves Just How Far Bikes Have Come

On the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, Jay takes us for a ride on his 1931 Indian Scout 101. And he proves that motorcycles have gotten worlds easier to ride.


In case you’ve been living under a rock, Jay Leno’s Garage is a YouTube show where America’s favorite talking chin shows off his car and bike collection and gets access to fun things with motors. It’s also known as the best retirement plan ever.

This week, a very under the weather-looking Leno slows things down a bit with his 1931 Indian Scout 101. And slow them down he does, with a bike that he’s written a reminder on the speedo not to pass 40 mph with.

The episode itself is a little lackluster, but the biggest thing I took away from it is just how involved riding a bike was in the 1930s and ‘40s. At one point Leno even calls out that, while riding, he has to manipulate the throttle, spark advance, hand shift, foot clutch, and rear brake.


I wouldn’t want to go much faster on a bike if I had to work so hard to keep it running either, but it really does highlight just how fast technology is advancing. Especially when you consider technologies like cornering traction control, dual clutch transmissions, and active suspension systems.

Now if only we could get Jay a helmet that doesn’t look so at home on such an ancient machine.

Sean MacDonald is the editor of Lanesplitter.

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Jay seems to sound a bit tired. I’m a bit worried about the old fella.

Not worried at all about that Citroen SM in the background shots of the garage, though!