RSD » Indian Scout Bobber
Even with an entire team of devoted staff working diligently to make sure all the parts of the RSD machine is continually moving forward, there’s never enough hours in a day. Even if your deadline is a year away, you still somehow end up burning it at the 11th hour. Right? And begins the story of the Munster Winning Champion of street and vert, Steve Caballero and his custom Indian Motorcycle Scout Bobber.
To make a very long story short, let’s just say that for Steve, an artist having a passion for things with heritage and an appreciation for craftsmanship, collaborating with Roland and his team would prove to be equally as entertaining as a board slide on a 44 step handrail.
The only problem? The Brooklyn Invitational was in four weeks, and RSD’s build was slated to be one of three custom Indian Scouts debuted at the BI. The other two builders? None other than Keino Sasaki, The Shows Founder, a master of sheet metal with heavy Eastern Zero chopper influence behind his builds and Satya Kraus who pretty much single-handedly perfected the inverted fork swap on Harleys and is a CNC machine slayer.
Like several of the Scouts that have undergone the wrench and grinder at RSD this past year, Steves was built a bit more like a Street Tracker, something he could ride daily with comfort, but take to a Hooligan race and turn some laps if he wanted.
“I’m a sucker for 19″ flat track wheels, and the stock wheels are not great looking, so 19″ spokes is a huge improvement. It was the first thing we did with the bike, and it set the stage for the rest of the build. We already know how this helps the Scout aesthetically from our flat track bikes, but this bike was quite a bit lower, and it looks nice.” – Roland
To provide a bit more rider comfort for Steve, one of the key modifications fabrication-wise was the narrowing of the tank. “Through our race program, we’ve been forced to improve the bikes in the Super Hooligan series extracting power, maneuverability, and stability from everywhere while also trying to promote maximum rider balance. Which is hard, on a 600+lb street bike you’re muscling around a 1/8 mile track with a bunch of lunatics.” – Roland
One of the things continually being reported back by the racers was that the tank was too wide at the seat section and wasn’t allowing them to command the bike as best as possible. Lead fabricator Aaron Boss created templates for new sides of the tank reducing the entire width by several inches. Which interestingly enough, also helped it aesthetically.
Fast-forward to the two-week countdown for the Invitational. There sat a stripped Scout looking like there was absolutely no way it had any chance of getting done. But then something happened. Like virtually all the projects RSD undertakes, the team went the distance, and with everyone’s support, the bike was finished on time with the only major frustration and time-suck being the paint.
“We had it painted by Jesse Davis, pinstriped and cleared which took a few different people, so that was a pain in the ass, but when you have a solid team and Sonny boy ready to stripe, you make it happen. He killed the Indian head.” – Roland
Nonexistent deadline looming, the team had one final day to assemble the bike, test-ride it, safety inspect it and load it onto a truck bound for Brooklyn after picking up the body work. Luckily, the Scout has become a regular lift occupier here at RSD, and the team knows how to wrangle them pretty quickly.
“We know this bike well. We’ve raced 5 Scouts for a year and a half, so it was a pretty easy call to know what to do and what works. There weren’t too many surprises. And I think the new Bobber made it easy. It’s a clean bike, not to much extra shit bolted on to it, so we didn’t have to clean up too much. We just further bobbed it, removed weight, narrowed it up and gave it an aggressive stance. The color was all Cab, the battleship grey was a nice call with the yellow striping.” – Roland
Q&A with Steve
What’s got you so hooked on two wheels?
I’ve been riding two wheels ever since I learned how to ride a bike at 5 years old, got my first motorcycle at age 16 in high school back in 1982 which was a HONDA MB5 and been into motorcycles ever since then.
We know you’re really into older bikes, why a modern Indian?
Everyone needs a modern bike for those long rides you want to go on without worrying about breaking down. I was stoked to meet Roland at the shop and see we had some things in common. Particularly wanting to build a cool Indian inspired by our race bikes.
What led you down that road?
I’ve followed Roland’s career and builds and knew he had the experience with the Scout Bobber, so it was a no-brainer to collaborate with him and the team there at Roland Sands Designs.
Moto Cross, Flat Track, these are a young man’s sports, but you seem to huck yourself right into the middle of mix. Have you been a racer your whole life, or is this something your just getting into?
I’ve always had a competitive spirit within me, so racing goes hand in hand with my personality and wanted to be the best at what I do, I’ve always dug challenges. I’ve raced MX since 2002 at celebrity SX and MX races to racing the Over-the-Hill gang norcal chapter. I just got introduced to flat track racing last summer in Biarritz, France for the Wheels and Waves event and got hooked. But after racing it a few times, its led me to think I need to build a proper vintage flat tracker someday that’s built for racing.
How does riding relate to skating?
How it relates is it’s competitive, and it’s dangerous and challenging; plus it’s a mental mind game as well. I always say everything is 90% mental attitude, 10% skill level. Its passion, perseverance, dedication and handwork, success can be made with everything; even some podium finishes and top placings.
Do you think the moto community has parallels to the skate community or do you look at it all as one thing now as a sub-culture to a sub-culture that includes surf, skate, moto, art?
Its all family and it all relates to one another. I believe there is a mutual respect for one another, each is awesome, creative and gnarly in its own right. each takes a person who is willing to step out of their comfort zone to excel in something most people want to be spectator for just just admire from the sidelines, I’m not one of those dudes, i wanna be where the action is because it just looks so darn fun.
Is riding more of a streets skate mentality or a half pipe?
It’s more like street skating, but if we are speaking about flat track racing (going round and round), that’s more like halfpipes ( going back and forth).
What’s your next moto adventure?
I’m working with a cool shop in Texas to build a legit race only GP track bike i wanna race at Chuckwalla or Willow Springs some day. It’s a 1969 vintage Honda 175 sloper cafe race bike built by David Morales by Denton Moto inspired by vintage racing and my influence on what i’d like a race bike to look like
A lot of your recent art has been inspired by two wheels, do you see that continuing?
Indeed, my art always revolves around what I’m into at that time and what my life has or had been influenced by in the past. I love dipping into all areas of life that looks challenging and intriguing to me from a kid then to a kid now. Superheros come in all shapes and sizes. Evel Knievel is the king.
Where would you like to see your art work go?
I’d like my art to progress and get better and better, so the more I do, the more opportunity will arise to showcase it somewhere really cool. So far the coolest collabs my art has shown up on is Hotwheels toy packaging to now a new gear set and helmet I designed for SHIFT MX racing slated for next years 2018 release.
From an outside perspective, you’ve done so much cool stuff, are there things you want to accomplish that you have not and what are they?
I want to get better at riding dirtbikes, learn better skills at flat track racing, continue to build some cool bikes and also finish a Hot Rod project I started eight years ago on my own. Yes, i love vintage and historic race cars too.
Any countries left to travel?
I want to go to Africa, Indonesia or Dubai someday.
Any plans to race the Scout or trips planned?
Don’t wanna race the Scout build we did, bikes way too pretty to crash or bang up, this bike will be my daily rider for long distance rides, but I may drag race it though at the next Wheels and Waves event in Cayucos next year. I’m headed back to Japan for the Yokohama Mooneyes show and to Denton, Texas this December.
What’s your next custom bike concept?
A proper vintage flat track racer made with a 1972 Norton 750 commando motor in a track master frame; that’s gonna be a sweet build!