FOR A BRAND that only relaunched 5 years in the past, the Indian Motorcycle is making some formidable movements. The Scout FTR750 racebike has cleaned up in the flat track scene and Indian has now launched an identical flat tracker for the street: the hotly anticipated FTR 1200
When the FTR1200 Custom idea broke cowl 18 months ago, everybody with a pulse and a love for two wheels went all giddy. And even though the production-geared up FTR 1200 has been watered down by using sensible and regulatory issues, it’s each bit as attractive.
It’s as though Indians have taken the classic ‘win on Sunday, promote on Monday’ approach—but that’s only 1/2 the tale. The motorcycle industry is morphing, and Indian is looking to entice more youthful hipper riders; riders that need a slice of Americana, however, have no hobby in cruisers or baggers. (And yes, they’re obviously riding the wave of flat music racing‘s reputation, too.)
It’s additionally no mystery that the American cruiser market is suffering. But Indian has seen giant growth in Europe—so the FTR 1200 is a bid to attraction to a much wider target audience, and pitched without delay at European motorcycles.
Does it succeed? Does the FTR 1200 appearance half of as properly in actual lifestyles because it does in pictures? And does it go as precise as it seems? I headed to LA for an afternoon of Californian canyon carving to discover.
Even when parked up, there’s a lot to love about the FTR 1200. It’s closer to a full-on flat tracker than some other manufacturing motorcycle accessible. Indian very accurately parked it subsequent to their FTR750 racer at the launch, and the shared DNA is unmistakable.
The FTR is available in three flavors: The $13,499 base version (above), the S model at $15,499, and the S ‘Race Replica’ at $sixteen,999. The S is the benchmark and springs in shades (underneath right); the bottom version sacrifices a number of features and is derived in simple black, even as the Race Replica adds Akrapovič cans, race reproduction paint and a purple body (under left).
All three proportion the same chassis, and the identical liquid-cooled, 1,203 cc 60-diploma V-twin motor. Numbers are first-rate; 123 hp at eight,250 rpm, and a hundred and twenty Nm of torque at five,900 rpm. Power is treated through a slip assist seize, a six-speed transmission and chain pressure.
The S models also get a TFT touchscreen display, traction manipulates and three switchable driving modes: rain preferred and sport. And they’ve additional rider aids as balance and wheelie manage. The base model has an analog clock, no traction control, and no driving modes. Its fueling is equal to ‘standard’ mode at the S bikes.
All 3 models percentage the equal Sachs suspension; forty-three mm inverted forks and a mono-surprise, with a hundred and fifty mm of the tour back and front. Both ends are fully adjustable for preload, rebound, and compression at the S fashions, but on the base version, you only get preload and rebound adjustment at the lower back. Nothing upfront.
The ten-spoke alloy wheels are a great compromise between flat music fashion and everyday practicality: a 19” up the front, with an 18” out returned. (The 18” rear gives a much wider tire selection than a 19” would.) They’re wrapped in Dunlop DT3Rs—avenue-equipped variations of Dunlop’s popular DT3 dust tune tires, advanced in collaboration with Indian for the FTR.
Rounding out the amazing components spec are Brembo brakes, with twin 320 mm discs up the front. ABS is standard on all models, but at the S it utilizes a six-axis IMU and is switchable.
Everything’s packaged in a steel trellis body, with an aluminum subframe. And it’s one hella smooth package too. From the cable routing at the handlebars to a awesome lack of seen plugs and devices on both facet of the motor, Indian’s design crew went to top-notch lengths to maintain things as tidy as feasible.
It’s pretty a compact design too. The airbox sits properly on the pinnacle of the throttle bodies to improve airflow, with the thirteen-liter fuel tank dipping down beneath the seat. So the fake tank you see up pinnacle is simply simply a hard and fast of plastic covers, with a shape that mimics the FTR750’s tank perfectly.
The FTR 1200 has a top-class sense, proper down to the paint. The base model’s black is a directly-up gloss black, however, the S paint jobs have a deep flake that’s just beautiful when the solar hits it. And the Race Replica is a twin of the race bike, with a multi-colored flake inside the black paint that’s downright hypnotic.
The FTR 1200 does stray a bit from the look of the FTR1200 Custom prototype. But in step with the Indian product crew at the release, this turned into unavoidable. That idea had a one-gallon gasoline tank, no airbox, an uncomfortable seat, and an excessive exhaust that ran hot—making it impossible to homologate and sell.
Still, there are lots to love on the FTR 1200. The LED lights at both ends look remarkable, especially the taillight, which even has a subtle Indian script logo in it. I don’t even hate the chunky twin exhausts—although I will say that the Akrapovič choice appears miles better, and the catalytic convertor lurking beneath the bike is an eyesore.
But it’s simplest whilst you swing a leg over the FTR 1200 that you realize just how plenty thought went into its development. Indian has sincerely nailed the ergonomics. It starts off evolved with the beefy ProTaper handlebars: they have a flat track experience to them, but the measurements are more suited to avenue riding.
The footpegs are ever so barely lower back from mid and tilted a hint ahead. Combined with the seat peak and bar position, it makes for a rider triangle that hits the sweet spot among consolation and manages. Oh, and the seat is remarkably soft too—even for a full day of riding.
The cockpit place is a letdown even though. The TFT display on the S models is hit and leave out—it packs a whole lot of records into a clean-to-read package, however the display itself is a lot smaller than the bodily enclosure, and the pics aren’t especially super.
On the advantageous facet, the touchscreen works remarkable, and the unit has a variety of functionality—like the capability to interface with your cellphone and Bluetooth comms. But it’s additionally tricky to navigate.
There are three buttons at the switchgear, and three buttons at the show itself—some of which do the equal issue. Switching modes method hitting one button to flick the display to the subsequent display, then either the usage of the touchscreen or the joystick (which is on the opposite aspect of the bars) to select your model. (Oh, and you may switch traction manipulate and ABS off independently.)
To be honest, I ways opt for the analog clock at the fundamental FTR. Plus, the real handlebar switches are noticeably dinky too, and the grips appearance and sense reasonably-priced. Which is a downer when compared to the extent of end anywhere else on the FTR.
Can your appearance beyond those niggles when you’re out on the road? Absolutely. Indian took us on a route that leads out of Santa Monica alongside the Pacific Coast Highway, and into the twisty hills above Malibu for a few lively canyons using.
I spent a maximum of my time on the S model, and it becomes luggage of fun inside the canyons—as quickly as I was given used to a few things. I applaud Indian for being courageous enough to put avenue-prison flat music tires on the FTR, but it took me half of the day’s riding to get along side them.
I’m no longer certain if they simply suck when they’re cold, or if I’m simply not used to the way they behave, however, there’s little to no comments from the Dunlops. By lunchtime, I’d figured them out, and realized I ought to push them loads harder than I concept—and from a style perspective, they’re ideal.
The 19F/18R wheel blend isn’t always as sharp as a hard and fast of 17s would be, however that’s no longer necessarily a terrible thing. It simply makes for an extraordinary ride feature. Its compactness also belies how heavy it’s miles. At 222 kg dry the FTR 1200 is several kilos heavier than the BMW R nineT, that’s 208 dry and 220 complete fueled. It’s a lot heftier than it looks.
To put this into attitude with other roadsters with sporting pretensions, the Ducati Monster 1200 is an insignificant 185 kilos dry, and the Triumph Speed Twin is 196 kg.