It’s finally here. Indian’s long awaited, much leaked and extremely pretty flat track homage, the FTR1200. While it doesn’t look exactly like the much loved concept bike, Indian has delivered what’s set to be the marque’s highest performing bike ever. It has also moved the re-launched brand into a whole new playing field. Ducati/Yamaha, you ready?
The ‘flat tracker for the street’ as Indian are calling it, has been inspired by the marque’s FT750 race bike, which has been setting hearts and ears on fire since late 2016. While the FTR1200 pays homage to the race bike, it’s been honed for a world market and the streets – not just turning left.
The FTR is Indian’s first true performance bike, and hints at this by its very un-cruiser like riding position, short wheelbase and compact engine. While the 60degree 1200cc V-twin is based on the unit from the Scout, it’s only loosely.
Indian say that the twin is 80 per cent new for the FTR and features new crankcases, smaller magnesium engine covers and a change to the gearbox location, which has allowed the FTR’s short wheelbase. The engine also sports a 6mm larger bore – taking displacement to a smidge over 1200cc – which when teamed up with more aggressive cams, bigger valves and higher compression ratio, gives you a 120hp/110Nm shot to the arm.
Indian haven’t just built a bike to perform in a straight line though, with the FTR sporting a tubular space frame that uses that peachy V-twin as a stressed member. The swing arm uses the crankcases as a pivot and is controlled by a single, fully adjustable Sachs shock. Up front, Sachs has also supplied 43mm inverted forks and Indian claim the whole shebang is designed for mild off-road use.
The wheels are 19 inch up front and 18 out back, wrapped in just for the FTR tyres by Dunlop. Indian did try off the shelf flat track tyres, but according to Cycle World they disintegrated as soon as the 1200cc’s 120hp was put to use. The ‘standard’ wheel size also means you won’t be locked in to custom tyre sizes down the track.
Like any new bike, the electronics package is stout, with three rider modes, lean sensitive traction, stability control and ABS. The FTR will come in two specs – ‘S’ and ‘Race Replica’. The Race Replica sports a digital touch-screen dash and red frame, while the S gets a more traditional round dial and black frame.
Sure, some dark corners of the Internet are yelling that the FTR1200 has strayed too far from the concept, but credit has to go to Indian for investing huge amounts of money into what’s essentially a completely new bike. Here’s a relatively new brand (remember they were re-launched in 2013) that’s just dropped a seriously hot bike in a sector they haven’t dabbled in before. It will not only bring new riders to the marque, but we can’t wait to see what the custom world has in store for Indian’s FTR1200.
Now Indian, when are you bringing it to Australia?
For more info, check out Indian’s website