Custom Indian FTR AMA channels the style of 1980s racers

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Indian have unveiled the first of two new custom bikes built by Brice Hennebert, the man behind their Appaloosa drag racer.

The first one seen here is the FTR AMA, while the Black Swan will be revealed shortly. Gathering influences from far and wide, Hennebert took a simple idea and ran with it.

“The brief was pretty open – something colourful and as sharp as a war tank,” says Hennebert. “The only restriction was that the paint be inspired by the Martini Racing livery.

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Front end view of the Indian FTR AMA custom

“After some research and brainstorming, I based the look around AMA SBK racers from the 1980s and rally cars from the same era. The main influences were the Lancia Delta HF mixed with Bol d’Or 750s and some muscle bike DNA.”

Starting work this time last year, Hennebert immediately decided he wanted to retain the standard riding position of the original FTR, so he saved the stock handlebars and pretty much chucked the rest.

After 3D scanning the frame and engine, he set to work rebuilding the bike. Some of the biggest changes to the chassis were the new swingarm and associated modifications.

Inspired by those endurance racers, it’s handmade from 7020 aluminium to be 40mm longer than the original, with a 3D printed chain slider.

Racer-style fuel filler cap

It also uses twin piggyback Öhlins shocks, again for the classic look, so the rear of the frame had to be modified to accept those. Completing the look up front is a pair of 42mm Öhlins shocks mounted in Bol d’Or 750cc yokes.

3D printing has been an essential technology for building the bike, with the front numberboard, seat pan and new air intakes all created that way.

The bike also has two fuel cells fabricated from aluminium – one under the tank cover and another hung under the seat.

Front wheel of the Indian FTR AMA

Equally eye-catching are the wheels, machined from aluminium by JoNich Wheels in Italy. Designed to look like the ‘turbo fan’ wheels from racing Lancias, they’re fatter than the originals and sport a set of Dunlop slicks. To maintain the clearance needed, brakes were specially built by Beringer.

The final piece of the puzzle was a handmade stainless steel exhaust, capped with S&S Cycle’s Grand National slip-ons.

“This build is aggressive, massive and a real pleasure to ride,” adds Hennebert. “I had a lot of fun testing this ride.”