Customiser lightens Indian FTR with layers of sleek carbon fibre

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Indian have revealed a second machine from customiser Brice Hennebert called the FTR Black Swan, this time taking cues from 1990s sportsbikes.

Hennebert got the idea while racing at the Wheels & Waves festival, saying: “I had the vision to build a sportsbike for road use, really sporty, built like a GP bike. It’s deeply inspired by 90s sportsbikes, all made from carbon fibre.”

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After completing initial sketches, the first part of the project was to tackle the exhaust. For this Hennebert turned to Akrapovic, who custom designed a 2-into-1 system with an underslung silencer to keep a sleek profile.

The next step was to build a wire mesh around the bike, onto which he could start adding clay to form the bodywork.

The custom FTR gets closing eyelids

Once he was happy with the shape, it was 3D scanned and built as a virtual model and refined. From there the CAD model was 3D printed and passed over to 13.8 Composites so they could build the fairing in carbon.

“I gave Robert [at 13.8 Composites] the freedom to choose the carbon weave that would look the best,” adds Hennebert. “He came back with this hell of a piece. Creating the bodywork was a major part of the build, everything but practical, but I was determined to have a one-piece body.”

The next component was the headlight, which is hidden behind a pair of computer-controlled ‘eyelids’.

The Indian FTR Black Swan is inspired by 1990s sportsbikes

Looking to strip weight even further, Hennebert fabricated a new swingarm from 7020 aluminium but retained the original shock mount for a custom made Öhlins piggyback shock. The final piece of the puzzle was a pair of Rotobox carbon wheels shod with Dunlop GP tyres.

The previous build was called the FTR AMA and was inspired by 1980s racers.

Indian FTR Black Swan custom explored:

  • Lightweight stuff The full carbon fibre bodywork is one piece and weighs just 1.8kg
  • Beat the heat An aluminium bellypan was used for its heat resistance
  • Top stoppers Prototype Beringer brakes weigh just 1kg for the full system
  • Dash it all Seat and dash covered with Alcantara taking inspiration from supercars
  • Eye see you Headlight ‘eyelids’ open and close at the touch of a button