Indian have today unveiled the FTR1200 street tracker. Taking design and styling cues from their FTR750 flat-track racer, it delivers a claimed 120bhp from its 1203cc V-twin (and no, it’s not just a Scout engine). The FTR comes in two guises: a sporty and heavily spec’d S model, and a cheaper base model that slashes the list of performance parts and trinkets, but which gets the exact same engine, chassis, and arresting looks.
Ridden on stage by AMA racer Jared Mees amid tyre smoke and garage rock, the bike is set to be on sale as a 2019. Both versions will feature the same steel trellis frame and ally subframe but have differing levels of suspension quality and equipment. The standard bike is set to cost £11,899, the S model £12,999, and the race replica S model £13,499.
Yes, the FTR1200 Concept bike was more skeletal, more brutal, and more aggressive – but the production bike is something you could actually ride every day. The machine has a number of features derived from the racebike, including an under-seat fuel tank, which lowers the centre of gravity and also gives more space for the airbox. For that authentic flat-tracker look is also boasts a 19-inch cast front wheel and an 18-inch rear, each clad with Dunlop DT3-R road-legal flat-track inspired tyres developed exclusively for the FTR1200.
The engine is Indian’s first high-performance non-cruiser focused V-twin. With a bore and stroke of 102mm x 73.6mm, the engine makes peak power at 8250rpm but has been developed for a flat torque curve and smooth power delivery. The Indian also features a low-inertia crank and uses magnesium cases to keep weight low. Despite this, the bike weighs a slightly-hefty 222kg dry (221kg for the base model).
The chassis is a beautiful steel trellis, with the style extending all the way to the FTR race bike-aping trellis swingarm, which mounts the monoshock off to the righthand side of the bike. Mounted off the back of the swinger is a quick-release numberplate hanger that helps keep the tail unit clean.
The S gets the most gadgets, most of which are packed into an attractive 4.3in full TFT dash that Indian developed in-house. The simple intuitive system allows you to personalise the screen style, toggle between the three rider modes (Sport, Standard, Rain), traction control and anti-wheelie settings, and disable the ABS (on the S). It’s also Bluetooth ready, so you can connect and control your phone, music and other devices through the dash, which also features a USB port to keep your devices juiced. There’s LED lighting all round, with an attractively styled headlamp, and a cute tail light that incorporates an illuminated Indian logo.
Braking is courtesy of Brembo M4.32 radial calipers up front biting 320mm discs, and a P34 at the rear. Both are linked to the ABS, while the power-assist slipper clutch helps to the keep the rear end tidy when you’re hauling down through the gears.
The base model is distinguished by an analogue/LCD single clock unit, lower spec suspension, a single Thunder Black colour option, no headlamp nacelle, and the loss of the riding modes and switchable ABS.
"This is an extremely exciting platform for us, and after investing such a significant amount of time, expertise and energy in the design process, it’s an incredible feeling to finally show the world these motorcycles," said Rich Christoph, Indian Motorcycle Senior Designer who was also instrumental in the design of the FTR750.
"Our primary focus was to ensure these motorcycles carried the same lines and form language as the FTR750 and 1200 Custom. We knew that’s what riders around the world fell in love with. I couldn’t be more proud to turn the FTR750 into a flat-tracker for the street and help launch Indian into a new era."
Watch the live unveiling here:
Full bike revealed in patents
Indian had been teasing us with the FTR1200 for nearly a year until patent images emerged suggesting that the production bike hadn't steered too far from the race bike.
The first suggestion MCN had of a production bike came last November, when Indian unveiled the gorgeous FTR1200 Custom concept bike and amazingly little seems to have changed since then, after patent images emerged last month detailing the machine.
Just like the FTR750 race bike, the FTR1200 appeared to have a steel trellis frame, with the engine acting as a stressed member. The swingarm also looked to be steel trellis with a monoshock, although now side mounted rather than centrally mounted.
The motor appeared to also have had a makeover for its newly exposed position, while the rad had shrunk compared to the Scout, which seemed to have necessitated a low-slung oil cooler.
As cool as high pipes are, they're not that great around town so Indian made the right choice and repositioned them low down, a little Monster-esque. To solidify the flat tracker stance the front wheel appeared to be 19” with an 18” on the rear in the images and interestingly also appeared to have a chain drive, rather than belt like their other models.
The lights also looked to be very small, suggesting they would be LED throughout. It also looked to have a TFT dash, which seemed likely to support Bluetooth multimedia as well as allowing you to change bike settings.
MCN spoke to Indian CEO Steve Menneto before the Wheels and Waves festival in Biarritz, where the FTR1200 was confirmed earlier this year, who said: "When we unveiled the Indian FTR1200 Custom at EICMA, we said we’d listen to feedback from riders around the world. The response has been overwhelming. We’re proud and excited to announce that we will put the FTR1200 into production."
The FTR1200 Custom concept was a tribute to the Indian FTR750: a purpose-built race bike that, in the hands of the firm’s 'Wrecking Crew', has dominated the US flat-track season. Indian say the new bike will have some key differences.
"We wanted to make sure that the FTR1200 wasn’t merely a regurgitation of the Custom, but something uniquely ‘street’, albeit flat-track inspired," said Rich Christoph, Indian Senior Designer.
"We’re thrilled about the character this bike possesses, and its ability to take American V-twin motorcycles into new territory."
Indian aren’t the first US brand to target Europe with a V-twin flat- tracker. Harley-Davidson released the XR1200 in 2008 and the fancy XR1200X but sales never took off.
Indian will be hoping that the current appetite for flat-track and scramblers will prove a perfect storm for their FTR1200.
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