Smaller wheels and posher electronics for 2021 Indian FTR1200 range

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Indian have heavily revised their FTR1200 with changes designed to appeal to corner-carving Europeans. The range sticks with four models (FTR1200, FTR1200S, FTR1200R Carbon and FTR1200 Rally) but each has been tweaked.

The biggest change across the range is a switch to 17in wheels for the FTR1200, S and R, which widens the tyre options considerably. The previous model had a 19in front with an 18in rear, which reduced tyre choices to the OEM Dunlops plus select adventure bike rubber.

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With the exception of the Rally, the FTR now comes with Metzeler Sportec Street rubber. Reducing the wheel size has had other knock-on effects too: the head angle is now steeper and the trail reduced, which should make handling snappier, while the seat height has dropped by 36mm, making it easier to jump on for shorter riders.

The latest FTR gets a TFT dash

To match the new front wheel and handling characteristics, the bars have also been narrowed by 40mm and suspension travel reduced by 30mm. So that’s two of MCN’s gripes fixed, what else have Indian looked at?

Well for a start the engine electronics have had a tweak. The throttle has been remapped for a smoother response, the rear cylinder deactivates while idling when it’s hot and there’s a fresh map to improve cold start up. Three more big ticks in the improvement box. The rest of the updates are model specific, so starting from the bottom the standard FTR1200 gets fully adjustable suspension instead of the old non-adjustable units on the current model as well as some funky new paint schemes.

The FTR1200S now comes with the titanium Akrapovic pipe as standard (previously only standard on the more expensive Race Replica) as well as new colours including the much desired 'red frame'.

At the top of the tree now sits the FTR1200R Carbon, which comes with fully adjustable Öhlins forks and shock, as well as flashy carbon panels, a black Akrapovic pipe and a fancy seat cover. In a nice move, the Öhlins suspension will be available separately, say if you prefer the look of the S model.

And how much when they arrive in April? The FTR1200 will be £12,299, the Rally £12,999, the S £13,699 and the R £15,599.

MCN will bring you more on this bike, including an expert review, as it becomes available. In the meantime, get everything we know on the outgoing FTR below.

131mph wheelie on Indian FTR1200S

First published on 21 August, 2019 by Jordan Gibbons

Pulling a wheelie on an Indian FTR1200

American Rider, Cecil 'Bubba' Myers set several production speed records at the World Wheelie Championships riding an Indian FTR1200S across the weekend of August 17-18, 2019.

He first managed to record a one-mile wheelie at 131.137mph, before setting flying start quarter mile and standing start mile records in the production V-twin up to 1350cc category.

The bike, a completely standard Indian FTR1200S model with the number plate hanger removed, hit 145.543mph in the flying quarter and 145.613mph in the standing mile.

"This has been a really positive introduction to the FTR," said Bubba, who managed to fit the runs around other commitments on a turbo-charged machine.

"The bike was pretty much standard compared to everything else out there this weekend, so to set the speeds I did shows how much potential there is. The balance of the bike is really good, but I was most impressed by the engine; Its torque is really impressive and within just a couple of passes I was super comfortable with it.

"We’re pleased to begin the FTR’s story with some records in the bag too. A big thanks to Indian Motorcycle Company for the support, I hope we’re back next year."

Indian FTR 1200 to get artist-designed tank covers for flat-track fashionistas

First published on 14 June, 2019 by Jordan Gibbons

Indian Motorcycles will be revealing a set of limited-edition tank covers designed by five famous artists for their FTR 1200 at the 2019 Waves and Wheels festival in Biarritz, France, this weekend.

We've yet to see the tank covers in question, but examples of the artists' work are below, to give you an idea of the themes...

The five artists are:

  • Steve Caballero - famous in skateboarding circles for his hotrod culture-inspired artwork

Steve Caballero is famous in skateboarding circles

  • D*Face - made his name designing stickers that he put all over London. Now an established 'name' in art

Indian design by D*Face

  • Adam Turman - renowned for heavy metal-inspired art with an '80s comic theme

Adam Turman Indian FTR design

  • ThankYouX - started in stencils, now one of the best-known street artists

ThankYouX is one of the best-known street artists

  • Risk - one of the first freight train graffiti artists, pioneered billboard and overpass art

Risk was one of the first freight train graffiti artists

What's more, Indian are running a competition to win an FTR 1200. It's open to all who purchase a five-day ticket in advance.

More from MCN

Intermot: flat-track Indian FTR 1200 revealed!

First published on 1 October, 2018 by Dan Sutherland

The first Indian FTR1200 was launched for 2019

Meet the new Indian FTR 1200 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."

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.

Positive feedback

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.

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in News…

Jordan Gibbons

By Jordan Gibbons

News Editor, owns some old bikes. Should know better.