In­dian has signed the top three rid­ers in Amer­i­can dirt track rac­ing and built an all-new engine in a determined bid to up­set the or­der of things. Be afraid, Har­ley. Be very afraid

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Built -

In­dian re­turns to AMA Pro Flat Track rac­ing this year with a new bike and a star-stud­ded team – its first fac­tory rac­ing ef­fort since 1953.

And they aim to win, hav­ing lined up a for­mi­da­ble ‘Wreckin’ Crew’ con­sist­ing of Jared Mees, 30 (three-time AMA dirt track cham­pion, 2012, 2014, 2015), Brad Baker, 23 (2013 cham­pion) and Bryan Smith, 33 (2016 cham­pion). It’s like Nor­ton re­turn­ing to Mo­togp with Mar­quez, Rossi and Lorenzo.

“In­dian has its DNA in rac­ing,” says Gary Gray, In­dian’s Prod­uct Di­rec­tor. “We will con­tinue that push to­wards ex­cel­lence on the street and in com­pe­ti­tion with the in­tro­duc­tion of the In­dian Scout FTR750 and have en­gaged some of the best rid­ers to ex­hibit our com­mit­ment. We are en­ter­ing the se­ries to do one thing – win.”

The new In­dian Scout FTR750 is pow­ered by an all-new, purpose-built, race-only 750cc V-twin. The chas­sis and over­all de­sign comes from the team at the In­dian’s Me­d­ina, Min­nesota head­quar­ters with in­put from ex­pe­ri­enced race team per­son­nel.

In­dian’s de­but of the Scout FTR750, rid­den by AMA flat track leg­end Joe Kopp last Septem­ber at the Santa Rosa Mile in Cal­i­for­nia was lit­tle short of amaz­ing, con­sid­er­ing it was a new, un­tried mo­tor­cy­cle and Kopp is no longer a reg­u­lar racer.

Strong heat races put him on the in­side front row for the fi­nal race and, after quickly lock­ing in his po­si­tion in the cham­pi­onship race, he at­tacked the Dash for Cash race and won.

In the fea­ture event Kopp took a holeshot and led the first lap. Over the course of the race the rough track con­di­tions slowed the vet­eran racer, yet he still earned a solid sev­enth place.

Kopp’s per­for­mance un­der­lined the po­ten­tial of the new FTR750 and prospect of the In­dian Wreckin’ Crew tak­ing on the es­tab­lish­ment prom­ises to be one of the ma­jor at­trac­tions of the 2017 mo­tor­cy­cle rac­ing sea­son. If Har­ley aren’t wor­ried, they should be…

Pho­tos courtesy of In­dian

Right: He needn’t have been – the Scout FTR750 was a bul­let off the line, won one race and showed huge po­ten­tial

Far left: Flat track leg­end Joe Kopp look­ing pen­sive be­fore the new bike’s first race.

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