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
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…
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.