STREET TRACKER

THE FAC­TORY STREET TRACKER IS WELL WITHIN GRASP

Hot Bike - - Contents - WORDS: JORDAN MASTAGNI PHOTOS: JEFF ALLEN

In­dian’s FTR1200 Is Com­ing to a Dealer Near You .............................................

In­dian shocked the world by build­ing the raceonly Scout FTR750 in 2017. But it’s what In­dian ac­com­plished with the dirt tracker its first sea­son, win­ning the cham­pi­onship and dom­i­nat­ing the podium in the Amer­i­can Flat Track na­tional se­ries, that was pretty sub­stan­tial. But the FTR1200 Cus­tom—an Ftr750in­spired street tracker with 1133cc Scout cruiser V-twin—came as an even big­ger sur­prise when it de­buted at Mi­lan in Novem­ber 2017. This fac­tory-produced “cus­tom”—meld­ing a one­off chrome-moly steel frame, a stan­dard Scout V-twin and se­ri­ously rad com­po­nents with lights and a li­cense plate—moved the mo­tor­cy­cle mar­ket so much that In­dian has de­cided to build a pro­duc­tion street tracker based on this con­cept for 2019.

De­tails are still scarce on what the fi­nal pro­duc­tion FTR 1200, an­nounced at Wheels and Waves in Biar­ritz, France, on June 16, will look like, but In­dian did show it to a select few at the event, with one caveat: No cam­eras al­lowed. One of those who saw the bike in Biar­ritz was Steve Ca­ballero.

“This new FTR1200 is a game changer and a well-de­signed­look­ing mo­tor­cy­cle. She’s def­i­nitely a looker, and I can’t wait for it to come out on the mar­ket,” Ca­ballero says.

We talked with Reid Wilson, se­nior di­rec­tor of In­dian Mo­tor­cy­cle, prior to the Wheels and Waves an­nounce­ment about the pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the FTR750 and FTR1200 Cus­tom.

“From a con­sumer stand­point, it’s been pretty clear that there’s just a high de­gree of im­pa­tience,” Wilson says. “Over time, the re­sponse went from ‘That is awe­some. I want to buy it!’ to ‘Just sell it to us!’ So the level of pa­tience has de­creased as time went on, which is a great thing to have, and we want to make sure we de­liver what peo­ple ex­pect, and we’re pretty sure we’re go­ing to.”

And In­dian will con­tinue to fine-tune this new ma­chine un­til it’s avail­able for sale in 2019, with a for­mal an­nounce­ment com­ing later this year. This could be a sign of some of the new In­dian mo­tor­cy­cles you’ll be see­ing in the fu­ture.

“This is just the first chap­ter in a story that’s yet to be writ­ten, and that’s what is so ex­cit­ing about work­ing with this brand be­cause there re­ally are no lim­its in terms of what we can do and where we can go,” Wilson ex­plains. “We’re all

Amer­i­cans, and we’re all mo­tor­cy­clists that have this am­bi­tion, and I’m just so stoked to be part of it.”

It’s easy to get ex­cited about a pro­duc­tion ver­sion of a con­cept bike that has been so well re­ceived. How­ever, it’s a slip­pery slope on whether or not a pro­duc­tion ver­sion can re­tain a sim­i­lar aes­thetic. De­liv­er­ing the same emo­tional re­sponse from con­cept to pro­duc­tion is tricky. So how does In­dian re­tain the wow fac­tor from the FTR1200 Cus­tom and trans­form that styling into a pro­duc­tion model?

“It’s about high­lights,” says Rich Christoph, the se­nior de­signer also re­spon­si­ble for the FTR750 and Scout FTR1200 Cus­tom. “It’s about light and shadow, the pro­file of the mo­tor­cy­cle and the bone lines—one, two, three dif­fer­ent key lines that will travel through a mo­tor­cy­cle from tip to tail—and if one of those lines is off, your re­la­tion­ship to an­other line dras­ti­cally changes the over­all im­age of the mo­tor­cy­cle. It’s one thing to make some­body fall in love with a mo­tor­cy­cle that

“WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE DE­LIVER WHAT PEO­PLE EX­PECT, AND WE’RE PRETTY SURE WE’RE GO­ING TO.”

looks like a race­bike and it’s just built to be re­ally cool. So you’re try­ing to hit that sweet spot and that bal­ance of sexy min­i­mal race­bike, but you ob­vi­ously have to have all the cri­te­ria to not only fall in love with it, but then marry it.”

The Scout FTR1200 Cus­tom uti­lized prod­ucts from af­ter­mar­ket part­ners S&S Cy­cle, Roland Sands De­sign, Oh­lins, and more. We were cu­ri­ous if the pro­duc­tion model would some­how in­cor­po­rate said part­ners. “We’ll have a few part­ners that are rel­e­vant to our tar­get rider for this bike, which we’ve never done be­fore, and none of the part­ners will be a sur­prise,” Wilson says.

While we didn’t get spe­cific de­tails about the mo­tor­cy­cle’s com­po­nents, we were told the bike would have a new en­gine. Whether that is a com­pletely new plat­form or an in­ter­nal over­haul, so to speak, we’ll have to wait and see.

From our con­ver­sa­tion with In­dian ex­ec­u­tives, one thing was clear: an un­de­ni­able pas­sion for this mo­tor­cy­cle. “We’re su­per proud of the bike. We be­lieve in it, and if we could launch it to­day, we’d launch it to­day, but we’re still work­ing on it,” Wilson says.

We’re look­ing for­ward to see­ing the new FTR 1200 soon. And while we don’t have photos of the new mo­tor­cy­cle to re­port yet, we do have this awe­some photo gallery from the few days we spent “test­ing” the Scout FTR1200 Cus­tom on a dry lake bed in Cal­i­for­nia. En­joy! HB

Some af­ter­mar­ket com­po­nents were used on the FTR1200 Cus­tom, such as a high swept ex­haust from S&S Cy­cle (top) and an Öh­lins sus­pen­sion shock (above). Will the pro­duc­tion FTR 1200 take a sim­i­larly styled ap­proach by us­ing some af­ter­mar­ket prod­ucts?

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