INDIAN FTR 1200
From the FTR750 racebikes to the FTR1200 Custom, we have been watching and waiting patiently for the day we could ride an American-made tracker on the street. Indian Motorcycle unveiled its FTR 1200 production bike for the world to see, and while it is a dramatic change from the Custom that they’ve been using to tease this model, we were not disappointed. The FTR 1200 will come in two models, starting at $12,999 for the base model and $14,999 for the FTR 1200 S.
Fans of the FTR1200 Custom will instantly notice some pretty major changes to the production model, but that’s to be expected when moving from a custom bike with race genetics to something made for consumers and street use—and that’s not even counting the price drop from somewhere around $50,000 to $15,000. The most noticeable external change on the new FTR 1200 comes in the exhaust pipe, which loses the Custom’s iconic high and tight 2-into-2 flat-track pipes for a more traditional street-style exhaust with a little kick-up at the rear. The muffler is quite large and does a little too good of a job at muffling the exhaust note of the bike, but I imagine that’s one of the first things customers will change with aftermarket items. But while a lot of the top-level accents of the FTR1200 Custom have been cut down, the inspiration remains, and that’s carried through every aspect of this new bike.
The bike’s 3.4-gallon gas tank lies underneath the rider’s seat, making up the bulk of the tailsection and leaving an airbox where the traditional gas tank would sit. This helps evenly distribute the weight and allows more airflow into the engine, but will also undoubtedly make customization much more difficult. This bulky piece is probably what will catch the most flak from a design perspective because it looks a little sportbike-y and shows a lot of plastic. The design is obviously driven by function, and we imagine it will function very well.
The engine is very similar to the Scout’s motor, but some key components have been upgraded to make the FTR more aggressive. Compared to the Scout’s 1,133cc engine that puts out a claimed 100 hp, the FTR’S 1,203cc engine puts out a claimed 120 hp and 80 foot-pounds of torque. The difference comes from the 12.5-to-1 compression ratio, high-flow cylinder heads, and dual throttle bodies optimizing airflow and increasing power output. A low-inertia crankshaft now allows quicker revving for faster acceleration and better throttle response. One of the most important changes to the ride comes in the drivetrain, which integrates a new slipper clutch. This is designed to reduce rear wheel slip on deceleration and offers a lighter lever pull. And, of course, this new 1200 wouldn’t have true FTR genetics without a chain drive.
The trellis frame of the FTR 1200 is made of tubular steel, with an aluminum subframe. Aluminum components include the single-sided shock mount, rear engine mount, and midframe and front head mounts. The swingarm and rear suspension design are similar to that of the FTR750 racebike in their geometry, utilizing tubular steel construction and a side-mounted monoshock. Providing 5.9 inches of travel, the swingarm pivots on the engine’s crankcase, saving weight and keeping things compact. The FTR 1200’s rear shock had preload and rebound adjustment, while the FTR 1200 S has a piggyback shock with preload, compression, and rebound adjustment.
The front suspension will vary from model to model as well, giving you a black nonadjustable 43 mm inverted fork on the base model and a fully adjustable gold fork on the S model. Both bikes will have 5.9 inches of travel up front and a rake of 26.3 degrees, as well as a trail of 5.1 inches. Stopping the bike up front are 320 mm discs mounted straight to the wheels and radially mounted Brembo four-piston calipers. In the rear, a single Brembo two-piston grips a 260 mm floating disc, and ABS comes standard on both models.
One of the coolest things people will notice immediately on the new 1200 is the new display screen. This is only available on the S model, and will undoubtedly be a reason many people choose the higher-end option. A 4.3-inch Ride Command LCD touchscreen is fully customizable to display your gauges, navigation, Bluetooth music, and more. A fast-charge USB port allows riders to keep their phones paired and charged up as well. The screen is bright and sharp, instantly impressive, and will make anybody on the base model with their normal gauge very jealous.
I have toured the research-anddevelopment facility during the process of this bike’s development and seen what has gone into it. Indian has beat the absolute hell out of these in testing and made sure they’re equipped to come out on the other side unscathed. If the specs and pictures here didn’t have me sold on this new model, watching them wheelie drop-test the thing a hundred times and evaluate the stresses on the frame would. Or watching them run the engine at redline until it’s glowing and evaluate the stresses there. This thing is going to be amazing, and I can’t wait to ride it.
“IF THE SPECS AND PICTURES HERE DIDN’T HAVE ME SOLD ON THIS NEW MODEL, WATCHING THEM WHEELIE DROP-TEST THE THING A HUNDRED TIMES AND EVALUATE THE STRESSES ON THE FRAME WOULD.”