Amer­i­can V-twin tra­di­tion­al­ist at­tempt to build le­git­i­mate per­for­mance street bike. In­dian’s Rich Christoph talks sex, mar­riage and the new FTR1200 Cus­tom

BIKE (UK) - - CONTENTS - with John West­lake ex-bike edi­tor, lives and breathes new bikes

In­dian build le­git­i­mate per­for­mance street bike, plus new Guzzi V7.

THE BEAUTY YOU’RE gazing upon is In­dian’s lat­est step to­wards a full pro­duc­tion ver­sion of their all-con­quer­ing FTR750 flat-track racer. Called uses the the 1133cc, FTR1200 100bhp Cus­tom, Scout it road bike en­gine and sits in an all-new frame. It’s the strong­est hint yet of what the road bike will look like – ie smok­ing hot – but is by no means the fin­ished deal. Tan­ta­lis­ingly, the road bike is al­ready com­plete, but In­dian won’t show it off un­til later this year. ‘The Cus­tom is a pure, emo­tional, sculp­tural, sex­ual in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the race bike,’ de­signer Rich Christoph tells Bike. ‘I was try­ing to sculpt the most beau­ti­ful woman I could. She’s the one you fall in love with and it’s wild - sex, par­ties, sleep­less nights. But you’re never go­ing to marry her. She’s not the mar­ry­ing type. ‘What we had to do [for the road bike] is cap­ture the spirit of the Cus­tom, but make it some­thing you want to marry. The Cus­tom has less than a gal­lon of gas and you’re sit­ting on car­bon. You

‘I was try­ing to sculpt the most beau­ti­ful woman. She’s the one you fall in love with’

couldn’t ride more than 35 miles. Peo­ple have fallen in love with it, but hardly any­one would buy the Cus­tom. ‘We haven’t lost the essence [with the pro­duc­tion bike], but there’s a cer­tain amount of re­al­ity you have to ap­ply. It’s still go­ing to hit all the emo­tional cues, and it’s still a cool mo­tor­cy­cle. And it’s ready.’ Sadly, we won’t see it un­til prob­a­bly Mi­lan in Novem­ber. In­dian’s range is cruiser-based, so a perky flat-track-styled bike is a big deal. ‘This is his­tory, not just for us but for Amer­i­can mo­tor­cy­cling,’ says Rich. ‘It’s the first time an Amer­i­can V-twin com­pany such as In­dian has had a le­git­i­mate at­tempt at a per­for­mance street bike. You can point at the [Har­ley] XR1200 but it’s based on the Sport­ster frame. I was at H-D when they did that and I was rid­ing a TL1000S and liked Du­catis – I knew the XR1200 was not the an­swer. ‘We’re go­ing to nail per­for­mance and the fun fac­tor.’ But didn’t Buells do that? ‘They never had the emo­tional fac­tor – they looked shit. No-one was go­ing to fall in love with how they looked.’ Harsh, but he has a point… And the price? ‘The price point is go­ing to be good. We want this bike to sell.’

New FTR1200 Cus­tom: clearly the re­sult of many sleep­less, sex ‚lled, nights

Hope­fully newFTR1200 will be ca­pa­ble of more than a gal­lon

This is the Cus­tom road bike, re­vealed in Novem­ber

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