IN­DIAN FTR 1200

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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.”

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