Indian Motorcycle expanding lineup
with street version of flat-track racer
By Britt Johnsen and Peter Kaye
Polaris Industries Inc.’s Indian Motorcycle division will launch an all-new street bike next year, based on a custom racing model that’s found success on the flat-track circuit. Medina-based Polaris (NYSE: PII) announced its plans for the FTR 1200, which will debut in 2019 and it’s inspired by the company’s history in flat track racing. It will have a flat track-racer style with a trellis frame and a V-twin engine and we… CANNOT WAIT!
The smaller, lighter bike is different from the larger, heavier ones that consumers have come to expect from Indian Motorcycle and Harley-Davidson. Cnet’s Road Show reports that the FTR 1200 concept prototype is much lighter than the Indian’s Scout model, for example — though Indian officials pointed out in the release they didn’t want a “regurgitation” of the FTR 1200 concept. A lighter weight would put the bike in a class closer to the scrambler-type bikes made by Ducati and Triumph, though the FTR concept had a bigger engine than either of those. Lighter, less-expensive motorcycles have grown more popular as the industry seeks to woo more first-time riders to the road.
Speaking before the Wheels and Waves festival in Biarritz where the FTR1200 was confirmed, Indian CEO Steve Menneto said: “When we unveiled the Indian FTR1200 Custom at EICMA, we said we’d listen to feedback from riders around the world. The response has been overwhelming. We’re proud and excited to announce that we will put the FTR1200 into production.”
The FTR1200 Custom concept was a tribute to the Indian FTR750: a purpose-built race bike that, in the hands of the firm’s ‘Wrecking Crew’, has dominated the US flat-track season. Indian say the new bike will have some key differences. “We wanted to make sure that the FTR1200 wasn’t merely a regurgitation of the Custom, but something uniquely ‘street’, albeit flat-track inspired,” said Rich Christoph, Indian Senior Designer. “We’re thrilled about the character this bike possesses, and its ability to take American V-twin motorcycles into new territory.”
Although Indian were coy about details, there is a lot that we can infer. It seems likely it’ll use the 1133cc water-cooled engine from the Scout, which produces 100bhp and 72ftlb of torque. Unlike the Scout, or the even lower Bobber, we’re expecting the FTR to have a high-spec inverted fork up front and an adjustable monoshock rear, both tuned for road use. We’d also expect it to have an 18in rear and 19in front wheel to give an authentic looking flat-track stance.