The iconic American motorcycle brand Indian has for the longest time made cruisers and baggers which are second to none. Motorcycles like the Scout, Chief and the flagship Roadmaster have all catered to the long distance touring needs of premium bikers the world over. But now America’s first motorcycle company has stepped into the unknown by presenting something that is a huge departure from what they’re known for. The FTR or flat track racer is all about speed, performance and agility and now the bike has arrived in India in three different iterations the FTR 1200, FTR 1200 S and the FTR 1200 S race replica. Many bike enthusiasts in the country have been waiting for this bike for some time so read on to know how well the FTR carries forward the legacy of Indian brand.
The FTR series features full LED lighting, and the new headlight that provides a unique face for the platform that stands out. The bike also gets a fast-charge USB port to make life easier for those who like to stay connected. The highlight though is the 4.3-inch customisable ride command LCD touch screen with bluetooth that can also be operated with the gloves on. And we can vouch for that. The screen certainly helps the rider to customize the drivability during the ride. The upward facing exhausts and a high ground clearance mean the bike can take on the tough terrains with ease. The slim tail lamp and the grab handles are integrated nicely into the pillion seat that ends way before the rear tyre does. The design inspiration comes from the Indian Scout FTR 750 that sort of revolutionised flat track racing a couple of years back. A trellis frame, rear swingarm and chain final-drive are just a few of the elements drawn from the race inspired design of the FTR 750. Also there are over 40 available accessories in four distinct collections which means it’s easy to transform the bike to fit your riding style.
The FTR 1200S sports a powerful new liquid-cooled 1203cc V-twin engine that churns out a maximum 120 bhp & 120 Nm of peak torque. What you can expect from this engine is a progressive yet predictable power delivery. And just like all motorcycles from the brand even the FTR gets loads of low-end punch and flexibility. Similar to the FTR750 race bike, the airbox is positioned directly above the engine to optimise airflow and maximize power. The ride command offers to select three ride modes (sport, standard, rain) which can be altered on the fly. There are a lot of changes with the shift in modes and that includes throttle response and traction control intervention levels. There’s a lot more technology on offer to make you feel confident on the bike; these include lean-angle sensitive stability control, ABS, wheelie mitigation control as well as cruise control.
Ride & Handling
What the FTR indeed gives you is a ride that is as agile as it is thrilling. The ride position is upright which means you have to make a little more effort to make the experience as engaging as possible. Maybe adjustable foot pegs would’ve made things even better. But what is fully adjustable is the front and rear piggy-back suspension with preload, compression, and rebound adjustments. This means the riders can perfectly match the bike to their personal riding style. Along with the inverted front suspension radially mounted dual brembo brakes contribute in providing impressive stopping power. Apart from the trellis frame there are many reasons for the nimble handling of the motorcycle. The fuel tank is strategically located under the seat for a lower centre of gravity and more centralised weight distribution. Dunlop street tyres with flat track-inspired tread, a chain final drive, and flat tracker aluminium handlebars complete the race bike look along with giving the much needed dynamics.
It is very easy to fall in love with the FTR 1200S. It is a bike that will truly the impress the enthusiast as it is very eager to perform well. Yes the DNA is of flat track racing but after having ridden it for long one can say with surety that street also could be its natural habitat. The price though starting at Rs 15.99 lakh (ex-showroom) may dampen your spirits a bit but you don’t have to spend all of it in one go. In fact you don’t need to buy one to ride one, just lease it starting at Rs 39,999/month. Yes the tie-up Indian motorcycles has made with Orix India ensures that your dream of riding an ultra premium brand and being exclusive on the road could may well turn into reality. The company is also offering 2 years/ unlimited Kms standard warranty on the bike along with paid extended warranty and road side assistance.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars