INDIAN FTR 1200 FIRST HAND

Indian was gracious enough to host a hands-on preview of what the FTR was built to do.


On a chilly day in February, I queued up behind a few other lucky riders at Salem Indoor Speedway waiting for my turn to throw a leg over the highly anticipated Indian FTR1200.  Indian was gracious enough to host a hands-on preview of what the FTR was built to do, muscle its way into the hearts of anyone looking for a good time on two wheels.  I arrived a little late thanks to a flight delay out of Denver, by the time I pulled into Salem Speedway the bikes were already in motion on the track. The rumble of the 120hp V-twins echoed off the raceway’s steel roof as I hustled to gear up for the experience.

Photo Credit: Sam Schneider  

Photo Credit: Sam Schneider 

To show us what to do, and more importantly what not to do, Indian put us in the capable hands of Hooligan Extraordinaire Jordan Graham.  After a quick dive into the basics, traction control and ABS systems were toggled off and we were made aware the front brake levers were removed to keep us from instinctively grabbing a fist full of binders as we entered the corners.  Other than that, the bikes were showroom stock. 

Photo Credit: Sam Schneider  

Photo Credit: Sam Schneider 

Rolling on the throttle, the 1203cc brute pulls hard and the corners come quick on the eighth mile oval.  The FTR1200 exclusive Dunlop DT3-R tires handled the dirt track predictably and let me push the bike a little harder as each lap clicked off.  Just as the bike begged for an upshift, I was off the throttle and aimed at the next apex.  True to form, the FTR felt at home on the flat track with power and agility that also translates well to on-road duties.

Photo Credit: Sam Schneider  

Photo Credit: Sam Schneider 

Kudos to Indian for their attention to detail, this is an impeccably executed design topped off with a flawless finish. Form meets function in ways not immediately obvious to the untrained eye, a lower center of gravity from the under seat mounted fuel tank is a perfect example.  Fully adjustable front and rear suspension and three ride modes allows the rider to tailor the V-twin’s compact chassis to his or her liking. Controls are simple, intuitive and well placed. The 4.3” Ride Command touchscreen display on the S model communicates the critical numbers at a quick glance. 

After a few sessions on the track, it was time to wrap up and let the professionals get to work as they prepared for the Hooligan races the following day.  Even with the limited seat time, it was obvious Indian succeeded in blending an innovative design with classic American flat track heritage.  

Head over to your local Indian Motorcycle dealer to learn more.  

Derek Mayberry