Indian FTR 1200 custom. Photo: Indian Motorcycle.

Indian Will Actually Produce the FTR 1200

Although it’s seemed obvious for some time that this bike was gonna happen, Indian is now officially confirming: the lust-inducing FTR 1200 will be a production motorcycle. There’s no official release date yet, but the press release says: “plans point toward the bike going on sale in 2019.”

We’ve been digging how Indian’s FTR750 flat track racer has continually roundhoused American Flat Track and upended Harley-Davidson’s former, reliably-dominant role as flat track top—even took some shit from a crybaby promoter who didn’t care for the vulgarity of our Sacramento Mile coverage, in which I said that Indian-mounted racers basically teabagged the entire field in The Sac, although it later came out he hadn’t actually read the article, or apparently CityBike, ever.

We’ve also generally thought highly of the Indian Motorcycles we’ve ridden, even if none of them were quite what we want from our daily riders. I personally have hoped for something like a standard based on the Scout for some time—I know, along with every other motorcyclist in the world, right?

Funny thing is, while I’m admittedly not always in the loop since I refuse to read most of the half-ass clickbait hogwash that passes for motorcycle media in modern, dumber-and-dumber-every-day society, the press release I linked to above is dated June 11th. How’d I miss this announcement until I received the regular Joe email to Indian fans this morning? I haven’t seen mention of a production FTR 1200 anywhere recently, and it’s not like I don’t have a bunch of Facebook friends that repost every goddamn thing having to do with motorcycles, cool or not.

Perhaps you too heard it here first. If so, you’re welcome, and sorry about the teabagging and vulgarity.

I’m stoked about this news, and not just for this particular model. Many have hoped that Indian would ultimately branch out beyond cruisers, and perhaps this is the precursor to a spiritual descendent of Buell’s Ulysses.

I can dream, right?

There are some bits in the press release that have me slightly worried that the FTR may be another styling exercise with so-called “mid” controls. The production bike will “embody a flat tracker style, housed in a trellis frame and powered by a new V-twin engine.”

That sounds ok—everyone likes “flat track style,” of course. The news of a new engine is particularly noteworthy.

But Indian Motorcycle Senior Designer Rich Christoph says, “We wanted to make sure that the FTR 1200 wasn’t merely a regurgitation of the FTR1200 Custom, but something uniquely ‘street,’ albeit flat track inspired. We’re thrilled about the character this bike possesses, and its ability to take American V-twin motorcycles into new territory.”

Hopefully, “uniquely street” doesn’t mean the rough equivalent of a Victory Octane with FTR-esque paint  and higher pipes. I’m prayin’ on it—otherwise, I’ll keep cruising Craiglist for clean-but-not-overpriced XR1200s.

Apparently, “a small group of industry VIPs viewed an early production version of the FTR 1200 behind closed doors” at the Wheels & Waves festival in France, which supposedly shows “Indian is indeed serious about bringing the new model to market.”

That’s all I’ve got at this point, although rest assured our always-on staff of interns are on the case, overloading Indian’s voicemail systems and inboxes as I tap-tap-tap away writing this. It’s the weekend, you say? Whatever.

In the meantime, here are some photos of the FTR 1200 project bike.

Oh yeah, before I forget: Indian would probably like me to mention they’re doing a “win it before you see it” sweepstakes, which you can enter to win “one of the first bikes to come off the assembly line.” If you like free motorcycles, you can sign up for that shit here.