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Indian FTR1200 - A Dash of Tabasco Sauce

Radar

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Indian FTR1200 - A Dash of Tabasco Sauce
« on: August 25, 2019, 08:01:40 AM »
In order to get your head around the concept beyond the eagerly anticipated FTR1200 I think you must first what the term 'Sports-Bike' actually means to many in its native USA as opposed to the European perception. Sporting success in the US was originally forged on the dirt tracks and cinder ovals, more akin to Speedway in our terms, not on twisting 'road-racing' circuits.  Indian was a big player in those formative years and is again if you fast forward a few decades and the resurgent flat track racing scene, where the FTR750 is really doing the business for Indian once again.



FTR is a good looking bike, thee chunky tyres are different too

So it is in that spirit that the FTR1200 road bike should be considered. Indian aim to capitalise both on that heritage on the current success of the track FTR750 and take on the likes of the Ducati Scrambler, the sales of which at very buoyant at the moment. Climb aboard the FTR, the Flat Track Racer, and the stance of the bike is very much more aggressive than its laid back cousin, the Scout. Upright, wide bars the pegs just back a little. The bike has a business like feel, like it just wants to get out there and rip up some tarmac, or better still some gravel! The chunky tyres, that have a pattern new to me, somewhere between knobblies and road tyres, just add to the statement the bike is trying to make.   

Enough talk it was time for the off and the first thing that stuck was the seat height, the more traditional Indian position is low and laid back, the FTR actually is fairly high and as I am somewhat vertically challenged this surprised me a little. However nothing I can't deal with and I headed off along one of my favourite roads locally that heads from Stourport over to the charming little town of Bromyard. This is the perfect road for the FTR to be put through its paces and I have to say it rose to the challenge. The 1200 engine, shares layout and capacity with its mild mannered cousin in the Scout but it has been heavily reworked and now is a much meaner affair punching out 123 bhp, but ii is more the manner in which the punch is put out that is significant here. The bike has real grunt and it really catapults you out of bends and as the bends come thick and fast on this road it was a real hoot to ride. The FTR has great stoppers too and when combined with the well controlled handling the whole package delivers fun by the bucket load. I must admit I wasn't sure about the tyres  when I first saw them, but there was no problems here! The bike I rode was fitted with snarling Akrapovic pipes too, which give a real menace to the engine note, but I think a little more work is needed to clean up the throttle response at town speeds when the bike is cold.  They look and sound great though.


Reading and willing to kick you sideways on dirt track, but also rather good on a twisty English A road!

The FTR is good looking bike too, the tank and seat unit integrate well and the dirt track stance has been honoured in the transformation to road bike. It really reminds me of the special Midwest Moto built for the bike show a few years ago, the MW115. There are couple of things that could do with a little work...the number plate holder looks like a Scottish bridge and a neat shroud over the rad cap would be welcome. There was a carbon clad customer 1200S in the showroom when I picked up the demo bike and that looked great! 


Business like clocks and there is a USB for the seemingly essential electronics gadgets we love to saddle ourselves with these days. Please develop a shroud for the rad cap Mr.Indian
 
Performance is strong and while I didn't push the bike to the max, I am no Jared Mees or Joe Kopp and point to point you can cover group seriously quickly. The FTR is a very much an Indian, but in a totally different way the other bikes in the range. The Scout and Bobber honour one thread of the Indian story, the open road the great American dream of the highway stretching out before you into the distance. The FTR references that dirt track edge, that all that matter is the next race. The bike has attitude and that kind of what it was about. Is it a well suited to a European twisting road as traditional sports bike? Maybe not, but that isn't the point. Is it a quick, capable, well built bike? Yes... It's very much still the American icon..put it this way; this bike remains a full fat hamburger....but with a healthy splash of Tabasco sauce! 
Thanks to Midwest Moto for letting me try you demo , I would recommend you do the same

http://www.midwestmoto.co.uk/

MW115 Review...

http://bikemeet.net/index.php?topic=8218.0

Stock 1200 Scout review...

http://bikemeet.net/index.php?topic=8117.0

The Bobber....

http://bikemeet.net/index.php?topic=8289.0
« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 11:42:27 PM by Radar »



Re: Indian FTR1200 - A Dash of Tabasco Sauce
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2019, 06:05:49 PM »
Nice write up Don, it certainly is a looker... still quite a heavy bike though isn't it?

Radar

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Re: Indian FTR1200 - A Dash of Tabasco Sauce
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2019, 11:46:27 PM »
Nice write up Don, it certainly is a looker... still quite a heavy bike though isn't it?

Being honest I didn't notice the weight when riding it. but according to the Indian website it is 430Kg GVWR. which is pretty high..surprised to see that figure to be honest. I think the number plate bracket weighs a fair chunk on its own!

https://www.indianmotorcycle.com/en-us/ftr1200-s/specs/

Re: Indian FTR1200 - A Dash of Tabasco Sauce
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2019, 07:24:59 AM »
Hahahaha :D

Radar

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Re: Indian FTR1200 - A Dash of Tabasco Sauce
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2019, 10:25:40 PM »
I rode the same FTR1200 again today for about 20 minutes or so...it has been given a bit of a make over by the dealership (Midwest Moto) and is utterly transformed, and it was pretty decent before. The engine has been re-mapped, the low speed hesitancy I noted before has gone, and as a side benefit the bike now pushes out 131bhp. It really shifts and the pic-up for overtakes, which was great before is now really pin sharp. It has been fitted with Conti Raod Attack tyres, and while I didn't feel short changed by the stock tyres these are way better. Finally they have switched out the black tank for a black, white & red combo which I prefer and best of all the huge number plate mounting has gone replaced by a much sleeker set up.   

Little steps...BIG improvement


Better looking and smoother running....


So much neater now
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 10:55:28 PM by Radar »

Re: Indian FTR1200 - A Dash of Tabasco Sauce
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2019, 10:55:00 PM »
Not a huge fan of either tail, but the new one does look a little less horrid! :)

Radar

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Re: Indian FTR1200 - A Dash of Tabasco Sauce
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2019, 10:58:15 PM »
Not a huge fan of either tail, but the new one does look a little less horrid! :)

lol, I think the one fitted to the MW115 show special beats them both...


Radar

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Re: Indian FTR1200 - A Dash of Tabasco Sauce
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2019, 08:36:28 PM »
Nice write up Don, it certainly is a looker... still quite a heavy bike though isn't it?

Being honest I didn't notice the weight when riding it. but according to the Indian website it is 430Kg GVWR. which is pretty high..surprised to see that figure to be honest. I think the number plate bracket weighs a fair chunk on its own!

https://www.indianmotorcycle.com/en-us/ftr1200-s/specs/

Checked the data elsewhere it is 488lbs or 221kg which is more like it!

Re: Indian FTR1200 - A Dash of Tabasco Sauce
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2019, 09:48:25 PM »
quite a heft then!

Radar

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Re: Indian FTR1200 - A Dash of Tabasco Sauce
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2019, 10:34:36 PM »
quite a heft then!

As a point of comparison my Ducati S2R 1000 is 178KG, but has quite a bit less power (94bhp)