During a recent conversation with a friend at my local dealer, he told me they could barely move the Indian FTR1200 and I just can’t see why. It’s an epic machine! I feel like part of the reason it’s not selling is that it seems to be largely misunderstood and misrepresented by the majority of the media. I’ve seen it compared to scramblers and even dual sport bikes. It’s not that.
At just under six inches, the FTR doesn’t have particularly long suspension travel. The wheel combo was an 18-inch rear and 19-inch front on the models I’ve ridden. They were wrapped in relatively sticky, semi-aggressive tires perfect for navigating the cracked backroads of the U.S. It’s pretty clear from the spec sheet that it was never intended to be your first choice for riding the Continental Divide Trail. I tried easing around on gravel roads and it’s true—the FTR is not so great for that. I thought: “Alright, what am I missing here? What is this thing for?”
Duh, the product description is right there in the name. Flat. Track. Racer.
It’s even got a Race Mode that disables the ABS and traction control systems. I instantly understood what this bike is about when I finally stopped on a dirt road leading nowhere, switched it to Race Mode, and sat off with the tire spun up, only letting it grab where absolutely necessary. That’s it. This is a hooligan bike for doing hooligan things.