It doesn’t come as a surprise that mainstream manufacturers are prepping their beautiful machines for the globe’s largest two-wheeler marketspace. This year alone, we have witnessed the launch of over a dozen new motorcycles in the country. Indian Motorcycles, for that matter, have been an old player in this very league. In fact, the American automaker – until now – have only been known to deliver class-leading premium luxury tourers.
Expanding their product portfolio further, in a rather overawing way, Indian Motorcycles have launched the FTR 1200 S in the Indian market. For a manufacturer known to deliver cushy cruisers, the FTR 1200 S – a flat track-inspired motorcycle – comes as a gulp of fresh air. The FTR 1200 S takes its inspiration from FTR 750, which is certainly one of the most stirring flat track motorcycles, and yes, it is road legal. So, we got our hands on the FTR 1200 S (the one you see here has some extra goodies) and here’s a quick sneak peek from our Indian FTR 1200 S First ride review.
Flat Track inspired?
Yes, indeed. The Indian FTR 1200 S, in the design department, does borrow its cues from flat track racing motorcycles. The outline is long and low, but the bike has a respectable ground clearance. Even though the design draws inspiration from flat track racing motorcycles, Indian has added some nifty sporty touches to the motorcycle. And it really looks very well thought of, barring the tacky rear-view mirrors of course. To keep up with the trends, the FTR 1200 S also gets a full LED headlamp and a 4.3-inch coloured instrument cluster display.
The rear-tail is small, and the pillion seat is very short. The upswept exhaust really adds some sporty character to the otherwise boring rear section. The large knobby tyres with multi-spoke alloy wheels, and the USD forks – painted in gold – at the front look scintillating. Overall, the Indian FTR 1200 S is certainly a very good-looking machine, and while it does look like a beefed-up scrambler, there’s no denying it is a full-blown sports bike.
As fast as a flat track racer?
Powering the Indian FTR 1200 S is an incredible torquey, 1,203cc V-twin engine borrowed from the Indian Scout. A first for the American automaker, the FTR 1200 S features a chain final drive replacing the belt in earlier models. On paper, the engine is capable of churning out 120bhp at 8,250rpm and 115Nm of torque at 6,000rpm. The power is instantly delivered at a slight twist of the right wrist, and the motor really unfolds its enthusiastic character in the mid-range. The motor is rev-happy and the performance is best delivered somewhere near the 4,000 rpm to 6,500 rpm mark.
Out on the road, the FTR does feel like a fast and compact sports bike, and it surely rides unlike any Indian we have tested before. The engine is mated to a slick-shifting six-speed unit that works in tandem with a slipper/assist clutch. So, the engine feels really lively in the FTR 1200 S, but how is the riding balance?
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As we very much appreciated in our Indian FTR 1200 S First ride review, the bike has a very sporty character on the tarmac. The handlebar is wide and comfortable, and the seat is adequately cushioned for long rides. In fact, riding the FTR 1200 S on a highway for endless hours won’t be an issue. The handling is another aspect where Indian has done an impeccable job. The handling is relatively easy and the bike handles very nicely on twists and turns.
It’s loaded too!
When it comes to gadgetry, the Indian FTR 1200 S gets a plethora of electronic aids and rider-aid features. First and foremost, the front and rear suspension – designed by ZF – are fully adjustable. The bike also gets switchable traction control and ABS. And then there’s cruise control, wheelie mitigation control, stability control and three riding modes – Rain, Standard and Sport. And I must say, the electronics work really well out on the road, as there always a sense of confidence while riding this powerful machine.
Breaking the bank
It oozes performance, it has loads of gadgetry and it’s really the first production bike with a flat track-inspired styling. As a result, there is no bike that falls directly in competition with the FTR. But it is really really expensive. At a starting price of Rs. 15.99 lakh (ex-showroom), the FTR 1200 S demands a serious amount of money. And while I did enjoy riding this bike, I can experience the same joy without breaking the bank. So, while it really shines in almost every aspect, it’s the price that really hampers the overall experience. To read our full verdict and the extensive Indian FTR 1200 S review, be sure to tune in to autoX.