The Indian Motorcycle corporation has been around longer than their rivals from Milwaukee. Fierce battles played out on the American Flat Track series and from 1947 to 1962 the champion was either on an Indian or a Harley. It is hardly something you would associate with the bulky cruisers that these two companies produce currently.
The American Flat Track series is still going strong and heavily modified Harley-Davidsons are still ruling the roost. Indian decided to upset the establishment by re-entering this series. They have been undefeated in their class for the last three years with the Indian Scout 750 FTR (Flat Track Racer).
Obviously, the success of the bike led Indian to make a street version of it: the Indian Race replica. Fortunately Indian opted to wedge a 1200 cc V-twin into a steel trellis frame rather than the 750 cc unit.
The FTR draws heavily on the design of the racer. It is an aggressively-styled naked bike with an unbelievable presence, regardless of which angle you look at it. The engine hangs suspended from a beautifully crafted frame and the rear shock sits on the right of the frame rather than the middle. The shock is slightly obscured by the Akrapovič trumpets. The seat has a minimalist design and contains only the rear light. Like all recent Indians, the fit and finish is exceptional.
There are three models in the lineup. The base model has a simple round analog dial, black frame and no riding modes. The S model adds a TFT display and three riding modes. The S ‘Race replica’ adds the Akrapovič pipes, a red frame and a special paint job on the fuel tank.
The FTR appears to be a small compact bike but it is far from it. I was surprised how big the bike was when I was seated on it for the first time. The ergonomics is another area where the FTR excels. The upright handlebars, comfortable seat and footpegs were just right. They tilt you slightly forward into an aggressive riding position.
I was told to avoid the Sport mode initially until I got used to the power of the bike. Setting off, you can feel the lively motor urging you to let it rip. The bike is incredibly quiet as well. I was expecting a lot more noise from the pipes, but the FTR rumbles quietly, hiding its true potential.
In Sport mode, the bike transformed into a delightful hooligan that brought a huge smile to my face. I only got to play with the FTR for one day, but one day was enough to convince me that if you are looking for a naked bike with that touch of rebel, the FTR is it!
Pricing starts from 209 900.