The 2019 Indian FTR1200S

Hands-on with Indian’s FTR750 Inspired Street Hooligan

October 15, 2018

When it comes to features, style and quality the engineers and designers at Indian left nothing on the table with the  FTR1200S.

I  recently attended Indian Motorcycle’s presentation on the new FTR1200S at AIMExpo and I was able to check-out the bike up close and get some detailed photos. The biggest takeaway is the FTR fit and finish is easily on par with anything coming from BMW, Ducati, et al. and, at least on paper, it should be a solid performer.

Right off I was surprised by how high-tech the FTR1200S is, having features rivaling those available on any current bike. The FTR is ride-by-wire and has cruise control and 3 ride modes: Standard, Sport and Rain. It also comes with lean sensitive stability control, ABS, traction control and even full LED lighting.

Not lacking stopping or handling, the S has dual Brembo Monoblocks with 320mm discs up front, a single Brembo P34 rear and both the 43mm fork and rear mono shock are fully adjustable.

The factory paint is outstanding, especially the two-tone schemes available on the S model. The Titanium Metallic and Indian Red combo is especially eye-catching in-person but my hunch is the iconic Race Replica, red and white, scheme will be the most popular.

The tank is on the small side at 3.4 gallons but there is an upside, it’s an underseat tank which helps keep the center of gravity low. I suspect the tank range won’t make the FTR1200 very usable as a naked sport-tourer but I guess some folks might not mind the frequent fuel stops.

The instrumentation on the FT1200S features Indian’s Ride Command® LCD touch-screen with Bluetooth connectivity. It is very crisp and clear for an LCD, even under the bright lighting of the convention center. I didn’t notice any issues with glare at any angle so I imagine it will work great in all conditions.

Indian’s designers put a lot of effort into giving the FTR1200 a similar stance to it’s race-only inspiration, the FTR750. One way they did this was by utilizing a 19-inch front rim and 18-inch rear. Not quite the same as the 750’s 19’s at both ends but close enough to emulate the flat track look.

Although we didn’t get a test ride, just looking at the specs the FTR will likely be a great all-rounder. With 120 horsepower and 85 ft-lbs of torque at 6,000 rpm it’s right in that middle sweet spot. Depending on the throttle mapping and fueling it should be a good urban bike but also sporty on demand.

Beyond an abundance of style, every technical feature imaginable and decent performance numbers the most exciting aspect for me is seeing an American motorcycle manufacturer doing something different. Hopefully the FTR1200 is just the beginning and maybe we’ll eventually see a sport bike or sport-tourer from Indian or their parent company Polaris.

The FTR1200S won’t be available until sometime in 2019 but at least you can check out the gallery below and daydream a bit until it’s in dealerships.

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