Following a 63-year absence, Indian Motorcycles (IMC) dominated the 2017 American Flat Track Racing season. The Indian factory team earned the time-honored Wrecking Crew sobriquet early in the season. Jared Mees, Bryan Smith, and Brad Baker, all previous Grand National Championship winners for other teams, finished the season in an Indian Championship sweep of first, second, and third place.
In honor of Mees’ 2017 Grand National Championship and the wins by Smith and Baker, IMC introduced a one-off custom Indian Scout FTR1200 this week in Milan at EICMA 2017, the world’s largest motorcycle show.
The Indian Scout FTR1200 is styled after the Indian FTR750 ridden by the Wrecking Crew, but uses the larger 1,133cc Scout engine. Indian already sells the track-only FTR750 for $50,000 to racing teams and racing professionals.
Since the racer’s debut, the question of street-legal 750cc Indians has been in the air. The Indian Scout Sixty‘s 58hp, 983cc V-twin is the smallest current Indian production street bike engine. Digital Trends asked Indian execs more than once earlier this year about plans for a 750cc street bike but the answer was always that the company’s focus is on larger engines for street motorcycles.
Announcing the FTR1200, IMC President Steve Menneto did not specifically rule out an eventual street-legal bike. “To come up with this one-off custom, we worked closely with the Indian Motorcycle Racing team to execute a vision of what a bike could look like if we brought the FTR platform to the street,” Menneto said.
“We’ve built a strong foundation in the Cruiser, Bagger, [and] Tourer segment over the past five years and we are excited by the positive feedback on the FTR750 and the opportunities to grow the brand globally in the years to come,” Menneto continued. To pursue those opportunities after EICMA, Indian is taking the FTR1200 on a world tour and will exhibit at events throughout 2018.
The FTR1200 has a two-piece carbon-fiber body with an LED headlight and integrated LED stop/turn/tail light. Brembo brake calipers with Lyndall Crown Cut rotors and fully adjustable Öhlins fork and monoshock suspension take care of stopping and handling. The liquid-cooled V-twin engine has an S&S Cycle Tracker exhaust and the bike rolls on Roland Sands Design RSD Traction race wheels and Dunlop DT3 dirt track tires.
As you can see from the images and video that accompany this article, this versatile ride is focused on performance. The FTR1200’s 427-pound weight would likely preclude it from being used in professional-level flat track racing. For the amateur, run-what-you-brung Hooligan and Super Hooligan racers, however, a street-legal FTR1200 bike could be a coveted ride.
Opinions vary among observers on whether Indian will launch a Scout engine-based street-legal bike also suitable for motocross, scrambling, and flat track racing if consumer reaction is strong. Another possibility is a new line of bikes with 750cc engines.
Indian is competing directly with Harley-Davidson in cruisers, baggers, and touring bikes and has also competed on the flat track. Harley-Davidson’s Street 750 and Street Rod are both powered by more mildly tuned versions of the liquid-cooled 750cc engine used in its own XG750R flat track racer. It’s not inconceivable that Indian may have plans to compete with Harley’s smaller street bikes.
Updated to delete a reference to Harley-Davidson’s drag race bike, which does not use an engine based on the Harley Street Rod.