What one of his scramblers is the Indian his Fast Track Racer. Can the American machine compete with the established European competition of Ducati, Triumph & Co? We experienced a surprise during the test of the Indian FTR 1200 S.
The Dietmar, he already has his ideas. Mostly good, but now I'm supposed to go out with it, test an Indian. It's clear. As an editor you have to be able to put your personal preferences on hold, but I wasn't really hot (apart from the fact that we had an outside temperature of 4 (in letters: four) degrees during the video rides). As always largely unprepared, I set off with the as always brilliantly prepared Dietmar at the Indian dealer in Hamburg.
I was expecting a real iron pig, after all Indian is considered a tough Harley competitor. 350 kilos of unladen weight, Dolby surround system and built-in beer can dispenser for rear. But, far from it: At first glance I identified the moped in front of me as a scrambler, with which I was half behind. The thing from another category, called Indian FTR 1200 S, looks great at first glance. As always with prejudices, I was able to bury that of the immovable iron pig. We can do it, the Dietmar and I.
Each manufacturer strives to expand its customer base. So he brings new models where you wonder from time to time whether the model and the brand fit together. The Ducati Diavel is such a moped. The question arises all the more with Indian, because Harley and Indian usually produce thick cruisers. However, these are less and less in demand, Harley is regularly on the verge of bankruptcy. Re-parking in your head is the order of the day: Indian has the advantage that the new FTR has a big "street credibility", because the oldest motorcycle brand in the USA has been active and very successful in "flat track" racing since 2016. Flat track races are basically brutal sand track races, which are felt to be 101 percent in drift. If you want to know more, look at the Indian side.
So what at first glance looks like a scrambler dissolves the model designation FTR into "Flat Track Racer". But there is more to it than that. And now it would be time for jubilation – 1200 cubic meters, which are an announcement. A whopping 123 hp gives Indian as a performance, which makes them rock against the competition at No. 1. Finally, in addition to an additional charge of 1,300 euros to a handsome 15,990 euros new price, the S brings with it a touchscreen, a fully adjustable chassis, three driving modes as well as an oblique-dependent traction and stability control. Is it worth the extra charge? Let's put it this way: the 1,300 is no longer important.
But now go - look for lonely streets.
The dull bollards from the Akras are not bad. The touchscreen setting is as practical as it can be, at least in a stand. We liked that all round. Despite a handsome 231 kilograms, the FTR 1200 S does not seem cumbersome when driving slowly. The engine is the hammer, so much in advance. In contrast to Ducati engines, for example, the V2 is capable of performance from just above idle speed. In fact, the Indian moves out of the basement as if there was no tomorrow.
The V2 presses 120 Newton meters under the driver to the rear wheel, more than enough to get the front wheel at eye level. The running culture is very good for a V2. A rotary organ is not the Indian, at 8,250 revolutions the maximum power is on, and it doesn't have to be any more.
It is not intended for speed bolters, which is not only due to its windshield or rather the lack of it. The maximum speed is surprisingly low at 193 km/h, at 123 hp it could be more. But why? The straight-line run is impeccable, as is the curve behavior. And yet the Indian FTR 1200 S always informs the driver that it is not built for such a thing (like all Scramblers, by the way). Rather, it inspires with its sudden passage in any life and speed position (60 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds) than with maximum inclinations.
A word about the tyres. Dunlop has developed this especially for the FTR 1200 and is intended to enhance the sand track look and its suitability on loose ground. "Specially designed tyres" sounds very important, of course, but in reality it means two things: in ten years' time, these tyres will no longer exist, before they will never be cheap. I wouldn't put away the included set (see photo), but put the Indians on tyres the next time they change, their grip is higher on roads. Who, please, is jetting across the sand in St Peter-Ording with his FTR?
So what is the Indian territory? Long journeys rather not. This is countered by the tank, which only lasts 13 litres (but beautiful), the already mentioned lack of windscreen and the fact that the socialite is not exactly spoiled. On the square in the second row it is called for suffering, it is scarce, and the footrests are very high.
Here, too, our Fast Tracker resembled the scrambers of the competition. Personally, I would never buy a Scrambler: whether It was Ducati,Triumph or BMW – I was on the motorcycle with everyone. The Indian, on the other hand, knows how to integrate the driver very nicely, he is more strongly than in the competition in the vehicle.
Now I would have to raise just under 16,000 euros for a typical second or hobby bike ... it is already beautiful and in its pulling power ... but I repeat myself, that is why we are now at the end of it. Verdict: Everyone has a scrambler, only Indian don't. Don't worry: there is the FTR 1200 S.
The test bike was provided to us by Legendary Motorcycles in Hamburg.