We have always known Indian Motorcycle to make macho, chrome laden cruisers which are comfortable mile-munching machines! But this time around, Indian decided to shift its focus on building a new range of motorcycles with the intent of them being sporty and fun! And the first step in this new direction is the Indian FTR 1200. It is refreshingly different from any other Indian motorcycle. One look at it and you know it is a motorcycle for the purist! We were quite excited to ride this motorcycle and once we did, we did not want to give it back!
Look and Design
It is difficult to take your eyes off the FTR 1200! Even more so, when you read the badging on the fuel tank! The Indian FTR 1200 is a cross between a naked roadster and a scrambler and is nothing like the models that we are used to seeing from Indian. There is this unmistakeable air of sensuality around the motorcycle. We mean, look at the motorcycle! It is a beastly street tracker with an aggressive stance and excellent attention to detail. It is basically an homage to the company's FTR 750 race bike, which has dominated the American flat-track racing scene for the last two years and has a very sexy silhouette too. The lines, the contours and the fit and finish are in accordance with Indian's high standards. The golden USDs coupled with the sleek fuel tank and the sharp rear end along with the very sexy twin-exhaust make for a hip motorcycle. Round headlamp, chunky dual-sport tyres, exposed frame, you just can't get enough of the FTR 1200. It oozes raw sex appeal out of every nut and bolt.
Cycle Parts and Features
The FTR 1200 is loaded with rider assist electronics and features! The party piece is the 4.3-inch touchscreen instrument console which houses controls for riding modes, traction control and various settings for smartphone connectivity and display options. The FTR 1200 gets three riding modes which are Rain, Standard and Sport.
The screen is intuitive and the best part is that it can be operated with the gloves on and on the move as well. There is a Bosch stability control along with a 6-axis inertial measurement system as well, which offers input to the lean-sensitive ABS and traction control. Other features include full LED lighting and cruise control. It doesn't end there! The FTR 1200 also gets fully adjustable suspension at the front and the rear. The front end gets cartridge type USD forks while the rear gets an IFP monoshock. Both units have a travel of 150 mm, as a result of which, the ride quality is better. But more on that later!
Engine and Performance
The FTR 1200 gets a 1,203 cc V-twin engine which is liquid-cooled and pumps out 120 bhp along with 120 Nm of peak torque! The engine used is the one on the Scout but gets up to 80 per cent new components. There is a six-speed gearbox, which is a delight to use and super precise too. Thumb the starter and the motorcycle emits a bass laden V-twin burble which is quite distinct. There is a sense of urgency in the power delivery and even though the bike has a good old American V-twin, it is a rev-happy engine and its sweet spot lies between 5,000 to 8,000 rpm.
The bottom end grunt is there, no doubt, but if you want your eyes to gleam with joy, you need to keep wringing the throttle and believe me, you will love it! The throttle response is snatchy, especially when you are riding in the sport mode and at low speeds. But once you climb up the revs, the FTR 1200 is simply delightful. It is the most entertaining and makes you grin while pinning the throttle and exiting out of corners. The response is dialled down in the rain mode and the electronics settings are bumped in order to offer maximum safety net. In standard mode, the bike stays affable and has a fair amount of electronics intervention.
Ride and Handling
The way the FTR 1200 handles, it is simply delightful. It loves being hustled through corners. There is enough clearance before you start scraping the pegs and even when fully leaned over, the motorcycle maintains its balance and stability. It is of course, the best handling motorcycle to come from Indian and its prowess is at par with few middleweight naked motorcycles as well. Plus, the grip from Dunlop tyres is commendable too. The other interesting bit is that the motorcycle gets a plush ride quality and the like we said earlier, it is fully adjustable and has a travel of 150 mm as well, making it easy for the bike to glide over bumps and potholes.
The design of the bike is such that the even though the look is sporty, the riding position is neutral. The flat, low handlebars coupled with the upright seating position will let you ride long hours in comfort. But the perennial problem of heating up exists, especially when you are riding in traffic, although, the engine is liquid-cooled.
The Indian FTR 1200 is no adventure bike. It is more of a cross between a naked roadster and a scrambler. Its on-road performance is delightful but should you want to go off tarmac, you best keep it to light dirt trails! The grip from Dunlop tyres is better on road than on dirt and in case you want to stand up and ride, the handlebar is too low for that. Should you want to indulge in shenanigans on dirt, the bike will more than happy to do so!
The Indian FTR 1200 is just too sexy! At least that's what we think! The 1200 S is priced at ₹ 15.99 lakh while the 1200 S Race Replica is priced at ₹ 17.99 lakh. The race replica gets a sexier colour scheme along with an Akrapovic exhaust and a few other accessories. The FTR 1200 drops jaws wherever it goes and can match any of the middleweight nakeds in terms of performance. Do we like it? One hundred per cent yes! Should you buy one? If you have the money and if you want to buy a rather niche motorcycle, the FTR 1200 makes a good case for itself!