What I really dislike about the Indian FTR 1200...

FTR London

Active member
...I am at liberty to change of course, but take exception that a manufacturer that has supposed to have produced a road derivative of a flat track racer, subsequently charges a small fortune for a 'tracker collection' installation kit :LOL:. You couldn't make it up.

I have owned something in the region of twenty motorcycles and I can't recall deriving so much sheer joy, satisfaction and pride as I do from my FTR. ( -perhaps the fascination of my first bike, a DT 125 which I rode illegally on the rode because it was bored out to 175, so spent most of my time on the dirt). Coming from an outright sportsbike (although I've owned many different genres), this has rekindled my love of riding. I find myself contriving reasons to use it. I wake up early at weekends with the anticipation of where it will take me next. I love the marque, the feel, the look, the sound and the individuality - this bike gets attention.

There are saying that, several things that irk me - and please before you possibly take umbrage consider that this is entirely subjective, we are all different and that's what makes us interesting.

1/ Firstly. I'm still riled by the promotion of the project bike. When I first saw this I actually exclaimed out loud (I was at work at the time), "Indian, have my money, my left testicle, claim my soul - whatever it takes" Perfect...


Indian-Scout-FTR1200-street-tracker-16.jpg
Absolute unbridled beauty.

It didn't matter what it took, I was having one. Until...

And lo, a huge turd doth fall from the sky...

FTR1200 (2).jpg
I couldn't comprehend how they could have got this so wrong - this bore no relation to the stripped down aggression of the concept bike that I was so smitten by. My only thought was concessions to the European market.

I soon realised that underneath the pots, pans and plastic gubbins lurked a beautiful inimitable motorcycle - with huge potential and that if I wanted one, then I'd have to pay to unlock that. De-cat, aftermarket exhaust, tyres and so forth - all been covered exhaustively on here and I'm so grateful that I discovered this forum/resource and the experiences/changes that others have made. Having binned the biscuit tin cat, obtained a link pipe for the replacement exhaust, tidied the tail end I took stock. Still some elements that bug me...

1/ I absolutely hate the gold forks. It keeps me awake at night. In fact I detest gold on a motorcycle - it makes me want to hurl. They have to either go, be sprayed black or some black shrouds fitted urgently.
2/ I have the S&S can minus the dB reducer and with the cat delete it sounds like a howitzer. Thing is, knowing that the twin side mounted system is a complete pain in the arse to fit and ride (although in my opinion is the defining exhaust for this bike) I am instead hugely tempted by the low mount Toce system that some have opted for (which I adore). I don't think a side can is in keeping with this motorcycle's origins. I don't want to sacrifice the sound of my existing pipe though...which without being biased, is one of the best sounding I've ever heard on the road.
3/ On the subject of the bike's origins - this is supposed to be a road going flat track racer, so I don't understand the addition of back rests, luggage, phone holders, and general ergonomics. I've always found that motorcycles are as much what you choose to discard and omit as opposed to adding on. It isn't a touring motorcycle (I don't get the 'rally') and if I wanted any of that I'd consider a KTM or a Beemer 1250RT. In view of that - taken to its logical end, perhaps I shouldn't even have mirrors, chuck the pillion pegs and opt for a slab for a seat and a sore arse to boot. Embarrassingly, I certainly shouldn't have retained the heated grips that the previous owner installed....but they are a godsend at 6.00am on a UK Autumn's morning. Hypocrisy much?
4/ Tyres. I stuck on the Conti IIIs and I really do maintain they are the optimum road going rubber for this bike. I also venture onto unsealed tracks and green lanes and naturally they are a total liability. Again, given the pedigree of flat track, I don't like the look of them either in view of the spirit of FT. I've been considering dual sport and there are several I have considered. My go to choice/no brainer would be the Pirelli MT60rs with the corsa compound, but they don't accommodate the 19/18s. Really don't want to sacrifice my grip, confidence, response and lean angle - I enjoy surprising and startling unwitting plastic crotch rocket jockeys with their pristine leathers and immaculate sliders by sailing past with my knee down. Sorry - shallow as a tea spoon I know.
5/ I loath the TFT and why the fuck do I need to bluetooth/tether a phone to or have a TV screen on a flat track racer? - or any motorcycle come to that? Again, I'm progressively aiming for a minimalistic, purist and traditional look and underneath the clutter of the French tart's handbag lurks that raw spartan appeal that I initially fell in love with. My bike is crying out for an analogue style single clock like the base model.
6/ The side stand What on God's name were they thinking? Sick to death of the fact that the thing started to teeter every time a butterfly unfurled its wings in Argentina, shed an inch this weekend, re-welded it and it's perfect.
7/ The snatchy throttle when cold. still not sorted by the flash.

I will in time, also change the rear shock, the bars, the wheels (solves the tryre problem) and probably the seat and the tail again. Otherwise, I'm simply enjoying it for what it was originally supposed to be and for all that, grateful that I am in possession of the best motorcycle I have ever owned.
 
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Timps27

Active member
I get it, but it’s fairly standard. The lawyers got involved, and with EU as a target market Euro5 didn’t help. With any vehicle purchase (motorcycle, car, truck, dirt bike, snowmobile, etc.) that I buy; I already have dozens of after market parts and plans for how to make the vehicle mine. In order to buy a vehicle of any kind that I would leave bone stock I would have to spend many many many many years of my annual salary.

If your goal is to buy a motorcycle, turn the key and never put anything other than maintenance and gas in, I would recommend buying a Honda.
 

FTR London

Active member
I get it, but it’s fairly standard. The lawyers got involved, and with EU as a target market Euro5 didn’t help. With any vehicle purchase (motorcycle, car, truck, dirt bike, snowmobile, etc.) that I buy; I already have dozens of after market parts and plans for how to make the vehicle mine. In order to buy a vehicle of any kind that I would leave bone stock I would have to spend many many many many years of my annual salary.

If your goal is to buy a motorcycle, turn the key and never put anything other than maintenance and gas in, I would recommend buying a Honda.
...Or a beemer.

Agree. But had anything resembling the concept bike made it to the street, I really wouldn't have needed to do much at all.
 

Timps27

Active member
On the plus side we now get to see your take on the flat track scout! I really like that people do so many different things with their FTR’s, it gives the community so much more character than those around a bike where everyone pretty much keeps it stock or all have the exact same farkles.
 

FTR London

Active member
On the plus side we now get to see your take on the flat track scout! I really like that people do so many different things with their FTR’s, it gives the community so much more character than those around a bike where everyone pretty much keeps it stock or all have the exact same farkles.
Absolutely - and as the previous reply mentioned, it's an expectation/given when you buy the bike that it will be personalised from stock. For me though, this should remain or revert to what it purported to be - a raw road going flat track racer, but I do appreciate that it can be whatever anyone wants it to be. From my perspective, if I wanted a TFT and a mobile recliner with a cound system and a cup holder to boot, I'd buy an Aspencade.
 

ferraiolo1

2021 IMR Ambassador
Staff member
People didn’t want the raw flat track bike. Because who actually uses it for such? People hated the half flat track bike because they bought it for the street.

thus the re design, and the 22s are selling WAY better than the 19s. It’s because that’s what the majority of people want.

if you want a more raw flat track bike, you can buy the parts to make it one…

but in reality it sounds like you bought a bike that wasn’t right for you based on perceived notions vs you actually test riding the bike before buying. Because your Send half of your post seem to contradict everything you said in the first part
 
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edgelett

Well-known member
OP should have bought the Base model: black forks, analog gauge, and plenty monies left for suspension upgrades, exhaust, ecu flash, beers, tires.. 🤷🏻‍♂️
yeah that's what I got out of this post too.
I mean there are tiny things some of us long term owners don't like but those are the things we switched out lol
 

Max Kool

Well-known member
Ps, the custom/prototype would have been a worse bike than the FTR 1200 as we know it. Single rotor, 1 gallon fuel tank, single seater, less suspension travel, lean angle etc. No one would have bought it or complain about fuel range, lack of a windshield, luggage options, tire choice

I know two, maybe three people that would have shelled out 17k for that, and that’s it.
 

FTR London

Active member
if you want a more raw flat track bike, you can buy the parts to make it one…

but in reality it sounds like you bought a bike that wasn’t right for you based on perceived notions vs you actually test riding the bike before buying. Because your Send half of your post seem to contradict everything you said in the first part
I did test ride it which is precisely why I bought it. It wasn't based upon perceived notions - I would have preferred the stock machine to have been closer to the project bike in looks - that's all. At no point have I mentioned anything negative to do with the ride itself bar the snatchy throttle when cold. Not an issue within a few minutes and I will flash it out. Regarding the first part of my post, it doesn't contradict the second at all which is a list of things I want to change. The stupid TFT I have to live with, the forks can be changed, resprayed or concealed, I need a decent dual sport tyre, I've shortened the side stand and I'll probably opt for the Toce low mount in the end because I love the look of it over my S&S. Moreover, my final sentence reiterates the "first part".
 
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FTR London

Active member
OP should have bought the Base model: black forks, analog gauge, and plenty monies left for suspension upgrades, exhaust, ecu flash, beers, tires.. 🤷🏻‍♂️
I do like the Indian racing colours though - so it's really only the TFT and the forks that are aesthetically the issue with the 'S'. The latter will be changed cheaper than the other modifications I would have made. So no, the OP shouldn't have bought the base model, particularly since I got a very good deal on what I have.
 

FTR London

Active member
Ps, the custom/prototype would have been a worse bike than the FTR 1200 as we know it. Single rotor, 1 gallon fuel tank, single seater, less suspension travel, lean angle etc. No one would have bought it or complain about fuel range, lack of a windshield, luggage options, tire choice

I know two, maybe three people that would have shelled out 17k for that, and that’s it.
You're absolutely right in terms of practicality and marketing it would have been completely untenable. I do get that.

But that's my point, personally, if I wanted "luggage and a windshield" a supposed road going flat track racer that was initially tantalising my interest wouldn't be the first thing that springs to mind.

I would have preferred something aesthetically cleaner, more spartan and with FT leanings than the motorcycle that appeared in the showroom that's all. Despite this, I'm very happy with what I have - going from some of the comments that you read online, some perceived impracticalities that I think makes it unique seems to be an issue with others...hence their need for improved ergonomics and superfluous add-ons. "In reality it sounds like some bought a bike that wasn’t right for them."
 

Breto

Well-known member
You know, I’ve never had an issue with my side stand. It’s solid, doesn’t make the bike lean too much and has never felt unstable. I just make sure it’s down and the bikes weight is on it and it’s fine. Even in the grass it’s been good…but once again as I always say, that’s just me my friends…👍😎🇦🇺
 

FTR London

Active member
Since the OP and my reasons for posting seems to have been misconstrued by some, perhaps in the interest of balance...

'Things I really like about the Indian FTR 1200'

Firstly, to clarify. I didn't simply blunder blindly into this purchase based upon misguided preconceptions and a slick marketing video on You Tube as much as my OP may have incorrectly given that impression. I've been riding since I was 14, held an ACU competition licence, worked as a despatch rider in London (meaning I spent two years in the saddle in one of the most hazardous occupations next to Alaskan crab fishing) and been around motorcycles for my entire life. We never stop learning though. I've owned singles, twins, triples in line fours, V4s in the form of sports bikes, street fighters, scramblers, dirt bikes, muscle bikes, cruisers - most genres you can mention and raced on and off road. (Never had a so called 'adventure motorcycle' though, or wanted one come to that). I can categorically say, that this is the best bike I've ever owned, for a variety of reasons.

I had five test rides - two on the base model and three on the 'S' (including the one I purchased which I picked up for a song). I absolutely understood what I was buying and my reasons for doing so. As sanitised and compromised as I make it sound, Indian nonetheless created a beautiful, but gnarly flat track-inspired street hooligan that’s not for the faint-hearted or the inexperienced. It oozes character all of its own and the ill-mannered demeanour deliberately engineered from its flat track DNA make the FTR 1200 S a unique experience. I'd contest that few modern machines offer the same drama or challenge to the rider. Flash it correctly and a feisty map makes it even more frisky.

1/ My R1s? a milf - you'd get off and they'd condescendingly shake their head after the ride. In comparison, the FTR is a whore - it doesn't care and has no inhibitions whatsoever. It'll be whatever you want it to be - on its own terms of course.

2/ That motor. Torque is everything. Not interested in BHP. Even without remapping or re-gearing, the low down/mid range grunt is useable and instantaneous. Post flash, the thing power wheelies in third and above that clutches up with little to no persuasion.

3/ Perched on the 18-inch rear and 19 front the 2019 FTR 1200 S has a long, stable feel to it. The brembos are superb and the pro taper bars give the leverage to nudge that obtrusive front hoop into a corner with a gentle, gratifying compliance. For the weight of this lump, get it moving and it's surprisingly nimble. The Contis are in perfect harmony and the front end feel and responsiveness is sublime.

4/ You don't necessarily need a cat delete. An astute choice of aftermarket exhaust unleashes that distinctive V-Twin rumble.

5/ For all my talk of wanting a raw motorcycle - it's possibly the most comfortable bike I've ever owned. If it wasn't for the paltry range, I'd stay in the saddle all day. And why would want to get off the thing? it's so compelling.

6/ The trad Indian race livery - The Wrecking Crew. One of the reasons I opted for the 1200S

7/ The brand. It's the original. Ride it, park it, the world stops in a mixture of awe, bemusement and respect. In the UK, they really are the proverbial hen's teeth.

The pimped up gold forks and the ludicrous television screen can still get in the bin.
 
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Mlazarus

Active member
OP should have bought the Base model: black forks, analog gauge, and plenty monies left for suspension upgrades, exhaust, ecu flash, beers, tires.. 🤷🏻‍♂️
This was my approach. Slowly changing parts, still well under the cost of the S model and RR model.
 

ferraiolo1

2021 IMR Ambassador
Staff member
Having a bike with gold forks, and black. One with the tv screen and one without.

the gold forks work well depending on the paint on the rest of the bike and mixing with certain mods. The black forks generally look cleaner and you don’t have to work around them with mods. But who doesn’t like ohlins gold.

the analog gauge i really dislike from a user stand point, rpm is hard to see and the Speedo needle jumps around.

a perfect solution, one I wish they did, was using the new chief gauge on the higher end ftrs, still round, but much more functionality.

if you know some one that’s good with the ecu you can remove the tv screen for the base ftr gauge.
 

FTR London

Active member
Having a bike with gold forks, and black. One with the tv screen and one without.

the gold forks work well depending on the paint on the rest of the bike and mixing with certain mods. The black forks generally look cleaner and you don’t have to work around them with mods. But who doesn’t like ohlins gold.

the analog gauge i really dislike from a user stand point, rpm is hard to see and the Speedo needle jumps around.

a perfect solution, one I wish they did, was using the new chief gauge on the higher end ftrs, still round, but much more functionality.

if you know some one that’s good with the ecu you can remove the tv screen for the base ftr gauge.
Really good points as ever Mike -particularly about the potential of the chief clock. Thanks for sharing your thoughts/knowledge and the reply.

I'm afraid to say - I really don't like Öhlins gold - and certainly not on this particular motorcycle.

What I really do like though...

https://photos.app.goo.gl/8XY1v1GStnfTDuZX8
 
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