Concept Flat-Tracker For The Street

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or are in denial about your team getting completely owned by Indian Motorcycle’s flat-track racing team, the Wrecking Crew, chances are you’re aware of the recent leap from obscurity to the pinnacle of FT racing prowess under the Polaris umbrella. In honor of this recent success, and in an effort to ride the current wave of popularity and interest in this storied American brand, Indian has put together a street-legal ride fit for the masses; the Scout FTR1200 Custom. As the cleverly-ingenious name suggests, it’s based on the Scout platform, but any resemblance to the actual Scout seems to be solely in name and the general engine layout. In fact, let’s just shine on the whole Scout thing for the moment, and focus on what this bike actually is, shall we?

Continue reading for my look at the Indian Motorcycle Scout FTR1200 Custom.

  • 2018 First Look: Indian Motorcycle Scout FTR1200
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    1133 cc

Design

2018 First Look: Indian Motorcycle Scout FTR1200
- image 743239
What do you call a flat-track bike that will probably never see the inside of a track? I reckon we'd call that a scramber of sorts.

Much like the genuine FTR750 racebike, the FTR1200 Custom is lean as a snake with nothing in the way of fat or superfluous features. Well, maybe that’s not entirely true; the carbon fiber fork guards, radiator shroud and upper-body cover certainly qualify as vanity pieces, but at least they do benefit the build in a more practical way with their light weight and inherent strength.

Up front, the fender is cut down to a bare minimum (which is more than the 750 gets) and the rear end is utterly without any coverage. Not even a hugger or hangy-downy license plate to be found, at least not yet. Since we’re still looking at a non-street legal, pre-production version of what will be a street-legal bike, it is as yet unclear how the tagholder will shape up, but the LED headlight is in place and the tail-light strip comes tucked away under the terminus of the subframe to keep the rear end clean by incorporating the turn signals as well.

The upper lines are defined by a one-piece, cloth-and-resin member that forms the shape of the fuel tank cover, seat scoop and subframe tail, but much like the 750, it’s built as a solo machine with nothing in the way of pillion accommodations, not that a passenger is likely to be very comfortable seated atop those unshielded silencers anyway.

Short-rise bars place the hands slightly closer to the body than drags bars or clip-ons, and the jockey-mount footpegs pull the feet up well clear of the ground no matter how far you lean into the corners. So, what do you call a flat-track bike that will probably never see the inside of a track? I reckon we’d call that a scramber of sorts, but no matter how you label it, the FTR1200 Custom is one hot-looking ride.

Chassis

2018 First Look: Indian Motorcycle Scout FTR1200
- image 743230
As you'd expect of a race-type bike, steering geometry is set up for extreme maneuverability.

Indian starts out with a Trellis frame made up of 4130 chromoly steel members and a swingarm made of same. As you’d expect of a race-type bike, steering geometry is set up for extreme maneuverability with 25 degrees of rake and a short, 3.7 inches of trail. Fully-adjustable Öhlins products support and tame both ends of the ride so you have plenty of opportunity to dial it in and get it just how you want it.

Frame construction and front fork layout gives the Custom a 60-inch wheelbase with billet aluminum “Traction” race wheels from Roland Sands Design and Dunlop DT3 dirt-track hoops to finish out the rolling chassis. Brembo calipers bite Lyndall’s crown-cut brake discs, and as you might expect, the front wheel gets but one disc. That ain’t a big deal though since you can only use so much on the dirt, and at only 427 pounds you’ll only need so much on the streets. ABS? If you even have to ask, then this isn’t the bike for you (read: NO).

Frame: 4130 chromoly steel trellis frame and swingarm
Body: Two-piece carbon-fiber body with LED headlight and integrated LED stop/turn/taillight
Suspension: Fully adjustable Ohlins fork and monoshock
Rake/Trail: 25˚/37in (94mm)
Wheels: RSD Traction race wheels
Brakes: Brembo calipers and Lyndall Crown Cut rotors
Tires: Dunlop DT3 dirt track tires

Drivetrain

2018 First Look: Indian Motorcycle Scout FTR1200
- image 743238
The engine serves as the FTR1200's tenuous connection to the Scout family.

The engine serves as the FTR1200’s tenuous connection to the Scout family. A 60-degree, liquid-cooled V-twin supplies the power — a rather ambiguous “100-plus” ponies according to the factory — with low-restriction S&S “Cycle Tracker” exhaust components. So far, the factory is still a little sketchy on the rest of the details. We can take for granted that it will use an electronic fuel-injection system to meter the hydrocarbons via a good, old-fashioned cable control, and that there will be nothing in the way of TC or any other fandanglery, but the rest is still a mystery.

To be fair, Indian is still in the pre-production phase so there is plenty of time to get the other pertinent metrics, if they get published at all. Perhaps there are things about this ride that are too similar to the 750 competition model to ever see the light of day, and that’s a rather saucy possibility if I do say so myself.

Engine: Liquid-cooled, 60-degree, 1133cc V-twin with S&S Cycle Tracker exhaust, 100+ hp

Pricing

2018 First Look: Indian Motorcycle Scout FTR1200
- image 743256

Pricing at this time is TBD, it being a concept and all, and I don’t even want to guess. The plain Jane Scout runs almost $12k so figure that as a starting point.

Competitors

2018 First Look: Indian Motorcycle Scout FTR1200
- image 743233
If there was a competitor that I could use for a direct head-to-head with the FTR1200 Custom, we wouldn't be looking at the 2017 season's results with Indian so firmly positioned at the top of the food chain.

Ya’ know what, sports fans? If there was a competitor that I could use for a direct head-to-head with the FTR1200 Custom, we wouldn’t be looking at the 2017 season’s results with Indian so firmly positioned at the top of the food chain. Jared Mees, Bryan Smith and Brad Baker brought home the bacon with six sweeps, 14 total wins and 37 podiums between them; plenty mo’ to make them the apex predators of the American Flat Track world. Harley, Kawi, Ducati.....oh my. The list of vanquished foes goes on (and on) with none of them offering such a genuine piece of the action as does Indian with this bike.

Is Indian putting too much stock in its newly-reestablished racing fame? Time will tell, but when the Indian-Harley rivalry began, success on the track was synonymous with sales and that’s still more or less true today. But, this is such a race-tastic bike, and it’s a rather niche style of racing at that, so I reckon the target market will be a bit narrow in scope. I wonder; will another team emerge dominant next year and release a civilian version of its racebike as well? Nothin’ to do but wait and see.

He Said

“As a dyed-in-the-wool Harley fan, I should be miffed that its team got handled so easily by the Wrecking Crew (second of its name), but I’m just so pleased that another iconic American brand (there used to be over a hundred) has risen from its own ashes in phoenix-like fashion. As for the FTR1200; what a badass bike! I love it, and I think its a great marketing move that will allow them to capitalize on its success both on and off the track.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "Yeah, I want to ride it. I want to ride it like I stole it. I love that Indian is taking a path away from the cruiser and touring markets even though this is only a concept bike. These flat-track bikes are awesome fun. If this does go to production, I wonder how much of the carbon fiber will still be there since that stuff is really expensive. If they forego it to keep the price manageable, it’ll add weight to the bike. Oh well, we’ll see, won’t we?"

Specifications

Engine:
Type: Liquid-cooled, 60-degree, 1133cc V-twin with S&S Cycle Tracker exhaust, 100+ hp
Chassis:
Frame: 4130 chromoly steel trellis frame and swingarm
Body: Two-piece carbon-fiber body with LED headlight and integrated LED stop/turn/taillight
Suspension: Fully adjustable Ohlins fork and monoshock
Rake/Trail: 25˚/37in (94mm)
Wheels: RSD Traction race wheels
Brakes: Brembo calipers and Lyndall Crown Cut rotors
Tires: Dunlop DT3 dirt track tires
Dimensions & Capacities:
Wheelbase: 60in (1518mm)
Weight: 427lbs (194kg)

References

See our review of the Indian Motorcycle Scout and Scout Sixty.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: indianmotorcycle.com

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