Finally, an off-road worthy FTR

Fresh off its European release, the 2020 Indian FTR Rally returns to home turf for a North American launch. The Rally comes set up more as a proper dual-surface scrambler than the street-centric, base-model FTR 1200 and souped-up 1200 S models. Power comes from the same 73 cubic-inch engine as the rest of the range with a set of stealth knobbies to make the connection to terra firma. To further the Rally’s multi-purpose mission, the factory offers a quartet of accessory bundles that add four more potential personalities.

  • 2020 Indian FTR Rally
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Displacement:
    1203 cc
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph
  • Price:
  • Price:

2020 Indian FTR Rally Design

  • LED lighting
  • USB fast-charge port
  • Accessories packages skew the model toward specific personalities
  • Old-school scrambler styling
2020 Indian FTR Rally
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2020 Indian FTR Rally
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The factory gave the FTR Rally a mixture of features that lands it squarely in old-school, home-made scrambler territory. But, it ain’t all about the looks. This model uses the factory’s proven flat-track 750 for inspiration, so it brings a dose of real-world capability to the table. If you opt for one of the accessory bundles you’ll give the Rally a definite bias toward a particular type of riding. The packages come labeled as: Tracker for the flat-track enthusiasts, Rally for the cross-country riders, Sport for the street fighters, and Tour for the long-distance and commuter crowd. This makes the Rally, essentially, five bikes in one since the Rally moniker applies to both the base model and the like-named accessory package. Yeah, that’s not confusing or anything, Indian.

No matter which you choose, it will lead off with a pared-down front fender that gets things headed down the home-custom route right out of the gate. Beefy, inverted front forks lend the front end an unmistakable aura of strength across the range.

Both the base Rally and the Rally package has a short flyscreen that offers the instrument cluster some protection, but little else. The Tracker and Sport roll sans screens, and the Tour boasts the most rider protection via a tall clear windscreen. Does adding the Rally package make it an FTR Rally Rally? Curious thought.

Regardless of sub-model, the 3.4-gallon fuel tank rocks a classic teardrop shape with a split tank-style console right up the middle. Seat height is rather tall at 33.5 inches off the deck, but the long-stroke suspension makes that a necessary evil, and that’s the trade off if you want a bike that’ll actually perform when the blacktop turns to brown.

A lofted pillion pad and flip-out footpegs come stock so you can share the fun with a friend right off the showroom floor. The taillight is tucked up under the tail, but the rest of the gear in the rear is mounted on the single-side hugger that completes the spray control out back.

2020 Indian FTR Rally Chassis

  • Spoked wheels
  • Tubular-steel Trellis frame
  • ABS
  • Agile handling
  • Fully adjustable monoshock
  • Generous suspension travel
2020 Indian FTR Rally
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2020 Indian FTR Rally
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2020 Indian FTR Rally
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Nothing says old-school and off-road quite like spoke wheels, so the cast-aluminum rim and hub come laced with steel spokes for a workable blend of old and new tech. Pirelli Scorpion Rally tires make the connection to the ground in a 120/70-19 and 150/70-18 on the front and rear, respectively, and they come in a “V” speed rating that is second only to race-rated “Z” street hoops.

Dual, four-pot, Brembo front calipers bite 320 mm rotors to provide the bulk of the stopping power with a 265 mm disc and twin-piston anchor to keep your rear end where it belongs, behind you. ABS is standard, so you can count on some electronic help to keep it rubber-side down.

Tubular-steel members make up the Trellis frame. The steering head sets a rake angle of 26.3-degrees, and that couples with the 5.1 inches of trail and 60-inch wheelbase to make this an agile machine indeed. Inverted, 43 mm, cartridge-style forks float the front end with a fully-adjustable monoshock out back and a generous, 5.9-inch suspension travel at both ends, and this is from whence the tall seat-height comes.

2020 Indian FTR Rally Drivetrain

  • Liquid-cooled 1,203 cc V-twin engine
  • 123 horsepower
  • 87 lb-ft @ 6,000 rpm
  • Cruise control
2020 Indian FTR Rally
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2020 Indian FTR Rally
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2020 Indian FTR Rally
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Indian powers the FTR Rally with its oversquare, liquid-cooled V-twin “1200” plant, and with a bore and stroke of 102 mm and 73.6 mm, this thing is really lopsided. The total displacement mikes out at 1,203 cc with a smokin’-hot, 12.5-to-1 compression ratio that’ll demand high-octane road champagne, and nothing but.

Induction control falls to the 60 mm throttle body, and while it carries electronic fuel injection, that’s the end of the fandanglery as there is nothing in the way of power modes or traction control to complicate things. Power flows through a tough, gear-type primary drive and six-speed transmission before heading to the rear wheel via O-ring chain drive with an overall drive ratio that turns in a top speed of 125 mph in top gear at the governed redline. That’s plenty fast for the majority of rides and riders. Horsepower is rated at 123-ponies, and the torque is reported at 97 pound-feet so you can definitely rely on the engine to pull you out of the hole, and that right fast.

2020 Indian FTR Rally Price

2020 Indian FTR Rally
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2020 Indian FTR Rally
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2020 Indian FTR Rally
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The base 2020 FTR Rally rolls in a gray Titanium Smoke finish with the classic war bonnet tank decal as the only graphic detail. It looks like American riders can expect to pay a starting price of $13,499 MSRP.

2020 Indian FTR Rally Competitors

2019 - 2020 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled
- image 814046
2020 Indian FTR Rally
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Since the FTR Rally leans so decisively in the scrambler direction, I figured I needed a proper dual-surface machine for my head-to-head, so I went straight to Ducati for its Scrambler Desert Sled.

Ducati Desert Sled

2019 - 2020 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled
- image 875378

The Ducati cuts more of an off-road figure with its tripletree-mount front mudguard and wire rock cage over the headlight, but the street knobbies deliver decent grip both on-road and off. Minimal pillion appointments make it passenger friendly enough, and the Duc sports a pair of J.C. handles that’ll act as an anchor point for both living and non-living cargo.

Both machines use a tubular-steel Trellis frame with a stressed-engine setup, gull wing-shaped swingarm, and diagonal-mount rear suspension, and this lends them a similar look, all the way back to the rear fender anyway. The Desert Sled rolls with fully-adjustable suspension at both ends to garner a slight advantage in comfort. A cornering-ABS feature extends that lead into the safety equipment.

Ducati cedes some ground back to Indian in the displacement column; the larger of the Scrambler engines only packs 803 cc and puts out 73 horsepower and 49 pounds o’ grunt against 1,203/123/97, so if it’s brute power you’re after, Indian takes the cake, hands down. That offset is reflected in the price as well. The Scrambler Desert Sled rolls for $11,995 to leave a couple grand on the table, and that might be enough to overcome the power differential for some riders, but not this one.

Read our full review of the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled.

He Said

Indian is really trying to get some mileage out of its FTR success, and why not; it’s hard to argue with the podium results, am I right? The factory is really putting pressure on H-D, both on the track and in the market, but that’s OK ’cause the consumer is the real winner from such competition. Plus, H-D doesn’t have a direct competitor yet since its rollout of the Pan America doesn’t seem to be on schedule any more.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I was a little cool about the FTR 1200. It just seemed a little anticlimactic, although the engine was revvy and had ample power. It’s the same engine in the FTR Rally, so performance-wise, it’s on point. I’m still not happy with the exhaust or the seat, but this one definitely looks and acts more off-road worthy. It was released in Europe last year and we’re finally getting it here in the U.S.”

2020 Indian FTR Rally Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: DOHC, 4-Valves per Cylinder, Graded Buckets
Bore x Stroke: 4.016 in x 2.898 in (102 mm x 73.6 mm)
Displacement: 73 cu in (1,203 cc)
Compression Ratio: 12.5:1
Horsepower: 123 hp (91.7 kW)
Peak Torque: 87 lb-ft (117.9 Nm) @ 6,000 rpm
Drive/Driven Clutch: Assist & Slip, Multi-Plate
Electronic Fuel Injection System: Closed Loop Fuel Injection / 60 mm Bore
Exhaust: 2-1-2
Transmission/Final Drive: 2.882 : 1
Transmission/Primary Drive: Gear Drive Wet Clutch
Gear Ratio: 1st: 2.769, 2nd: 1.882, 3rd: 1.500, 4th: 1.273, 5th: 1.125, 6th: 1.036
Front Suspension/ Travel: 43 mm Inverted Telescopic Cartridge Fork/ 5.9 in (150 mm)
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Monotube IFP,/5.9 in (150 mm)
Front Brakes: Dual 320mm x t5 Rotor with 4-Piston Calipers
Rear Brakes: Single 265mm x t5 Rotor with 2-Piston Calipers
Front Tire: 120/70R19 M/C 60V M+S Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR
Rear Tire: 150/70R18 M/C 70V M+S Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR
Front Wheel: Cast 19 in x 3 in
Rear Wheel: Cast 18 in x 4.25 in
Dimensions & Capacities:
Fuel Capacity: 3.4 gal (12.9 L)
Ground Clearance: 7.2 in (183 mm)
GVWR: 948 lb (430 kg)
Overall Height: 47.2 in (120 cm)
Overall Length: 90 in (2,286 mm)
Overall Width: 33.5 in (850 mm)
Rake/Trail: 26.3° / 5.1 in (130 mm)
Seat Height: 33.1 in (840 mm)
Unladen Mass: 511 lb (232 kg)
Curb Weight: 527 lbs (239kg)
Wheelbase: 60 in (1,524 mm)
Warranty: 2 Years, Unlimited Miles
Gauges: 4” Analog
Infotainment: N/A
Lights: LED Headlight, Taillight, Turn Signals
Standard Equipment: USB Fast-Charge Port, ABS, Cruise Control
Color: Titanium Smoke
Price: $13,499

Further Reading

Indian Motorcycle

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Read more Indian Motorcycle news.

TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
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