Ridden recently: Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica

The FTR is much more than just a flat track racer.

FTR stands for “flat track racer”, but the Indian FTR 1200 is much more than that and not the narrow-focused bike many might think.

It arrives in three models all at ride-away prices:

  • FTR 1200 basic black for $20,995;
  • FTR 1200 S in red and grey or titanium and black for $22,995; and
  • Race-Replica with red frame matching the FTR750 flat track racer $24,995.

The S and Race Replica come standard with an Akrapovic exhaust. And right now, Indian Motorcycle Australia is doing a deal where new (and previous) buyers get $2000 worth of accessories of Indian gear free.

Indian Motorcycle in Brisbane let me loose on the Race Replica to trial on the tar and dirt. Motoring out of town I was surprised at how well the big 1200cc bike handled the tame duties of riding through traffic.

This could very well be a reasonable commuter with its high riding position and light clutch pull. Which started me thinking that this could be more than just a flat track racer or “street tracker”.

In fact, Indian motorcycle has several accessories pack that turn it into a semi-tourer with some luggage capacity, a rally pack for adventure, a sport pack full of bling and a tracker pack.

If you love a meaty V-twin feel with plenty of torque and vibe, this 1203cc 60-degree V-twin mill should satisfy. There are some spluttering fuelling issues as the bike warms up and in smooth on/off throttle riding, such as slower-speed manoeuvres. There is also a flat spot just off idle and a lurching on constant low throttle. Indian fixed similar issues in the Scout, so they should be resolved soon.

The engine has so much grunt, you simply twist the throttle and slip through the gears and enjoy the big 120Nm wave of torque. While not as slick as a Japanese transmission, the six-speed box with slip assist clutch is faultless with neutral easy to find.

It sits at revs at 3700 revs at 100km/h in sixth where you can roll on the throttle for overtaking without having to swap any cogs. The 13L tank will provide a touch over 220km of range. The base model doesn’t get traction or wheelie control, but the S and Race Replica do.

It’s tall with a choice of seat heights of 805mm or 840mm, but the seat is narrow allowing me at 183cm to plonk both feet flat on the ground when stopped. The seat is also very firm, but you can get a slimmer “race” seat or a comfier touring seat option.

Riding position is neutral except for the tight knee bend thanks to the high pegs. I think they could be lowered a little without any clearance issues as I never once scraped the pegs.
The mirrors are big and ugly but could be replaced. However, they offer a good rear view with no elbows in the way or blurred images. They are just short of the wide bars, so lane filtering can be tricky around SUVs and utes with high and wide mirrors. My biggest concern was the heat that comes out of the rear cylinder head which is about 30mm from the backs of my thighs.

While the basic model has a single, round instrument pod, the S and Race Replica get a smart TFT anti-glare touchscreen about the size of a maxi phone with all the info you would ever need and more.

You can personalise your info, link to your phone, change modes, monitor phone calls, and manage your music, etc. All info is available via the touchscreen which works well with all types of gloves, or you can use three lots of controls on the instruments and bars.

The indicators are self-cancelling, which is a great safety device, but they stay on a little too long. Like all Indian products, the quality of fit and finish is exemplary. Surprisingly, there is some messy wiring around the triple clamp, the controls are toylike, and the ugly catalytic convertor box underneath is an eye-catching eyesore.

Overall, it’s a stunning steed with thick paint and a host of options including different coloured tank panels.

This American-made motorbike comes with German-made Sachs suspension on all three models. Standard has preload adjustment on the back, but the S and Race Replica are fully adjustable. It feels firm around town and is stable on the highways.

On bumpy back roads and gravel roads, it’s also compliant enough to soak up the big hits and has good high-frequency damping to cope with corrugations. The FTR rides nicely on all types of road surfaces and s much more than just a flat track racer.