Indian has decided to go into production with a street-legal flat-tracker "inspired by" the gorgeous FTR1200 Custom concept in these photos. We hope the 2019 FTR1200 is as close to the concept as possible, but we're prepared for disappointment.
This story could easily be interpreted by the cynical as just another chance for us to re-run an outstanding wheelie photo. And it is. What a beauty, I'd buy a print. But it's so much more.
When we first saw the Indian FTR1200 concept in these photos, we demanded it be put into production: "pull yer finger out, Polaris, and make this thing happen." We weren't the only ones. This concept was at once a hardcore rider's hooligan machine and a retro trophy you'd spend hours in the shed polishing.
And in a press release this weekend, Indian confirmed that "an" FTR1200 will be going into production, with a target release set for 2019.
Sadly, that "an" is of utmost importance. Because Indian is not committing to build "the" FTR1200 we've seen. Indeed, the door is left wide open for this thing to get a thorough mauling with the ugly stick. Here's an excerpt from the press release that may prove telling:
"The announcement comes in response to months of speculation and demand for a street version of the company's wildly successful FTR750 – a purpose-built flat track racer that has dominated the American Flat Track professional racing series since its introduction in 2017.
"That speculation was intensified by the company's development of the FTR1200 Custom, a one-off build that toured global motorcycle shows this past year. The new FTR 1200 will take inspiration, design and performance cues from these two predecessors, but will maintain a look and style all of its own.
"We wanted to make sure that the FTR 1200 wasn't merely a regurgitation of the FTR1200 Custom, but something uniquely 'street,' albeit flat track inspired," said Indian Motorcycle Senior Designer Rich Christoph. "We're thrilled about the character this bike possesses and its ability to take American V-twin motorcycles into new territory."
You fools! A regurgitation was exactly what we wanted! The concept approached perfection. People loved it. Why even call it an FTR1200 if you're not going to deliver on what that combination of letters and numbers already means to us?
The 2019 Indian FTR1200 may indeed turn out to be a great bike when we finally see it. After all, it'll probably be designed by the same team that worked on this one. But we're setting our expectations firmly at "lukewarm" and re-holstering our wallets in response to this news. Whatever the new bike turns out to be, you can sign up to win one at the Indian website.
Take a look at the FTR1200 Custom video below.
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