Indian has had a fair bit of racing success with its flat track-only FTR750, but the company can't have been surprised by how many people desperately wanted this thing to get a street-legal production treatment. The timing couldn't be more ripe, with a wave of nostalgia sweeping through the motorcycle industry, destroying anything in its path that doesn't show up with skinny jeans, short, unprotective gloves and a weird fishbowl helmet. And here it is.
Fresh from its EICMA 2017 debut, the FTR1200 Custom takes the 1133cc V-twin engine from the excellent Indian Scout, and places it in a painfully gorgeous, trellis-framed flat tracker body, complete with mirrors, a minimal dash, a license plate and a barely-there headlight hidden between the forks instead of a race plate.
The signature detail by far is a pair of funky S&S high-rise double-barrel exhausts, which is the best execution of this kind of look I think I've ever seen.
Carbon shields hide high-spec Ohlins suspension, and there's a fat Brembo caliper on a decent-sized front disc, so the bike is clearly built to party rather than sitting around being really, really ridiculously good looking all day.
I firmly believe that if it went on sale today, the FTR1200 Custom would be a huge hit. The market's keen for retro bikes, and the execution here is absolutely stunning. It's long, low, lean and mean. I've never been within a hundred meters of a flat track, and I think it might be the best looking motorcycle I've ever laid eyes on, even if its 100-plus horsepower performance might scare off the odd barista whose riding skills don't stretch as far as his earlobes.
But – and there always seems to be a but – it's not a production model. It's "an exploration of what a street-legal tracker could look like." Hence the comedically small mudguards, complete absence of indicators, and the overall clean look that's very hard to achieve when your bike needs to get homologated by hordes of pencil-pushing, joyless, paper-skinned bureaucrats in three dozen countries.
Pull yer finger out, Polaris, and make this thing happen. Make it as close to exactly this concept as humanly possible, and make the bits you're forced to add on as easy as possible to remove. It looks awesome, sounds great and appears from the launch video to be extremely fangable. I'm smitten. Smite me further.
For even more, dive into our substantial photo gallery, and check out the video below.
Source: Indian Motorcycles