Indian builds a one-off stretched FTR750 to go hillclimb racing
Motorcycle hillclimb racing has provided some spectacularly fun highlight videos over the decades. The basic tenet – find a huge, super-steep and dastardly hill and watch people try to get motorbikes up it – makes for some wild watching.
For starters, the hills are often so steep that the bikes tend to flip over backwards, a situation that occasionally leads to a rider sitting on their own head while their bike unloads bulk quantities of potential energy in a cartwheeling journey back down the hill, sending race marshals leaping in all directions so as not to get skittled.
A good hillclimb event sees heavily modified motorcycles specifically built for the job, with enormous stretched-out swingarms to help counteract the tendency to wheelie, giant paddled rear tires offering the vague hope of traction, and snarling NOS-fed motors delivering massive power.
A good hillclimb also needs to choose a hill that the vast majority of riders can't get to the top of, harnessing the scoring rarity of soccer to make it a herculean, nail-biting achievement for any rider to make it up. But the AMA Pro hillclimb series may not adhere to this philosophy; recent event highlight videos make this sport look more like basketball, where everyone's getting to the top and simply competing on times.
Still, Indian Motorcycles is getting involved in the AMA's new Twins class, which has been set up to entice the Harleys and Indians of the world back into the sport. Indian has taken the bait, and will show up with a modified version of the FTR750 racer that has dominated flat track in recent years and inspired the saucy FTR1200 street bike.
The FTR750 hillclimber features a typically extravagant swingarm and chain, chunky knobby tires, and a redesigned rear tail. The clutch has been upgraded to a centrifugal Rekluse unit, so rider John "Flyin'" Koester can pin the gas without worrying about working a clutch lever.
Meanwhile, S&S has created a custom undertail exhaust for this beast, designed to suit Koester's riding style. As a 10-time AMA Pro hillclimb champion, he certainly seems like the kind of guy that can bring back a result or two.
“It’s an absolute honor to represent Indian Motorcycle as it makes its dramatic return to hillclimb racing on the same machine that literally changed the game for flat-track racing over the past four years,” said Koester. “We’re excited to unleash the FTR750 on the hill, with our minds firmly fixed on the ultimate goal of capturing a championship.”
Check out a video below.
Source: Indian Motorcycle