Words: Gary Inman
Photos: Indian Motorcycle
Win on Sunday sell on Monday, so goes the adage. But what if what's winning during the weekend doesn't look anything like what's in Monday's showrooms? It's a position Indian have found themselves in since Jared Mees came first on the FTR750 at the Daytona TT in March 2017 and the Indian Motorcycles Wrecking crew didn't stop winning until the season was over in October. This street bike concept, a celebration of the brand's hugely successful return to flat track, 'points towards a bold future driven by innovation and success', say Indian.
We don't need to tell you it was inspired by the all-conquering FTR750, but what is it? The engine is the 1133cc V-twin from the Scout, in a one-off frame. The motor is much bigger, physically and in terms of cubes, and increases the wheelbase from a nominal 1397mm to 1518mm (60in). It's also got a wider V angle, 60 degrees compared to 53 of the race bike, too. The high-level exhausts exit on opposite sides on the racer and concept. The rake is a relatively steep 25 degrees, with 94mm (3.7in) of trail.
Indian claim the FTR1200's weight is 194kg (427lbs), that is a massive 53kg (117lb) less than the stock Scout's claimed figure (without fuel).
The bike was built in-house at Indian, in collaboration with the race team. It has a headlight, in a neat JvB-style carbon cowl; something approaching a front fender; Brembo/Lyndall brakes front and rear; it's even got a mirror.
Suspension is the same Öhlins kit the racer comes with as stock (though some riders chose to change it), pipes are from S&S, the race team's supplier; the Traction wheels are from RSD, who also supply the Indian team; the swingarm looks identical to the 750's, the bodywork and alloy tank, underneath too are straight from the FTR750. Look at the pair of them together. It's an impressive concept bike.
Indian can go many routes with a street tracker, but two seem obvious to me, and they don't have to choose between them, they can do both. An initial road bike launch could see a premium priced limited run, very exclusive street tracker, built to this spec with a few more road legalities. Price it at $35,000 and they'd sell. Then follow that with a something between this bike and RSD Superhooligans and sell it for Indian Bobber money. It wouldn't have the Swedish suspension or the carbon body, but it would have the associated cool of both the race team and the hooligans and the way they've been hustled around tracks all year. Getting the stance of the Scout right really needs 18s or, preferably, 19s front and rear, and some rubber than will last longer than DoT approved race tyres. Few of the general public would put up with changing rears every 1200 miles. The S&S Cycle Tracker exhaust and Öhlins could be official extras. It would look good painted in FTR750 colours too.
Indian are putting a heck of a lot into the sport of flat track, from the top down. Because of that, I'm more confident something at least resembling this concept will be made in the future, than I have of any OEM flat track concept I've ever seen.