It is EICMA week, when Milan hosts the biggest motorcycle show in the world. Many manufacturers choose the Italian exhibition to present new models, and Indian Motorcycle are no different. They have revamped their Scout range, their big-inch cruisers and baggers, and, more relevantly to Sideburn, their FTR family.
Since its release, for the 2019 model year, the FTR has been tweaked. The first major modifications to the FTR, for 2021, was a shift from 19in F/18in R wheels and Dunlop dirt track pattern tyres, to 17in front and rear and more traditional Metzeler supersport tyres. This change, coupled with suspension updates, lowered the seat height too. The ’21 models also had rear cylinder deactivation: The bike would run on one cylinder, to save fuel and run cooler, when the bike is static in traffic (Some of you might be wondering, why is a bike static in traffic? Because filtering is illegal in most US states.).
In between this spec change was the introduction of the Rally model, with its (heavier) spoked wheels, taller bars, flyscreen and styling tweaks, including a brown seat.
But enough background, it’s almost 2023 and Indian have introduced updates across the range and a new mid-range model – The FTR Sport.
The range-wide updates, for all four FTR models, include:
· Retuned front brakes for firmer feel.
· New clutch, for improved feel and performance
· Repositioned dash
· Sport muffler as standard (shown below on the revamped FTR base model)
Additionally, the Sport, R Carbon and Rally get a new 101mm (4in) round, touchscreen display with built-in navigation system, and retain their three riding mode options they had previously.
There are new colour and graphic options throughout, and a move away from the maroon, white and black that have becomes Indian’s de facto race team colours, both in flat track and King of the Baggers. This coincides with Indian retiring their AFT factory team from the end of the 2022 season.
The Sport replaces the FTR S, which has been around since the model was introduced. The S had become overshadowed by the special edition FTR Carbon and FTR Championship Edition, leaving it in a bit of a no man’s land between those high-end specials and the entry level FTR (the base model FTR 1200 had its name shortened to FTR in 2021).
The FTR Sport is the new mid-range model and differs from the rest of the range thanks to a number plate over the headlight; bellypan-like ‘chin fairing’; pillion seat cowl and sportier graphics.
FTR R CARBON
The top-of-the-range FTR features carbon fibre body panels and Öhlins suspension, new cloud silver, black and gold pinstripe, the improvements listed above and a very classy seat.
Colour changes, and the range-wide updates listed above. The Rally is the only FTR to have the headdress logo on the tank.
The entry level FTR has always been my favourite. It always looked tougher than the rest, less blingy that the special editions and the Carbon, more contemporary than the Rally. Now it gets new graphics and a colour-coded rear shock spring. The spring will either be lime or orange, depending on paint choice. The more I think about it, the more I think a touch like that might look good on a one-off custom (like those Tank Machine make), but cheapens a showroom model.
Find out more, or book a test ride, at indianmotorcycle.com