Indian are extending their sporting ambitions (and their swingarms) beyond flat track and into the AMA's Pro Hillclimb series. The class structure changed recently to include a twins class, with the hope of attracting some factory interest, and Indian took the bait.
Similar to how they moved into flat track, Indian A) got S&S Cycle involved B) contracted a top rider.
The top rider is John Koester a multi-National champ, who, along with his father, modified the bike for this sport. The most obvious differences are that monster swingarm, different subframe and motocross style seat, sidepanels and rear fender. The wheelbase is allowed to be 72-82in (1828 - 2083mm).
The main frame looks very similar to the factory flat trackers, but seems to differ around the headstock. The footrest position differs to the flat tracker too. The bike appears to run without a radiator, it probably doesn't need a huge amount of cooling fluid for a 15-second run. The other main differences to the flat track bikes are wheels and tyres, motocross-style front suspension and the fact it has a front brake, but no rear stopper, the opposite to a flat tracker. The hillclimber has a different design of Rekluse clutch to the flat track bikes too.
S&S Cycle made to exhaust, working with Koester so it didn't cramp his riding style, and tuned the bike. Paul Langley, the President of S&S, told us the FTR750 will run on VP unleaded race fuel, not the nitromethane that some hillclimb classes are allowed to use. He added 'Horsepower is the same as FTR750 Flat Tracker (97-100bhp), but we might add more HP with larger throttle bodies at some point.'
There are two scheduled AMA races for 2020 - one in Pennsylvania in September, the other in Oregon the following month. See the AMA Hillclimb schedule.
Who would love to see Newbold build one and get in the mix?