Everything that was old is new again, or so the adage goes. In the case of Indian, that saying should be the company’s motto as the company has risen from the ashes to become a dominant force in the modern American market. Indian’s return has also resurrected one of the gnarliest sports ever to grace the continent: flat track dirt racing. Due to the company’s success on the dirt oval, Indian has confirmed that the company will bring its race-winning formula to the street in the form of the Indian Scout FTR1200 Custom.
This isn’t your average motorcycle. The Indian Scout FTR1200 Custom is a bare-knuckle brawler meant to decimate your local flat track race scene, but also get you home afterward. No longer a one-off concept, according to Indian, because there’s been a groundswell of media coverage and a clamoring from the public for Indian to “shut up and take our money!” The company will bring the FTR1200 to the masses as early as 2019, Indian revealed this June.
While we prodded Indian with questions about the FTR1200 Custom’s future when it was first announced in February — and met with the answer, “We don’t comment on future products,” as so many in the PR world are wont to spout — Indian has finally given the motorcycle the greenlight. “When we unveiled the FTR1200 Custom at EICMA, we said we’d listen to feedback from riders around the world,” said Steve Menneto, president of Indian Motorcycle. “Riders definitely have spoken and the response has been overwhelming. We’re proud and excited to announce that we will be putting the FTR1200 into production.”
For those unfamiliar with flat-track, the sport began in the early 1900s. The riders would slide their motorcycles into turns and shoot 10-foot-high rooster tails of dirt into the air and at their fellow competitors. For years, Indian battled Harley-Davidson, but in more recent times, flat track racing fell into obscurity. As did Indian. With the company’s rebirth, a renewed interest in the sport took hold, which leads us to the Scout FTR1200 Custom.
Based on the company’s Scout FTR750 flat-track frame, the Scout FTR1200 Custom was meant to celebrate Indian’s dominance in the sport while also “exploring” what a street-legal flat-track motorcycle could look like. Gone is the race bike’s smaller displacement 748 cc engine, replaced with the company’s bad-ass S&S 1,133 cc V-Twin road engine — good enough for around 110 horsepower at peak power.
Race-bred Ohlins suspension stays on the Scout FTR1200 Custom, although the packaging for the front forks has been squeezed for a more cohesive street look complete with a front headlight. Wheels are from Roland Sands Design and are the same that Indian’s flat-track Wrecking Crew team uses. Weight is what you’d expect of a naked-style street bike, besting KTM’s Super Duke R by a whopping 3 pounds for a total of 427 lbs. However, that’s largely due to the extensive use of carbon fiber, something that likely won’t make production.
We’re still waiting on the FTR1200’s exact production specification, but for us lovers of history and of dirt, the Indian Scout FTR1200 Custom is a piece of Americana that we can’t wait to hop onto. That said, given its race-bred sibling’s price tag of $49,900, we’re praying it’s come in at considerably less. Fingers crossed.
Article originally published February 15, 2018. Last updated June 21, 2018.