One week from today Indian Motorcycle will be unveiling its much-anticipated FTR 1200 model, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a hit.
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I say this from the incredibly fortunate vantage point of someone who has seen embargoed images and stats sheets. I’ll be publishing all 38 images as well as a full breakdown of the bike at 18:30 GMT on 1 October, when the aforementioned embargo lifts, but I am so excited that I just wanted to draw your attention to a few things that are already public knowledge, as well as give just a few clues as to what’s coming.
As TMO predicted back in June, the FTR 1200 is being unveiled at Intermot. This makes sense and further speaks to the fact Indian sees Europe as a prime target for the model. The Scout FTR1200 Custom was unveiled almost a year ago at Italy’s EICMA show; the announcement that it would become a production model was made at France’s Wheels & Waves; now the cover will finally be lifted on the bike itself in Germany. Sure, Indian will be eager to shift as many FTR 1200s in the United States as it can, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be measuring the model’s success by how it performs within the EMEA.*
Indian have (thus far) put out two teaser videos for the 1 October launch, revealing little glimpses of the bike. The first shows the FTR750 (the original inspiration for this bike, of course) being ridden off a track into a shed, where you hear the engine’s revs transform into the somewhat deeper-but-tamer tone of a powerplant ready to meet Euro 5 regulations.
The second video gives quite a bit more detail. A shadowy figure sits astride the bike, firing it up and thereby revealing a cool LED headlight, a shiny headlight nacelle reminiscent of the one used on the Scout Bobber (This is something I love about Indian, by the way: it is always making little visual callbacks to other bikes in its history, tying them all together), and…. ah… some other stuff. I probably shouldn’t get too far into it because I’ve seen the actual bike, so in looking at the video I’m able to see all sorts of stuff that I might not have fully picked up otherwise.
So, you know, just stare at it for a while on your own time. Take in things like handlebars, seating position, tires, etc. Or wait until next Monday and come back to TMO for the full story. Whatever.
Equally, I’ll try not spoil the surprise too much when it comes to details except to say this bike is – in my opinion – legit. This is not a Project 156/Octane debacle of promising one thing and delivering something completely different. It’s not a Scout that’s been given an aesthetic makeover. This is a bike that I think will genuinely compete – in both performance and price. It has impressed me so much that I’ve actually contacted my nearest Indian dealership and asked to put a deposit down (Hey, if I’m going to be stuck getting a real job I am definitely going to make the most of my income).
From a stats and pictures point of view, there is only one aspect of the FTR 1200 I’m not thrilled with, but it’s minor enough and so overshadowed by good stuff that I’m more than happy to live with it. I’m pleased to say I was right about a number of things earlier this year when I sat down to imagine the FTR 1200. I’m especially pleased, however, about the things I got wrong; Indian has exceeded my expectations. I’m in love.
I can’t wait to see it in person. I’ll be there in Cologne when the world finally gets to see the bike. Make sure you’re here to read all about it.
* EMEA stands for “Europe, Middle East, and Africa.” It is a geographically huge market that primarily consists of Europe from a financial point of view.