2019 Indian FTR1200 First Ride at Last! Review

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By John Burns

2019 Indian FTR1200

Editor Score: 89.5%

Engine 18.0/20
Suspension/Handling 13.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 8.5/10
Brakes 9.5/10
Instruments/Controls 4.5/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 8.5/10
Appearance/Quality 9.0/10
Desirability 9.5/10
Value 9.0/10
Overall Score 89.5/100

At MO, just like everywhere else I guess, we always want to classify things. Which is what I’ve been trying to do with the Indian FTR1200 since its formal introduction last fall in Germany, and even more now that I’m just back from finally getting to ride the thing in Baja and am forced to sit here and write words. (Maybe video is the future?) Those exhaust pipes and 1203cc V-Twin say Ducati Monster, but the 19/18-inch wheel and tire combo says Duc Scrambler Desert Sled. Harley-Davidson‘s excellent but ill-received Sportster XR1200X bears some resemblance. Guzzi freaks throw in Griso. I want to lump it in with KTM Superduke GT, but maybe it’s more 1090 Adventure?

2019 Indian FTR1200 Revealed at INTERMOT

Finally, I’m forced to concede Indian really has come up with a pretty dang uniquely all-new all-American motorcycle. It’s a flat-tracker turned into a street tracker, a thing nobody’s quite done before FAIK. Nobody’s ever summoned me to the southern tip of Baja to ride a new streetbike, either, and sent me off down 40 miles of sandy dirt road on one right off the bat. Are we sure this is a good idea, given I’m still traumatized by that BMW GS1250 Adventure a couple months ago? Thank God the FTR’s not quite that large, at a claimed 488 pounds dry; 3.4 gallons of fuel capacity tucked low and rearward under the seat should add another 20.

(JB phone photo)

It’s also got, like I just said, a 19-in wheel up front with a …read more

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