Social Distancing with Indian’s New FTR1200 Rally

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By Joe Gresh

Way back in the old days of early March 2020, a huge crowd assembled among gathering clouds. The Supercross at Daytona ran on schedule to packed stands. It would be the last major motorcycle race for the foreseeable future, but we didn’t know that. The witnesses were mostly young and beautiful: These are the people who will carry the world forward when our boomer lungs fill with pus, and we utter our final, intubated gurgle. We saw the crazy reports of toilet paper hoarding circulated on social media. We weren’t blind. We knew something was coming. On this, our last night of innocence, we sat shoulder to shoulder blasting out throaty cheers to over-modulated rock music and watched Eli Tomac slowly reel in and then pass Ken Roczen to take the win. Then the shit hit the fan.

Roczen is ahead of Tomac in this shot but not for long.

Daytona’s remaining races were first declared off limits to spectators. I checked in with Speedway officials and found my media passes would allow me access. Then a day later Speedway officials declared the races off limits to everyone. The show was canceled. The huge, motorcycle-product tent city erected in Daytona’s parking lots began to thin as vendors packed up their wares. The whole town seemed to lose its will to go on – except for the Harley riders whose exhausts raged on, impervious to fear. I still had a loaner Indian FTR1200 Rally for a few days. Shelter in place was the directive. So, I decided to clear out with everyone else and explore the lonely tracts of the Ocala National Forest.

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