Built for the Street: Indian FTR 1200/1200 S

Born on the dirt and built for the street, the Indian FTR 1200 Street Tracker is clearly inspired by the race-winning FTR 750 flat track racer.

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by Felix Romero

2019 Indian FTR 1200 s

Engine: 73ci (1,203cc) liquid-cooled DOHC, 60-degree V-twin, 4.016in x 2.898in (102mm x 73.6mm) bore and stroke, 12.5:1 compression ratio, 123hp @ 8,250rpm
Top speed: N/A
Fueling: Two 60mm Mikuni throttle bodies
Transmission: 6-speed, chain final drive
Electrics: 12v, electronic ignition
Frame/wheelbase: Tubular steel trellis frame, engine as stressed member/60in (1,524mm)
Suspension: Inverted telescoping forks front, fully adjustable monotube internal floating piston shock rear
Brakes: Dual 320mm rotors w/four-piston Nissin calipers front, single 265mm rotor with two-piston caliper rear
Tires: 120/70 x 19in front, 150/70 x 18in rear
Weight (wet): 565lb (234kg)
Seat height: 33in (838mm)
Fuel capacity: 3.4gal (12.9ltr)
Price: 1200: $13,499, 1200 S: $15,499, 1200 S RR: $16,999

Every so often a manufacturer conceives a new model that’s unlike anything anyone did previously — and in doing so invents a new kind of motorcycle. Think BMW with its dual-purpose GS models, Ducati with the Monster or Yamaha with the original Ténéré — all of them so immediately and hugely successful that they ended up being copied by other manufacturers, and proved to be prototypes for a new generic type of bike. Now, with its new FTR 1200 Street Tracker, Indian may well have joined that illustrious club.

That’s not to say that nobody else ever tried to build a volume production street legal version of an American oval-track racer before — just that nobody yet showed how this could be done in a modern context, while getting it as indisputably right as America’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer has now done with this new model. OK, Harley tried once before with its flawed and hence short-lived XR1200 back in 2008, but nobody else, until now. The FTR 1200 made its global debut last October at Intermot, and is now in production — with initial 2019 manufacturing projections already doubled in response to massive worldwide customer demand. Initially, this will exclusively be built at Indian’s U.S. plant at Spirit Lake, Iowa — but later this summer a second assembly line will kick off at the massive factory in Opole, Poland, where Indian’s parent company Polaris Corp. has been making offroad vehicles since 2014. This will enable Indian to assemble complete knockdown kits of bikes manufactured in Iowa then shipped to Poland for completion, to hold prices down by circumventing the 31-percent EU taxes currently applied to complete motorcycles entirely manufactured in the U.S. as an anti-Trump measure, which are set to rise to 66 percent in June 2021 — well, unless someone blinks first.

Moreover, if anyone’s entitled to produce today’s definitive Street Tracker, it’s Indian, thanks to its current dominance of American Flat Track (AFT) racing. The 2017-2018 seasons saw Indian immediately spank all other brands on its return to competition after a 70-year absence, with its FTR 750 winning 17 of the 18 races held in the 2018 AFT season, thus earning the No. 1 plate in successive years courtesy of Jared Mees.

Order the September/October 2019 issue of Motorcycle Classics to read more about the Indian FTR 1200 and 1200 S. Contact Customer Service at (800) 880-7567 or contact us by email

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