Apart from some custom builds that you see on the internet, there aren’t many flat track-inspired motorcycles in India. However, Indian Motorcycles has changed that by bringing in the gorgeous FTR 1200 to our shores. With prices ranging between Rs 16 lakh to Rs 18 lakh, the FTR 1200 is surely expensive. You could have a litre-class bike for less than that. But should you? Well, we’ve ridden the FTR 1200 S (not in a flat-track arena as we’d have liked) and here’s what we have to say about it…
The FTR 1200 S is available in three colours and our test bike came in the least flattering one: an insipid black and grey paint job. But if you want to stand out from the crowd, you could spend some more dough and go for the Race Replica variant.
Look closely and you’ll appreciate little details like the Indian logo inside the headlamp, tail lamp and even on the switchgear.
High-quality materials are used all around and just like Indian motorcycles before it, fit and finish is impressive.
It comes equipped with a TFT touchscreen instrument console with two display modes that can be changed with the swipe of a finger. The menu is easy to navigate while the touchscreen is quite responsive and works even with non-compatible gloves.
And oh, you can also navigate through the menu via the four-way joystick and buttons on the switchgear.
The 13-litre fuel tank is located under the seat, which helps keep the bike’s centre of gravity low, making it a better handler.
In the city, the wide handlebars offer excellent leverage. It also has a tight turning radius that makes getting in and out of tight spots easier than regular cruisers.
The firm and flat seat as well as the upright riding position should ensure your back stays happy after a long stint of riding on the highway.
Shorter riders might have an issue with the tall 840mm seat, which makes placing your feet flat on the ground and negotiating U-turns at crawling speeds a bit difficult.
Moreover, it weighs a whopping 231kg (kerb), which can be an issue especially if you have to push the bike around in a parking lot.
The steering feels a bit heavy and can give your arms a light workout if you spend an hour riding it in the urban environment.
While clutch feel is on the heavier side, the throttle too feels heavy despite featuring ride-by-wire.
Although the ride is on the stiffer side, the rider and pillion are well insulated from bad road surfaces, potholes and even sharp ridges
The FTR 1200 S feels sporty thanks to its rigid trellis frame, fully-adjustable 43mm Sachs front fork and a fully adjustable Sachs monoshock at the rear.
Owing to a rake angle of 26.3 degrees and the large 19-inch front wheel, the front end feels like it’s resisting when you chuck it into a corner. However, once leaned in, the suspension works beautifully to soak up all surface undulations to give the bike a planted feel.
The Dunlop DT3-R’s dual-purpose tyres look quite similar to the Dunlops used on the FTR 750 Flat Track race bike and are developed especially for the FTR 1200 keeping on-road usage in mind. They offer good grip on dry tarmac and are not bad on wet roads either.
The rear has a narrower 150-profile tyre which helps make the bike more flickable but gets overwhelmed with the motor's performance. Given the motor it comes paired with, we would have loved conventional, stickier and wider rubber at the rear.
It gets twin 320mm discs with radially-mounted four-piston Brembo M4.32 calipers which, until a few years ago, were only used on litre-class superbikes. The rear has a large 265mm disc with a two-piston Brembo caliper.
The FTR 1200 is powered by a 1203cc V-Twin motor that makes 120Nm of torque at 6000rpm. Power starts coming in strong from 4000rpm onwards and gets stronger around 6000rpm. From there on, it keeps building up until 9000rpm where the rev limiter violently cuts in.
This quick-revving motor has tall gearing, which means that you’ll have to downshift often at slow speeds. Or you can just slot it in second gear and ride around all day.
Its stonking midrange means the FTR 1200 S goes from 30-70kmph in third gear in 2.23 seconds. 40-80kmph in fourth gear takes an equally quick 2.6 seconds. That’s quicker than the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob and the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S.
Thanks to the two large 600cc cylinders enclosed within a tight space, the motor radiates a fair amount of heat. This could be quite a bother in the summer.
While you can not change ABS and traction control settings, you can switch them off in Track mode. Stupidly enough, both share the same button. So if you want TC off, ABS gets switched off as well.
The FTR 1200 S needs more effort to ride than your typical naked motorcycle. But it does offer lots of thrill for your effort.
The problem is that the FTR 1200 S does not feel as exotic as the MV Agusta Brutale 800 or as unique as the BMW R nine T Scrambler or as versatile as the BMW R 1200 GS, all of which can be bought for around the same price. If only the FTR 1200 S were a couple of lakh rupees cheaper…