2020 Indian FTR 1200 Rally: first trip: from the flat track to the rat pack


The matt gray paint and the brown seat of the FTR Rally give it a more urban and exclusive look that we like.

Indian motorcycle

The Indian Motorcycle FTR 1200 has been a kind of wake-up call for the American motorcycle industry. Take things in which the United States is excellent: make big, impressive-sound V-cufflinks and build very high-end and finished motorcycles, and apply tons of modern-style flat-track racing and modern technology. It has been a great success for India, and now the company wants it to be attractive to a wider range of customers.

Indian began by hiring Ola Stenegärd, father of the BMW R NineT, to lead the design. Then, the company decided to bring its new bicycle at a lower price. The result of this is the Rally FTR 1200, which will cost around $ 13,500 when it goes on sale.

Because the Rally is based on the lowest specifications FTR 1200, get the analog speedometer back to basics instead of the touch screen found in the most expensive models. The next significant change, and perhaps my favorite, are the tires. Gone is the Dunlop flat track style rubber, and instead, you get wheels with wire spokes and Pirelli Scorpion STR tires. The good thing is that these tires may look like SUVs, but they move more like street tires with little vibration and twisted feelings of real rubber off the road. It is likely that there are people complaining about the lack of off-road capability, but that is not the point of this bike.

The change of Dunlops inspired by the flat track of the standard bike to these Pirelli Scorpion STR is welcome.

Indian motorcycle

Then, Indian made some aesthetic changes. The Rally has a new matt gray tank, a small mosquito net, a brown seat, a black lattice frame and taller handles, although still from Pro Taper. The result is less race bike and more urban encoder. The Rally looks very, very good, and it would be difficult to find something so elegant for the money.

India claims to have reassigned the fuel injection of the bicycle to solve a persistent cold start problem that has been a major criticism of the owners. I can't answer for that since my test bike was only 2 miles and was a preproduction model. Other cyclists in our group claimed to notice a difference, but my bike kept hitting me until it was fine and it was hot.

On cold and wet roads outside Portland, Oregon, the Rally travels almost identically to the standard FTR 1200 that I already know and love, which makes sense, because the bike is almost the same from a technical point of view. . The biggest benefit is the most competent tire set.

In general, the bicycle is totally imperturbable. I had no qualms about grabbing a handful of brakes, even when I was leaning a little, or using most of the 120 horsepower of the FTR, even on the dirty gravel roads near Multnomah Falls.

The FTR has already presented a winning formula for buyers, with a really excellent engine and competent driving dynamics, but now it seems that BMW should be a little worried.

Indian motorcycle

All electronic components developed by Bosch work perfectly, and since this is not a cheap bicycle, you are getting the value of your money in terms of safety technology. As with the standard FTR, it benefits from tilt-sensitive ABS, but also as with the base FTR, it does not gain traction control or driving modes. However, Basic is not bad and the bike is so easy to drive that I never missed the CT, even in the rain.

One thing that the FTR could use, as standard, are heated handles. Although my hands were dry, thanks to a good set of waterproof gloves from Rev & # 39; It, I found myself pushing the gloves between the engine and the FTR radiator every time I stopped. Sure, you can buy the thermal handles separately from Indian and have the dealer install them, but for $ 13,500, you shouldn't have to.

The range of the FTR remains a nuisance, and gasifying it is still a difficult task, but that is to be expected, given the lack of technical changes in the design of the tank. The bike has a large and revolutionary engine and a 3 gallon tank. You just have to live with that.

Overall, the FTR Rally is still the same fantastic driving experience I've been enjoying since the The Race Replica model arrived for a long-term sting in the Roadshow garage, only in a slightly more basic and moderate package. It is still a friendly and accessible bike that inspires confidence while driving quickly. The Rally offers a credible alternative to the tastes of BMW R NineT Scrambler in terms of appearance and comfort without asking for a price premium for the privilege.

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