Wednesday, February 19, 2020

MOTORCYCLE REVIEW: The 2020 INDIAN FTR 1200 Race Replica

By Inaki Jose

Indian FTR 1200 invades University of the Philippines.

America was at a point when it was looking for a bike capable of winning, and a bike maintaining its classy American roots, yet would appeal and satisfy the modern rebellious rider. For the past decade, that bike was not seen in the Americas, and the world.


Introducing the bike that an American heritage built --- the 2020 INDIAN FTR (Flat Track Racer) 1200 Race Replica.

The FTR 1200 was inspired from the dusts of the demanding flat track racing. The styling and actual performance is a hybrid, designed for race without compromising its rebellious street capability and looks. 

The Artist and the Rebel styling at University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance.

You  can actually ride to the track, race and ride it home after without really doing anything on the bike. The FTR 1200 is far from the stereotype American motorcycle design. It is an Avant-Garde -- an artist and rebel put together. It is the epitome of high performance evolution. INDIAN took the crossroads and deviated from the American classics of the 50s and the 60s, where attitude and lifestyle was the primary feature. But now, INDIAN is trying to tap on the generation X and the millenials with more modern electronic features and the trellis frame design without sacrificing the INDIAN soul.

The Indian Motorcycle lifestyle.

The Performance

As always, I am on the constant quest in searching for that perfect daily commute and my proving grounds is in the jungles of Metro Manila, where comfort and nimbleness is a must to survive its mean streets. 

So I hit the ground running, and holy kamote this bike is super nimble and so effortless to ride and maneuver for a 123 horse power 1200 cc bike. With the big Dunlop DTR3 120/70r/19 front tires and the Dunlop DTR3 120/70r/18 rear tires made the FTR's center balance higher, making the direct steering easier and more usable even at slow speeds. This is truly a flat track-inspired feature, but also very important in everyday commute traffic. 

This attribute is best when negotiating between close and stopped vehicles, which requires an 80 degree turn. The rear Ohlins Fully Adjustable Piggyback IFP monoshock suspension is perfect after a few tweaks. I get to maximize the traction and elliminating suspension chops when leaning the bike about 40 plus degrees at mid speed. 

19 inch front wheels for effortless, precise and smooth handling.

Another excellent feature is the Lean Angle Sensitive ABS. It is very noticeable when trail braking, as you gently press on the front brakes upon entering the turn. You can also feel the rear brake pedal go down as the ABS mitigates the rear brakes from being pressed hard and locking up the rear tires while negotiating a turn and return to its original position as soon as you get back on the throttle, or as soon as the bike straightens up . 

This happens when the ABS module acts like a maestro, carefully orchestrating and modulating the power, ABS and suspension creating that perfect orchestra of computer modules working in unison of safety on the bikes demand .... LUPET !!!!

The INDIAN FTR 1200 is powered by a 1203cc, 123 horse power, twin cylinder, double overhead cam liquid cooled engine on 6 speed multi plate transmission. It has the standard 3 engine power modes, Rain, Standard and Sport. 

1203cc, 123 horse power, DOHC, 60 degree V twin.

But what really impressed me is the power delivery and the throttle management. When you roll the throttle, the engine will give you a smooth and constant acceleration, making the bike very predictable and manageable even on Sport mode. But once you flick the throttle, instant OH MY GOD !! power and torque is immediate and takes you to 11,000 RPM instantly even before your brain can process this. And without another special feature, the Wheelie Mitigation Control, the front tire will involuntarily rise, and trust me, you don't want this to happen. 

Ohlins Suspension, safety, stability and traction.

All the safety features of the FTR1200 makes it perfect for everyday commute, in fact I asked 3 of my experienced riding friends, and they agree that the FTR 1200 can be an everyday bike. It's a 1200cc but feels and handles like a 300cc due to its ALS Trellis frame.

Ride Command TFT touch screen display the freedom to choose with a flick of finger.

Other features include 4.3 Ride Command Full TFT touch screen display with bluetooth, easy touch screen power mode adjustment on the fly, and a USB charger. A uniquely styled and 80 degree forward angled foot pegs, which makes the ride position secure and aggressive ensuring that you will stay on the bike while on the flat track. 

The Race Replica comes stock with Akrapovic exhaust.

The INDIAN FTR 1200 Race Replica also comes with a twin Akrapovic exhaust which I love because it is quiet at idle but, and moderate when accelerating. This bike is definitely worth considering by riders who want a multi role litre bike for everyday use.

I would like to thank my Indian Family, Ted Alberto and specially Hershey Rana for the usual support and hospitality. So what are you waiting for ? Visit the INDIAN Motorcycles showroom and look for Hershey.  Schedule a test ride @ Indian Motorcycles Philippines 102 P. Tuazon Blvd, QC 1109 MM or call 02795 5752  

The author with the aggressive freedom Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica at the Indian Motorcycles Showroom.

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