Indian FTR 1200 R Carbon: Uniquely Raw!
Indian FTR 1200 R Carbon: Uniquely Raw!
1w ago Custom
Sponsored by Moto Animals

In a world where motorcycles seemed to be blending into a sea of sameness, following similar formulas, the Indian FTR 1200 R Carbon Edition emerged as a revelation. This motorcycle, sharing a segment with Yamaha, charts its own path, defying conventions.

The Indian FTR 1200 R Carbon is a throwback to the old-school era of motorcycling. It demands an intimate understanding before you can truly master it. Initially, it feels rugged and challenging to ride, especially if you're transitioning from a Yamaha. However, spending some quality time with it and grasping its unique riding dynamics reveals a world of appreciation.

Modern motorcycle engineering has made riding easier than ever, particularly with Japanese and European models that offer unparalleled efficiency and capability. The art of riding, or at least a certain aspect of it, has diminished over the years. I recall the exhilaration of riding a 1942 Harley-Davidson, with its foot clutch, hand gear change, advance/retard twistgrip, and lack of brakes or suspension. Even a 1976 Triumph Bonneville required a special touch to ride well. Much of this mechanical intimacy has faded away. Not everyone yearns for this challenge, but it's a testament to our softening as riders, our reluctance to put in effort. The Indian, however, compels you to engage with it fully.

American motorcycles, without implying inferiority, are distinct. They demand a certain level of confidence, owing partly to their bulk and weight, but also because they prioritize a unique riding experience over ultimate riding dynamics. American cars followed a similar trajectory from the 1940s to the 1990s, prioritizing comfort over sharp handling.

American motorcycles were designed for open roads with fewer twists and turns, in stark contrast to European counterparts. This gradual evolution, especially over the last two decades, has improved their road manners, yet they still maintain their distinctive character that requires understanding before mastery.

I'm not alone in this sentiment. Michael Neeves, writing in Motorcycle News about the previous FTR 1200 S, described it as a "beautiful, gnarly flat track-inspired street hooligan," noting that it's not for the faint-hearted or inexperienced. This distinct character sets it apart from other modern bikes, offering a unique and challenging riding experience.

Statistically, the Indian is heavier than the Yamaha, weighing in at 236kg compared to 193kg. However, this weight complements its character without significantly compromising performance or the riding experience.

While the FTR 1200 isn't a brand-new model, a 2021 update injected more power and replaced the flat-track-style Dunlop tires with road-friendly Metzeler Sportec hoops on certain models. These changes, along with adjustments to steering geometry and suspension settings, aligned its handling with naked sports bike rivals. Its long wheelbase may make it slower to turn, but once leaned into a bend, it becomes rock-solid and stable.

The engine has been a source of confusion, with some mistaking it for the 1133cc V-Twin found in the Scout. It's not identical, but it shares heavy development with it, in collaboration with Swissauto. Now boasting 1203cc and high compression heads, it delivers 121bhp, surpassing the Scout's 100bhp. The engine also features rear-cylinder deactivation software for improved heat management and fuel efficiency, though it's still a thirsty engine with a 13-liter tank offering limited range. However, this isn't a long-distance touring bike, so the range isn't a significant concern for those seeking a spirited Sunday morning ride.

In essence, the Indian FTR 1200 R Carbon Edition is a motorcycle that dares to be different and demands a rider who appreciates a challenge. If you're up for the adventure, it offers a truly rewarding experience.

I dare you to take one for a ride and uncover its unique personality, quirks, and virtues. I'm willing to bet that, like me, you'll relish the raw essence of the FTR 1200 R.

#Custom #Indian

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