The Indian FTR 1200 S is a Gentleman’s Tracker- subtle and beautiful. Designed to be a flat tracker for the road, it conveys a strict purpose of power and performance, with a shot of elegance.
Available in three colour schemes – black and grey, red and silver, and the race replica combination of red and white, the bike portrays three entirely different characters. The top-spec variant gets a gold anodised set of fully adjustable 43mm Sachs forks, variable ride modes, gyro-assisted traction control, and ABS. The display comes in the form of a four-point three-inch full-colour touch-screen. It has a glove-friendly UI and ease of navigation, with two modes that can be switched simply by a finger swipe. In addition, the UI also includes switchgear mounted command buttons and a four-way joystick control. The positioning of the screen, however, makes it compulsory for the rider to give it more than just a quick glance while on the road.
The well-styled, round stacked-LED headlamp is equally split horizontally with classy chrome trim with the Indian logo and goes beautifully with the theme of the motorcycle. It has wide handlebars that provide for nimble manoeuvring even in the city traffic and a tight turning radius that makes it craftier than most cruisers. However, long exposures to riding in traffic may cause certain fatigue in the upper body because of the slightly heavy steering.
Performance and Ride quality
On the highway, the bike is much more comfortable, and long rides will only keep you wanting more with its 1203 cc V-twin running like a happy child. The engine produces 120Nm of torque at 6000 rpm with 120 ps of power. The energy spike is felt strongly in the 4000-6000 rpm range, and the FTR 1200 S lunges from thirty kilometres an hour to eighty in just a little over two seconds. In low range, the bike is not very crawling friendly, and heavy traffic conditions tend to make it more grumpy and cause the engine to heat up quickly. On wide-open roads, with ample room for the pleasantly adequate amount of horsepower, the FTR 1200 S feels more at home. It can both cruise happily at 100-120 kmph in the sixth gear and lunge forward with enthusiasm at the slightest command of the throttle.
Seating is firm and supportive – both in leaning forward and in the upright riding position, which makes it comfortable for long rides leaving the rider with nothing but sweet satisfaction. The tall frame and stance, however, makes it a bit difficult for shorter riders to mount or dismount, and crawling in and out of U-turns is down-right pain in the pelvis. The Sachs Monoshock supporting the saddle keeps both bike and rider well protected from numerous anomalies on various kinds of roads. The front wheel is larger at nineteen inches and provides for a better-controlled approach and handling, and the eighteen-inch rear wheel gives a balance to the rear. Tyres should have been wider. Especially at the back, since the 150 section fails to aid and complement the super excited V-twin – causing the tail end to spin out on heavy gunning of the throttle and slippery surfaces while going into turns.
Braking and Safety
The prominent looking fuel tank is only a design element, and the fuel is stored under the seat – keeping the centre of gravity low on the otherwise tall motorcycle. The throttle happy engine needs a strict guardian and is complemented by twin 320 mm discs on the front and a large 265 mm on the rear, with litre-class Brembo calipers. Adjustable brake levers and a radial master cylinder, together with the other components, fulfil the bike’s safety calling. The ABS is gyro equipped and is well-calibrated.
Further on safety, the bike gets a little something called “wheelie mitigation control” to keep the reins on the front wheel tighter. Three ride modes – Rain, standard, and sport offer three different riding experiences. The rider can toggle Traction control and ABS settings between complete intervention to absolutely unbridled riding and sliding. The only sad bit is the universal button for TC and ABS.
In our opinion
To put it emphatically, the FTR1200 S is an experience that can’t be easily compared with others of its like. It is undoubtedly not your average performance naked bike and not one to be played with every day either. The only downside to this otherwise excellent possession is the eccentric price tag of sixteen lakh. It is because the company is only looking at bringing in the FTR 1200 S as a CBU, with a variety of added taxes and duties.