Indian FTR 1200 S ride review: A flat track racer for the street

Well, it is first — and for some foremost — a very stylish machine. Many, many people stopped and asked about it during the week I had it. Some claimed they were inspired to buy one of their own. And you can see why. It looks very cool, with an aggressive street stance. Its 60-inch wheelbase looks like it’s all in the rear wheel being pushed aft on that long swing arm. It’s an appealing look. Those windy exhausts snake up and down like a Ducati (“How dare you, sir? How dare you!”) And that 26.3-degree rake and 5.1 inches of trail in front make the whole thing look downright lowered.
It’s hard to imagine that some people would take these off-road. Flat track is, by definition, flat, and on a track. Yet the FTR’s press launch ride earlier this year included 40 miles of dirt road in Baja. During my week with the FTR, it never seemed suited to going off-road in Baja. I cannot see this thing being seriously considered an adventure bike, despite the chunky flat-track-style tread blocks on the rear Dunlop DT3.