RideFast Magazine June 2019

RobRidefast

SA's best motorcycle magazine

Indian FTR1200 growl

As we settle into the ride, the pace hotted up,

something that is a mercy; often American

launches tend to be a delicate affair, with the

launch hosts wary of the American tradition

of throwing lawyers at every situation, and

they dare not stray into anything risky thus

participants follow the leader in an agonising

procession of law-abiding uniformity.

Our hosts on this occasion were British,

and within ten minutes of turning onto

the Pacific Coast Highway, thoughts of

bloodsucking lawyers were cast aside, and we

were blasting away from each traffic light in a

delightfully Hollywood fashion.

The motor is a traditional 60º V-twin hosting

1203cc, with a radiator, that pushes 123hp

and 120Nm of torque. These figures might not

be the stuff of nightmares, but Indian has joined

the likes of Triumph by somehow making spec

numbers dance far more in real life than they

do on paper. The motor feels peppy and just

a bit angry, lifting the front wheel in first gear

and roaring to a redline of 9,000rpm. Indian

also has a knack of building motorcycles that

are somehow sublimely smooth and yet, at the

same time, dripping with character, two traits

that are usually mutually exclusive.

Indian FTR1200 in Paradise

Los Angeles is annoying in an enviable way

because they have the glitz and glamour of

Hollywood, exciting and friendly citizens, a

beautiful coastline, and the Santa Monica

mountains a mere click north of the city. As the

buildings end and the roadside turns into a cliff,

you can take any turn-off and be greeted with

some of the most magnificent roads anywhere

in the world. There is a veritable race track in

Los Angeles’ backyard, and yet for some daft

reason, Hollywood keeps focusing on a bunch

of muscle tractors blasting down straight

desert roads.

We took one of said turn-offs, and a

paradise beyond any stupid desert greeted us.

Choosing these kinds of roads in itself is a bold

move by Indian because, while the FTR1200

does flirt with the idea of racing, it does still give

off an aura of cruiser-ness. It has a dry weight

of 222kg, some 60kg heavier than the likes of

a Ducati Panigale V4R. The aluminium wheels

have been adopted from a flat tracker, with an

18-inch in the rear and a 19-inch in the front,

a configuration that would suggest handling

that tracks beautifully, but it not too keen on

changing direction.

“...while the FTR1200

does flirt with the

idea of racing, it does

still give off an aura

of cruiser-ness.”

RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2019 67

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