Indian Motorcycle Returns to Flat Track Racing

06/14/2016 @ 12:51 pm, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

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AMA Pro Flat Track is heating up. First, it was Harley-Davidson announcing its first flat track race bike in 44 years, the Harley-Davidson XG750R. And now, we get word that Indian Motorcycle is set to compete as well, debuting today a purpose-built v-twin engine for the job.

The Indian Scout FTR v-twin engine is a 750cc liquid-cooled four-valve lump that is specifically designed for flat track racing. Using a specially built chassis, Indian aims to compete in AMA Pro Flat Track, with Jared Mees serving for now as the company’s test rider.

Indian says it will compete at a single 2016 event, which is still to be announced, before going after the 2017 AMA Pro Flat Track title in full. Presumably Mees will headline that effort as well, which if the case, should make Indian’s entry a very potent one.

This is because Mees was the AMA Grand National Championship (GNC1) title winner in 2012, 2014, and 2015. He is also the current X Games gold medal holder. He is easily one of the top talents in American flat track racing right.

“I can’t express how excited I am to be the guy to bring Indian Motorcycle back into the forefront of AMA Pro competition,” said Mees.

“We will have a lot of work to do to develop a 100% new race platform, but I’m committed and excited at what I have seen on the drawing boards and what the plans are for Indian Motorcycle Racing.”

“This is history for the brand, and being a part of it is truly exciting for me and this sport.”

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Source: Indian

  • LeDelmo

    If this will be as cool as the HD XG750R. I am all for it. It really looks like Indian put allot of thought into building that motor I cannot wait to see how it preforms.

    Speaking of the XG750R. How the heck did they make that stock 38hp motor a 120hp race motor. HD needs to be taking notes…

  • Gary

    Maybe it’s just Indian settling an old grudge with Harley Davidson. I can’t imagine they’d derive much benefit from the development of a new racing platform in a series that no one cares about. On the other hand, there may be a decent ROI if they cosponsor with Skoal or Mossy Oak.

  • imprezive

    This is cool and all but it’s a pretty niche series to be kind. I don’t even think it’s televised. I want to see Victory announce their entrance into MotoGP. THAT would be exciting. Maybe at least Mees will bring an Indian over to race Marquez in the Superprestigio IV.

  • MrDefo

    Flat track is gaining popularity in recent years in the States. Maybe it’s not quite as big as we might think, but it’s definitely more popular than MotoAmerica right now. As American brands, it makes a lot of sense that Harley and Indian mix it up in this arena.

  • I wouldn’t say no one cares about flat track racing. The sport is gaining huge traction right now, no pun intended.

  • The stock motor makes mid-50hp. I’m not sure of the changes H-D made, but getting to 120hp isn’t too hard to do with a 750cc water-cooled lump, pushrods or not, as long as you don’t mind servicing it every weekend.

  • imprezive

    What makes you think flat track is more popular than MotoAmerica? I would think the fact that MotoAmerica has a TV contract and flat track doesn’t would tip towards MotoAmerica. I honestly have no idea though. Don’t get me wrong it makes perfect sense for Indian to enter flat track. It’s head to head with HD and almost definitely much cheaper than road racing. They can also scoop up an elite racer and give themselves a good shot of wins.

  • sutty

    What else could that motor be put in? Looks very compact, possibly competition use only.
    R/H gear change too?

  • chris

    mees = no joke

  • coreyvwc

    Yes, competition use only. This motor will never EVER be in a street bike.

  • MrDefo

    So I don’t have a simple metric to show you to make my point, but I can point to some articles pertaining to both series: http://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/three-big-questions-facing-motoamerica-in-season-two

    http://www.bikebandit.com/blog/post/is-flat-track-making-a-comeback

    I want MotoAmerica to succeed. I wish we had a vibrant road racing series in the US. But it’s just having a hard time, and flat track appears to be on the rise. And having the two major US bike manufacturers involved in the series makes flat track all the more appealing to us.

  • imprezive

    Neither of those articles really implies that flat tracking is more popular tha MotoAmerica. I went to one of the SoCal flat track races that Roland Sands puts on. It was fun and entertaining but at most had a couple hundred people there. Maybe the AMA races are much more popular but I just don’t see them having huge attendance numbers. I guess bottom line is hopefully they both succeed. Maybe we’ll get really lucky and Victory will do a production version of Project 156 (for real this time) and go racing in MotoAmerica too.

  • Bicho

    Are you shure?It would be a shame not to put this high performance beauty in a (full red) street tracker…………..i hope this goes into production,somehow,someday!

  • Bicho

    “sure”

  • major tom

    Right foot shift. This will never be in a street legal bike.Swiss-Auto developed for racing only.External flywheels for adjusting traction. Kudos for Indian and let the old time rivalry begin! This will be a Mile monster.

  • coreyvwc

    Yup, this prototype engine was designed from ground up to be exclusively used for racing. Much like a MotoGP engine. Maybe someday they will make a “similar looking” street engine.

  • LeDelmo

    I don’t understand why Harley and Indian cant put these nice compact race motors in a Street Tracker/Scramble style street bike.

    They would be such a nice alternative. Like I said if they can get a reliable version of these putting out at-least 100Hp with 90-100 Ft.Lbs. Tq, These things would sell.

  • Spinman

    It would be nice if Indian would take what they learned here and make an “American Ducati” instead of another ridiculous cruiser with forward mounted controls. Even the magazine testers complain that the position is uncomfortable. I’d love to buy an american bike, but it’s not gonna happen if they are only out to please the cruiser market.