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In Episode 4 of the MOTR Podcast, I sit down with Reid Wilson, Senior Director of marketing and planning at Indian Motorcycle.

Our conversation comes just hours after I rode a pre-production version of the Indian FTR1200 street bike, which serves as a jumping off point for a conversation about where Indian is headed as a company and a brand.

The FTR1200 is a pivotal motorcycle for Indian, as the machine helps mark the transition occurring at the American motorcycle company. Up until now, Indian had wanted to be the next Harley-Davidson…and now it wants to be the next Honda.







Reid’s insights into the Indian FTR1200 and the company’s overall positioning help us understand what is going on behind-the-scenes at Indian, which makes for an interesting conversation. I think you will enjoy his insights.

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If you’re not already, you should also listen to our sister podcasts, the Two Enthusiasts Podcast and The Paddock Pass Podcast.







Source: SoundCloud







The Indian FTR1200 is coming soon, and it promises to be the American brand’s first proper sport bike. The funny thing is though, it is unlike any other sport bike currently on the market.

It is a complicated concept to understand, so we will save it for another story, but part of the big news surrounding this bike is the robust number of accessories that Indian is making available when the FTR1200 is finally on the market.

As such, there will be four aftermarket flavors that you can use to customize the Indian FTR1200, if you so happen to put one in your garage. Those four flavors are as follows: Tracker, Rally, Sport, and Touring. 













The INTERMOT show is done and dusted, and we have had some time to chew on the models that we saw in Cologne, Germany...or didn't see, as the case might be. The second largest trade show in the motorcycle industry, one can wonder though whether the INTERMOT show is the second most important.

Having two major shows on European soil, with INTERMOT coming every other year, creates a Sophie's Choice for motorcycle manufacturers. EICMA might draw the crowds and the press, but it is also a maelstrom of new models, and it is easy for a bike's launch and debut to be lost in the chaos.

To that vein, INTERMOT provides an opportunity for manufacturers to see the forest for the trees. It is less pressure, with most manufacturers choosing to debut more minor releases at the German show, but this makes it ripe for some surprises as well. For 2018, things were no different.

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The belle of the INTERMOT ball, the Indian FTR1200 made its debut in Germany this week to much fanfare. We should all make note that the American brand has released its first non-cruiser motorcycle…and it did so on foreign soil. This is not an accident.

The FTR1200 marks an important moment in the Indian Motorcycle Company’s history, as it is the first of several machines to come from this historic marque that will take it into the future.

As I have said before, we should all pay attention, because Indian doesn’t want to be the next Harley-Davidson…it wants to be the next Honda, and that means worldwide domination.













Today, I am going to share with you a look behind the curtain - a look at several sides of the motorcycle industry that you don't usually get to see. Our story concerns the Indian FTR1200 street tracker motorcycle, which just debuted in Cologne, Germany at the INTERMOT show...but really, this story started three months ago, back in the United States.

It starts with a leaked photo of the Indian FTR1200, taken from a production event in Los Angeles, which was then sent to Asphalt & Rubber by a loyal reader. This turned into A&R finding its way to Minnesota to ride a prototype of the FTR1200, and us being amongst the first to ride this highly anticipated motorcycle.

An exclusive media event, Indian's plan was to have the largest publication from each critical market present, to give an early evaluation of this ground-breaking machine for the American brand.

While there were sole-representatives from the UK, Italy, Germany, Australia, Asia, etc - because of our efforts, from the United States there would now be two publications. Sorry for partying.

I have no doubt that the coverage from these other publications will read like initial reviews, part critique and part marketing pieces for the Indian Motorcycle Company. That's not a slight to my colleagues, that is just the reality of the situation. How do you evaluate a prototype motorcycle?

"I have no idea what they are talking about," I told an Indian staff member, while our post-ride video reviews/debriefs were being filmed. We had just ridden for a half a day on a motorcycle that we knew nothing about, and now we were expected to stand in front of a camera, and espouse our impressions of it.

Because of the looming weather, our tech briefing was after the ride, which is a frustrating thing when it comes to evaluating a motorcycle. As such, our impressions would be limited and relative. The power felt "good"...the brakes were "ok"...this exhaust looks like the work of a drunk plumber.

With no specs, no prices, no production volumes, no set list of features...what were these journalists talking about in their videos? I still don't know.At $9,000, the FTR1200 could be one of the best motorcycles on the market, but at $20,000 Indian would have clearly missed the mark.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the $13,000 / $15,000 price points for the base and S models, respectively. It feels high...but we will get to that in a minute.

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They did it. They actually did it. Debuting today at INTERMOT, the Indian Motorcycle brand released its newest motorcycle, the 2019 Indian FTR1200.

The only production street tracker currently available on the market, the Indian FTR1200 takes its inspiration from the Indian FTR750 Scout race bike that is dominating the American Flat Track series, and in the process brings the company’s first non-cruiser motorcycle to market.

Answering the calls of many, the FTR1200 production bike is visually very close to the FTR1200 Concept we saw several months back, and it will come in two flavors: the base model Indian FTR1200, and the up-spec Indian FTR1200 S. Expect it to drop, Q1 2019.













It’s that time of the year again, where Christmas comes early to the motorcycle industry, and we get to see all the new motorcycles that will be coming for the next model year, and beyond.

For the 2019 model year, we expect to see new models debuting at the INTERMOT, AIMExpo, and EICMA trade shows, which are in Cologne, Las Vegas, and Milan.

With things kicking off in Germany next week, we thought we would put together a guide for all the new motorcycles that we expect to see in the coming weeks. There are a bevy of new models that we know will be released at these three trade shows, and there are more than a few rumors of new bikes as well, which may surprise us.







Without wasting anymore time, let’s get down to it. We have broken down the new models and rumors by each manufacturer. Enjoy!







We’ve seen patent design images and spy photos, and now we only have a week until the Indian FTR1200 debuts. We know this because Indian has begun teasing the street tracker’s debut in a short YouTube video.

In the video, we see American Flat Track champion Jared Mees sliding around on the Indian Scout FTR750 race bike, before he heads into an open garage. From there, we hear revving what is presumably the motor to the FTR1200 street bike.

Details on the 2019 Indian FTR1200 street tracker have been tight, but the American brand has been sloppy on keeping things under wraps. Design patents filed abroad have given us a good glimpse of the machine’s inner-workings, and the crafty Australian’s at Motorbike Writer have a spy photo which looks to give us the full monty on the machine.













The Indian Motorcycle company has been teasing us about the upcoming FTR1200 street bike that it’s bringing to market next year, and now we have a pretty good look at the machine, thanks to a patent application with the USPTO.

Showing the engine and chassis of the Indian FTR1200 in line drawings, we can see that the new street bike will have a trellis frame, and an engine that looks very much like the v-twin motor found on the Indian Scout cruiser.







Indian’s heavyweight models aren’t really our cup of tea, though we do get an immature chuckle when we hear them talk about their “Thunder Stroke” engine platform. Childish jokes aside, some interesting news caught our eye about the American brand’s 2019 models.

Included as part of the 2019 Indian Chief, Springfield, and Roadmaster models is a number of new features, the most interesting of which is the inclusion of rear-cylinder deactivation.

We have seen this technology most recently in the World Superbike Championship (and it is no stranger in the land of four wheels), where manufacturers deactivate cylinders mid-corner to improve bike’s response during partial throttle applications.







Indian is using this concept in a different way though – one that will be more applicable to riding on the street.







The Indian Motorcycle Company is recalling a bunch of 2017-2018 Indian Scout motorcycles right now, which includes the Scout Sixty and and Scout Bobber variants.

All told, 4,185 motorcycles are affected by a recall that concerns the anti-locking brakes system (ABS), which may have air left in the system after the assembly process.

Since air in the brake lines can impact a motorcycle’s braking ability, Indian has decided to recall the affected machines, in order to ensure rider safety.