Indian FTR750 Flat-Track Racer Unveiled At Sturgis

John Burns
by John Burns

Indian will join Harley in the American dirt-track wars

Photos by: Evans Brasfield and Indian

With the unveiling of the Indian Scout FTR750, American dirt-track racing will soon be blessed with a pair of 750cc V-Twin racers from a pair of American factories.

Indian’s FTR750 was revealed at the Motorcycles As Art industry event that took place at the Buffalo Chip in Sturgis. In attendance were the two surviving members of the legendary Indian Wrecking Crew, Bobby Hill and Bill Tuman, both of whom are AMA Hall of Fame members. The motorcycle featured the #51 of Bill Tuman, as a tribute to the last rider to win a Grand National Championship on an Indian in 1953.

The race-only Indian Scout FTR750 features an all-new 53-degree V-Twin housed in a steel frame said to yield a short wheelbase. The engine was designed by SwissAuto in Switzerland, a company Polaris owns. According to Cycle World (which got the exclusive scoop on the new engine no doubt for a favor to be repaid later and a barstool in perpetuity at the annual CW Trek), it has a bore and stroke of 88.0 x 61.5mm and uses a DOHC layout to actuate four valves per cylinder. The liquid-cooled mill is said to make 109 horsepower at 10,000 rpm. The target weight of the engine was supposedly 115 pounds, and it currently weighs in at a purported 106.

“A heritage of racing and winning is in the lifeblood of this brand, and everyone in attendance was clearly proud to be a part of this important moment in the historic return of Indian Motorcycle to professional flat track racing,” said President of Motorcycles Steve Menneto at the Sturgis unveiling. “We have an incredible team of engineers and designers working on this initiative, and all of us are deeply committed to building a world-class racing program that will live up to our legendary history on the track.”

One-hundred and nine horsepower is definitely plenty for flat track, where the hard part is putting power to the ever-changing racing surface. Now all we need is a rider, and that will be Jared Mees, defending AMA champ and winner of three of the last four championships on The Other Brand.

Harley’s venerable XR750 is the other “race-only” engine in GNC1, but it’s had its hands full lately against liquid-cooled street-derived Twins from Kawasaki. And we’re still waiting for Yamaha to fully jump in with factory support for its FZ-07.

Although the FTR is solely a racing machine at this point, we can’t imagine Indian putting a bunch of development work into a new engine family and not leveraging that R&D into a spin-off streetbike at some point in the future, especially as nice as the thing appears to be finished in the photos we’ve seen. We bet we’ll see a concept of such a machine at this fall’s EICMA show in Milan.

The Scout FTR750 will be on display in the AMA Paddock at the Black Hills Speedway during the fans walk, and it will also be shown in the Indian Motorcycle factory display on Lazelle Street through the rally week.

John Burns
John Burns

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  • Buzz Buzz on Aug 09, 2016

    No mention of Roland Sands riding it right off the stage and onto the crowd beneath?

    • Auphliam Auphliam on Aug 10, 2016

      That was awkward, eh? Straight out and right off the other side, just as the carnival barker says "There are no front brakes on this bike"...somebody should've mentioned that to Roland.

  • TheMarvelous1310 TheMarvelous1310 on Aug 12, 2016

    Come on, Indian. Just throw a headlight and a plate on it, call it the Brave and put it in Polaris showrooms and I'll be right down to finance!