Privateers lead a different life from factory riders – and it’s not just the disparity in the paycheck, either. From van driver to mechanic to team manager, these committed riders have to wear many hats besides their helmets on race weekend. This year in American Flat Track, fans have witnessed a big change in the field of motorcycles competing in the events. The same Indian FTR750 that the factory guys are riding is available for privateers, too. The result has been some exciting racing and different names at the top of the standings.
We’re only two weeks away from the official racing debut of Indian’s new FTR750. The last time we saw the FTR in action was at the GNC season finale at Santa Rosa where Joe Kopp finished seventh in the main event. That was a shakedown run, albeit, a very impressive one. Now, with more development time, the current GNC champion Bryan Smith piloting the bike, and a new flat tracker from Harley-Davidson, the XG750R, in the mix, there hasn’t been more anticipation for the flat track opener in Daytona in a long time.
Indian summoned the moto-press to San Diego a couple of weeks ago to introduce another new model that’s embargoed until about April. One of the most interesting parts of this particular junket were the remarks by Reid Wilson, Indian’s 37-year old Marketing Director. Before coming to Indian three years ago, Wilson worked as a brand manager for Miller/Coors, and before that he was riding Briggs & Stratton-powered minibikes from the time he was a toddler. I corralled him at the bar for further explication.
Sometimes it seems as if the term “history was made” is overused to the point of cliché, but it’s about the only way to describe the competitive rollout of the all-new, purpose-built Indian Scout FTR750 flat-tracker at the series finale of the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track Championship on September 25, 2016.