Indian FTR750 is Going Hill-Climbing

Indian is returning to its hill-climbing roots entering the 2020 AMA Pro Hillclimb Racing series with a modified FTR750. This marks the first Indian factory hillclimb racer since 1939.

The Indian FTR750 will be racing in the series’ new Twins class, which includes overhead cam Twins displacing 650cc to 1203cc or push-rod Twins from 650cc to 1800cc. AMA Pro Hillclimb created the class with the intent of drawing OEMs like Indian.

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Indian Privateers Ride The FTR750 In American Flat Track 2018

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.

Indian Motorcycle sent us an early look at a video it’s about to launch about two privateer racers who have switched to the dominating FTR750 for the 2018 season after struggling on inferior equipment last year. The release of this video is well timed, as veteran Kenny Coolbeth and up-and-comer Chad Cose have recently been posting some impressive results.

Both have completely different stories to tell. Coolbeth is already a flat-track legend, with three championships under his belt and a relatively big budget for a privateer. Meanwhile, Cose is a California kid who must help work on his bike and drive himself to the races. He’s hoping the dominating FTR will get him closer to the sharp end of the field. At Daytona, where this video was shot, neither of them performed that well, with Coolbeth bagging an eighth-place finish and Cose not even qualifying for the main event.

But, as it turned out, Coolbeth vaulted into the championship points lead after winning at round 2 in Atlanta when reigning series champ Jared Mees was disqualified for using a chemically altered rear tire. Then, at last weekend’s Texas race, Cose was the fastest qualifier and was able to score his first-ever AFT Twins podium finish in third place.

The added relevance of this video to MO readers is that our former Editor-in-Chief, Kevin Duke, was the producer behind this project.

“I hope you enjoy this video piece I helped put together for  Indian Motorcycle,” Duke commented, “as I’ve become a bigger fan of the action-packed series after being more involved. If you’ve got an interest in flat-track racing, I encourage you to tune into the live feeds on or to NBCSN a few days after the events for a tidy one-hour package.”

The AFT circus races this weekend in Calistoga, California, May 5.

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Riding the Indian Scout FTR750!

The clop, clop, clop of my steel shoe resonating through my helmet as I walked through the uncomfortable October heat at Perris Auto Speedway in my trusty NJK leathers as I headed toward the snarling motorcycle that was waiting for me.

Not just any motorcycle, mind you, but maybe the most amazing motorcycle I’ve ever been privileged to ride in my 25 years as a moto-scribe.

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Indian FTR750 Daytona Debut

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.

Following the FTR’s debut, MO enlisted the services of multi-time GNC champ Chris Carr to pilot the FTR around the mile track and give us his feedback. You can read about Carr’s insights here: Indian Scout FTR750 Ride Review. Our own John Burns will be on the ground in Florida to witness the historic event in person. Stay tuned for his full report following the race.

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MO Interview: Reid Wilson, Director of Marketing for Indian Motorcycle
Lead Photo by: Barry Hathaway

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.

MO: So, not in the next five years but in the next two or three years, you guys have some cool things coming down the pipeline, you said. Can you tell us more?

Reid: Yeah, so the first thing is reiterating our commitment to the brand Indian, investing in Indian, living up to the Indian name – so that means new riders, new segments, new bikes – outside of cruiser/bagger/touring, all within the next two to three years.

MO: I heard you say you want to attack market segments where American manufacturers haven’t been in a long time?

Reid: Yes. If you look back to the days of the original Indian, they were one of the most innovative, boundary-breaking companies, winning the Isle of Man and all that. That’s a helluva legacy to live up to and we’re focused on that, so that means doing new things that American motorcycle manufacturers aren’t doing right now. We’re really excited about doing that and, honestly, it’s coming a lot sooner than people think. I don’t want to say it’s coming tomorrow, but it is coming in the next few years. It’s an exciting time to be part of the brand, and an exciting time to be a motorcyclist in America.

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Indian Scout FTR750 Ride Review

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.

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