Since the Indian name was revived by Polaris in 2011, it has been taking the fight directly to Harley-Davidson on its home big V-twin turf. In 2018 the company introduced the magnificent FTR1200 based loosely on its Scout model. I’ve logged over 1500 miles on the FTR since then, and have loved every single one more than the last. Now it would seem that Indian has plans to take on H-D in the electric game as well, pitting an electric FTR against the lovely LiveWire. According to a report from motorcycle.com, Indian has filed a trademark for the name ‘EFTR’.
UPDATE June 12 4:04 PM ET: A representative from Indian Motorcycle reached out to clarify this story. The upcoming EFTR will not be an electric version of the FTR1200, as I and others assumed. Instead of an electric FTR [which, for the record, would totally rip] it is described by Indian as a “youth-oriented product” that will be unveiled later this year. Here is the statement from Indian Motorcycle:
“The trademark application [...] is related to a new youth-oriented product that will be unveiled later this year, and is not related to a new electric version of the FTR 1200.”
If Indian can get the right balance of performance and price tag for its electric flat tracker, and get it to market before The Motor Company can get its own to market, it could be a serious winner. Personally, I love the chassis and ergos of the FTR1200, but truly wish it had the LiveWire’s endless waves of electric torque. Getting both in the same package would be an instant home run for me.
It does well to remember that Polaris isn’t totally new to electric motorcycles. Prior to the LiveWire’s launch, its other (now shelved) motorcycle brand Victory sold some Empulse electric motorcycle models. Those bikes were, of course, cribbed directly from Brammo, in which it invested heavily in 2011 and 2012 before buying outright in 2015.
Don’t expect this EFTR to be powered by leftover Brammo motors and battery packs gathering dust in a Minnesota warehouse, however. In the time since the Empulse TT exited production electric motorcycle technology has advanced in leaps and bounds. The Empulse was rated at just 54 horsepower and 61 lb-ft of torque. Compare that to the FTR1200's 123 horses and 87 lb-ft of torque and you can see that it would barely be enough to get moving. I’d expect any Indian-built EV bike to at least meet—if not exceed—the 110 hp and 140 lb-ft of Zero’s mega SR/F.
I’ve been waffling about buying my own FTR1200 for a year, but if this electric version is as good as I hope it is, I’ll plop the cash down for it as soon as it’s available.