Indian’s FTR1200 was already a certified VGB (Very Good Bike), but with a few tweaks coming to the motorcycle for the 2022 model year, it’s about to get even better. Indian listened to people who bought the bike and gave it a few minor tweaks to make the flat track race-inspired machine an even better street machine. With the revised suspension, new wheel and tire package, and engine control enhancements made, it would seem Indian has addressed every issue I had with the FTR.
It was damn close to perfection before, but with these tweaks, it might just be the platonic ideal motorcycle.
One of the major complaints about the FTR when it launched in 2019 was the wheel and tire package. Indian has ditched the old bike’s flat-track-ready 19" front and 18" rear wheels with blocky dirt-looking Pirelli tires. In their place is a pair of 17-inchers with a more street-appropriate Metzler Sportec tire. This alone will make the bike a better canyon carver than it was before, but steeper rake at 25 degrees and shorter trail at 3.9 inches are sure to make the bike nimbler and sportier. As a result, Indian have also narrowed the handlebars by 1.5 inches for improved control.
The most exciting addition, in my opinion, is the standard across-the-board adjustable damper setup. Previously, the adjustables were only found on the higher-cost S model, but now even the base model FTR will have them. Of course, you can also upgrade to Ohlins adjustable if you need to flex on fools.
The FTR1200's engine is perhaps its best part, pumping out 120 horsepower and 87 lb-ft of torque from a 1.2-liter water-cooled V-twin. It’s a special gem of a motivator, giving a wide tractable powerband and plenty of grunt for track work or bombing mountain roads. Previously, the throttle was a little jumpy, it didn’t like to stay running after cold starts, and it produced a whole lot of heat. For the 2022 model, Indian has given the bike improved cold-start control, gentler throttle mapping, and rear cylinder de-activation for better fuel economy and heat generation on long highway hauls. Excellent.
The base price for 2022 is $12,999, down from initial 2019 launch price of $13,499, but based on the specs of the new bike, you’re getting a better motorcycle in the process. The FTR1200 S model, which features a TFT dashboard, adjustable ride modes, a titanium exhaust, and advanced Bosch traction control, will run you $14,999. Step up to the FTR1200 S Carbon for the Ohlins joints and a smattering of lightweight carbon bodywork for $16,999. Of course, if you’re looking for something with street style and off-road chops, you can still get the FTR Rally with 19 and 18 wire spokes and Pirelli Scorpions for $13,999.
There are very few motorcycles that I’ve fallen in love with like the FTR. With these updates, I think the 2022 model will be even more worthy of my love. I hope it loves me back.