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Review of the Indian FTR1200S “Lean it like you mean it!” March 12, 2021

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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I like motorcycles and I like riding fast. I have had numerous bikes and wrote a review in 2017 about my previous bike…a 2015 FZ09. Prior to that I had an XBS9R and have had Harleys and other bikes.

I attended the 2020 Sturgis Rally and Indian had a huge presence. I had a chance to see the new Indian bikes up close. WOW! Big change from the classic “Full dress” bikes. Everyone has their own style of riding. I have never been a fan of full dressers and baggers. I can appreciate the aesthetics but just not my style. I like acceleration, “leaning hard” and maybe pulling some wheelies.

After riding for 35 years (got my Motorcycle license at 15) I have learned what I like. I like V Twins…the rumble…the mid range…the torque is awesome! Love the feel when you roll on the throttle. I also like well handling bikes. I have had sport bikes. I am too old now to get down into a full tuck and have all my weight on my hands.

For those new to the FRT…it means “Flat Track Racer” and is based off of the Inidan FTR750 flat track race bike which has DOMINATED Flat Track Racing since entering in 2017..Indian Motorcycles (the First American motorcycle company) competed in flat track against Harley for years. Indian went away and was renewed in 2001..since 2017 Indians has dominated Flat track racing against the venerable Harley Davidson XR-750. Indian has 50 wins in 3 years…

Indian created the FTR1200 after the FTR750 (flat track racing is limited to 750cc). The Street version has a 1203cc, double overhead cams (DOHC), 4 valve per cylinder, liquid cooled engine. It redlines at 9000 RPM with an amazing torque curve! Pushing 12.5/1 compression that 1203 twin puts out about 123 horsepower and about 90flft of torque…stock! Plenty to raise the front end with the twist of the throttle! Power is routed through a 6 speed gear box and a final chain drive. This is a deviation from the standard belt drives common on American bikes. In addition, the bike has a slipper clutch.

The bike weighs about 497lbs dry and about 518 wet. It is not a short bike and has a seat height of 33 inches. Considering I have an inseam of about 31 inches…I am on my toes on this bike 😉 It has wide bars like a typical dirt tracker or motocross bike. It is stopped by 4 piston Brembo brakes on dual 320mm disks.

About the nannies…first the bike is electronically limited to 130MPH. I have tested this a few times and it is indeed limited! It also sports (the S version)…It allows the rider to choose between 3 Ride Modes (Sport, Standard Rain). It includes Lean Angle Sensitive ABS, Stability, Traction and Wheelie Mitigation Control, USB Fast-Charge Port, ABS, Cruise Control. Yes..the bike has cruise control! You can also hook your blue tooth devices such as a Pactalk pro intercom system, and a phone to the bike to control the media and phone functions.

After putting a couple thousand miles on the bike I have some feelings. First, the motor is awesome! That v-twin has tons of torque and amazing power. It pulls wheelies on command! It is a different style of riding than a sport bike. The wide bars give you a lot of confidence but the bike has a claimed lean angle of 43 degrees. It has a wheel base of 60 inches so is not going to carve any canyons with supersports but it is very stable and does carve pretty damn well.

When traction control is disabled, the FTR1200S will do roll on wheelies on command through 3rd gear. It has been tested to 11.77 seconds in the quarter mile at 115mph.

While all of these numbers seem cool, it does not begin to talk about how fun the damn bike is! It handles amazingly well and is very stable. The riding style is a bit different with the motocross bars and more upright position of a dirt track racer but I have come to really like the riding style. I have taken it off road a few times and it is indeed an offroad bike although I would not suggest hitting your local motocross tracks on it!

I would equate this bike to a Pony Car like a Mustange or Muscle Car like a Challenger. It is loud, it is fast. Can it handle? Hell yeah! Will it beat a 4 cylinder liter bike in top speed? No way. Will it carve through the canyons like a middleweight? No. That being said, I have never had a person roll down their window at a stop light and ask me about my sportbikes. I have had numerous people gush over the bike. Fire it up and it makes the ground shake and windows rattle.

Stock, I felt like the exhaust and DOHC made the bike sound like a sewing machine so my first upgrade was an S&S slip on exhaust. I was pretty happy with it but fell in love with the RaceFit Titanium exhaust! After the pipe arrived, I ordered the DynoJet PV3 with Ryan’s Secret Sauce from Indian of Charlotte! This is a new bike. It is not only much more responsive, but it is much louder! I tested the bike and it hit 122db at 6K rpm sitting in the parking lot. Do some research online and you will find that Ryan at Indian of Charlotte is THE MAN! for tuning the FTR! Unbelievable bike now! I have managed to shave about 40lbs off of the bike with upgrading exhaust and some other things.

The one thing all the stats and specs don’t tell you is how damn fun this bike is to ride! The torque is endless and it pulls HARD at all RPM. It also gets looks everywhere you go. Literally, I stop for gas and people want to talk about the bike. I have even had people pull up beside me at lights and take pics of the bike!

Complaints? The battery charging system sucks. Literally, it dies after 4 days with no riding. Indian says that you should plug it into a trickle charger. C’mon man!

Overall, I give a 9.5/10 for this bike. Get this bike! For $12K or so it is absolutely worth every cent!

Yamaha FZ09 Review – WOW!..Awesome bike! January 27, 2017

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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fz09_25Those who know me know I love motorcycles.  I have had everything from Ninjas to Buell’s to Harleys to Enduros…after my son was born I sold my highly modified and beloved (and fast) XB9SX (at right).  xb9_25

A few weeks ago I decided to buy another motorcycle.  After a lot of online research I decided upon Yamaha’s FZ09.  Since I am a speed junkie I figured a 900cc (well..850) streetfighter would be sane enough for me to ride without too much temptation to speed.  The price was right and the bike looked cool, as well.  I found one in Austin, TX and headed out to pick it up.  After 3 weeks on the bike (and over 400 miles) here is my review.

  • Power/Engine?  Yamaha claims about 115HP at the crank and roughly 70ftlbs of torque at 11,500 rpm. Stock Rear wheel is about 105HP.  With a full race exhaust and ECU tune, most are getting about 115hp at the rear wheel.  The bike is geared short for street riding and, as such, it has a ton of low end power.  The power curve is linear from below 2K all the way to the 12,500 RPM.  The power is smooth, and controllable.  It is aided by a 3 setting engine control setting.  A- max power or “track mode”, B- is a lower powered mode used for rain and around town.  Std Mode is good for street riding and around town.  You can switch modes on the fly.
  • Fun Factor?  That thing is FAST!…That motorcycle absolutely rips from 0-120!  Claimed 2.7 second 0-60 and 7 seconds from 0-100.  The upside?  Wheelies…wheelies everywhere!  Wheelies when you want them…wheelies when you don’t…grab too much throttle?  Wheelies.  I did  not realize the acceleration when I bought the bike.  The flat plane crank triple has tons of torque and makes this bike rip.  This bike is the most fun I have had on a motorcycle.  It sounds awesome, as well!  Here is a great video of a rider pulling a wheelie on his FZ09 at 100mph.

  • Handling? At only 414lbs in stock form and wet the bike is light, nimble, and well balanced.  It is very easy to flick this bike through traffic and keep a line around corners.  Yamaha claims a 51 degree lean angle.  While I have not yet scraped a peg on the bike, I can say it does lean tightly.  With an upgraded exhaust and some other changes my bike weighs in at less than 400lbs dry.  It is very narrow due to the 3 cylinder engine and flicks well through twisties.  Unfortunately, the suspension is not great and the front end tends to dive in hard braking.  The rebound and damping are limited, as well.
  • Beginner’s bike?  It is NOT a beginner’s bike!  Read #1.  While only about $8K new, it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  This bike will punish you if you are not careful.  I would NOT advise a new rider to get an FZ09.  If you are not careful on the throttle or you dump the clutch you may find yourself bouncing down the road on your rear end with the bike on top of you.  In a corner, too much throttle and you may find yourself sliding out in a low side (if you are lucky) or being launched through the air from a high side if you are unlucky.  As a writer from RevZilla said: “It’s the best thing ever!”…“It’s absolutely incredible and blows everything else like it out of the water, and that’s before you factor in price. It’s also basically un-rideable and feels like it could be trying to kill me.” (Video below is a high side by not an FZ)

  • Safety? – The 2017 FZ09 comes with Anti-Lock Breaks and Traction Control which should improve the nasty tendencies.  I have never ridden with ABS or TC so I don’t think I am missing much but for less experienced riders, I have little doubt that the additions will help in the safety department.

Overall impression?  Most fun I have ever had on a bike.  Best bang for the buck and an amazing motorcycle.  Yamaha hit it out of the park with the FZ family.

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