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2022 Indian FTR gets new tech and new wheels, is still a hooligan at heart

The FTR moves a little away from the flat track and focuses more on being an epic street bike, but that's not a bad thing.

The FTR's bones are still the ones we know and love, it's just a little sharper for 2022.

As Roadshow's resident motorcycle fiend, I was fortunate enough to spend almost a year with the 2019 Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica that served as our first-ever long-term test motorcycle. It wasn't a perfect machine by any stretch, but it remains one of my favorite motorcycles to this day.

Now that the FTR has had time to mature a bit, Indian has decided it's time to refine the concept for the 2022 model year. That's a good thing because, based on Tuesday's press release, the company seems to have addressed some of my biggest complaints with the bike. Unfortunately, it also loses a bit of its flat-track-inspired quirks along the way.

One of the most significant changes for 2022 is the inclusion of Indian's cylinder deactivation technology. This has been a standard feature on its bigger bikes for a while now -- the Challenger I'm currently riding has it, so look out for that review soon -- and it's a boon to rider comfort. It shuts off the engine's rear cylinder to conserve fuel and reduce the amount of heat thrown on the rider at idle.

Also new are the bike's fueling and ignition maps. Previously, the FTR would often struggle to stay running on its own until it got warm. If it was really cold out, the bike could take a little longer than you might expect to get started. I never found this to be a big issue, but I live in sunny Los Angeles, where it's warm. Indian claims to have sorted this out and made the bike run smoother, with more predictable throttle response. Power output remains the same at 120 horsepower.


The midlevel FTR S is probably the sweet spot in the range thanks to the inclusion of the awesome Akrapovic exhaust and upgraded electronics.


The bike also gets new tires. Gone are the bespoke Dunlops that looked like flat-track racing tires but which squirmed a bit on the freeway and which left something to be desired while cornering, and now they've been replaced with sport-touring rubber from Metzeler. Maybe more important is the move to 17-inch wheels -- again, a move away from the flat-track vibe -- which should offer sharper handling and vastly improved tire selection.

The rest of the bike is more or less the same, and that's a good thing. The engine is brilliant, the chassis and suspension are excellent and the electronics are awesome. There are now four models total in the FTR range. The base model is called the FTR and gets the analog speedometer and more basic suspension. The FTR S gets the TFT dash, Akrapovic exhaust and a more robust electronics package. The FTR R Carbon replaces the Race Replica and gets an Ohlins suspension, a different Akrapovic muffler and some carbon body bits. Finally, the FTR Rally, which was introduced in 2020, returns.

One area where there aren't any significant changes to the FTR lineup is in the price. The base model FTR starts at $12,999, and the top-tier FTR R Carbon will run you $16,999. There will also be a ton of factory accessories you can throw at your bike, including the option to add the Ohlins suspension to non-FTR R bikes. Indian expects the 2022 FTR models to reach dealers in the spring.

Now playing: Watch this: 2019 Indian FTR 1200 S: Happiness is a flat circle