Epic 2022 Indian FTR1200S – TMW Reviews!

Epic 2022 Indian FTR1200S - TMW Reviews!

Epic 2022 Indian FTR1200S - TMW Reviews!

Great things keep happening here at TMW! This fall, Indian Motorcycle got in touch again and invited us to spend two weeks with their exciting updated muscle bike, the 2022 Indian FTR1200S! We got some quality time in the saddle and zipped over to Bonneville Speedway for some epic photos. The FTR did not disappoint, and we had a great time with it.


Overview of the 2022 Indian FTR-S

2022 Indian FTR-S pictured on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

The FTR platform is a liquid-cooled naked V-twin with a six-speed transmission and chain drive. In the S trim level, you pick up a TFT dash with Indian’s familiar Ride Command suite, ride modes, adjustable suspension, ABS with cornering pre-control, and wheelie control. You also get Akraprovic exhaust and premium paint options. The FTR1200S starts at $14,999. A laundry list of performance, style, and touring comfort options can take you well over $20k.

True engine displacement is 1,203cc. Peak horsepower is 120, and peak torque is 87 ft-lb. Unladen seat height is 30.7 inches, and service weight with a full tank of fuel is 514lbs.

For those of you who are keeping score, the FTR comes in two other trim levels. The FTR Rally comes with a 19″ front wheel, meatier rubber, and spoked rims. The FTR R Carbon is for those who appreciate the finer things in life. It comes with all the goodies on the S, but adds exclusive carbon fiber bodywork, Ohlins suspension, and a premium seat.


Other trim levels of the Indian FTR pictured the the showroom, with a wall of accessories in the background.


“Like a shiny childhood toy, like it should be under a glittering Christmas tree with a big bow wrapped around it.”


First Impressions

Sitting still on the showroom floor, the FTR-S is very approachable. It’s small and simple and just looks fun. It looks almost like a shiny childhood toy, like it should be under a glittering Christmas tree with a big bow wrapped around it. That impression continues when you throw a leg over. It is a bit tall, but it’s lightweight and the bars are an easy reach. Seating position is commanding – you feel very much on TOP of this bike.

Once you’re riding though, the 2022 Indian FTR-S quickly demands your attention and respect. All that “toy” energy burns off at about 1/3rd throttle and it starts to feel more like a weapon. It’s nimble, lightweight, and flickable, but that 1200cc powerplant serves up torque like a buffet lunch on a Saturday. No beginner scoot this thing, it’s built for a responsible rider with some experience.

It doesn’t loose that sense of smallness though. The entire bike disappears completely from inside a full-face helmet. It’s like flying. One surprising thing – your weight is biased forward enough you don’t really notice the wind, even into triple digits. And the FTR-S will happily and readily climb over 100. In fact, in top gear, it’s faster from 70-100 than our Concours14.


On The Salt

We knew when we took delivery of the 2022 Indian FTR-S that we wanted to get some time with it at Bonneville Salt Flats. We’re fortunate enough to live only two hours from the speedway, so we packed up on our last weekend with the bike and made the drive across Utah’s west desert. We didn’t do any timed runs or anything like that, just took the FTR-S out on the salt and stretched its legs. We also got some amazing photographs and footage. We took our motorhome too, so we could play all day and spend the night.

Close-up of the headlight of the 2022 Indian FTR-S. The headlight is covered in a spray of fine salt from the flats.

After the sun went down, we sat up our patio chairs on the hard packed salt and had dinner outside. We watched “The Fastest Indian” on our little outdoor television. Isn’t technology amazing? It was an incredibly powerful feeling, being out there under the clear sky with our own Indian standing nearby, watching the story of Burt Munro’s epic adventure to America and Bonneville. His record still stands in the streamlined sub-1,000cc class. Nobody’s ever challenged it, out of deference and respect for Munro. If you’ve never watched “The Fastest Indian”, you really should. It’s a wonderful story.


It wants to be seen and be heard and make a commotion. Nothing about it is subtle. You will misbehave.


Dramatic shot of the Indian FTR-S standing in the middle distance, the wide expanse of flat, featureless salt flats stretching out to the horizon.


Final Thoughts

Taken together – the small stature, the torquey motor, the aggressive stance – what the 2022 Indian FTR-S really does is coax out your inner hooligan. This bike wants to tear up city streets and rip through canyons. It wants to be seen and be heard and make a commotion. Nothing about it is subtle. You will misbehave. The traction control is there try to save your bacon when you do.


What the FTR-S doesn’t want to do is slab it’s way across the country. You’ve got 3.4 gallons of fuel onboard, so you’ll be stopping every 100 miles and not to call Baton Rouge. You can option it up for touring of course, with a side bag and top case and windshield, but petrol will still be in short supply. And that’s okay, because if that’s your jam Indian has lots of other bikes that will do it better. The FTR-S is a weekend warrior and it shines best in that role.

The only thing we can really to find to complain about is the fueling. You don’t get much until you get to about 1/4th throttle. The power comes up fast once it hits too, so it you’re not paying attention the FTR-S will try to get away from you. My guess is this was done intentionally to make the bike manageable when you’re puttering around town, and that’s fine. It’s just a shame it can’t be a little smoother on the uptake.

The Indian FTR-S pictured in sharp silhouette, a blazing sunset at top right and the slat flats angling off into the distance.


2022 Indian FTR1200S : FTR S – A HIGHER STANDARD.

Introducing the 2022 Indian FTR1200S…

The FTR S was engineered at the intersection of capability and authenticity.

As the premium offering, the FTR S includes Indian Motorcycle’s 4.3-inch Ride Command touchscreen display, which offers phone integration via Bluetooth or USB and configurable gauges. The FTR S is standard with an upgraded Akrapovicˇ exhaust, three ride modes, wheelie control with rear lift mitigation, stability control, traction control and cornering ABS. Additionally, a fast-charging USB port provides a convenient means to staying charged. Two paint options are available: Maroon Metallic and White Smoke.

All 2022 FTR models feature a retuned engine calibration that refines cold start performance, and delivers a smoother, more predictable throttle
response. Additionally, cylinder deactivation and refined heat channeling manages engine heat to keep riders more comfortable.

The FTR, FTR S, and FTR R Carbon models are outfitted with 17-inch cast aluminum wheels wrapped with Metzeler Sportec street tires – resulting
in precision handling in corners and nimble handling on the street. Smaller wheels, along with the bike’s front and rear suspension which offer 120mm of travel, contribute to a lower seat height by 1.4-inches – opening the door for more riders to throw a leg over the FTR. Additionally, the ProTaper handlebars were trimmed by 1.5-inches (40mm) to support the bike’s nimble handling and give riders more control.

Each FTR model packs a host of standard features that carry over from previous FTR iterations. An inverted front suspension tuned for the street,
along with radially mounted dual Brembo® brakes provide riders with exceptional control and superior stopping power, while cruise control contributes to a comfortable ride.


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Special thanks to our friends at Buffie Rose Photography and Design for their professional portrait of the FTR-S!


About Eric Leaverton 41 Articles
Eric Leaverton is a management and labor relations specialist from the city of Harrisville, Utah, United States. He is an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction, and in his spare time enjoys riding motorcycles with his wife and raising their three children. Eric is also a product reviewer and field correspondent for Total Motorcycle Web. For more pictures, stories, and background, you can read his blog in the Total Motorcycle forums here: To Ride An Iron Horse (link opens in new tab)