Indian Motorcycle seems to be serious about taking the fight to that other American bike brand, and has now issued a race-only customer edition of its FTR750 flat tracker race bike at a price of USD 50,000 (RM222,575). With Indian Motorcycle’s “Wrecking Crew” race team campaigning the FTR750 on flat tracks in the US for 2017, customers were clamouring for a customer edition of the bike, though this is not, perhaps, quite what they wanted.

Using a purpose-built 750 cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-valve per cylinder V-twin, the Indian FTR750 is designed specifically for flat track racing, going up against the Harley-Davidson XG750R, the Milwaukee brand’s first dedicated race bike in over four decades. The custom V-twin engine was developed in-house by Indian Motorcycle and is wrapped in a unique steel frame that gives a tight wheelbase, large, centrally-located airbox and lightweight carbon-fibre body.

The chassis is adjustable in various ways, to allow for fine-tuning to the rider’s preferred race position, as well as to suit different courses and track surfaces. Ohlins does the suspension with 43 mm conventional front fork and rear fully-adjustable mono-shock, meant to keep the FTR750 flat and stable, giving traction when exiting a corner – and important trait for flat trackers.

A flat seat allows the rider to move around on the FTR750, choosing the best position to suit the bike’s lean angle and find traction, and flat trackers lean a long way over. This means that, since the FTR750 is only designed to turn left, all the foot controls are located on the right side of the engine.

Both Indian and Harley-Davidson have a history of flat track racing – prepared flat dirt tracks on oval courses taken from the days of horse racing – and this resurgence of interest from both brands is interesting. Having recently reviewed the Indian Chief Classic, we can vouch that Indian motorcycles do, indeed, handle well, and Harley-Davidson’s recent launch of the Street Rod 750 might mean that the American makers are now taking a keen interest in the middle-weight market.