It’s understandably tempting to go straight for the highest or special-edition trims when you’re shopping for motorcycles. That’s especially true if the motorcycle you’re eying has some features limited to specific trims. For example, if you want the Harley-Davidson Pan America’s adaptive-height suspension, you have to get the 1250 Special. However, some bikes offer an alternative to the lineup ladder: the accessory catalog. But is the updated 2022 Indian FTR S one of those bikes?
2022 Indian FTR S vs. R Carbon: the differences are in the details
|Spec||2022 Indian FTR S, R Carbon|
|Engine||1203cc liquid-cooled V-twin|
|Transmission||Six-speed manual with slipper-assist clutch|
|Front suspension and travel||FTR S: ZF Sachs fully-adjustable inverted cartridge fork; 4.72”|
FTR R Carbon: Ohlins fully-adjustable inverted cartridge fork; 4.72”
|Rear suspension and travel||FTR S: ZF Sachs fully-adjustable piggyback IFP; 4.72”|
FTR R Carbon: Ohlins fully-adjustable piggyback IFP: 4.72”
|Curb weight||FTR S: 514 lbs|
FTR R Carbon: 511 lbs
|Starting price||S: $14,999|
R Carbon: $16,999
The FTR S and R Carbon are the second-highest and highest trims, respectively, in the 2022 Indian FTR lineup. They both have the same V-twin powertrain and overall layout as the base 2022 FTR, including identical suspension geometries. However, the 2022 FTR S and R Carbon get some key upgrades over the base bike.
Firstly, the 2022 Indian FTR S has a 4.3” TFT display rather than an analog gauge like the base FTR. As a result, it has Bluetooth and can connect to your phone via Indian’s Ride Command app. The FTR S also has three ride modes, plus lean-sensitive wheelie control, stability control, traction control, and ABS. And it comes standard with a USB charging port, which is optional on the base model. Plus, for 2022, the Indian FTR S gets a titanium Akrapovic exhaust.
The 2022 FTR R Carbon also gets these features, including the same Akrapovic exhaust, Cycle World notes, albeit black. However, it has several additional features that the 2022 Indian FTR S lacks. For one, it swaps the Sachs suspension for Ohlins units. It also gets carbon-fiber tank (well, airbox) covers, as well as a carbon-fiber headlight nacelle and front fender. Plus, it has a firmer seat than the S, RideApart reports. And while the 2022 FTR S has a black frame, the R Carbon’s is red and silver.
With the right accessories, you can turn the 2022 Indian FTR S into an ersatz R Carbon
In short, for $2000 more than the 2022 Indian FTR S, the R Carbon gets an upgraded suspension setup, some carbon-fiber bits, and a few cosmetic tweaks. However, it’s essentially identical mechanically to the S. The two even have the same tires and wheel sizes, though the R Carbon’s wheels’ rims are a different shade of red. And crucially, Indian offers the same kinds of accessories on the 2022 FTR S and R Carbon.
Those accessories break down in the following way:
- High-mount exhaust conversion and mounting kit
- Ohlins forks and rear shock (FTR S only)
- Rally footpegs
- Roland Sands Design handguards
- RSD swingarm spools (for rear-wheel stands)
- Bags and luggage carrying
- Rear and side luggage racks
- Rear rack bag
- All-weather vinyl duffle, side, tank, and messenger bags
- Weather protection and comfort
- RSD comfort handgrips
- Heated grips
- Passenger footpeg relocation kit for high-mount exhausts
- Polycarbonate low and mid windscreens
- Rubber footpeg inserts
- Steel passenger grab handle
- R Carbon seat (FTR S only)
- All-weather vinyl seats
- Colored and carbon-fiber tank (airbox) covers
- Carbon-fiber front fender (FTR S only)
- Carbon-fiber seat cowl, chain guard, and V-covers
- Rizoma Radial RS mirrors
- Rear mudguard
- Carbon-fiber and aluminum radiator guards
- RSD engine cover
- Side number plates
- Handlebar phone mount
- RSD brake fluid reservoir caps
- Carbon-fiber headlight nacelle (FTR S only)
- Clear turn signals
- High license plate mount
MotorBiscuit’s 2022 Indian FTR S press bike came with some choice accessories
I recently spent some time riding an accessorized 2022 Indian FTR S. While it wasn’t a carbon copy of the R Carbon, it had the upgraded Ohlins suspension. The press bike also had a black vinyl tracker seat, black polycarbonate low windscreen, carbon-fiber front fender, and Rizoma mirrors. Plus, the R Carbon’s blacked-out exhaust covers and some black tank covers that, as of this writing, aren’t available as accessories.
Adding these accessories would add the following amounts to a stock 2022 Indian FTR S:
- Rizoma mirrors: $369.99
- Tank covers: $499.99 (estimated)
- Vinyl tracker seat: $199.99
- Tracker seat base cowl: $299.99
- Carbon-fiber front fender: $279.99
- Polycarbonate low windshield without headlight cowl: $149.99
- Steel windshield mount: $249.99
- Ohlins forks: $1799.99
- Ohlins rear shock: $899.99
- Black Akrapovic cover: $100
That adds up to an as-equipped cost of $19,478.92. And if my test bike had carbon-fiber tank covers, it would be $100 more expensive.
Is it worth upgrading the lower 2022 FTR trim to the highest level?
However, the biggest functional difference between the FTR S and the R Carbon is the suspension setup. So, cosmetics aside, you could ‘clone’ the R Carbon just by equipping the S with the Ohlins suspension. But that still leaves you with a $17,698.98 2022 Indian FTR S. In other words, the R Carbon is still cheaper.
Cosmetics aside, is the upcharge worth it? As I haven’t ridden a 2022 Indian FTR S with the Sachs suspension, it’s difficult to say. However, I was thoroughly impressed with how well the Ohlins suspension soaked up bumps and imperfections while still delivering grin-inducing handling. The ride is on the stiffer side, but it’s well-damped and never uncomfortable. And for what it’s worth, while The Drive says the Sachs shocks “are…known for being excellent,” it also notes that “ZF isn’t Ohlins.”
That’s not to say the stock 2022 Indian FTR S is bad. In all of its trims, it’s “a genuinely fun motorcycle,” Cycle World says—and I concur. But if I was spending my own money, I might skip over the S and go straight for the R Carbon.
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