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The rear 3/4 view of Trail Tech's gray 2019 Indian FTR 1200 S Adventure Custom in the desert

This Custom Indian FTR 1200 S Scrambles for Adventures

Even before its updates, the Indian FTR 1200 S was more of a sporty naked standard than an off-road-going flat-tracker. But Trail Tech's Kelly Anson's modifications turn into a proper scrambler motorcycle that Cycle World wishes could be available from the factory.

Flat-track racing inspired the Indian FTR 1200, but for 2022, the motorcycle has moved more to the street side of things. However, with the right modifications, even the most unlikely of street bikes can get ready for the dirt. The Indian Scout Sixty cruiser is proof enough of that. And with a bit of tweaking, you can take an Indian FTR 1200 S even further off the street.

Trail Tech turned a 2019 Indian FTR 1200 S from an urban tracker into an off-road-ready scrambler motorcycle

The rear 3/4 view of Trail Tech's gray 2019 Indian FTR 1200 S Adventure Custom in the desert
2019 Indian FTR 1200 S Adventure Custom rear 3/4 view | Trail Tech
Original spec2019 Indian FTR 1200 S
Engine1203cc liquid-cooled V-twin
Power123 hp
Torque87 lb-ft
TransmissionSix-speed manual
Front suspension and travel43mm fully-adjustable inverted Sachs fork; 5.9”
Rear suspension and travelFully-adjustable Sachs mono-shock; 5.9”
Seat height33.1″
Curb weight518 lbs

To be fair, the 2022 FTR lineup still includes a model with off-road tires, the Rally. But even before the 2022-model-year updates, the Indian FTR 1200 S was more of a sporty standard bike with flat-track elements. Though to be fair, that’s not exactly a bad thing.

Trail Tech’s Head of Product Development Kelly Anson didn’t take the flat-tracker route in customizing his 2019 Indian FTR 1200 S, though, Cycle World says. After all, that’s not the only unpaved activity open to two-wheeled machines. Instead, Anson wanted his bike to go further off the beaten path. But while his creation has ‘adventure’ in its name, it’s not an adventure bike. Instead, Anson’s ‘Indian FTR 1200 S Adventure Custom’ is a full-on scrambler.

Getting the FTR ready for scrambler motorcycle duty required several mechanical and powertrain tweaks. To increase ground clearance and cut curb weight, Anson installed a Toce Performance 2-into-1 exhaust. And to maximize the performance exhaust’s benefits, the V-twin’s ECU got a Dynojet Power Vision 3 reflash.

The modified Indian FTR 1200 S still has Sachs suspension. However, Oregon’s House of Horsepower upgraded the forks with new valves and springs. The bike also rides on the stock wheels, though they now wear Shinko E804/E805 Crossfly tires. For extra off-road protection, Trail Tech 3D-printed the skid plate out of Delrin and installed a “dirt-style” front fender. And Anson replaced the stock handlebars with taller Renthal ones with Fastway handguards.

Those new handlebars also have new bar-end mirrors and Rigid Industries auxiliary LED fog lights. Plus, the bike now has a windscreen and wider-than-stock Fastway footpegs. And the TFT display is supplemented with a Trail Tech Voyager Pro GPS unit.

Turns out, a customized 2019 Indian FTR 1200 S makes “one hell of a scrambler,” Cycle World says

Unfortunately, turning the Indian FTR 1200 S into a scrambler motorcycle didn’t give it a larger fuel tank. So, as with the 2022 FTR S, Anson’s bike struggles to go further than 100 miles on a tank. Plus, because the tank is underneath the seat, it’s rather wide, something that the new high-mount exhaust “exacerbates,” Cycle World notes. Hence why the Fastway footpegs are as wide as they are.

However, even though it’s not a ‘true’ flat-tracker, the Indian FTR 1200 S is a fun naked standard as standard. And Anson’s modifications don’t change that. But they do make it into “a hardcore scrambler” that Indian should pay attention to, Cycle World says.

Because the new exhaust doesn’t have a catalytic converter, the FTR Adventure Custom isn’t street-legal. But with it and the ECU reflash, the V-twin has “’more power, more snap [and] it’s definitely louder,’” Cycle World reports. Yet it’s still as predictable as before. And the suspension tweaks, along with the more off-road-focused rubber, mean the FTR can handle gravel and dirt significantly better. Plus, with the Voyager Pro, the FTR 1200 S has onboard GPS, something that the 2022 model lacks.

Can you copy this scrambler build with your own FTR 1200?

Two riders on their respective silver-and-brown 2022 Indian FTR Rally bikes on a city street
2022 Indian FTR Rally side view | Indian

Anson isn’t done tweaking his 2019 Indian FTR 1200 S Adventure Custom. He’s working on a way for the bike to carry more fuel. And he’d “love to see the FTR gain some more dirt-friendly ride modes,” especially ones that adjust traction control and ABS, Cycle World says. Considering that the 2022 FTR Rally has fewer electronic features than the S or R Carbon, that last wish likely won’t be granted soon.

However, for those who don’t want to wait, know that you can make your own version of Anson’s scrambler. While some of his bike’s parts are prototypes or one-off—for now—others are readily available. Here are the parts to look out for:

  • House of Horsepower custom fork springs and revalving service: $275 combined
  • Shinko E804/E805 tires: $300 combined
  •  Renthal handlebars: $100
  • Fastway Moto F.I.T. Handguard V2 kit and shields: $165 combined
  • Puig Naked New Generation windscreen: $112
  • CRG Arrow bar-end mirrors: $240
  • Rigid Industries 360-Series 4” SAE J583 fog lights with harness: $570
  • Aeromach aluminum skid plate: $46
  • ProTaper Rally footpegs: $280
  • Polished Toce Performance High-Mount 2-into-1 exhaust with ECU remapping: $2620
  • Voyager Pro with dock: $550
  • Polisport universal fender: $25-$40
A blue-silver-and-black 2021 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled motorcycle parked on a forest road
2021 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled motorcycle | Ducati

All told, that’s about $5300. Though you can save about $1000 by going with a 49-state-legal exhaust like the one S&S offers. And there’s the cost of the Indian FTR 1200 S; used examples cost at least $10.5K these days.

Admittedly, there are cheaper brand-new scramblers out there, Cycle World notes. But Anson’s build is proof that the FTR can still keep one foot, er, wheel in the dirt.

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