Indian FTR Plays Superbike & AMA Racer in Workhorse Speed Shop’s Hands

Workhorse Speed Shop custom Indian FTR motorcycle build highlights:

  • Belgium shop Workhorse Speed Shop just built two custom Indian FTRs for a pair of customers
  • One, the Black Swan, is inspired by ‘90s sportbikes and superbikes, while the FTR AMA is an homage to classic AMA race bikes
  • They’re not for sale, but several of Workhorse Speed Shop’s suppliers sell FTR parts

For some custom motorcycle builders, modifications are about bringing out more of the bike’s inherent nature. Others, meanwhile, see it as an opportunity to totally transform the machine. Wavre, Belgium-based Workhorse Speed Shop is no stranger to either style, especially when it comes to Indians, as their past Scout drag racers show. So, when shop owner Brice Hennebert was commissioned to customize some 2022 Indian FTRs, he decided, why choose? Do both.

Workhorse Speed Shop’s ‘Black Swan’ Indian FTR channels its inner ‘90s superbike

For 2022, Indian moved the FTR away from its flat-tracker roots, turning it into a naked standard/streetfighter. But with the ‘Black Swan’ build, Workhorse Speed Shop lets the FTR spread its wings as a carbon-fiber-clad sportbike. ‘90s sportbikes and GP bikes were, in fact, the Black Swan’s main inspirations, Hennebert claims. The finished bike also incorporates a few RWB Porsche-style touches.

As we just noted, the Black Swan swathes the Indian FTR in aggressive, blocky carbon-fiber panels. Hennebert designed the tank cover, tail, and fairing by draping steel wire mesh over a stock FTR and covering half of it in modeling clay, Bike Exif explains. He then 3D-scanned that ‘half design,’ refined it with Formae Design, and 3D-printed a prototype for 13.8 Composites to make it carbon fiber. And not only does the finished body kit look suitably aggressive, but it also weighs less than four pounds.

However, there’s more to the Black Swan than just its dark carbon wings. For example, while it retains the stock FTR headlight, Workhorse Speed Shop turned it into a pop-up one—kind of. The bike has two ‘eyelids’ that open and close using two Arduino-controlled electric motors. Why? Because Hennebert wanted it. The Alcantara-covered seat and dash, “both a nod to hypercars,” exist for similar reasons, Bike Exif says.

In addition, the Black Swan has several custom CNC-milled aluminum components from Vinco Racing: the swingarm, hidden fuel cell, chassis plates, and fork triple trees. The custom Akrapovic exhaust is aluminum, too. To match the FTR’s new dark aesthetic, the Ohlins fork and piggyback shock are blacked-out. Also, the body panels aren’t the only carbon-fiber parts: the Rotobox wheels are as well.

Finally, this custom Indian FTR has a prototype lightweight Beringer braking system, controls, and bar-end signals, as well as new clip-on bars. And it has a new aluminum belly pan for better exhaust heat management courtesy of 13.8 Composites.

The shop’s Indian FTR AMA custom build recalls classic ‘80s motorcycle racers

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While the Black Swan reworks the Indian FTR, Workhorse Speed Shop’s other custom build highlights its original spirit, instead. No, it’s not a flat-tracker, but the ‘FTR AMA’ does pay homage to 1980s AMA racers and vintage rally cars. Hennebert lists the Lancia Delta HF as a notable inspiration, Bike Exif says, though the custom bike’s Martini-style livery was a customer request.

Underneath that livery, the FTR AMA wears several 3D-printed components reinforced with carbon fiber. Specifically, the number board-style headlight surround, new tail section, and the blocky fuel tank with its racing-style gas cap. However, there’s more to this FTR than meets the eye.

For one, as on the stock Indian FTR, the AMA’s fuel tank isn’t actually a tank. Instead, the colorful panels cover the real aluminum fuel cell, which is connected to a secondary under-seat reservoir. Also, Workhorse Speed Shop moved the battery into the tail section for easier access. And that square taillight isn’t a custom piece: it’s a classic part fitted with LEDs.

To make this custom Indian FTR a true vintage AMA homage, Hennebert converted it from a monoshock to a twin rear shock setup. That required not just new Ohlins shocks, but also a custom rear subframe and a custom longer-than-stock swingarm. Vinco Racing handled the fabrication; it also made the fuel tank, chassis plates, and assorted mounting brackets. Those brackets hold up the number board, PIAA race light, and aftermarket Setrab oil cooler. Plus, Vinco made a new set of vintage-style yokes for the Ohlins forks.

In addition, Workhorse Speed Shop deleted the stock Indian FTR’s ABS. So, to keep the stock speedometer happy, the shop had to give the FTR AMA a supplemental Motogadget speedo, Bike Exif explains. The bike also has Motogadget bar-end turn signals, as well as ProTaper handlebars and Beringer levers. Those levers operate a Beringer 4D braking system, which had to be installed to accommodate the bike’s custom turbofan-style JoNich wheels. A Silver Machine brushed-leather seat, custom stainless-steel exhaust with S&S Cycle mufflers, and DNA air filters on 3D-printed intakes complete the build.

Can you buy these custom FTRs?

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Workhorse Speed Shop made these custom Indian FTR motorcycles for a pair of brothers. Therefore, they’re unfortunately not for sale. And even if they were, they undoubtedly cost significantly more than a stock 2022 FTR.

However, while the bikes themselves are one-off customs, you can buy some of their parts. Beringer, for example, offers plenty of aftermarket brake levers and brake upgrades. Motogadget is a well-known name in the aftermarket parts game, too, with a wide array of digital instruments, analog gauges, electrical components, controls, mirrors, turn signals, and handlebars. And Vinco Racing has an extensive catalog as well, though it mostly works with racing motorcycles.

So, while you can’t get one of these wild Indian FTRs, that doesn’t mean they can’t inspire your own build.

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