Will the 2022 Indian FTR Leave the Harley-Davidson Custom 1250 in the Dust?

While the Custom 1250’s future was uncertain, Harley-Davidson is indeed putting the concept bike into production. And while it broadly follows the cruiser formula, the motorcycle has a few flat-tracker elements, too. But until it officially debuts, the only street-legal American factory flat-tracker is the Indian FTR. And for 2022, Indian is giving it an update.

The Indian FTR gets new tech and tweaks for the 2022 model year

The rear 3/4 view of a black-and-red 2022 Indian FTR
2022 Indian FTR rear 3/4 | Indian

Up until now, the Indian FTR models carried the ‘1200’ appellation, after their 1203cc liquid-cooled V-twin engines. While the engine is sticking around for 2022, the model name is now just ‘FTR.’ But while the name’s the same, the 2022 FTR isn’t exactly the same bike.

For one, while the 2022 Indian FTR still has a 1203cc liquid-cooled V-twin, it now has rear-cylinder deactivation, Roadshow reports. It’s already a feature on some of the company’s other bikes, such as the Vintage Dark Horse, and now the FTR has it. And it’s not just for fuel savings: shutting the rear cylinder down at a stop reduces heat throw. Thus, your ride is more comfortable.

A white-and-black 2022 Indian FTR S
2022 Indian FTR S | Indian

Indian also tweaked the FTR’s engine and throttle tuning for 2022, Cycle World reports. Total output hasn’t changed; it’s still 120 hp and 87 lb-ft. Instead, the changes are supposed to smooth the throttle response and improve its cold-start performance. That’s welcome, given that Jalopnik and RevZilla noted some issues in both of those areas.

For 2022, Indian is also trading some of the FTR’s flat-tracker design for some on-road refinement, Roadshow reports. Previously, all FTR models but the Rally rode on heavily-grooved Dunlop DT3-R tires. Now, the standard tires are sport-touring Metzeler Sportecs, RideApart reports, though the Rally still has Pirelli Scorpion Rally STRs. The 2022 Indian FTR also has revised suspension geometry, and all non-Rally trims have fully-adjustable suspension.

The side view of the front half of a silver 2022 Indian FTR Rally
2022 Indian FTR Rally front side | Indian

Rear suspension travel on non-Rally models has gone down slightly—from 5.4” to 4.9”—but so has the seat height. Combined with the geometry changes, that should make the 2022 FTR a nimbler bike, Bennetts reports. The change in wheel size from 18” in front and 19” in the rear to 17” all-around should also help with that. However, as the more off-road-focused model, the Indian FTR Rally retains the old wheel sizes and spoked wheels, plus wider handlebars.

Trim breakdown, pricing, and availability

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The 2022 Indian FTR is available in four different trims: the $12,999 base model; the $14,999 S; the $16,999 R Carbon; and the $13,999 Rally. The bikes should hit dealers in spring 2021, Roadshow reports.

All four trims come with Brembo brakes, ABS, and cruise control. The S and R Carbon, though, trade in the base and Rally models’ analog gauges for a 4.3” LCD touchscreen dash. They each also have an Akrapovic exhaust, a USB outlet, multiple riding modes, wheelie control, stability control, traction control, and cornering ABS. The R Carbon adds multiple carbon-fiber trim pieces and fully-adjustable Ohlins inverted forks and rear shock on top of that.

The 2022 Indian FTR R Carbon's LCD dash
2022 Indian FTR R Carbon dash | Indian

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Naturally, Indian offers many of the higher-end trims’ parts are optional accessories. Also available are heated grips, tank pads, and a sportier seat.

How does the 2022 Indian FTR compare to the upcoming Harley-Davidson Custom 1250?

The rear 3/4 view of the white 2018 Harley-Davidson Custom 1250 concept
2018 Harley-Davidson Custom 1250 concept rear 3/4 | Harley-Davidson

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It’s difficult to compare the 2022 Indian FTR to the Harley-Davidson Custom 1250 given that we don’t know many of the latter’s production details. And strictly speaking, it’s closer in style to the Indian Scout and Scout Bobber than the FTR, RideApart muses.

However, given that Harley-Davidson canceled the actual flat-tracker it planned to build, the Custom 1250 is the next best thing. Plus, the outgoing FTR 1200 was more of a charismatic street tracker than a pure flat-tracker, Cycle World reports. So, the two bikes are somewhat close in spirit, even if one is a cruiser and the other is more of a standard.

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Here’s what we do know about the Harley-Davidson Custom 1250. First, that’s not its official name; the company’s website still calls it the “Future Custom Model.” Second, it has a 1250cc liquid-cooled V-twin, likely the same one the upcoming Pan America has, VisorDown reports. Harley-Davidson previously stated the engine was good for “’ at least’” 145 hp and 90 lb-ft, MCN reports. But the official output is, as of this writing, unknown.

We’ll just have to wait until both bikes hit the road to really settle this comparison.

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