Bringing you the world's best cafe racers, trackers, scramblers, bobbers & custom motorcycles.

DIRT FLIRT. Indian Motorcycle Teases with a Scout Street Tracker

Posted on November 7, 2017 by Andrew in Tracker. 47 comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

In the biggest hint yet that Indian could finally deliver a production Street Tracker, the major American comes correct with this incredible road racer to be unveiled at EICMA this week. Having absolutely dominated the 2017 American Flat Track racing series with the FTR750 the company had all the inspiration they needed to pay homage to the championship-winning machine that decimated the competition. With the all-conquering Wrecking Crew on hand in Milan to lift the cover, Indian are set to present to the world a street legal variant that has mouths watering. Known as the Scout FTR1200 Custom, could this one-off build be the basis for a dream machine coming to a showroom near you.

Before you run to the bank, there is no official word as to the status of a production model, but when Pipeburn sat down with the good folks at Indian the possibility of such a development was woven through the conversation. “As well as honouring Indian’s race team of Jared Mees, Bryan Smith and Brad Baker, the Scout FTR1200 Custom serves as an exploration of how Indian could expand brand perception around the world, with exciting new offerings that are relevant to a wider-ranging consumer set,” explains the company’s media blurb.

Richard Christoph a senior industrial designer at the company and the man responsible for both the FTR750 bodywork design and that of the Indian Scout was approached by Greg Brew his department boss about doing the Scout engined FTR mash up Street Tracker about 4-5 months ago. Needless to say, he didn’t need to be asked twice, “I took the plans and twisted up an FTR750 body in sketches to fit over the Scout engine and chassis. One of the criteria, again, was to make this ‘street’ legal. Headlight, mirror, turn signals, brake, LP mount, etc. My main role was to make it look sexy as F*#K”. Job done, we say.

‘Consumers’, ‘street legal’, the words to whet the appetite of the motorcycling public just keep on coming, but it’s the hardware that does the talking! Working with the race team, Richard and his crew used a combination of factory Scout parts, FTR750 pieces and some bespoke items to bring the custom to life. The centrepiece is the factory Scout engine, 1133cc of thumping 60° V-twin muscle that pumps out an ultra-reliable 100+hp. The wiring harness comes from the factory Bobber, as does the switch gear and instrument cluster. But the factory hot rod gets a tasty tracker treat with the perfectly styled twin tip exhaust system from S&S.

To house it all a custom frame was built that enables the factory engine to utilise many of the goodies that get the chequered flag every race weekend. The suspension by Ohlins front and rear is just what Jared Mees used to clinch this year’s AMA championship, who along with Bryan Smith and Brad Baker secured the Manufacturers title for Indian too. Also from the Wrecking Crew’s FTR750 race winners are the stunning RSD wheels wrapped in Dunlop S pattern tyres and a host of components such as the triple trees and carbon fork guards. Of course, there is a lot more of the fibrous material on board and the one-off custom bodywork is as good as any you’ll see.

Looking exactly like a brutish tracker should it neatly covers the multi-piece fuel tank before extending rearward to create the classic tail piece styling. There are more beautiful carbon pieces wherever the eye looks, but what should really get us all excited is the integration of a headlight, mirror and turn signals.

Asked if Indian really were going to build a production street legal tracker and not just tease us all, Richard quickly shot back “We just did. Get us some money and we’ll build you another one!” So, head to your dealer and make the demand, because as incredible as this machines design and high end components are, it’s the addition of those little bits and pieces that allow us all to dare to dream!

[ Indian MotorcycleFacebookInstagram ]

  • guvnor67

    Whamakazam! I have to have one! Deals WILL be done, souls bought and sold, and much haggling and trading will ensue! This looks not only to be fun (113 horses against my Octane’s 108 and heaps lighter), but the finish looks really very good. Oh my, life on 2 wheels is indeed Living!

  • Marlon

    Indian HAVE to be working on a factory bike like this. When they first said they were bringing the Scout back I was all pumped for a light little twin that could go ’round corners quickly and had less of a ‘middle america’ vibe about the styling. I’d buy the shit out of a motorcycle like this. Looks gorgeous – and I’ll wager there’s something in this vein coming from Indian.

    • Would it be a big seller, you think? Or would it just be a loss leader for the rest of the range?

      • guvnor67

        One would hope it’d attract a different buyer group. I think the Octane didn’t do as well as Polaris had hoped as buyers were too glued to big cruisers and muscle, maybe didn’t understand it. The Indian though is a different ball game, they’re kicking butt on the ovals, and the scout seems to be selling well. Custom Trackers are popular as choccy icecream so I think the timing is good.

        • But look at Indian’s 2018 line up. It’s wall-to-wall big chrome and tassels. Surely their buyers are very similar to HD?

      • Marlon

        If they built a factory version of this bike with all the bells and whistles it’d be so damn expensive it’d have to be a loss leader.

        But a more neutral, upright bike that can have a tracker or street iteration surely has a market. For whatever reason people aren’t buying as many cruisers as they used to.

        I’d love a torquey, reliable twin with sensible wheel sizes and great reliability to ride on. Indian can do it (from what I understand their engines are dead reliable, and with great service intervals to boot) it’s whether or not people will buy it.

        I think they would.

        • @Manxman2:disqus talks below about how HD tried something similar with the XRs and failed. I’d guess Indian would be looking VERY closely at this…

          • guvnor67

            The marketing gurus will work very hard. Look at what Triumph have achieved.

          • Greybeard1

            The difference is Indian is introducing this from the correct direction.
            They already have peoples jaws on the ground from building a racer out of nowhere that DOMINATES.
            (Huge respect to Jared, et al.)
            All Harley knows is how to polish a turd and not very shiny.
            I suppose you could dress a Road King to look like a flat tracker but, well…

          • lennard schuurmans

            No way, Harley made nothing that looked like this.

        • guvnor67


  • the watcher

    That’s the way to do it. Dirtquake will never be the same again.

  • “If you build it, they will come,” – Field of Dreams

  • Nordog6561

    I won’t one. Please? I only want one.

  • John Chaves

    YES! Please build this!!

  • rennie61

    Stunning and surely no reason not to be as successful as say the Ducati ‘Scrambler’.
    I volunteer as a long term tester

  • Herminio Caesar Mercado

    want. really bad.

  • stp479

    Fine piece of work by Indian.

  • Stephen Visconti

    For as long as I can remember (and I’ve been riding for over 40 years) dirt track machines (i.e.: Harley dirt trackers) have been the ultimate wish list bike. When I first saw the Indian Scout-based race bikes, the lust for a street version (without me having to bust knuckles building one) was off the charts. And when I spoke with an Indian rep at the Brooklyn Invitational back in September, I told them the standard Scouts a nice bike, but if they built a dirt tracker for the street, then I (and I’m sure lots of other riders) would be all over it. Sometimes it’s not all about ultimate HP ratings and lap times. It’s about a bike with soul. Make it streetable, without losing the soul, and they will have a winner!

    • Soul’s the tricky bit. The devil’s in the detail, isn’t it? Once the lawyers get a hold of it…

      • Stephen Visconti

        I hear ya! But the market’s changing, and experienced riders young and old(er) are looking for something that is more than parity. Would this be a loss-leader? Perhaps. Expensive? Most likely. But it IS possible. And they are in a unique position to BEST their rival in Milwaukee. They’ve got the championship. The race-cred, as it were, and it can be a thoroughly model (i.e: reliable) motorcycle that people could enjoy riding whenever they wanted. If enough of us express real interest, perhaps we’ll see it come to fruition. I certainly hope so.

    • RD350

      And by soul we mean low weight, real suspension and brakes and a high level of finish.

      PS .. keep the cruiser designers 500 feet back from any design decision.

  • Jon Mulack

    Dear Polaris/Victory division,
    I know Bob (aka Elvis) is reading this. What would JA say? “Go fast and take chances.” Want to test the waters? Take chances. Make it in very quantities. Go fast. Make available from the factory “off road only” engine mods. I am pretty sure if it all was made in limited quantities it would sell out immediately. Once the bean counters figure out that the motorcycling public is tired of having the same cookie cutter bike as the guy down the street and lots of money can be made doing custom one off special order mods at the factory maybe they will start a trend rather than follow one. JUST BUILD THE DAMN THING. Make a statement! Oh yea…take this Harley

    • Never underestimate the power of kicking your biggest competitor square in the family jewels.

      • Eric

        Words to live by!

    • guvnor67


  • Everyone, including myself, begged for Harley to come out with a tracker version of the Sportster. When they introduced the XR1200 in ’09 with more HP, better suspension and brakes and good looks I thought it would be a winner. But it didn’t sell and wasn’t promoted by the dealer because it didn’t lend itself to chrome accessories and grip tassels. I went to my local HD clothes emporium and motorcycle display store and asked to test ride the XR1200. None in stock and the salesman offered to show me a Road Emperor Deluxe with dealer added accessories that increased the MSRP by 25%. Now in my neck of the woods low mileage XR1200s sell for a little north of $5k. Maybe I’ll still get my test ride. If Indian does offer a street tracker Scout it’ll probably be a killer machine, if this build in any indication. 100HP-plus is more than enough for this old scoot rider and if the production version looks close to this – wow. Hopefully Indian has learned from HD and won’t make the same mistakes.

    • Often, HD is held back by it’s own leather-tasseled baggage. I’d like to think that Indian wouldn’t have this problem. Then again, maybe their customer’s are more similar than we know?

      • martin hodgson

        The problem with the XR in my opinion was simple… weight. It was over 263kg, that’s just ridiculous for a bike that’s supposed to be “sporty”. The Modern Triumph’s are around 50kg less, the Japanese bikes that get trackerised are well under the 200kg mark. It’s like having a pillion on the back. The current Scout starts life lighter already than the XR, start ridding off the big fenders and chrome, adding a tubular swingarm etc and you get a bike that gets much closer to the Trumpet and R9T in weight with more torque and you’re onto a winner…. imo

        • Alex


        • guvnor67

          Add various re-map and exhaust options etc and let the games begin!

          • Jon Mulack

            Harley is stuck with Harley. Non Harley riders dont understand why people buy 30 year old technology. V-Rods dont sell, XR’s dont sell. They are stuck with a brand that is very successful and will not mess with that fact. Indian is starting with a clean slate and can go in many directions. The sport is losing its base because young people cant find a bike they can relate to. The custom scene is hot now, but trends come and go and factory is in this to make money (Victory). By trying different genre’s, and factory customs maybe they will start something we can only dream about.

          • Alex

            Successful is a very relative term though. If they view success as being able to sell $30k touring bikes, then by all means they are successful. But when you are losing more of the market share every quarter are you really being a successful company? Maybe they don’t want to progress, and that’s great, they don’t need to be on the forefront of technology. But, when another American manufacturer comes along and wants to use that new tech and push boundaries, the MoCo is going to suffer for it. Trust me, I love Harley Davidson motorcycles, I just don’t see why they refuse to take a risk and try to pander to the younger crowd. And please don’t bring up the Street line. That was a lame attempt with barely any market research behind it. Oh well. I will continue to buy vintage Harley’s and enjoy them. It just is a shame to see one of the great American brands struggle.

          • guvnor67

            I personally think the Pans and Knuckles are amongst the most beautiful HDs ever, the new stuff leaves me cold.

          • guvnor67

            True. Personally I like old tech, my 79 T140e Bonnie is still my favourite bike, despite it’s flaws. But I guess I’m lucky that approaching 51, I’m finally in the position to have a few bikes.

        • Eric

          All great points. Harley had a double-edged problem with the XR; their dealers and horrifically bad timing. The weight is a big issue, and if the bike had been successful, I think they may have started to move in the right direction with it. Remember, the XR came out in 2008, right at ground zero of the Great Recession, when all credit dried up. HD had just sold off MV Agusta for almost nothing, closed Buell, and was just trying to keep the doors open, like everyone else. If that bike wasn’t already slated for production, with tooling in place, the managers would’ve pulled the plug before it went out the door. In that tough environment, anything really even slightly different was going to fail, even with great, supportive dealers; instead, HD has what it has. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like some of their bikes for what they are, but if they’re going to compete long term, they’re eventually going to have to respond to the upstart Indian brand. I think they’re trying, with their all-new softail line, four-valve engine, and so forth, but I really look forward to Indian’s FTR being a great sales success, pushing HD to respond with a worthy competitor. Now that would be fun to watch, and healthy for the motorcycle market!

    • lennard schuurmans

      Good looks? Let’s be fair. It did not look like a flat tracker at all. The gas tank was way to high, the rims where ugly and to small, if anything at all they looked like super moto or classic super bike wheels but did not resemble anything flat track, the lines of the bike where all over the place, it did not resemble the xr750 at all, the tail piece was massive. The only thing that was really flat track inspired was the paint job. So the people that wanted a street tracker did not like it because it still looked to much like a cruiser with that raised up cruiser gas tank and the super moto wheels. The cruiser guys did not like it because they only like cruisers. It was a loose loose situation. It they would have made a bike that looked the part it would have sold like hot cakes. Now they tried it for 50% and gave up without trying for real. If you want to make a change go al the way or don’t do it at all because you know before you’ve even started that everybody will be disappointed in the end.

  • Guzzto

    If they build this I’m in, I would love a new V twin with torque good ergos wide bars and great design, this could well be it. Of course I’d want sticky rubber. really really nice!

  • Denis Spratt

    Love it.
    How much would they charge to build another on?

  • Eric

    This is an amazing tribute bike, and should build quite a bit of buzz for Indian on the show circuit. Hopefully, they’ll receive strong, positive comments from the press and attendees, giving them confidence to build something inspired by this. Don’t expect it to be this bike, though. Indian has invested heavily in cast aluminum frame fabrication tooling, and they will likely use revised castings from the Scout line to make a production bike. It’ll still be pretty sweet, and will hopefully be a bit lighter than a standard scout, but that’s the direction I see Indian taking with the production model.

    • I take your point re; cast aluminium, but I doubt that they’d try and build a tracker with it just because they’ve got stuff lying around. Look at Royal Enfield. They needed a classic dev & frame builder, so they brought Harris Performance. Job done.

      • Eric

        I really hope you’re right. The big difference here is that Enfield sells a lot more bikes than Indian does, well over 10 times more. Also, Indian’s parent company likes for each division to turn a profit on its own, meaning that while Indian seems to be doing well, they may be on a tighter financial leash than Enfield is under Siddhartha Lal.

  • Andy Rappold

    Victory did it again…if that bike is released like that it will be one more nail in Harley s coffin!

  • Len Farquharson

    Tho she doesn’t know it yet, my wife needs one of these! Now!

    • guvnor67

      Mine too Len, I’m damn sure of it!!!

  • James K

    To my eye there’s no visual comparison between this beauty and the XR1200 with its little wheels, badly designed tank and ill-conceived 90’s era Nighthawk rear end. What Harley got wrong in its attempt to capture the zeitgeist Indian has nailed in spades – this tracker will emphasize Indian’s resurgence into the market and hopefully encourage others to up their game too

  • Motomanic

    That whole HD vs Indian also has another perspective given that it’s an objective, true and undeniable fact that the Xr1200 was disportionate and ugly as sin. This one isn’t. I (for one) would sell my trackerized sportster and give them Indians my money. 19’ tyres pls! Thx.