GOLDEN EYE: Indian FTR 1200 by Indian Metz
Written by Martin Hodgson
It was June 2016 when multi-time American Flat Track Champion Jared Mees announced he would join Indian as they returned to the series for a full factory tilt at the title. The signing left no doubt that the company was serious about winning, this was no marketing exercise; but little did we know at the time that in parallel to the development of the race bike, work had commenced on a road-going version. Now three years on and people the world over are getting their hands on the FTR 1200 and France’s Thomas Castany of Indian Metz has given this S model the custom treatment dubbing her ‘Over Light’.
With the FTR 750 dominating its first three years in American Flat Track racing, the road-going version was going to have to be equipped with as much of the race inspired flavour as possible for it to be a sales success. Thankfully, Indian haven’t let their fans down and are no doubt attracting a legion of new admirers with the FTR’s on-road capabilities. With the likes of Bike World UK even showing the bike is better than expected on loose gravel and happy to hang the tail out.
So with Indian Metz being the premier dealership in North-Eastern France it made total sense to customise an example to bring punters into the showroom. Before he got stuck into the build, Thomas jumped on a plane and headed to America, visiting Indian HQ and hanging out with the likes of Roland Sands and Travis Pastrana who have both been doing their usual crazy things with the FTR.
Back at work at the dealership Thomas soon had his hands on a brand new FTR 1200 S model with its three rider modes, TFT dash and fully adjustable suspension being the improvements over the base model. But if there is a valid criticism of the FTR range it’s that the American’s, not known for sporty bikes, deliver the bike weighing a hefty 235kg full of fuel. So as well as a visual maker over, Thomas wanted to shed some pounds and the addition of carbon fibre is one of the best ways.
Straight to the Indian accessories catalogue and the stock tank covers are removed and join the new tail cover as the first $US1000 worth of carbon to get bolted onto the bike. Next, the radiator guards were removed and rather than go with the alloy covers from the catalogue, more of the lightweight black weave has been employed. While the front guard is removed and replaced with carbon fork covers and a set of race plates are added.
Happy with the fit and it was over to AR Performance to handle the paint and race-style graphics that really make the FTR pop over the factory item. To add some contrast the carbon on the tank and tail has been sanded to give a matte finish. With the other carbon pieces the first to go under the spray gun and are finished in a gloss black. Gold and white pinstriping neatly breaks things up, with a silver contrast panel laid down and the race team inspired number and graphics a mix of paint and decals.
Thrilled with the way the gold matched that of the fully adjustable Sachs suspension front and rear, Thomas had an idea. The wheels were pulled and the race replica Dunlop DT3-R tyres were removed so a coat of the gold could be sprayed and the lettering done on the tyres as well. While in the US at Indian a set of Mees designed Neken aluminium flat track bars were picked up and are now fitted. With the headlight shroud removed to help show them off.
The eight-valve V-Twin is the heart of the party, with smooth torque from idle as you would expect and then screaming all the way to the limiter at 9000rpm. But to save weight and produce the proper scream Thomas had S&S send over one of their Grand National Slip-On mufflers in stainless steel with a carbon fibre cover. Now when Over Light isn’t drawing in the masses on the dealership floor it’s ripping up the back roads of Northern France, tail hanging out and bold appearance ensuring everyone knows there’s a new kid in town.
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