You aren’t likely to see an effortlessly cool celebrity motorcyclist riding up Rodeo Drive to pick up Scarlett Johansson on Indian Motorcycle’s new Scout FTR750. Nor will you see Hells Angels types with tassels, saddlebags, and the American flag stitched to their leathers riding to Sturgis on one. Introduced in February, the Scout FTR750 isn’t a motorcycle built for Sunday cruises or long road trips. It’s a motorcycle for hooligans who believe the only way to salvation is through dirt, sweat, and broken bones in the holy house of flat track.
Original flat track racing traces its roots to before Prohibition. Riders were pitted against one another, scraping shoulders, and grinding their boots against hard-packed gravel and dirt quarter- and half-mile oval tracks, drifting turns as they reached speeds of nearly 120 mph. It was dangerous, risky, and thrilling.
But the form of motorsport waned in popularity for a period and, for some time, was lost to all but its hardcore fans. Recently revived factory involvement by both Harley-Davidson and Indian, however, has reengaged thrill-seekers as both companies have renewed their century-old rivalry. Flat track racing is once again a premier series, a fact that has led Indian to introduce the Scout FTR750—a flat track bike built for racing but available to the fans.
The backbone of the bike is a racing version of the company’s 750cc V-twin engine. The purpose-built 53-degree V-twin sports a high-output eight-valve, dual overhead cam design, and features water-cooling and fuel injection. In total, the dirt demon generates spine-tingling horsepower and what feels like an absurd top speed. Considering that the engine is complemented with an ultra-light, high-strength steel frame, a raced-tuned Ohlins front fork setup, a fully adjustable rear Ohlins monoshock, and a number of other variable elements, it becomes clear that Indian spared no details when designing the ultimate flat track race bike for riders looking to scare themselves silly.
“With the level of interest we saw after the FTR750’s debut, between the public, dealers, collectors, and other race teams, it made sense to do a hyper-limited run,” says Indian marketing director Reid Wilson. And according to Gary Gray, project director for Indian Motorcycle, it didn’t hurt that the brand’s Wrecking Crew team was dominating the season. “It adds to the allure and prestige,” says Gray. “It’s similar to Mercedes-AMG and Lewis Hamilton’s dominance in F1.”
The race-only special edition is limited to 50 examples and carries a price tag worthy of its exclusivity. Customers who want to travel sideways at more than 100 mph while getting exhaust through their helmets and dirt everywhere else, will have to drop $50,000 for the privilege of doing so on the Scout FTR750.
But for those fortunate few, ownership will be well worth the price of admission. Each buyer will have the opportunity to customize various elements of their motorcycle, including the option of installing a front brake and choosing the bike’s number (as available). In addition, they will be invited to one of the 2018 American Flat Track races and be given a pass to the pits, a chance to meet the competitors, and a one-on-one riding lesson with a member of the Indian Racing Team the next day.