As America’s oldest motorcycle marque, Indian has a long history in moto competition — from the early days of board track racing to Hillclimb events and even flat track. Not long after winning its final GNC Flat Track title in 1953, Indian bowed out of dirt oval racing, only to return in 2017 with its series-dominating FTR750 factory racer, which swept the 2017 series, before winning the title each year since. Spurred on by the FTR’s immense competition success, Indian has now announced plans to reenter Hillclimb racing with a modified one-off FTR750.
Despite not having built a factory Hillclimb bike since 1939, Indian’s set its sights on the twins class of the AMA Pro Hillclimb. The Polaris-owned outfit has called on various experts to transform the track-only weapon into a Hillclimb racer, with the three-quarter-liter V-Twin getting a stretched swing-arm, a bespoke S&S Cycle exhaust, a Rekluse clutch, an enduro seat, and a full set of MX-style bodywork, spoked rims and knobbies, a carbon fiber tank. The “1901” race number is also a nod to the year of Indian’s inception. At the helm of the FTR will be 10-time AMA Pro Hillclimb Champion John “Flying” Koester, giving Indian some pretty strong odds for a podium finish.