Words: Mikko Nieminen Photography: Felix Romero, Ula Serra

American bikes are big, brash and bathed in bling, right? Not this one! The new FTR1200 from Indian Motorcycle is sleek, stylish and, well, rather European-looking.

The FTR1200 is inspired by Indian’s FTR750 flat track racer, and has similar looks, but shares virtually no components with its fire-breathing sibling. Like many top-level bikes, the FTR1200 comes in two different guises: the standard and the S. The engine, chassis and the majority of all components are shared between the bikes, but there are a few key differences.

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The 1203cc 60° V-twin engine is brand new for this bike, and shares only a handful of parts with existing Indian powertrains. It boasts a 12.5:1 compression ratio, 4 valves per cylinder, high-flow cylinder heads, dual throttle bodies, magnesium engine covers and a low-inertia crankshaft. All that makes the engine powerful (121bhp), grunty (87lb-ft) and quick revving.

Drawing immediate comparisons with the Ducati Monster, the tubular steel trellis main frame and aluminium subframe have been designed as separate parts, giving the bike distinct looks and leaving the door open for further developments that could give the package a whole new appearance.

Brembo brakes provide high-quality stopping power front and rear, while the lightweight cast aluminium wheels (19in front/18in rear) and the Dunlop DT3-R tyres (exclusively designed for the FTR) keep the bike’s looks true to the FTR750 racer.

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The first obvious difference you notice is the instruments. The stock bike has an analogue speedo with an LCD screen for tacho, fuel gauge and gear indicator. Meanwhile, on the S you are welcomed on board by a full-colour, touch-sensitive TFT dash, which also grants access to the bike’s Rain, Road and Sport ride modes (the standard bike has the Road mapping). Also selectable via the dash is lean-sensitive ABS and traction control, exclusive to the S model.