Flat track: dominated. Hillclimb: next.

If you know American Flat Track racing, you know that Indian Motorcycle’s FTR750 has been laying waste to the dirt oval since the 2017 season. Whether it’s Jared Mees or Briar Bauman at the helm, the bike that inspired the street-legal FTR 1200 nabbed three AFT Twins championships in three years. In 2020, the FTR750 only competes with itself, sweeping the podium in the opening two races.

With that type of success, Indian decided it was time to expand its reign to the slopes with the FTR750 hill climber. Based on the flat track race machine, the team added an extended swingarm, redesigned the tail section, and slapped on some knobby tires. The brand also outfitted the hill climber with an aftermarket Rekluse clutch while S&S provided a special exhaust for the project.

Indian FTR750 Hill Climber - Start
Just gonna...
Indian FTR750 Hill Climber - Sent!
...send it!

However, the FTR750 hill climber isn’t just a passion project, Indian plans to enter the 2020 AMA Pro Hillclimb Racing series in the new Twins class. To pilot the new roost rouser, the company signed 10-time AMA Pro Hillclimb Champion John “Flying” Koester to its already impressive ranks.

“It’s an absolute honor to represent Indian Motorcycle as it makes its dramatic return to hillclimb racing on the same machine that literally changed the game for flat-track racing over the past four years,” said Koester. “We’re excited to unleash the FTR750 on the hill, with our minds firmly fixed on the ultimate goal of capturing a championship.”

Along with his father/crew chief Gordy Koester, the decorated rider helped develop the FTR750 flat track bike into a hill shredder. As the first U.S. racer to win all three National AMA Pro Hillclimb titles in a single season, it’s safe to say that the new factory ride is safe in Koester’s hands.

Gallery: Indian FTR750 Hill Climber

Though Indian’s racing roots run deep, it hasn’t participated in a Hillclimb series in over 80 years. With the brand’s success boosting the popularity and viewership of American Flat Track racing, it seemed like a no-brainer to bring the FTR to the hill.

“When we created the new Twins class, our intention was to attract leading OEMs like Indian Motorcycle to return to this uniquely challenging and exciting form of racing,” noted Director of AMA Pro Hillclimb Rob Redmann. “We couldn’t be more excited to now welcome Indian Motorcycle back to the hill for the first time in more than 80 years.”

Will the FTR750 be the top-dog on the track and the king of the hill in 2020? Can Indian resuscitate the popularity of Hillclimb racing? Only time will tell, but we know what we’re putting our money on.

Hide press releaseShow press release

INDIAN MOTORCYCLE RETURNS TO THE HILL WITH FTR750 FOR AMA PRO HILLCLIMB SERIES

 

After More Than 80 Years Away from the Sport, Indian Motorcycle Returns to its Hill-Climbing Roots;

Enlists 10-Time AMA Pro Hillclimb Champion John Koester to Pilot FTR750 Hillclimb Race Bike

 

MINNEAPOLIS (August 17, 2020) – Indian Motorcycle, America’s First Motorcycle Company, today announced its participation in the upcoming AMA Pro Hillclimb Racing series, marking a return to a sport it once dominated more than 80 years ago.

Indian Motorcycle enters the 2020 series’ new Twins class armed with a modified Indian FTR750 hill climber, piloted by the company’s newest factory rider and 10-time AMA Pro Hillclimb Champion John “Flying” Koester. Regarded as one of the sport’s top riders, Koester was the first U.S. racer to win all three National AMA Pro Hillclimb titles in a single season.

“It’s an absolute honor to represent Indian Motorcycle as it makes its dramatic return to hillclimb racing on the same machine that literally changed the game for flat-track racing over the past four years,” said Koester. “We’re excited to unleash the FTR750 on the hill, with our minds firmly fixed on the ultimate goal of capturing a championship.”

Koester, along with his father and crew chief Gordy Koester, spearheaded the dramatic transformation of the FTR750 from a flat track race bike to a full-fledged hill shredder. Modifications include an extended swingarm, knobby tires, redesigned rear tail, and an upgraded Rekluse clutch to account for the increased clutch use demanded by hillclimb racing. The team also worked with S&S to design an exhaust system specific to Koester and his riding position.

“When we created the new Twins class, our intention was to attract leading OEMs like Indian Motorcycle to return to this uniquely challenging and exciting form of racing, and we couldn’t be more excited to now welcome Indian Motorcycle back to the hill for the first time in more than 80 years,” said Rob Redmann, Director of AMA Pro Hillclimb. “There is nothing like Hillclimb racing – fast, quick and exciting. We believe brands such as Indian Motorcycle will dramatically impact our ability to draw more fans and help grow this incredible sport.”

Since 1901, racing has been a part of the Indian Motorcycle DNA. Founders George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom met at a bicycle race, and maintained their passion for speed and competition when developing the brand in its infancy. Today, Indian Motorcycle has honored its forefathers by continuing the brand’s racing prowess through various forms of racing, including flat track, landspeed, bagger racing at the upcoming, inaugural MotoAmerica King of the Baggers event, and now hillclimb.

“We are always looking for exciting and unique opportunities not only to compete, but to also demonstrate the prowess of our engineering and design teams and the capabilities of the incredible motorcycles we develop,” said Gary Gray, Vice President Racing, Service and Technology for Indian Motorcycle. “We’re not only fans of hillclimb racing, but with our brand’s history in the sport, it was a no-brainer that we’d make our return after all these years.”

To find more information on AMA Pro Hillclimb Series visit amaprohillclimb.com. For more information on Indian Motorcycle and Indian Motorcycle Racing visit IndianMotorcycle.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

ABOUT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE®

Indian Motorcycle is America’s first motorcycle company. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.