After flat track racing, Indian Motorcycle wants to dominate Pro Hillclimb with special hill climber

Here in the country, Indian Motorcycle is probably best known as one of the first motorcycles to have ever reached our shores during the American occupation. Believe it or not, the brand was then the official government-issued motorbike of some of the US-government agencies at the time. Fast-forward to today, the Indian Motorcycle marque has a steadily growing community of riders who enjoy the big classic v-twins.

Just recently, they’ve let us enjoy their sportiest bike to date, the FTR 1200 Race Replica. This bike was designed to be a flat track monster. It takes inspiration from the FTR 750, which has been dominating the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) flat track racing series since 2017.

Now, Indian Motorcycle has set its eyes on the AMA Pro Hillclimb series and built a one-off FTR 750 Hillclimber. This is the marque's first participation in a Hillclimb series in over 80 years.

The team led by Indian’s VP, Gary Gray, have partnered with performance motorcycle specialist, S&S to set up the bike for the pro hillclimb racing.

“We haven’t built a factory-built hillclimb bike since 1939... Everything we do, we do it to win. So, we’re going back to hill [climb] racing and we’re going to win,” said Gray.

American hillclimb racing involves riding as far up a steep hill as possible. Because of the extreme incline angles and slippery surfaces, several modifications have to be made.

This special hillclimb machine has been modified with an extended swing arm to prevent the bike from popping the front wheel too much during the climb. It also gets a racing exhaust, suspension by KYB, Rekluse clutch (automatic clutch engagement system) and many more.

Watch: Indian Motorcycle builds a 750cc hill climber imageThe FTR's massive V-twin engine

Piloting this beast will be 10-time AMA 10-time AMA Pro Hillclimb Champion, John “Flying” Koester. He's no rookie, being 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.”

Indian hopes that it will see success, or possibly even domination in this new discipline the same way it has with flat track racing.