Oh wow, a test in my own backyard! My second choice when I was shopping took the honor in this one, but the deal I received and all the fun I've had so far have left me with zero regrets. I have, and will continue to enjoy personalizing it. Several members here have been quite helpful in this regard. Thanks and cheers to you all.
They seem to indicate that the tires are part of the character of the bike and I agree. Different tires won’t make it a better bike for everyone. Aesthetically the tires fit the look of the FTR and dynamically the squirming gives a “flat track” hooligan feel. It reminds me of the Scion FR-S I owned back in 2015. This car came with Prius tires that created a lively rear end fitting the AE86 drift persona. Lots of owners “upgraded” for stickier rubber which gave the car better grip, but took away the fun drifting aspect in normal everyday driving.
It's funny... I wanted new tires almost immediately. But now that I've got 1000+ miles on them, I do agree a little bit about their assessment. They aren't as sticky as I would like, and the squirminess is not confidence inspiring. However, they do give the bike part of the personality that differentiates it from some of the competition (both in looks and hooliganism). That being said, I'm not saying I won't swap them out for "better" rubber (or that I definitely will, either).
Except for the Husky, every single one of those bikes was on my shortlist. Actually, I was looking at the Scrambler 1200 XE instead of the XC, but close enough. The Triumph was fun but felt a little underpowered, plus the high speed compression damping was way more harsh than I feel like a bike with that much travel should be -- although I do have a similar complain about the FTR to a lesser degree. It is a beauty, though. The Monster 1200S was about on par with the FTR for my purposes so it came down to the fact that (1) I didn't want to deal with the baggage that comes with a Ducati, and (2) it would have been about another $5k OTD.