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Discussion Starter #3
So? the FTR is not a dirt bike...
No, it is not. But unlike the others, has some of that capability built into it..
Which somewhat dulls it's on road ability.
I just don't think a shoot out is an equal one if the full range of a given machines capabilities are not explored, or at least taken into an account somewhere..
The other machines in this, had their full range of purpose tested, while the FTR did not..
 

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You may have a point, although the "dirtness" of the FTR is more in the looks department (tires mainly). You can't decently stand on it (pegs too high, seat/bars too low), and it's heavy.

This is what I wrote earliers this week on Advrider about that same review.

Funny thing is, this test result is ultimately a "shades of grey" thing.

I have a buddy with an FZ09 (the XSR's twin sister), and one with a Monster 1200R. And all we ride are canyons. Guess what? All three bikes (and riders) are good enough to let the road be the deciding factor, not the bikes. The slower steering of the FTR can be a bliss sometimes -less nervous midcorner on bad roads-, and in other corners the FZ carries a little higher corner speed while the FTR guns out of the corner on it's torque curve -giggles-. Same with the M12.

I do think the OEM tires on the FTR are a weird animal. They are grippy, don't give much road feel and make you feel invulnerable, until, until you're leaned over far (far!!). The rear feels super stable until you reach the edge, then the rear starts to "work". Nothing to worrry about, but it does feel a bit "mushy". Could be the balloon shape, could be the knobs. Could be both.

Meanwhile I switched to decent sports touring tires which give more road feel, make the steering lighter and can be leaned over further simply because they are rounder.

All three are good bikes. the XSR being the most sensible choice -albeit missing some torque-. But be honest, do we choose bikes with our brains only, or also with our hearts & underbellies?

Sorry but I hate it when journalists try to rationalize bikes in a comparo. Gives the reader the feeling that if they choose the lesser bike, they bought a lemon. While in reality, even the test looser could be a perfect bike....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I agree with hating justification in reviews.. but I do believe it's got enough pedigree difference, an inch more suspension travel and almost 3 more inches of ground clearance for quick example and a radically different tire,, it wouldn't be a justification so much as a legitimate explanation.. as those details will surely make for a different capability..
IDK if your familiar with bicycles, but this comparison strikes me like taking 2 road bicycles, putting regular bars on them and trying to compare them to a cross track bicycle.. sure at a glance they will look very similar, but in total, " just a bit out side" as Bob Ueker would say.. now, all this is not because I'm sad it didn't do better,, it's more or less to highlight the problems I always knew it would have when being compared to other machines. it's just a bit outside from everything else.
In short,, take them all on a fire road, the other 2 wouldn't stand a chance to the FTR, which if all things are to be considered, would change any reviews results..
We will see more reviews like this where because of its slightly different make up, will not look as good on paper, if all things aren't being considered, like we saw here.
 

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Fire roads? My (well prepped) DR650 smokes any FTR as soon as it’s not perfectly flat... so does a Desert Sled. Simply because of the better suited ergos and suspension.

So yeah, there goes the comparo. :confused:

That said, I don’t have any problem keeping up or leading an M12 or FZ09 in any paved canyon...

I just don’t need to justify my choice for an FTR, it’s smiles/mile...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Fire roads? My (well prepped) DR650 smokes any FTR as soon as it’s not perfectly flat... so does a Desert Sled. Simply because of the better suited ergos abnd suspension.

So yeah, there goes the comparo. :confused:

That said, I don’t have any problem keeping up or leading an M12 or FZ09 in any paved canyon...

I just don’t need to justify my choice for an FTR, it’s smiles/mile...
Ya, I guess for me, a better more even "shoot out" would have been with other bikes that have a dual capability and test in both of them then averaged. Like say the Triumph scrambler and the Desert Sled, tested on both capacities, rather than calling the Indian a "sport bike", and testing it with other "sport bikes".. to the later, in my opinion, it doesn't require justification, but IMHO warrants an explanation, if not correction.. but that's me.
 

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Looks like they compared 3 street bikes to me.

If they tried to put the ftr against any bike that’s actually designed for offroad the other bike would have smoked it.

The ftr isn’t meant for offroad. Even if they try and pass it off as such.


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I'm not going to tell anyone how to have fun on their own motorcycle - I like the smiles/mile metric.

That said, I'm with these dudes; just because you can, doesn't mean you should. The FTR is a street bike, but Indian uses it's flat track racing roots for marketing - that doesn't make it good offroad or necessarily better than any other street bike. If you poke around, you'll find video of guys riding Goldwings offroad (pretty competently too actually). I've seen people do the same thing with a Hypermotard, which is also a street bike. Really any bike can become an offroad bike, if you take it there; some are better than others, but that still doesn't mean they're good.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I guess I'm less black and white..just because I mention it's dirt capability regardless of level, does not mean I think it's a dirt bike..and my post was never about winning, it was about potentials... and I agree miles and smiles, which is why as a writer/tester I would have found it incumbent upon me and highlighted it's full potentials to try to convey to the reader who isn't actually riding one it's potential miles and smiles..
Again, no, it's not a damn dirt bike, but it's the first bike I've had off road in long time, and was plenty capable of it.. you wouldn't have seen any pics on the other makes forums of users using those other bikes on light off road scenarios as you seen on this one..
But if I must ignore potentials, In the context of this test, I would have went with the XSR, I've ridden them, infinitely more flick able than the FTR.. I could hand my self my ass with it against the FTR. Never cared for the monsters. out the box it drags hard parts to easily. But I haven't ridden the newest ones, I heard they raised it some to rectify that.
That's how it would go down for me if I was looking for a one trick pony..
 

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I’ve taken my previous fz1s offroad. With a right tire, Just about any bike can go off road. Hell I know a guy who puts on 50/50 adv tires on his otherwise stock Fz1 and races it off road through New Jersey woods.


And when I took my ftr on rocky trails. Only think I could think about was dropping my $16000 pretty bike lol.

My ktm I could give to shits about throwing it down a mountain. As it actually has protection. The ftr has ZERO, side, front, rear, undercarriage, radiators, nothing, which is a Another reason it’s not an offroad bike.



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Discussion Starter #16
"it really falls somewhere between streetfighter and ADV bike, thanks to those 19/18-inch wheels and bespoke Dunlop DT3 tires. It lost the comparo, but the tables might’ve been turned if the venue had included dirt roads or the evening club circuit."

This ^^
I expect from journos is to at least mention this type of stuff when a test can't be "all things considered".. I believe in those circumstances, it's the writers job to mention these considerations for the readers when the testing cannot speak for its self.

We get mad when things are omitted in any other form of journalism, because it can be misleading and I find happens all too often today across the board in all journalism.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I went to high cliff park the other day. Didn't plan it, didn't even set out to it. One of the best ways in to it, is the back way. The back way is all minimally groomed dirt/gravel defunct logging roads.. saw the sign for the entrance coming up, but knew the back way was coming up sooner, I thought,, "haven't been back there since I was kid".. so, I hung a left off highway 10, went over the railroad tracks, and hit the logging roads. I then had a stogie watching the pelicans do their thing while sitting upon the cliff top ledge over looking the lake in total solitude and human silence.
Or, I could have went in the paved front entrance and sat in the ground level parking lot while being attacked by wasps from the over filled garbage cans with all the Prius's and Subaru's complete with a soundtrack of all the kids get yelled at by over bearing parents...
So, with respect @ferraiolo1 I disagree on your concept of the ONLY way to have fun off road...
to boot, before I did that, I was having fun railing through all the paved sweepers of the county roads, and did so again on the way home..
the FTRs version of fun.;)
 

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I should clarify. The only way “I” like to have fun. Throwing a big heavy bike on an open gravel road isn’t my idea of fun or challenge.


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Sorry I don’t mean to sound obtuse, but if you want to go offroad or adv or just play in gravel. there are sooo many better bikes out there. And most are cheaper than the ftr.


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