No, it is not. But unlike the others, has some of that capability built into it..So? the FTR is not a dirt bike...
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?
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.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.
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...