Trackers Are What’s Next

Trackers are the café racers of 2019

Indian Scout FTR 1200 Street Tracker
The Indian Scout FTR1200 Custom is based off this year's winning FTR750 race platform.Indian

Café racers are so 2016. Motorcycles unveiled at EICMA 2017 not only show us what we're going to be riding next year, but offer a glimpse of what we may ride several years from now. If the new concepts from Indian and Husqvarna portends things to come, it looks like we'll be swinging our legs over some trick trackers before we know it.

Given the boost in popularity of American Flat Track racing, and a vibrant custom scene that riffs on the tracker idiom with regularity, it's no surprise OEMs are considering production versions.

Indian Scout FTR1200 Custom
It's no surprise that OEMs are considering tracker-based designs for full-scale production.Indian

Since laying eyes on the Indian FTR750 flat-track racer that took Jared Mees to championship glory, motorcyclists have been clamoring for a production street-legal tracker from the "Minnesota via Springfield, Massachusetts" company. Its Scout FTR1200 Custom as unveiled at EICMA is nowhere near a production model, but it does hint at things to (hopefully) come. The FTR1200 wraps its carbon-fiber bodywork around a 1,133cc Scout engine and the FTR racebike's frame. Please stop teasing us, Indian.

Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 concept
The Svartpilen 701 isn’t just a larger-displacement or thematically similar take on the production Svartpilen 401, it’s pure Swedish tracker.Husqvarna

Husqvarna, whose production Vitpilen and Svartpilen models greatly resemble their concept forms, unwrapped the Svartpilen 701, the yin to the Vitpilen 701's yang. The Svartpilen 701 isn't just a larger-displacement or thematically similar take on the production Svartpilen 401, it's pure Swedish tracker—if there is such a thing (thanks, globalization).

Although details are scant and largely irrelevant given the concept status of both of these machines, it’s interesting to note that the Husqvarna is very similar to the Vitpilen aside from its tracker aesthetic and ergos. The FTR1200, on the other hand, would be the first of an entirely new category for Indian, representing a major opportunity for the brand to ease its way into building more performance oriented motorcycles.

One thing is clear: Trackers are coming. Watch this space.