After spending time on Indian's FTR 1200 to do the initial review video I was pretty stoked on the bike. But I had basically ridden the motorcycle in conditions it was designed to excel at. The twisty roads and dirt UTV trails of the Black Hills provided the ultimate playground for the FTR and it proved to be right in its element. But how would the race-bred street bike perform out of its comfort zone? To be honest, I hadn’t given that much thought. I was having way too much fun blasting down dirt roads and testing my intestinal fortitude in the twisties, but quickly had to switch gears and get ready for a different kind of fun. We were about to head out on Biltwell’s El Diablo Run which meant a 3,000 mile round-trip full of a wide spectrum of riding conditions. I was all but packing up my trusty Dyna when  the proverbial light bulb switched on above my bald head...what if I took the FTR on the 3,000 mile trip to Mexico?

Off the top, it actually doesn't seem like a great idea. After all, that's not what the bike was designed for. The FTR is the street version of Indian Motorcycle's wildly successful FTR750 professional flat track machine. And while it's highly competent at going fast and blazing dirt roads and carving corners, the likelihood of people cross-country touring on this machine is small. But doing things on motorcycles that they aren’t meant to do is one of my favorite pastimes, so I planned my attack for this epic journey. I had a few things to consider. One of the first things I had to tackle was how to pack for such a long trip that involved camping off a bike that wasn’t exactly setup for large loads of luggage. I had to have luggage with enough capacity to hold all my gear, keep it dry and be able to be attached to the machine in a safe way. Since the bike has only been out for about five minutes there’s not many bags specifically made for it, but the Kriega US70 combo pack might as well have and answered my luggage toting issues admirably. I had used Kriega bags extensively in the past so was familiar and confident with their quality. The other issues I was pondering were going to have to be worked out on the road. Would the bike be comfortable? How would it be at sustained highway speeds with no windshield? How would the flat track-inspired tires hold up to a pile of concrete miles? Would the bike get hot in triple digit traffic temps? All those questions and a few more were answered on the road and chronicled in our video. Hint, I still like the FTR 1200 very much, even after a 3,000 mile commute across two countries.