Indian Returns to Hillclimb Competitions with Its All-New FTR750

motoplex | September 22, 2020 | 0 | Harley Davidson , Indian Motorcycle

After over 80 long years, Indian has returned to the hillclimb contests. Based off of their renowned FTR750 flat track dirt bike, Indian has introduced their very own custom FTR750 Hill Climber to compete once again. And to pilot their new bike, they’ve recruited 10-time AMA Pro Hillclimb Champion John “Flying” Koester. Together, Koester and Indian plan to take the FTR750 to the top and make the iconic motorcycle company king of the competition once again.


But where did it all begin? What exactly is the motocross hillclimb? The oldest documentation of the contest can be taken all the way back to 1897– it’s as old as the dirt its competitors ride on. It really took off, however, toward the end of the 1920s. The “big three” of motorcycle manufacturing back then – Harley Davidson, Excelsior and Indian – resided at the top of the American motorcycle industry and the hill climber competitions. Audiences came from far and wide to see these big three compete in what was the most popular motocross event of the time. Watching riders race to the top to beat the clock drew an awe the world had never seen before, and demand for the spectacle was at an all time high.


Today, the sport remains very popular amongst audiences. And It’s become more diverse in how its racers compete. In a classic competition, a rider will race alone, attempting to reach the highest point of the hill they can, sometimes racing against the clock. But there are now also occasions where up to five different riders will race at once, seeing who can reach the highest point the fastest.


Some of the more popular events of the sport include: the Dayton MC Club at the Devil’s staircase in Oregonia, Ohio; Laconia Motorcycle week in Laconia, New Hampshire; and the Spring Creek MX Park in Millville Minnesota. However, the sport is found all over the world, being especially popular in countries like Spain and France.


Some of the biggest names in the sport include riders like Jay Sallstrom, a six-time AMA Pro hill climb champion, and Molly Carbon, one of the sport’s first female pro riders. And for the most part, the top riders of the sport ride Harley Davidson, the current, and undeniably, most successful company when it comes to professional hill climb competitions. They have stood at the top for the better part of the past 80 years. But that is all about to change.


Indian is on the move and moving fast. With the help of Hillclimb Champion John “Flying” Koester and his very own custom FTR750 – including an extended swing arm, knobby tires and an upgrade to the rekluse – there is little in the way of Indian returning the sport it once dominated nearly 100 years ago.


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