Indian and Workhorse Speed Shop reveal new FTR Black Swan

Workhorse Speed Shop and Indian Motorcycle reveal the second FTR build of their collaboration.

Indian Workhorse FTR Black Swan.

IN February 2022, Indian and Workhorse Speed Shop revealed the FTR AMA, a build based on the AMA superbikes and Group B rally cars of the 1980s, which resulted in a colourful, ‘modern-classic’ look. 

Now, Indian and Workhorse have revealed the FTR Black Swan, which Indian describe in a press release as “a totally different, but no less radical, take on what can be achieved with the FTR.”

Brice Hennebert, the founder of Workhorse, had the idea of Black Swan “several years ago”, with the inspirations for the build “coming from multiple directions and eras,” including 1990s superbikes, modern GP machines, “and even Rauh-Welt tuned Porsches,” according to Indian. 

Hennebert said, “I had the vision to build a sports bike for road use, really sporty, built like a GP bike. It’s deeply inspired by 90s sports bikes, all made from carbon fibre.” He added, “It’s pretty unique, and the most complicated build I’ve done to date.”

Brice travelled to Slovenia in 2021 to make a custom exhaust for Black Swan with the help of Akrapovic, before setting about a collaboration with Formae Designs to create the bodywork for the bike, which was then 3D-printed in (unpainted) carbon fibre. He then worked himself on the chassis components such as the fuel tank and air intake.

There was also input from Vinco Racing Engineering, who created CNC-machined (Computer Numerical Control) components including the chassis plates, fuel cell parts and the swingarm fitting all from Hennebert’s designs. That swingarm itself is custom-fabricated from 7020 aluminium, while the suspension comes from Ohlins’ racing department - one-off, blacked-out rear shock and front forks to match the overall stealth look of the bike.

Hennebert says that one of the most complicated parts of the designing and manufacturing process was the system to reveal and conceal the headlight. He said, “That was one hell of a struggle for me. It may look simple and easy for some people, but for me, that was quite a challenge. The ‘eyelids’ are driven by two stepper motors controlled by an Arduino (electronic software) for cinematic opening and closing.”

The final touches were delivered by Silver Machine Seats, who provided Alcantara - as seen on the steering wheels of classic Group C Le Mans race cars - for the seat and dash. There was “No real sense in that decision, but hella cool,” said Hennebert.