The last few years we have been receiving less good news from Switzerland. There is some numbnut who is trying to convince the world we will only be happy when we own nothing.
Well, after laying eyes on this bike, we could not disagree more with this character and his crazy ideas. Let’s be honest, who would not like to own this magnificent machine?
Presenting the Tracker
It is the collective from Emmental, Switzerland, who are responsible for our flash of gluttony. They go by the moniker Arctos Collection, which is steady collaboration between Ulfert Janssen’s industrial design studio, Gannet Design, and Stefan Fuhrer’s custom bike workshop, Fuhrer Moto.
Ulfert Janssen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, USA
His partner is Stefan Fuhrer (Fuhrer Moto), a former racing mechanic of Dominique Aegerter and Tom Lüthi (now Moto2), with the latter he became the world champion in 2005 in 125cc class.
Under the umbrella ‘Arctos Collection’ Ulfert and Stefan are “brothers in crime” for the Gannet custom builds.
Stefan brings his racing know-how, precise engineering skills to the party and his team of artisans are the perfect addition to create what you would call a dream team. Their workshops being just around the corner from one another, makes for smooth and quick interaction.
It is likely that the client that rode in the 2021 Indian Motorcycle FTR 1200 into Ulfert’s design studio, was looking for the best of both workshops.
Ulfert explains: ‘We thought it would be cool to have a flat track theme on the bike and the brand Indian Motorcycles has a strong DNA in flat track racing.
Together with the client we decided that it would be great to fully expose the beautiful trellis frame of the FTR which in original is partly covered by the plastic “tank covers” which are housing the airbox.“
Continuing: “We immediately became aware why Indian designers decided to partially cover the frame as everything is asymmetrical on that tubular frame, especially with the mono rear suspension. But we decided to take on the challenge and expose the beautiful trellis frame in full. It gave us a lot of headache, but it was totally worth it and the result with the exposed frame painted in pearl white is stunning.”
From sketches to clay
The Swiss team set out with initial design sketches. The renderings were first translated into a clay model to find the form in 3D in preparation of the metal work.
Enter the team of aforementioned artisans. This is a very specific skill and these guys worked their magic by forming and tinkering the actual parts out of metal.
One of the features we really find original is the speedometer screen. This piece of equipment was integrated into the tank cover and made it ‘inlay and flush’ as the team describe it themselves. We think it adds to the cleanness of the FTR. Its handlebar design is more pure and racing, without the gadgets that normally cloud the front end.
Another spec of this Indian Motorcycle the BikeBrewers team appreciates, is the decision to substitute the original plastic tank under the seat with an aluminium flat track racing tank and add a tail section designed by Roland Sands. You can’t lay bare the beautiful foundations of a bike like this and end up with some ugly piece of plastic in plain sight.
Stefan adds: “Our goal was to integrate all the technical requirements and adjustments without affecting the concept. That was a real challenge because of incredible tight space issues for all the components and we had to replace many parts in other locations on the bike and reroute the cables and electronics.
It was important to us that we solve and adapt the individual components in such a way that there is a coherent overall picture to get a very sleek and technically perfect racer.”
Other details that make this FTR into a true piece of art are the Jetprime’s all-black racing control buttons and footpegs from Gilles. But also the small tail light and the two small high tech headlights from Highsider Germany add to the excitement.
Topping it off are the small tail light as well as the two small high tech headlights also produced by Highsider Germany.
We like the spoked Kineo wheels, but are less enthusiastic about the choice for two different colours (black and gold). That also goes for the fitted Michelin Anakee Wild knobby tyres. We understand the choice from a heritage and design perspective, but it is a choice which is often revised due to uncomfortable handling of the bike. But to each his own and discussions on taste are useless.
We got more hands raised in our team when we got to the exhaust system. It is a special titanium version made by Zard and gives the lovely blue tint. The slip-on is a SC-Project exhaust and gives a round note to the two cylinder engine according to Ulfert and Stefan.
Worth mentioning is the seat, which is a custom upholstery job by Zwahlen NIZ.
An interesting note is that news on the bike was picked up by Indian Motorcycle Benelux. Immediately after the first pictures hit the digital highway, Ulfert received an invitation to ship the bike to the Netherlands.
It will be exhibited at the booth of Indian Motorcycle Benelux during the 2022 Bigtwin Expo. To add a little more excitement, they have also entered the bike in the competition on behalf of the Swiss team.
Let’s see what the jury has to say; “The Netherlands, may we have your votes please?”
As far as the BikeBrewers team are concerned, this build deserves an award.
We will be visiting the exhibition to get a good first hand look of the quality to the work the Arctos team have performed.
Make sure to check out the pictures on our social platforms!
Builder: Arctos Collection
phone: +41 (0) 79 179 69 46